Awake Is The New Sleep is Ben Lee's definitive album to date. It reunites him with producer Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Smashing Pumpkins) and was recorded in Brad's home studio in Los Angeles. Along with Ben, the primary players were long time partner-in-crime Lara Meyerratken and guitar whiz McGowan Southworth. Special guests included Jason Schwartzman, Har Mar Superstar, Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and Jason Faulkner.
Ben Lee was born 26 years ago in Sydney, Australia. His mum remembers him spending most of his childhood sitting on the floor with a turntable, playing Rumours (Fleetwood Mac), Avalon (Roxy Music) and the Jack And The Beanstalk soundtrack over and over and over. Ben's musical coming out was at the age of 14 with a poppy, punk rock band called Noise Addict, circa 1993. "Discovered" by heavy hipsters Sonic Youth and The Beastie Boys the group's profile rose quickly. As Ben describes it, "It was the perfect teenage rock thing." But clearly more ambitious than his band-mates, it wasn't long before Ben began concentrating on a solo career.
His first album, Grandpaw Would was produced by Brad Wood and released in 1994 on the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label, except in Ben's native Australia where it was released on Fellaheen. Much touring ensued (and continues to this day) with an illustrious and varied number of staunch supporters - Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Rufus Wainwright and Fugazi among many others. A second album, Something To Remember Me By ('97), was a mostly acoustic affair that accentuated Ben's salient writing ability. With '99's Breathing Tornados, Ben was first heard in full-flower: potent songs with electronic riffs and catchy choruses (and a platinum album in Australia). The adventurous, beats-heavy hey you. yes you was produced by Dan The Automator and was released in 2003. Never one to sit still, Ben's many tangents include duets with Kylie Minogue; writing key songs for Evan Dando's 2003 album, Baby I'm Bored; a collaboration with Ben Kweller and Ben Folds under the name 'The Bens' which begat both live shows and a stunning 4-song E.P.; establishing his own label imprint, Ten Fingers, for not only his own projects but work by others such as Montreal's beloved pop combo Pony Up!; and, in 2003, Ben made his feature film debut in the title role of Placid Lake in the Australian comedy, The Rage In Placid Lake, alongside Rose Byrne and Miranda Richardson.