|(Photograph by Kristy Smolcic)|
Fresh from the release of his EP Future Self, we had the opportunity to ask Ben Forbes aka BANFF, a few questions about the release, Melbourne, his writing process and what's coming up next.
Emily: Congratulations on the release of your EP Future Self! How does it feel to have it out?
Ben: Yeah it’s good! Such a long process compared to what I’m used to. It’s been nice to finally let people listen to what I have been doing the last couple of years.
E: Whilst writing the tracks, was there anything in particular that inspired you?
B: Yeah, a heaps of stuff. I get really inspired by Melbourne and the music scene down here. I traveled down here a little bit on purpose. I wanted to work with Tom, my producer and I learned how he went about his song writing, and also I wanted to change environments, get into a city that really inspired me. I get a lot of inspiration from other emerging artists in the Australian music scene as well.
E: Is there anyone in particular that you can name?
B: Yeah well Tom plays in Big Scary and Number One Dads, there a huge inspiration. Um I listened to a lot of Midlake whilst I was writing the record and Bon Iver. I could rattle off hundreds of different influences. Tom and I sat down at the start of the recording sessions and talked about all those influences and how I wanted my sound to come across.
E: How would you describe you’re writing process?
B: Pretty simple to be honest. I don’t really designate time to write, a lot of time it would just come whilst playing an acoustic guitar on the couch watching T.V or something. Actually nearly every song on the record was writing whilst sitting on the couch watching shitty T.V.
E: (laughs) well there is another source of inspiration for you.
B: (laughs) yeah well, that’s it!
E: So what do you prefer? Writing, recording or performing?
B: It’s changed over the past few years. I loved the performing side of things when I first started, I just liked getting out and playing to people. Also in previous projects that I worked on I wasn’t the sole song writer, I would enjoy getting up and playing gigs. But when I launched into this solo project the whole focus was on writing songs for myself and becoming a better writer, so over the past few years that has really changed and I have become more motivated by the writing side of things, not to say that I don’t like performing or recording.
E: Is there anything you look forward to doing or visiting whilst you are here in Melbourne?
B: There’s heaps of good food here, and I recoded the album in Fitzroy, so I might pop in and see the guys. But ah, it’s just the best city, I wish I lived here.
E: Do you see much of a difference between the Melbourne and Brisbane music scene?
B: Um… not really to be honest. Like Melbourne has a lot more going on, but Brisbane is such a thriving city as far as the music scene goes, but I don’t really see it as two separate things, everything in that world is sort of connected in some way.
E: So after your ‘Future Self’ tour dates, your set to appear at BIGSOUND, what are you looking forward to most about appearing at the conference?
B: It’s just going to be a totally new experience. I have never showcased before, I’m looking forward to the challenge and trying a new format. And obviously getting out and seeing a lot of other great bands from Australia, a main highlight for me.
E: And so finally, what is next for you after this tour and BIGSOUND?
B: Um… after BIGSOUND I’ll just be going back to my routine life, just living in Brisbane, working my job and just writing when it comes. I’ll probably try and set some time up to write, maybe going on writing camps and retreats and stuff, but the aim is to work towards a new single early next year and then hopefully come back down to Melbourne, release another record and hopefully travel overseas to do a few showcases there as well. So yeah, that’s the plan.
Written by Emily O'Brien
Photography by Kristy Smolcic