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Benjamin Curtis (musician)

Benjamin Curtis
Benjamin Curtis, Bowery Ballroom, 2009.jpg
Curtis performing with School of Seven Bells at Bowery Ballroom in 2009
Background information
Born(1978-09-23)September 23, 1978
Lawton, Oklahoma, United States
DiedDecember 29, 2013(2013-12-29) (aged 35)
New York City, New York, United States
GenresAlternative rock, dream pop
InstrumentsGuitar, drums
Years active1993–2013
Associated actsTripping Daisy, Secret Machines, School of Seven Bells, UFOFU

Benjamin Curtis (September 23, 1978 – December 29, 2013) was an American guitarist, drummer, and songwriter. He was a founding member of the bands Secret Machines, School of Seven Bells, and UFOFU. He was also drummer for the band Tripping Daisy from 1997 to 1999.


Curtis was born in Lawton, Oklahoma and lived in Frederick and Norman until moving to the Dallas, Texas area in junior high school.

Curtis was a member of School of Seven Bells, in which he sang and played multiple instruments. Benjamin was the guitarist and backing vocalist for the rock band The Secret Machines until March 2007, when, according to the band's website, he left to pursue a career in School of Seven Bells, previously his side project. Before the Secret Machines, he was the drummer for the Dallas alternative rock band Tripping Daisy, from 1997 to their disbandment in 1999. Prior to that, he was the drummer for UFOFU from 1993 to 1997, with his brother Brandon Curtis, who plays bass guitar and keyboards, also later for The Secret Machines.

Curtis cited guitarists such as Michael Rother, Yoshimi P-We, and The Edge of U2 as some of his primary influences on guitar. He played a heavily effects-laden spacy style of guitar, reminiscent of late 1960s and early 1970s psychedelic rock.[1]

Personal life

Curtis was in a relationship with his School of Seven Bells bandmate Alejandra Deheza from 2005 until 2010.[2] The pair remained close friends and bandmates until Curtis' death.[2] In the liner notes for School of Seven Bells' final album SVIIB, Deheza refers to Curtis as her "best friend and soulmate."[2]

Illness and death

Curtis announced in late February 2013 that he had been diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma.[3] A benefit concert was held in New York in August 2013 and included performances by members of the Strokes and Interpol.[3] Curtis died on December 29, 2013 at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York.[3] He was 35.


  1. ^ Tim Sendra, "Now Here is Nowhere Review,
  2. ^ a b c Rogers, Jude (21 February 2016). "School of Seven Bells' Alejandra Deheza: 'Ben feels part of everything now'". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2013-12-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links

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