Musician Ben Wittrock is a recognizable name and face in the local music scene. Wittrock, who grew up in Powell River, returned in 2014 and became involved in promoting live alternative music events for youth, as well as recording local bands in his own studio. All the while, his own musical projects, most notably grunge and folk punk band Razorvoice, remained a prominent part of his creative expression. After living in Vancouver for the better part of 2016 to focus on learning more about recording and engineering, Wittrock returned to town to record bands of many different styles, including punk, jazz, hip hop and classic rock. He is also planning on starting a punk rock record label in the near future.
When did you first get into music?
I was about 12, or even before that. The very first time would have been when I was hanging out at my friend’s house and his parents were in bands. There was this guitar that was always laying around and I had no idea how it worked. I strummed the high E string and it sounded like “Jingle Bells.” It felt like a great escape for me.
How would you describe Razorvoice and what’s the message behind the music?
It’s a cathartic release with an inspiring message to keep your head held high and keep pushing through and staying strong. The style of music is always changing, so it includes everything from punk rock to folk-pop.
What do you think of Powell River’s music scene?
It needed a kick in the ass and I’m happy there’s this new, younger push coming from artistic personalities, and there really seems to be a shift happening the past few years with cool, youthful energy.
You’ve been influential in the local music scene, especially amongst younger musicians. How does it feel to know you’ve had such an impact?
It feels great, because that’s all I wanted to do; push positivity onto others so we can all create a strong, artistic community, inspiring people to be original and passionate about what they want to pursue.
What does music mean to you?
Music creates a comfortable space for people to be themselves, but it also pushes people to challenge the norm and become better musicians.
For more information, go to razorvoice.ca.