We reached out to Benjy recently to talk about his NDG recording studio and label, FLIP the Industry. Housed in the big white building at the corner of Décarie and de Maisonneuve, it is likely that many of an NDGer has cycled or driven past this location, not knowing what went on inside. We’ve seen Benjy promoting FLIP at NDG festivals and noticed some of his live streams direct from the studio.
FLIP the Industry is dedicated to getting emerging talent off the ground with a running start, to take their music as far as possible.
Benjy welcomed us into the FLIP studio for some photos and a bit of a chat.
(Photography by Thomas Bock – Thomas Bock Creative)
Find out more about FLIP the Industry at the following locations on the web:
The Facebook: www.facebook.com/fliptheindustry
Would you like to introduce yourself (or FLIP the Industry)?
Flip the Industry is a music recording and production studio. I would describe it as a 360 degree music service designed to help emerging Montreal musicians get off the ground a little quicker, a little easier and cheaper, and most importantly with the proper guidance and instruction to skip as many of the regular pitfalls and problems that prevent musicians from achieving their full potential.
Upcoming/ongoing projects you have at the moment:
I don’t know if there’s necessarily anything that’s coming up right now that I would talk about. What I would mention is that we just did a live streaming concert (online and Facebook). We did some live streaming concerts in February and we just did a new one a couple of weeks ago, a rap live-streaming album. That has opened up a lot of possibilities and a lot of ideas. So that’s something that I’m looking forward to experimenting a little more with…the live streaming.
What do you want people to know about you in 2017?
That I am genuinely here to try and help and that Flip the Industry is as honest and morally upstanding a business as there can be. We love music, we love musicians, that’s what we’re here for.
Let’s say as an engineer, what gets me into the flow is the creativity of the musician. When I have someone in here with a good song that they are passionate about and the ideas are flowing back and forth, that’s what really gets me going. Music is a collaborative process. That’s it…collaboration.
Were you influenced by older music?
I was definitely interested and influenced by older stuff. The Beatles, that’s just obvious. But, in terms of older musicians that really influenced me, Freddie Mercury is right at the top of that list. He’s who I modeled myself after as a singer…hopefully one day. So, Freddie Mercury on the old school. As a guitarist, Van Halen was inspirational and Metallica. Van Morrison is also a good influence.
Cheeseburgers. I don’t know…it’s just the word that comes out of my mouth every once in a while. Someone says something to me and I got nothing…cheeseburgers.
Least favourite word:
Money…because I don’t like thinking about it.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Making music every day. So, I’m pretty fucking happy.
What quality do you admire in a person (man/woman)?
Honesty and loyalty… which I have both of in spades. And (the same) in other people. It would be ironic to appreciate in other people if I didn’t have it myself.
What is in your music rotation right now?
We’ve got some southern dark country music that actually comes from Django Unchained…Brother Dege and Too Old To Die Young. Queen is always in there. If you haven’t seen Queen at Live Aid, it is known as twenty minutes of the best rock and roll in history…check it out.
What is your favourite colour?
I’m fucking colorblind! (with gusto). I mean, that is kind of true. I would say prime blue and red are kind of my colours, if I were to have an emblem. I don’t know…the universe has thrown those colors into the mix for me somehow.
What are your favourite names?
I want to go with a Remy LeBeau. He’s just he’s my favorite of the X-men. Freddie Mercury is a phenomenal name. One association I didn’t really make until a couple of days ago is that Mercury is actually the closest planet to the Sun. One more, there’s an old movie called The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Baron Munchausen is a pretty awesome name.
Talk about your life as a teenager and how do you think those years influence what you were pursuing currently?
I would say my life as a teenager, and most of my life until even just a few years ago, have been a struggle with myself about the person I was inside and the person that I was expected to be or trained to be. I went to private Jewish High School where everyone was very, very sheltered and very, very much in their own bubble and did not ever take the time to experience life outside of what they knew. I never felt quite right in that scene, in that school, with all those people and it took me a long time to realize that I was constantly just trying to live up to standards that were set for me. I, for example, never got exactly straight A’s in school and it wasn’t because I wasn’t smart enough to…it was because it wasn’t challenging in the right ways. It was a joke to me. The same way when I was in law school, it was meaningless and because it was meaningless, I didn’t try very hard. So, most of my teenage life was kind of just not really feeling comfortable in my own skin because I was trained that who I was deep down was not a viable option of who to be.
Describe specifically your living situation in 10 years. Where are you? What are you doing? What does your environment look like? What do you see physically?
I hope to have won some kind of award for my music in one way or another, whether it be as a producer and having recorded for someone, or as a singer myself or releasing my own album. One way or another, I hope to have achieved legitimate recognition in the music industry. The Flip studio, as it is right now, I hope will be run by another engineer who will be working for me at Flip. So, this will continue to exist, but I will no longer be working as a producer and an engineer. I will be the next level up in this company, whether it means producing events or doing more management or doing more booking. I will definitely be performing as well, largely as a singer, partly in some other context.
When you think of NDG, what comes to mind?
This might sound cheesy but, home. I definitely feel at home in NDG. In terms of the description of the kinds of characters, there’s definitely a feeling that it brings up, but I don’t know that I want to choose any specific words to describe it, lest I give off the wrong impression. It’s creative. It’s community…creative community, is definitely something that we have a lot in NDG. I feel partly that we support each other a little more. It’s a close and a small enough community that we can feel connected to one another in a way that we don’t necessarily have in every part of Montreal. Even The Plateau has a similar creative feel to it, but I also feel like maybe people feel a little more separated. There isn’t so much that feeling of home in the sense that in The Plateau you’ve probably got a bunch of different cliques…like you don’t necessarily feel connected or comfortable with your neighbour the way that I think I do in NDG. It’s a little more residential in that sense that we can feel a little more connected.
(click on images to enlarge)