Conquering an impossible feat

Singer Daniel Benjamin says that while making the band’s second album, he barely left the studio

Moon King singer Daniel Benjamin says music has always been a part of his life. Growing up in the Annex in Toronto, he lived down the street from the music venue the Palace and used to go see live shows all the time.
Moon King singer Daniel Benjamin says music has always been a part of his life. Growing up in the Annex in Toronto, he lived down the street from the music venue the Palace and used to go see live shows all the time.
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Daniel Benjamin remembers his first time.

“In 2005, I remember crowd surfing for the first time [in Kingston] and it was the sickest feeling,” Benjamin, one half of the Moon King duo, said.

But Benjamin’s recollection of his past endeavours in Kingston delved into dark times as well.

His last visit playing a gig in town left him running away from frosh dressed up as zombies. “I was in the driver’s seat trying to get away. These students came to me with outstretched arms, literally opened the door and reached in,” Benjamin said. “We drove away from 30 people slowly crawling at the van like the Dawn Of the Dead.”

While the experience might have turned the singer off from coming back to Kingston, Benjamin said he found the experience with the frosh amusing.

“It was really scary, but hilarious at the same time,” he said.

Benjamin started Moon King with his childhood best friend, Maddy Wilde. The pair grew up in the Annex in Toronto and credits it as a big influence in their musical styling.

“Lee’s Palace is down the street from where we grew up so we always got to see bands play there when we were kids,” Benjamin said.

But their music isn’t just a by-product of their environment, it’s also because of their families.

“Both of our parents were involved in the old school folk music community in Toronto, which is still going strong.”

The “hermit” lifestyle is what Benjamin said he’s gotten accustomed to while making this new record.

That includes calling me via his laptop, instead of using a telephone.

“I don’t have a phone so I’m talking into my laptop. Canada has the most expensive cellphones in the world, so I figured it was easier if I went without one. I also haven’t gone out in a while,” he said.

Benjamin was a few hours late for our interview, but with good reason.

He’d been putting the finishing touches on Moon King’s latest album Obsession II.

“We added on a bunch of extra vocals and other little things and as of 20 minutes ago, I think it’s done,” he said.

Benjamin and his musical partner Wilde will soon be traveling a lot while they’re on tour withToronto punk rock band Fucked Up.

They’ll be playing the Mansion on Sunday and Benjamin said for him, performing is like trying to accomplish an impossible feat.

“Sometimes it succeeds, but it doesn’t always obviously. It’s the best feeling. It’s the only thing worth doing — there’s no reason to do anything else other than to achieve that feeling.”

Moon King plays the Mansion on Sunday at 9 p.m.

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