Jun 04, 2021
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Anthony Wilson
To end out the week, we ask Ben Schneider, frontman of Lord Huron, some questions about endings and death.
Lord Huron released a new album, Long Lost, last month via Whispering Pines/Republic. It’s the band’s fourth album and the follow-up to 2018’s Vide Noir. The album was previewed via the band’s Alive from Whispering Pines series of livestreamed shows. The series introduced fans to a character named Mr. Tubbs Tarbell, and a letter supposedly written by him was also released in conjunction with the album’s announcement. As well as Schneider, the band features Mark Barry (drums, percussion), Miguel Briseño (bass, keyboard, theremin), and Tom Renaud (guitar). The Los Angeles band formed in 2010, releasing their debut, Lonesome Dreams, in 2012.
Read on as Schneider discusses what song he’d like played at his funeral; his favorite endings to books, movies, and TV shows; and which animal he’d like to be reincarnated as.
How would you like to die and what age would you like to be?
When my number’s up, I hope to be outside with the sun on my cheeks or the stars in my eyes, preferably at a ripe old age. Let’s make it an even hundred and twenty.
What song would you like to be playing at your deathbed?
I imagine some unknown melody floating on the wind. A real nice tune—or the notion of one—but it’s just out of reach.
What song would you like to be performed at your funeral and who would you like to sing it?
“We All Make the Flowers Grow” by Lee Hazlewood would fit the bill. I’ve always appreciated a little truth and humor in the face of death. If there’s a top-notch Lee Hazlewood impersonator to be found in 2103 I’d like him to be the one singing.
What’s your favorite ending to a movie?
The end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest gets me every time. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who’s lucky enough to get to watch it for the first time, but it’s a helluva sad and beautiful thing.
What’s your favorite last line in a book?
Well, I don’t know if it’s my favorite last line, but since I’m thinking of it, the last line of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (the novel) is pretty damn good. “I been away a long time.” Of course, like any ending, you need all that came before it to feel its weight.
What’s your favorite series finale last ever episode of a TV show?
I never thought much about it but I guess it’s pretty rare for a TV series to end satisfactorily. I don’t know if it holds up—it’s been years since I’ve seen it—but I remember thinking the end of Six Feet Under was really good; seeing the way each of the characters would eventually meet their respective ends. Very fitting for the show, and for this questionnaire, I suppose.
If you were on death row, what would you like your last meal to be?
I was just talking about this with my family the other day and it’s really a tough question. Do you go fancy or trash? Quality or comfort? I think I’d have to be there in that situation to really know the answer. I can’t begin to guess what form my hunger would take if I was staring down certain death. For some reason I think it would be cereal…
What’s your concept of the afterlife?
I expect it will be just like prelife.
What would be your own personal version of heaven if it exists?
It’d be me and my nearest and dearest getting into grand adventures with excellent snacks.
What would be the worst punishment the devil could devise for you in hell, if he exists?
Buried alive, no snacks.
If reincarnation exists, who or what would you like to be reincarnated as?
I watch birds and genuinely wish I could give that a try. I bet a lot of people say that. Sometimes I look at plants and trees and think the same thing, just because it would be such a different kind of experience. I know what you’re thinking: “plants aren’t conscious.” But are you sure?
What role or achievement would you most like to be remembered for?
I hope I’ll have helped people feel better, in some way.
What would you like your last words to be?
“That was good, but I’ve had enough.”