Ben DeLaurentis
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Ben DeLaurentis

Lynchburg, Virginia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006

Lynchburg, Virginia, United States
Established on Jan, 2006
Solo Rock Pop

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"Steal The Prize- I Want To Talk To God"

These guys are young, talented, brilliant, and hard working. Every song has been perfectly crafted to stand the test of time. The band looks for the big picture when writing songs and I think it comes across nicely especially with the lyrics complementing the vibes sent out through the songs.

The album is a concept based around the lives of the guys in the band...starting with the first song you get the idea that the band has control by making a catchy hit with lyrics about feeling crazy. By the second song you will start to understand this is going to be a psychedelic album.....and believe me, you wouldn't be more right, this album is soaked in the perspective and oneness that come from psychedelics.

The band overall if I had to categorize them would be a sweet fusion of Led Zeppelin & The Beatles. You might have an idea of what you think they sound like from that mix but it'll be different because this band is truly one of the most unique new bands out right now. They aren't just taking the styles that worked in the 60's and 70's and working it into their music like a lot of bands these days, but they are making their own music from their own standards not necessarily caring about what the masses might think.

This is an album about doing and being...... - O' Discordia!


"Unsigned Artist Alert- Steal The Prize"

When I’m told that an album will take me for a journey, I tend to become a little cynical. When I’m told the album is a concept album I become even more so. However, I’m an ass and Steal the Prize have just proven that.

I was contacted by Ben Delaurentis who is the band vocalist/guitarist and I duly settled down to listen to the album, titled I Want To Talk To God. I had been told to expect psychedelia but, seeing as LSD is hard to come by in my neck of the woods right now, I decided to tackle it straight.

Let me firstly say that this is a killer album. It truly is. I was thinking about how instantly ‘right’ it felt and how easily I understood. That is, I understood from my perspective. Without wanting to disappear too far up my own anal cavity, it spoke something to me. Naturally we are all different and our meandering minds take us to very different places so I would hazard a guess that what this album says to people will vary greatly. I mentioned the music somehow feeling right – even though I hadn’t heard it before – and the last time I recall sensing that was when I heard my first Black Keys album. That isn’t to say the two bands are actually all that similar but then they aren’t miles apart either. That might make sense after you’ve heard both. Or it might not.

I promise I haven’t actually smoked or swallowed anything that has altered my consciousness but I am aware a lot of what I have written so far does suggest my state of mind was altered. It was. For others that might also be the case or perhaps I’m just in a highly suggestive mood. I’ll leave you all to make up your own minds on that. Please do make up your minds though and listen to it. You will find a link at the end of this post to a free download of the whole album. I would echo what Ben told me originally – that it should be listened to in one sitting and starting with the first track and following the intended sequence.

For me personally, the album was about one core theme. It’d be easy to focus on religious elements but I think it goes far beyond that. I’m agnostic and what I took from the album was the theme of existentialism. The introspection that comes from beginning to question our very being and the world around us. How did we get here … what is the purpose to our lives … what happens when our bodies give up … all that kinda heavy shit. Some of us, me included, spend more time than is healthy pondering this kinda thing whereas others glide through life blissfully unaware of their impact on others and without giving a thought to what tomorrow might hold in store for them.

Anyways, that was probably the most personal review I’ve written and likely tells you as much about me as it does about Steal the Prize but, regardless, I strongly urge you to check them out.

From their lastfm page :

“Steal the Prize is a versatile rock band from Lynchburg, VA with the passion to let the world in on their moments experienced through open-minded oneness as a band and community. Musically, the band draws influences from The Beatles & Led Zeppelin while still remaining able to create new feelings and ideas. Nothing is off limits for Steal the Prize, as they use a wide variety of instruments and ingenuity to channel their souls into every possible sound.

In 2002 Ben Delaurentis & Adam Rodgers met through middle school and started writing and playing music. Delaurentis & Rodgers added Mark Cullen in 2004 and early in 2007 the band formed into the current state by adding the fourth member, Jon Fies.

Currently the band is unsigned, and has released a full length album called “I Want to Talk to God” and two EPs, the first entitled “Vanity Isn’t Fair,” and the second titled “Tourists.”

Find them on myspace

Download the full album, I Want to Talk to God, here

Please leave some comments for the band here or contact them via their myspace page. - Hot Jack


"Steal the Prize: Locally Known and Getting Grown"

Collectively, the band has produced two full albums, and buried away in their iTunes libraries are two EPs from when they made music they no longer wish to be associated with. Their latest production, “I Think I Am,” is quite possibly something to write home about. The album was recorded in Roanoke by John Thompson, a member of the Young Sinclairs and Magic Twig Community. The album was recorded fully analog, meaning no computers were used in the entire process. “It’s soul-inspired soft rock ‘n roll with a psychedelic undercurrent,” says Ben. “It’s eclectic, but very misunderstood. It’s way better than Radiohead. In fact, there is no comparison.”

Their first album, “I Want to Talk to God,” was primarily about their shared experiences under the influence of hallucinogens, which molded their indestructible union as friends and transformed their music into what it is today. “I realized I was an infinite soul stuck inside my body,” Jon says. “I Think I Am” reflects on the beginning of the psychedelic experience which ultimately transcends to the realization of the ever-present ‘moment.’ “It is paranoia, slowly evolving into philosophical, to the born-again awakening that brings you back to the center. Back to the Moment. It’s all about The Revolution!” adds Ben.

I didn’t ask Ben any personal questions, but he was overzealous enough to impart upon me some crucial components of his inner workings. “I’m part dachshund, part ramblin’ man. The song ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’ by Elton John pretty much sums me up. I love that shit.” [Jon chuckles] “Liking Elton John is normal, man. What the fuck is wrong with you?”

When they aren’t drinking, smoking weed, or watching Trailer Park Boys, the guys can probably be found writing music, sleeping, flipping pies, or trying to find weed so they can smoke and watch Trailer Park Boys. Don Baldizon, a local painter, conversationalist and snappy dresser, says, “I think they play a lot better high than drunk.”

When asked what sets them apart from all other bands in Lynchburg, Ben quickly informed me that STP was the only band in which all members had long, beautiful hair. That is until Adam, who apparently works like a dog, started to let his hair turn into a mullet. After an unspecified amount of time, Adam’s mullet turned into dreadlocks–a drullet. “They were gross,” claims Jon.

Though the band typically plays shows in Lynchburg, they have played in other areas such as Greensboro, Richmond and Waynesboro, and they hope to one day perform as far as western West Virginia. “We just want to rock. Rock at life. But isn’t that what everyone wants to do?” says Ben. “We want our fans to take from the album the place in which we were when we wrote it. We want to open some minds, change some lives. Our fans believe in it because we believe in it. That’s the kind of fulfillment we live for.”

After their spiritual-musical-art revolution, the guys hope to have achieved worldwide acceptance and support. For now, they have a solid following of diehard fans who show up to every show, know the lyrics by heart, and sing loudly to every song in hopes of drowning out the slightly off-key slurs coming from Ben. After the superfluous southern hospitality and copious amounts of mind-altering revelations shared by the guys, I must admit–I’m on board the revolution train. - Sweet Briar Voice


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Ben DeLaurentis is a singer-songwriter and the founder of Virginia rock band, Steal The Prize.  Steal The Prize is a melodic rock'n'roll group based out of Lynchburg, Virginia. Starting out all the way back in middle school, they have spent years defining their sound, vigorously performing live, and characterizing a unique regional music community. Working alongside the fans, and other like-minded songwriters, the community strives to spread awareness to promote a united vision of originality in both music and culture.

Among the four member strong group, Steal The Prize explores a vast frontier of vintage instrumentation and big harmonies.  They draw inspiration and combine many different styles including rock'n'roll, jazz, and country-western, as a specific genre never seems to quite represent where they have been nor where they are headed. The band's quintessential "edge" lies within their ability to improv and rightfully express a vibe, both live and in the studio, while always keeping songwriting the centerpiece. The union of musicality and meaning allows the listener to not only hear the music, but feel it, connect with it, become a part of it.

In 2011 Steal The Prize released their second full length album entitled I Think I Am. The entire album was recorded fully analog to 1 inch tape on a 16 channel task cam reel to reel machine. Each track was mixed from scratch, and recorded in real time from tape to CD. The album was sent off to be mastered be Brian Lucey at Magic Garden Mastering Studios in Columbus, Ohio (mastered grammy award winning Black Keys album Brothers.) Stylistically, I Think I Am covers grounds in genres such as rock 'n' roll, acid rock, psyche folk, country, and the occasional jazz influenced groove. The record made it's debut on the band's official website, iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, and all other digital retail stores.

After the release of "I Think I Am" in May 2011, the band released "Don't Forget You're Sad" on Blue Sprocket Records.  Ben DeLaurentis and Steal The Prize continue to write new material, perform live regularly, and are planning for an east coast tour in support of the new album. Recently, Steal The Prize has garnered some career building exposure, most notably, the license of their new single "The Devil Made Me Do It" for Relix Magazine's September issue compilation CD. They hope to continue to strategically partner with the media to spread Steal The Prize awareness one soul at a time.