Interview with Anne Bennett

Divine Magazine
Divine Magazine 6 Min Read

Salem, Massachusetts, best known for its witchy past, has an eerie energy that might ward some away. Salem native Anne Bennett absorbed this dark mystery and found comfort in the daunting emotions, which she has channeled into the melancholic music she makes today.

Born into a family of esteemed musicians, Bennett’s passion for music began in childhood, in a household filled with song and a turntable spinning vinyl records endlessly. Her personal musical endeavors started in her dad’s home studio, where she worked to record her first songs with a simple set up: a Casio keyboard, an acoustic guitar, and rewritable CDs. Over time though, Bennett’s interests shifted, and her music took a back seat to her college career where she studied biology and chemistry. However, she insists, “The passion [for music] never disappeared…Once I started working as a scientist full-time, I began to pour tons of my money into equipment, guitar lessons, vocal lessons.” In the midst of the pandemic, Anne made the courageous decision to join The Songwriting Academy, a year, virtual, UK-based commitment that connected her with her mentor, and now friend, Paul Statham.

Bennett now resides north of Salem in a historic New England home, where she has recorded her upcoming singles in her own home studio, reminiscent of the place she began her musical journey as a child. “I wrote these 3 songs on my road trip down south,” Anne shares. “I wanted a gritty, dirty feel to the tracks.” Working alongside UK-based producer Rory Carlile, Anne worked diligently to transform her work into exactly what she had envisioned. “I’m defiant,” says Anne. “I want to be remembered as someone who refused to take no for an answer.”

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Photo by CourtneyBrookePhotography

Are you creative in other disciplines?

Yes!  I think I’m pretty damn good at historic interior design.  I live in a 1730 New England home, and I’ve curated every room to look a specific way.  The hallways have a bold red damask wallpaper, the guestroom has historic-style wallpaper that depicts various images from the 1700s.  I’ve added a jungle of plants to every room…okay, at least I think I’m good at interiors!

How do you advertise your music?

Right now, it’s a combination of things, because I’m still trying to figure out the best way       to get my music out there.  Sometimes I pay for Facebook and Instagram ads (although I don’t think they help much, I often just get some weird creeps who say bizarre stuff to me, so I block them). 

If we were to look at the artists you are listening to, who would be on your playlist?

Currently a ton of Halloween music: Blue Oyster Cult, Rob Zombie, Nine Inch Nails…Once October is over, I have a playlist lined up (yes, I make new lists every month) with Mozart, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Agnes Obel, and maybe a little Aaliyah and TLC.

If we were to peek over your shoulder, what does your studio look like? What gear do you typically use?

I live in a historic 1730 home, and my studio is on the 3rd floor of the house.  The room is very tiny, so I have to make do with my desktop, one acoustic Taylor guitar, one electric guitar, one amp, and a microphone.  That’s it for equipment.  I’ve designed the room to be a very cozy space.  I added Victorian-style floral wallpaper to the plain white walls, a pink Victorian powder chair, a dozen Mexican candles, a red Turkish lamp, and some religious statues.  I have to create the perfect ambience in order to get into my artistic zone. 

If you could go open a show for any artist, who would it be?

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Photo by CourtneyBrookePhotography

PJ Harvey!

What’s your favourite children’s story?

 “The Night the Toys Came to Life.”  It’s a Christmas story about toys and stuffed animals coming to life on Christmas Eve to have a party.  When I was a little, I wished so badly my toys and animals could come to life!  I read this book every year to my son, who I don’t think appreciates it as much as I do hahaha.

What would be a good theme song for your life?

Honestly, “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child.  I’ve been through so much sh*t in my life, so many toxic friendships, years of depression and alcohol and drug abuse, that I’m surprised I’ve made it this far.  Any time I’m feeling really down and out, I put on “Survivor.”

What makes you nostalgic?

The smell of fresh cut grass, humid spring weather in New England, crickets at night, the sound of an air conditioner in my bedroom window…This all reminds me of being a little kid, growing up in the comforts of my parents’ house. 

If you could ask your future self-one question, what would it be?

Will things get better?

What was the last TV series you watched on TV?

Manifest…I need to know what happens!!!!!

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