Jacksonville Band Teen Divorce: How it All Started From A ’70s Porno
Ben Saunders from Jacksonville band Teen Divorce talks about the porno that started it all, his best show in a Virginia basement and his determination to avoid corporate America’s 9 to 5 soul stealing jobs.
Saunders is 22, a University of North Florida graduate and he’s been a part of Teen Divorce for four years. Teen Divorce consists of drummer and vocals, David Kennedy; bassist, Shane Smith; and Saunders on guitar. They’re mostly influenced by 90s alternative bands and emo.
Saunders appreciates the local support he receives at venues and shows in Jacksonville, especially from Rain Dogs, where he books a lot of his shows.
He’s also a fan of the Cuba Libre, also known as a rum and coke with lime.
Out of all the booming ’70s pornos, Saunders was touched specifically by Teenage Divorce. Back then, the industry had a lot of goofy narratives, where people would just walk into a room with a Shakespeare script and read aloud amongst “frisky masses.”
“Teenage Divorce was one of those movies. It also had a very loose On the Road, Jack Kerouac plot,” said Saunders.
He then decided that the band would be called Teen Divorce. But the band originally started out with just Ben writing songs. His best moment with the band was back in Virginia in some random basement.
“We had a show on tour in Virginia and it was the best time we ever played as a band,” he said. “It was looking to be a bust because we were playing in a basement and it was looking like it was going to be empty. But then right when we’re about to play, it fills out.”
“We played the best set ever,” said Saunders. “People bought shirts.”
“Music for me went from a hobby to what I want to do. This is the only thing I think I will be happy doing.”
Saunders refuses to give into working some full-time job, at least until maybe age 30. He enjoys going on tour and doing what he wants to do, which is making music.
“I could be working a 9 to 5 job and I could be making enough money so I’m not living in an apartment with two other roommates. And I could have a wife and a dog named Rylie. But this is what I want to do,” said Saunders.
Teen Divorce is currently working on new music. Their current EP, Almost Heaven, is on Bandcamp and Spotify. Be sure to check out their performance May 29 at The Midnight in Gainesville with Rosemary Kennedy, JoyBoy and Southpaw.