Outburst 1996 – 2009
Ateball 1998 – 2015
Grym Reefer 1999 – 2001
Mage 2010 – 2015
Ben was a founding member of all his associated acts, bringing Mage together with Andy in 2010 after Outburst ended the previous year. On guitar he created the foundations of Outburst and Mage’s sounds with his signature deep toned guitar riffs. For Grym Reefer (featuring memebers of both Outburst and stoner band Fett) and Ateball he was the front man. Ateball was a grindcore influenced side project, over which Ben would scream his subversive and often comical lyrics.
Ben was also an exceptional graphic artist and produced the majority of his bands’ artwork for albums, merch and promotional material (including Mage’s iconic M). He also produced artwork and logos for other bands and labels. He only relinquished some of this responsibility for Mage’s second album and third release, Last Orders, sourcing the band’s first pieces of commissioned artwork. He also commissioned a piece of artwork from artist Domonic Sohor, which would later be used on the album Green. However, Ben continued to create artwork for the band until he passed.
Ben was also known in the Rock and Metal online scene, eventually serving as an admin for Metal Hammer’s online forums and writing some reviews. He was also involved in the early stages of webzine, Ninehertz.
In 2015, Mage had begun writing for their third album, when Ben passed away suddenly on August 9th, just a few days after his 40th birthday. After the initial shock and emotional impact on family and friends, the band were able to make some decisions about their future. Most importantly, if and how they should carry on. It was eventually unanimously agreed that Mage should continue in Ben’s honour and as a four piece.
With some truly amazing support from fans and friends and some musical help from Scott Taylor (Garganjua), Mage were able to complete writing and recorded the new album, Green, which was released in March of 2017. The album contains three songs written with Ben; Primitive Drive, Eclipse King and The Wheel. The album also features guest vocals from John Loughlin (Raging Speedhorn), which had been under discussion for a few years and made the album a genuinely fitting tribute to their fallen brother.
“Ben lives on through our music and all the music he helped create. He continues to influence the way we sound, write and record and decisions we make about Mage. He is and always will be the Mage Master.”