The Bennies have released their highly anticipated album Natural Born Chillers TODAY via Pool House Records / Remote Control. To celebrate, they will play six shows across three states in three days. Tonight they will be hitting The Record Crate in Sydney, followed by Crowbar tomorrow in Brisbane and Sunday at The Tote in Melbourne. Rabbit Radio's, Tayla Sudall had a chat to them about the album and the how this weekend is all going to go down!
Rabbit Radio: You guys have just brought out a new single off the brand new album, Natural Born Chillers which is coming out tomorrow, so what can you tell me about the new album?
CS So yeah, the new album is pretty fun, it’s quite fast paced and I think this time around, definitely, tried to sort of ah, emulate our live show a bit more than we have in the past like, we used to think, we’ll go in and make a record and we’ll tour it but now we’re sort of trying to get those lines to blur a bit more, so I think the albums got a bit more of a fast pace and um, the new single Dreamkillers is an example of that, it’s got a lot of energy and it definitely represents the kind of band you go see when you come see us
The film clip for Get High Like An Angel it’s ah, that songs a bit groovy and danceable as well so do you have any ideas for the film clip for Dreamkillers?
CS Oh yeah, yeah, that’s ah, the film clip will likely get released tomorrow which is exciting, with the announcement of the album and um, the film clip for Dreamkillers is The Bennies in a world that’s gone mad, and now people are trying to ban beers, and so The Bennies are forced to enter politics to try and overturn the governments idea to ban people from drinking beers
RR: –laughter- yeah absolutely
CS So it’s really deep content you know –laughter-
RR: laughter- it’s important stuff
CS Yeah, well I guess like, it’s pretty funny and that’s our vibe, we also like, the worlds pretty serious at the moment, it’s nice to offer something a bit different you know?
RR: Yeah, a bit of humour. So, for Dreamkillers, um, and that only came out ah like a week or so ago um and it was already added last week to the Apple Music Best of the Week Playlist, how did you guys feel about that?
CS Oh, totally stoked hey, where we’re starting to really see how important playlists and things like that are, you know, it’s exciting to sort of get amongst it, and yeah it’s a real honour actually, I mean, we just try to do our thing and hope people dig it and yeah, it was really exciting
RR: Um, and so I’ve been lucky enough to get to listen to your album already, um and I do love it I’ve gotta say every song is a banger but um, they’re all so fun and fast-paced but I was just wondering about one of the songs off the album, Trip Report, is that an actual account of one of your tours, or?
CS It’s a bit of ahhh, it’s a bit of a mish-mash of stories really so, Trip Report was basically, the idea was that we each wanted to tell a story that um, was basically about our own lives and experiences and just pretty much the quirkiness of life and how we all wanted to approach that. We found the song was quite quirky and catchy so, that was the idea. What we did was, myself, Jules and Anty all wrote a verse each and then thought of a story that we could tell from our lives and didn’t actually tell the other guys what we were gonna do until it was getting recorded, so the first time we all heard that song was when we were all in there tracking it, so it was pretty funny to sort of sit there and hear Jules tell the story about the dog and all that stuff and yeah, it’s pretty funny and I think it’s come up cool, it’s a bit of a different one but ah, I kind of like that about it
RR: Yeah! It’s interesting! And so, Natural Born Chillers I read was originally gonna be an EP but you guys just recorded so many songs you decided to just make it an album, ah so where did all this inspiration come from that you ended up being able to write so many awesome songs?
CS Um, I just think we’re naturally like.. energetic guys. We’re just generally enthusiastic, excitable people and we’re creative, you know, so, we’ve spent a lot of time together, there’s always fun ideas getting kicked around then, as soon as you’ve got your instruments in your hand it’s time to go, so, I dunno, we’ve never really found it hard to write songs..
RR: Um and so, throughout most of the recording process for Natural Born Chillers uh, I also read that you guys just kind of got drunk and high and just went with it, um, is that how you’ve recorded all of your albums or? –laughter-
CS Pretty much, I think –laughter- um, yeah, I think um, you know each time we try to approach it a little bit differently beforehand, so like, for example for our previous album Wisdom Machine we spent a lot of time um, just writing and not doing any touring, and this time around, the songs we’ve written while we were on the road, so it’s kind of a bit more a time capsule of where we’re at, at this point, do you know what I mean? We didn’t have time to conceptualise, we sort of just went with our gut and what we were feeling at the time, and that was pretty exciting thing to do. And um, it’s also fun you know, get a little high and get a little booze and just sort of capture the vibe when you’re recording.
RR: –laughter- yeah that’s awesome, bit of liquid confidence. Have you ever tried to record anything sober and it hasn’t worked?
CS Well I know personally, I like to approach recording pretty sober, like I’m pretty good, I’ll have a couple of beers but I’m not so sure that works for all of us, so I can’t speak for the other guys but you know, generally the bass player you know, it’s pretty hard to make sure you’re falling in between the guitar and the drums so I kind of let those guys set the tone and I’ve just gotta be on point, so, it definitely works better for me to be a bit sober but once the guitars are down, then it’s time to relax –laughter-
RR: you guys started out all the way back in 2009 um and you were originally called Madonna, whats life like now for you guys as a band compared to back then?
CS It’s definitely changed a lot, I think people expect a lot more from the industry now then they used too, I mean, like for example, we’ll offer bands a show on our tour you know, offer them a good, decent pay or something and they’ll be like ‘aww y’know it’s not gonna cover the flights or whatever so we won’t do it’ and it’s like, I remember when we started we were forking out thousands of dollars out of our own pockets ‘cause we were stoked to get a gig in the state, do you know what I mean?
RR: yep, yep
CS But now people are like, I dunno, expect to be able to have those opportunities and it’s like they’ll pick and choose but for us, we always just knew if you wanna get somewhere you gotta put your head down and you gotta earn it a little bit, and not saying that people aren’t earning it or trying hard or anything like that, I just think people are bit more savvy with how things go..
RR: It’s like people just want things a bit more instantly –clicking fingers-
CS Yeah, yeah, bit more instant gratification and I’m sure that’s an internet thing which is fine you know, but like there wasn’t any streaming or anything when we started so the game has changed, but umm, people just weren’t necessarily really buying a lot of records and stuff then other and now people are buying a lot more vinyls and things so, you know, its definitely a changed atmosphere but I don’t think, ah, I definitely don’t see it as a worse atmosphere at all. I mean, I think there’s more opportunities for people and but the same old things still occur like, no matter how good your internet presence is, you’ve just gotta get in front of people and show them what you can do, you know? Take the hard road –laughter-
HAHA yeah! So was there any point yet that you guys have realised you’re about to be a big name in the punk rock world, what was that like or have you experienced it?
CS I’ll tell you when we get there haha
RR: I think you guys are pretty up there
CS Ohh I dunno, well we just, we’re just trying to keep the ball in the air and keep doing what we love, you know it’s been really exciting to be able to play some of the bigger venues we used to dream about you know supporting bands at and to do ‘em on our own and sell ‘em out and things like that, that’s really cool but you know, in terms of where we’d like to be and you know, I don’t think you as an artist and a motivated person could ever sort of, I even think like U2 or something probably still probably think they haven’t made it, you know what I mean, there’s always another mountain as soon as you get to top of one. So, we’ll just keep our heads down, thumbs up and hopefully one day we’ll learn to appreciate it –laughter-
RR: Aw that’s awesome, so like the next few months are gonna be hectic for you guys with this tour, it’s massive, um, and so it must be exciting ‘cause you guys are going all over Australia and then a heap of venues in Europe, ah, is there anywhere that you’re most excited to go to?
CS I’m really excited to go back to Amsterdam
RR: laughter- I was gonna say!
CS –laughter- It really is a great town for art and expression, we’re really well received there funnily enough so that’s great, and we do a great response in Germany and Belgium as well so that’s really exciting. It’s busy but it’s good busy!
RR: yeah! Nah that’s awesome and yeah you’ve got heaps of dates in Germany do you think you’ll make little pit stops back over to Amsterdam even though you’ve only got the one date there –laughter-
CS Yeah, I reckon we’ll find a way to get through there, it’s always nice –laughter- take a little bit of it with us
RR: laughter- get what you can. Um, so I saw today as well, ah, on a bit of a heavier note, but I saw today that you guys were gonna donate all of the money raised from the Brisbane show this weekend to Beyond Blue in recognition of Shane Collins, is there anything that you’d like to say about that?
CS Ah, just I mean, we’re all really shattered, like Shane was a truly amazing person and it’s like, I know it’s kind of like something that people say when people pass away or whatever, but, this guy was just unbelievable. Like, I mean, we’ve all been friends with him for nearly a decade now and he’s just, from the moment you met that guy he made you feel welcome, comfortable, he was a voice of reason for people who were struggling themselves with depression and you know, there’s many accounts of him talking people off a ledge, you know, getting them help and so it’s just so unfortunate that his personal struggle was too strong for him in the end, but um, really, really, strong, amazing person, and he will be sorely missed, even you know, years ago I know.. at the moment now it’s quite popular and a really good thing just to be talking about ah gender equality etc. which is so great and it’s rad that it’s like, out there and that’s something that Shane has been doing his whole life you know what I mean, it’s like, he’s just one of those people that always knew what was right and um, he encouraged and lead by example
RR: Aw well it’s nice that you guys are giving back a bit by donating everything to Beyond Blue, that’s awesome
CS Yeah, it’s a really small gesture, just anything we can do to help prevent something like this happening you know, we’ve all experienced depression and anxiety in our lives
RR: Yeah it’s definitely important that everyone comes together on this one. So, we’ll move back onto talking about your music a bit more, so like, you guys are on the line up for The Smith Street Band’s Pool House Party Festival that they’re launching this year, so can you tell us any info about the festival or any special plans you have for it?
CS Oh, well look we’ve always got some special plans up our sleeve, but like, last tour we did, got out some sweet like pyro-technic kinda stuff so we definitely will double or triple that vibe but um –laughter- yeah, we’re really proud of ‘em, stoked you know, they’ve worked really hard for a long time and ah, this festival is a great idea, the acts are so diverse and awesome, particularly really looking forward to seeing Ecca Vandal again, we’ve played with her a bunch, haven’t seen her for a while so it’s gonna be sweet!! And um, yeah, it’s pretty badass
RR: It sounds like a really fun time –laughter- it sounds awesome, I’m hoping that I can go along!
CS Yeah! It’ll be really cool I think so um, really stoked for the guys, you know we’re on Pool House Records now so it’s great to kind of be involved like this
RR: So are you guys close with Smith Street Band?
CS Yeah yeah, we’ve all been friends for a very long time um, all played at each others shows for years, we all share the same management label.. and when I say management I mean it’s… they’re friends –laughter- so it’s um, two bands but you know one brain and one focus so it’s nice, it’s nice to see them kickin’ ass!
RR: It would be fun! So yeah, so you guys have just basically got a really, really full on few months of flying around the world um, but I’ve heard all about you guys and your Nintendo Switches, and I heard that Anty has now upgraded from the DS to a Switch –laughter- so have you guys got mad Mario Kart plans for the flights?
CS Oh yeah! Heaps! And um, we all just bought Doom the other day as well
CS Have a bit of a shoot out, should be fun, but yeah that’s just always been something that’s been so good to pass the time hey, when you spend as much time on planes and trains, buses and vans as we do, but particularly I know myself, I can’t read books anymore they just make me feel kind of sick or something so it’s so rad to just have a Nintendo and we’re always pumped about what games are comin’ out, we totally got into Zelda real hard so that was good –laughter- and um, I’m glad Anty finally got one cos he kept borrowing everyone elses and used up all the battery and ah –laughter- it was pretty annoying so it’s good to have him on board
RR: –laughter- oh that’s awesome, well um, yeah that’s pretty much all the questions I had for you today so thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me, um,
CS No, thank you!
RR: Noo, thank you! –laughter- Um, and I do, I wish you all the best for the album launch and the tour I’ll be there at Crowbar on Saturday night so I’ll see you then!
CS Cool, alright, well thanks so much I’ll see you then, thanks for the call!