Ben Kweller just announced his return to music. The return comes after a terrifying near-death experience and a five-year break and includes new music and a Nashville show.
Kweller didn’t leave the music scene to take an intentional break. It came after a horrifying experience in the mountains of New Mexico in 2013. He went on vacation with his family and ended up suffering from acute carbon monoxide poisoning.
“We were in this sweet little cabin and in the middle of the night, Lizzy woke up and said, ‘Ben, get up! Something’s wrong-I feel horrible,'” he explained. “I immediately jumped out of bed and collapsed to the ground. We instinctively crawled to the front door and opened it. Fresh air rushed in the cabin. I called 911. We grabbed the boys out of bed, trying to shake them awake, and managed to get everyone outside in the snow.”
“The boys were crying and falling in and out of consciousness-it was like something out of a horror film. When the ambulances arrived, they tested our blood and said our CO levels were so high, we were 15 minutes away from not waking up… We spent the next day in the hospital on pure oxygen and days after that feeling lethargic and mush-brained. When we got back home, I was an incapacitated zombie. I told my team to cancel everything. I was done.”
Following the poisoning, Kweller battled depression. He thought he would never see another stage again.
“I just didn’t care, I didn’t want to play music anymore,” he says. “I didn’t want to leave my family’s side, and for the first time in my life, I was scared. When you almost die, everything changes and all the unimportant s**** disappears. Luckily, I kept writing songs and they got me through some really dark places. Eventually, I had 50 ready to go but I was still reluctant to start the machine back up again
That friend was producer and songwriter, Dwight A. Baker. Together, they ended up co-producing a whole album. He will release that album, Circuit Boredom, and the first single drops in February. Kweller will release “Heart Attack Kid” on Feb. 8.
Kweller is also returning to the stage and that return will bring him right here to Music City. He’ll play The Basement on Feb. 25 with Modern Love Child. Tickets are $20 and they’re available here.
Stay tuned for that single and for more information on Kweller’s new album in the coming months. Until then, take a minute to reminisce over one of our favorite BK songs below.