Ben Folds insists he's the last one to heap praise upon his own work. But as the singer tells Rolling Stone, after listening to the new Ben Folds Five album, he couldn’t help but swell with pride.
"I realized it's a really good record," he says of The Sound of the Life of the Mind, the first album of new material in over a decade from the recently reunited band, which includes multi-instrumentalist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee.
Following an amicable split in 2000, after which Folds launched a successful solo career, the band reunited for a one-off concert in 2008. Despite enjoying himself, the pianist says he still needed assurance that his old crew could jell again in the studio. To be sure, the three musicians convened in an L.A. studio to re-record vintage tracks for the singer’s retrospective album, The Best Imitation of Myself.
"The whole idea was, this gives us a chance to see what it feels like in the studio," Folds remembers of the sessions, adding that the connection between himself, Sledge and Jessee, reoccurred immediately. "We have something that you couldn't imitate or repeat. That's what a great jazz band or an old-school rock band is all about – the sound being just in the chemistry and in your hands. It's not about anything else, really. It's just what happens. If we all played together on pots and pans on the floor it would have that same affect."
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