Episode 95: Ben Factor

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During Umphrey's McGee's two night arena run in Asheville, North Carolina, new Umphrey's McGee Lighting Designer (and long-time listener to this podcast) Ben Factor broke off a few minutes to speak with Rob Turner. The conversation starts with a discussion about the nuances of some of the rooms Factor had just worked and some of the new lighting approaches he's bringing to the world of Umphrey's McGee. Then they jump into the Wayback Machine and Ben waxes poetic about his parents and what led up to him attending the University of Michigan for sound engineering. Factor talks about how the lighting work of Jefferson Waful (who was UM's previous LD) was his initial inspiration to start exploring the world of lighting. We learn how the bands Mungion and Spafford and specific people Ben met along the way (including the lighting designer Luke Stratton) all played roles in Factor's Road To Umph. We also get to hear about the process of trying out for the Umphrey's job, his preparation for his first shows with Umphrey's and what it was like to light an hour-plus, full-set version of the band's iconic musclequirk'y song, "Ringo." The episode ends with acoustic guitar whiz Billy Strings donning an electric guitar to jam with Umphrey's McGee (from the night before when this interview took place).



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