Singer Ben Ottewell's all time hero is Nina Simone and Abbey Road studios is his idea of heaven...

Once again nme.com ruthlessly cross-examines the people with the heady responsibility to put sounds onto a shimmering silver disc.

What makes Ben from Gomez tick…

What song describes you best?


‘Oh, Marion’ by Paul Simon. It goes, ‘The boy’s got brains but he just doesn’t use them at all’.”

What is heaven?

“It’s pretty good here at Abbey Road Studios.”

What is hell?

“Being trapped or isolated somewhere.”

What’s your earliest memory?


“I don’t remember going to bed last night. Everything is just a blur, really.”

What’s your greatest fear?

“Not being understood.”

Who is your all-time hero?

“I have quite a few different ones, but no-one specific. Except Nina Simone.”

What’s the most trouble you’ve been in?

“Probably when my mum first caught me with dope when I was about 13. She nicked it and had a big go at me. I was also in trouble with the police once for drinking beer when I was very young. We were on the roof of a train station, drinking beer and breaking stuff when the police turned up. They just gave us a caution, but it was scary.”

Who was the first love of your life?

“This girl called Beck P we’re really good friends now, but when I was about 13 she caused all sorts of trouble and strife in my head.”

What is your greatest talent?

“Listening. And singing.”

What’s your most treasured possession?

“I’ve got a beautiful steel guitar called Clarissa, she’s really cool.”

What have you most regretted doing while drunk?

“It’s quite embarrassing. I went up to Jimmy Page once P backstage at Later… P and asked for a cigarette. I don’t really regret it, but it was a funny moment, because I asked him to sign it.”

Upon whom would you most like to exact revenge? How? Why?

“I’d like to exact revenge on my bandmate Ian, for being too frisky. I’d blow him up.”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

“If it’s sloppy, eat it over the sink.”

What can you cook?

“I cook a mean chilli.”

Can you read music?


If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?


If you had three wishes, what would they be?

“World peace, the end to disease, loads of food for everyone.”