The Bennies Blaze Australia
Fresh from Three Phase studio in East Brunswick we catch up with the forever energetic, always positive Bennies' vocalist Anty Horgan to talk about the new recording, the tour that is currently blazing Australia and their first time hitting the US.
What are you most excited about this new recording?
All the songs. I've been listening to them all day today, we got the mixes back. I'm just pumped about the songs, I reckon they are awesome.
What musical direction did you take this time around?
it's still Bennies. We're always wanting to mix around genres so we've done that a fair bit. The opening song is pretty filthy, it's very very Disco. Like a dirty Disco kind of song. And then we have almost like an Emo-ska song in there. Then there's some straight up Ska and a Sublime-esque song. And then a Hip-Hop one...
I have every intention of doing this forever. - Anty sets us straight.
Have you heard our old 7" Better Off Dread? On that there's a song at the end called Return to 9 to 5 which is like an old reggae song sort of remixed with beats behind it. It's a very similar flavour to that. We've taken an old Ska song called Phoenix City and remixed that on it... me and Craig did a verses over that. It was really fun to do that song.
How many tracks did you record?
We actually recorded 7 but I think there's only going to be like 4 songs on it and maybe, and a bonus download.
Do you have any song titles yet?
Nah, sort of but not all confirmed so I don't wanna say anything. We were talking about that today. Some of them have really obvious titles, like just take whats being said in the chorus, but we want to avoid that a little bit.
Is there a particular reason for that?
Sometimes it just seems a bit lazy or something. I think we are going to be calling the 7" 'Heavy Disco' which is the first song that will be on it.
You've got Jules, Craig, and yourself doing vocals generally. Any change there?
It's pretty much the same setup. The only thing is that Jules sings a lot more on this one than he has previously.
It's actually really funny, the other night we were out doing some vocals and we'd all started drinking a fair bit. Jules had just done all the guitar parts. He has a massive joint and he goes, This is awesome, I'm done with guitar and I don't have to do much vocals at all so I'm fucking chilled.
...We're all looking at him like: Dude, you're doing more than you've ever done before and you're probably doing the most. The look on his face was Oh shit. Hahahahahaha...
To put it in some sort of context I bought a big ol' bag for the whole weekend and it was all gone in the first day. It was pretty hectic.
How much weed was smoked during the recording process?
A lot. To put it in some sort of context I bought a big ol' bag for the whole weekend and it was all gone in the first day. It was pretty hectic.
We took it in turns and were passing the bucket. The first 2 days I didn't have anything to do because it's all drums, bass, and guitar. That was my big time to annoy the other guys with a lot of smoke and stuff. Then the drums got done and Bowie took that baton on.
There's also parts on the recording like guitar solos and Korg recordings that we were like, I gotta do this while I'm really ripped.
Did you record in the same space?
Exactly the same place where we recorded Rainbows in Space. If anything was different this time, it was that our time was really short. We were only in there for 4 days. Whereas Rainbows we were in there for 17 days or something like that. This time around, I reckon Sam (Johnson, Producer Rainbows in Space) stepped up his producing a little bit more, he actually plays a few keys on the record. He's a genius guy and a pleasure to work with. I don't see why we wouldn't record with him every single time.
How do you approach recording? Do you record parts separately or everyone together?
We write everything together. Someone will come to practice with an idea, like a riff or a melody and from that, as a collective, we'll make the song. When we get to recording we all do it separately but Dave and Craig (drum and bass) they record live together.
Because some of our songs intentionally slow down and speed up a little bit so you can't really play to a click track. To get that kind of reggae-feel it's really important that Dave and Craig are feeding off each other in the room at the time. It's actually pretty impressive watching them record together.
Is there anything that didn't make the new 7"?
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to put out a recording in a very small time frame. There was definitely some songs that were going down in the song-writing process that we were all like This is fucking unreal but we didn't have time to flesh it out as much as we want to, so we put some on the back burner until we can give it the time that it needs.
How did you celebrate finishing up the EP?
Craig brought in a bottle of champagne. A friend of ours bought us a bottle of tequila. So we did that, smoked a whole buncha joints, and partied.
Quite a few things have happened at The Bennies camp the last year. You've been to China, you're playing Soundwave and you're heading to The Fest 13 in Florida. What's been the highlight since you've been with Poison City Records?
So pumped about Florida!...It's all so good and good for different reasons. Soundwave is such an exciting thing to get put on. I think all of us are high-fiving our inner teenage selves.
I've been asked this similar question a few times and I always just go straight to our time in China. I think we all had the best time ever. It's such a challenge there, touring is so hard, it's really draining and tiring. So you have such extreme lows and exhaustion, the highs are just massive!
I recently saw a headline that quoted Jules as saying you were not looking at the band as a long term thing... can you explain?
Haha! I don't know what the fuck that was! I read that yesterday and thought What the fuck are you talking about?!
I have every intention of doing this forever. I think what he meant was the enthusiasm that we throw at it. It's not like we will take our time because we've got ages. It's more like: Let's fucking go, put everything at it. I think that's more what he means, but I don't wanna put words in his mouth.
There were a few interviews done over the last few days. There was one as well that said it was an interview with me, and it wasn't. I think it was with Jules. I was reading it thinking This doesn't sound like me, it sounds like Jules. There was something about halfway through the interview where he makes a comparison to something being As useless as deck chairs on the Titanic. He had been saying that catchphrase a lot in the last two weeks. So I said OK that's actually Jules. Not me.
Vinyl stocks permitting, The Bennies new 7" will be out at the end of the year. The Bennies and Morning Glory tour is in full swing! Tickets from The Drunk Promoter.
Want to know what you're missing? Tour photos from the Brisbane shows...
Interview and photos by Kenada Quinlan