Kweller described his near date with destiny in a recent tour announcement, explaining how he and his family nearly succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning while on vacation in New Mexico in 2013.
“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,'” Kweller says.
“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,” Kweller continued.
“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. Fifteen minutes! 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,” he added.
Kweller noted that the incident left him battling depression and a desire to distance himself from his former career as a professional musician.
“I just didn’t care-I didn’t want to play music anymore,” Kweller 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 sh*t 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. A close friend of mine called me up and said, ‘Just come over and let’s record something together. Even if it’s just a demo, maybe it’ll make you feel better.'”
Fortunately, for his fans, Kweller decided to return to form, and developed a new album with producer and songwriter, Dwight A. Baker. The album, Circuit to Boredom will be released later this year. A single from the new album “Heart Attack Kid” is slated to be released on February 9th, with a music video co-directed by Superorganism’s Robert Stange.
As well, Kweller is lining up for a tour that includes a mixture of headlining dates as well as a run with indie rock/blues trio Houndmouth from February 16th through February 23rd.
2/11/19 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada
2/13/19 – Indianapolis, IN – Hi-FI
2/14/19 – Pittsburgh, PA – Spirit Lodge
2/16/19 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall
2/17/19 – Northampton, MA – Pearl Street Nightclub
2/19/19 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
2/20/19 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
2/21/19 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
2/22/19 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater
2/23/19 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
2/25/19 – Nashville, TN – The Basement
2/26/19 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
photo: Ben Kweller (Kevin Baldes - Courtesy Big Hassle Media)