Party boys The Bennies have had a superbly busy year. Apart from touring the states, smashing out shows across Melbourne, rising to internet fame through the infamous ‘photobonging’ and recently putting out the new 7” Heavy Disco, they’re currently in the middle of a massive Australian tour with punk legends NOFX. If you haven’t heard The Bennies before, they sound like the lovechild of the Mad Caddies and a Nintendo 64, that’s gotten right into smoking choof and has an iPod flip-flopping between psychedelic techno, Jimmy Cliff and punk. Let’s just put it this way: they describe themselves on their Facebook page as “Psychedelic Reggae Ska Doom Metal Punk Rock from Hell”. Listen for yourself and you tell me.
I caught up with Bennies guitarist Jules after their set at 170 Russell supporting NOFX. Over a couple of cigarettes, he told me about the tour and what’s been happening in the world of The Bennies.
“It’s been amazing, dude. To be 33 and listening to these guys since I was 15, and now being on tour, I’ve realised they’re magnificent guys and talented musicians and to still be doing it, they’re role models. They’re killing it at the moment; they’re more popular now than they ever have been in Australia. For a band like us just coming up, it’s nice to get listened to and we’re getting feedback and it feels like we’re doing a good thing. Even though we know we’re doing a good thing because we fucking love it, it’s just cool to have a third party come in and say ‘You’re fucking alright’.”
Apart from the NOFX shows, the boys recently completed a run of shows in the States including a slot at Fest 13. “It was absolute madness”, something that anyone could have concluded from following them on Instagram.
“We played everywhere from DIYs, to communal spaces to bars and dive bars, and it was awesome. Whether it was five people or 50 people or a couple of hundred, especially the last few shows, it came together nicely. It’s good for us; it’d be a long way to go to play for fucking no one!”
While in the states, they released their most recent EP Heavy Disco. “Earlier in the year mid-tour, we had a two week block and recorded Heavy Disco, and again when we were away we released it. And so, we didn’t really know how it was going to go down because those songs were really written in the spirit of what we were doing at the time. Heaps of fun and heaps of partying, and we’re just lucky enough that at least so far it’s been connected with.”
So what does the future hold for The Bennies? A lot, apparently. “When we finish this, we complete three and a bit months of straight touring. On the 6th we’re doing an underage show with The Smith Street Band, our brothers, NYE on the Hill and then after that in January we’re gonna be writing for a new album. Then we’ve got Soundwave to fuck up our writing schedule, but that’s okay (laughter).”
So there you have it. If you’re going to Soundwave, Golden Plains or NYE on the Hill over the summer, be sure to catch the dudes for some good vibes and a seriously energetic boogie. Also, go buy their new 7” and keep your eyes and ears open: we can expect a new record sometime the first half of next year.
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia.
Latest release: Heavy Disco 7”, released 11 November, 2014.
Sounds like: Uhhh… see first paragraph.
Say what? Recently The Bennies have gained a lot of attention on the internet for their hilarious use of ‘photobonging’. Like photobombing, but with bongs. You get it.
Deaf, cold and drunk, Leo signing off.