Any Other Questions with… Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Yes, Dear Reader. We enjoy those ‘in depth’ interviews as much as anyone else. But – BUT – we also enjoy the lighter side of music, too. We simply cannot go on any longer without knowing that BENJAMIN FRANCIS LEFTWICH is always good for a hot sauce.


What did you last dream about?

I last dreamt that I bumped into a beautiful ex-girlfriend at a tennis tournament who was hanging out with her new brother-in-law. It was kind of crazy, and I was quite disturbed by it when I woke up. 

Which defunct band would you most like to reform?

I’m going to say The Blue Nile. They are one of my all-time favourite bands, I think. I don’t know if they officially ever broke up, but I kind of wish they released songs more regularly… but maybe the magic is in the fact that they don’t; I don’t know. Sick band. 

What have you got in your pockets right now?

A pair of black cotton gloves from Uniqlo, a yellow mango ice vape from Sydney and a 171-millimetre guitar pick that I realised just now I accidentally took from King Ed’s studio.  

If you had to be on a TV gameshow, which would you choose?

I’d love to be on Survivor because I know I’d probably get voted out after a day, but then be in a beautiful tropical location and just be able to swim around and eat and chill and watch Leeds games from the beach inshallah. 

What’s your breakfast of choice?

If I’m in a savage mood, I’d say Eggy Bread and ketchup, and if I’m in a civilised mood, I’d say Greek yoghurt, berries and some kind of granola and perhaps some complementary seeds or something, maybe some protein powder or superfoods of some kind. 

Have you ever been banned from somewhere?

When I was very sick many years ago, I tried to get into a fancy bar in Sydney that had a dress code, but I was wearing trainers, so I didn’t get in, and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t take it very well and I think I was banned from there. 

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I tried chicken feet with my grandfather once at a Yum Cha Hall in Sydney; that was quite weird, I guess. I didn’t really like it, but I’m sure some people do. 

What was the last thing you broke?

A ceramic bathroom cup that held toothbrushes at my uncle’s house in Sydney. I was rushing around out of the shower, and I clipped it with my towel, and it fell off the sink and broke. I apologised and offered to buy him a new one, but he was very chill, thankfully. 

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

The blue lady from Avatar. 

What is your earliest memory?

I think it is being held by one of my parents at Christmas time at our first house in York, I remember the tree and the lights in the dark of winter in the living room. 

What’s your most outlandish prediction for 2024?

Leeds to be top of the Prem by next Christmas. 

If you won the lottery, what would you spend the cash on?

I honestly don’t know. I’m pretty happy, and I don’t feel like I need much right now. Maybe a little house in Nashville because I spend a lot of time there. Maybe a permanent box at Elland Road, if that was possible.

What is the most irrational superstition you have?

I honestly don’t feel like I have any irrational superstitions anymore, you know. 

Are you good in a crisis?

I believe I am, thank God. 

What’s the sneakiest thing you’ve ever done?

I remember when I was like 8 or something, me and my sister really wanted this little pool table for Christmas from our dad, and a few days before Christmas, I told my dad that my mum had told me that he had got it for me, to try and get him to tell me if he had. I kind of played them off each other, and it was quite sick of me. As a result, I was grounded for a day at my uncle’s house in London whilst everyone went to a Christmas party.

What fashion would you most like to make a comeback?

Emo/greebo circa 2005.

If you could learn one skill instantly without needing to practice, what would you pick?

Becoming as good and emotionally assiduous on piano as my brother Jamie Squire, who I write with a lot. 

What do you always have in your refrigerator?

More hot sauces than I need. 

Have you ever been mistaken for someone else?

I remember doing a gig somewhere in 2011, and a couple, for some reason, thought they were going to see Ed Sheeran and asked me to play ‘The A-Team’. I like him a lot personally, and I like that song, so it was okay. 

What’s the silliest thing you own?

A starlight thing that spins around and makes it look like my ceiling has moving stars on it. 

If you could be best friends with a celebrity you do not know, who would you choose?

Daniel Day-Lewis, I think that guy’s amazing; what an actor. I’d love to pick his brains. 

What’s your standard order from the fish and chip shop?

Cod and chips large COVERED in salt and vinegar, and a cold can of coke. Potentially mushy peas if I’m feeling adventurous, but it’s unlikely. 

How punk are you out of ten?

7.5.

Do you have any hobbies?

It’s funny, you know, I get asked that a lot, and I always just kind of say songs are my hobby, you know; I literally love them so much, and it’s just so wild and crazy that I’ve ended up in a place where they’ve become my whole life. About two years ago. my PR guy, Jack, took me to a football game at Wembley Stadium, and we saw Spain against Italy in the semis of the Euros… I was never into football, really, at least since I was very young, but ever since that night, I’ve become obsessed… so it’s kind of nice to have at least one hobby, I guess, that isn’t music. It helps me. 

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

Probably when I shit myself in Nashville when I was really ill.

Have you ever sold your own CD or merch on eBay?

I have not. 

If you were a snack, what would you be and why?

I feel like I’d be a hot sauce because I feel like I can get on with a lot of things, but I’m always kind of intense. 

What strength Nandos sauce do you order?

Hot.

If you had to live as an animal for one year, which animal would you pick?

A killer whale, so I could explore the whole ocean but feel no fear. 

Who was your favourite musician or band when you were 14?

blink-182, what a band.

What’s your favourite conspiracy theory, even if you don’t believe it?

That the world is run by lizards, that would be kind of crazy!

Have you ever seen a ghost?

I have not. 

What’s your biggest fear?

That I’m not good enough. 

What’s your worst habit?

Midnight milkshakes.

If you had to hide something so nobody ever found it, where would you hide it? 

In my heart.

Have you ever lied in an interview?

Yes.

Why are you like this?

Because I’m scared.

Taken from the March 2024 issue of Dork. Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s album ‘Some Things Break’ is out now.

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