The boys from The Bennies were a 'must see' act at this years Soundwave Festival and killed their Like A Version, after many parties and one too many beers the Melbourne 4 piece had a little bit of rest but now are coming back with a huge Australian Tour kicking off in Hobart on the 11th of November, with special guests The Hard Aches and Wet Pensioner. We had a chat to the band before they head off to the US to take on Florida's Fest and New York's CMJ.
You guys just did some shows with Reel Big Fish and Less than Jake at the start of this month, then you’re playing around the US starting in a few days and then you’re back in Australia doing a tour with Heart Aches and Wet Pensioner, has all this touring effected physical and mental health or are you still going strong?
It’s pretty good actually. We’ve done it so much that we know when we’ve got to take it easy and when we’ve got to apply ourselves to the party and performance. It’s been hectic because in the downtime we’ve also written an album. Being busy is what you want to be as a band because we’ve had nothing but really massive rewards from it, whether it be having fans jumping on board or making a really sweet new album. In short, it toughens you up, you learn a few things and when it gets tough that’s just your transitional period, it means that you’re leveling up experience wise.
What’s some hectic shiz you guys have got up to while you’ve been touring this year so far?
Pretty much when we hit the road its nothing but party and performance, so we’re no strangers to hectic and we are the creatures of chaos. We do embrace that life and we choose to do this, so whether it be parting with bands or partying with ourselves and having a rip of bass, guitar, drums keys or on the vocals, I can’t really isolate it to one thing because its all kind of like a beautiful mess, and it comes out with us producing a set. You’ve got to keep it interesting and fresh, we don’t want to seem like these tired buggers that are just running through the motion, because we’re not that, at all. People expect us to entertain and that’s what we’re born to do. It’s a bit like, if you’re a bit hung over, have a coffee, get over it mate, go for a run, let it out.
So I heard you guys go to bush doofs, do you think they’ve influenced your music at all?
Absolutely. Whether we’re playing at a Psytrance festival or a Reggae party on North Stradbroke Island, within every genre there’s always something special. Being exposed to that has really seeped into our bands DNA and to keep us fresh, and to stop us getting bored we embrace any style that we see fits within our framework. As a result we’ve made friends that we never thought we would make and we’ve been embraced by these communities. We always thought we could do it but it wasn’t until we actually started playing at doofs and stuff that we realized how much that brand of music has to offer and just how special and individual the people there are. We’ve learnt a whole bunch of stuff whether it be just keeping true to ourselves and pushing ourselves, or just realizing that there is a whole world out there and every world seems to have something that’s worth considering in it. It’s like food, you can just cook the same three meals every day, or you can go out there and try something from a totally different country and expand your taste buds and bring it home and mix it up and put it in the cold room and spit it out again. That’s what we’re all about, taking in this dynamic environment of I guess, the melting pot that is Australian music and world music and trying to identify where we fit within that and also embrace a whole bunch of styles that keep us creative, and allow us to keep spurring our creative element.
What’s the weirdest hobby you guys partake in outside your musical careers?
I collect things to do with nuns. Whether it is statues, posters, T-shirts, calendars, I really enjoy that whole whacky world. Within respect, I'm not a religious guy but it started at work and getting a few books and posters and then people started giving me stuff to do with nuns. I find it fascinating that people have that level of commitment to religion and the realm because it’s pretty much the opposite of myself. I didn’t really mean to do it consciously, they just sort of fell into my lap.
You’ve mentioned that you’ve finally finished recording your new album, what exactly do you have install for us with this?
We have an absolutely psychotic, disgusting party coming to the rest of Australia and the greater universe. We’re really excited I mean I can’t stress that enough, we worked really hard at it and really pushed ourselves musically and we’ve gone deeper into our sound and different genres. It’s a combination of our past stuff and then you’ve got uncharted territories that people wouldn’t expect us to do, which is cool. It’s all mixed within the Bennies realm.
What’s inspired these uncharted territories?
Life on the road is a big one because that’s a big part of our life, and all our friends and stories we’ve had during those adventures and personally, the journey of being an artist, making music, trying to make that you’re life and a career and learning and the lessons you learn through that, as well as partying. It all comes under our experience and that’s what we try to convert into an artistic output. That’s everything from the music we listen to, to the wild stories and conspiracies of the world and also our personal politics of life and our manifesto of what it takes for us to be meaningful human beings.
Do you think you all have a similar way of thinking or you all bring something completely different to the table?
We’ve got a considerable crossover of the things that we want to achieve as a band and the music we like and tastes and stuff like that, an then within that all these strong characters of the band have their own identity and bring a unique filter whether it be music or art. I’d say on one side we’re all very similar, but the beautiful part is that we’re all very different at the same time. When it goes through everyone’s perspective, the initial idea can be something completely different from the person who brought it to the table, in the best way possible. You can take these twists and turns and merry-go-rounds and come to a conclusion that was way different to what you’d set out to do but somehow it works. Well, some times it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but nothing’s wasted, it means that we’ve just got to work a little bit harder. When it comes easy, it comes easy, and when we’ve got to dig in deep and really set it out, we’re happy to do that as well. It’s all part of that wicked process.
If you combined all of your facial hair together how strong would you say your beard game is?
Nah I’ll tell you what, I think everyone’s on point. Anty’s got a great beard potential when he grows it. Bowie our drummer, he’s got a pretty patchy game, but he’s also sort of a constant beard stoker so all of the hairs fall out. While I think Craig has one of the best moustaches in the world, he’s reluctant to go for the beard and I pretty much just hold the beard down. So I’d say we’re about a 6 out of 10, I wouldn’t say we’re exceptionally beard worthy.
You can catch The Bennies on their Aussie Tour later this year, check out the dates below:
Wed Nov 11- Brisbane Hotel, Hobart *
Thurs Nov 12 - Launceston, Club 54, Launceston “Til The Wheels Fall Off” *
Fri Nov 13– Rosemount Hotel, Perth *
Sat Nov 14 – Prince Of Wales, Bunbury *
Sun Nov 15 – HQ, Perth (All Ages) *
Wed Nov 18 – The Loft, Warnambool
Thu Nov 19 - Adelaide Uni Bar (All Ages)
Fri Nov 20 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Sat Nov 21 - Bacchus Marsh 'Youth Fest' (All Ages) *#
Sat Nov 21 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Sun Nov 22 – Barwon Club, Geelong
Thur Nov 26 – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle
Fri Nov 27 – Factory Floor, Sydney
Sat Nov 28 – The Zoo, Brisbane
Sun Nov 29 – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba – (Free Entry show )
Tue Dec 1 – Music Man, Bendigo *
Fri Dec 4 –The Grand, Cairns *#
Sat Dec 5 – Railway Club, Darwin *#
*Wet Pensioner not appearing
# The Hard Aches not appearing