Posts Tagged ‘Ben Wells’
After a pretty sexy debut EP and an awesome new single with ‘Bear in A Birdcage’, we caught up with Ben Wells and The Middle Names to talk records, touring and what 2013 holds for these Tasmanian indie rockers.
First up, who makes up Ben Wells and the Middle Names?
I (Ben) Play guitar and sing, Nick Probin plays guitar and sings Ali Probin Plays guitar and sings and Jordan Hooper plays the bass. At the moment we’re in between permanent drummers. I write the lyrics we all write the music!
How did you guys form? Did you ever think the band would get as big as it has?
It started out as Nicko and I doing a duet thing on acoustic guitars around local Hobart pubs and I don’t think we ever thought we’d end up touring the country together. We’re just stoked people actually want to listen to our music!
The ‘Ben Wells’ part of the name is obvious, but where did the idea for the middle names come from?
The middle names came from the first drummer the band had whose name was Robert but everybody called him Josh so it was “Ben Wells and the Middle Names”. We’d thought of changing it a few times but it seemed to stick!
Lately, you have pretty much been the support for every big band that comes to Tasmania including Ball Park Music, San Cisco and Jungle Giants. Do you have a favourite band you have supported? What are the best tips you have picked up?
We partied really hard with the guys from Little Red actually, cool blokes! I think the best advice is make the most of your opportunities both on the stage and off!
Say somebody stumbles across you guys playing a live set. How are they going to describe your sound to their mates. What other comments might they make?
I think they’d say we play dark indie pop we’ll that’s what I’d say anyway. I’d like to hope they think we don’t leave anything on the stage, we put our hearts into our live set and put as much energy as we can into it.
What do your record collections look like? Which bands have had the biggest influence on your sound?
My record collection is pretty broad everything from Van Morrison to La despute. I think Boxer by the National has been one of my most influential records, the way the songs can make you feel good or shit personally and you can connect to them yet they are still lyrically intriguing.
How do you compose your new songs? Do you rely on the same method, or do you mix it up?
It normally starts with me coming to the band with an idea and perhaps some lyrics then we jam it and slowly work out how we think it should sound. It’s always interesting because some of the songs are completely different to others and we all have such different influences and idea’s for the songs.
You have just released your new single ‘Bear in a Birdcage’, which has an ‘I would rather be surfing’ mentality. Given that everybody looks outside and wishes they were at the beach, did this song just write itself, or did you have the idea and really have to work hard to make it right?
Yeah it kind of did, I wrote while I was at work so the lyrics were exactly what I was feeling, haha.
Your touring for the rest of 2012, any shows you’re particularly keen for?
Yes!! I’m so excited to tour again. I’m pumped for all the shows but I’m quite looking forward to the Melbourne show with Buchannan, those guys are sick!
What does 2013 promise to have in store for Ben Wells and The Middle Names?
We’re going to start pre production as soon as the tour finishes and work on new songs until we head into the studio in March to work with the producer Magoo, which I’m really excited about because we’ve never worked with a producer before!!
Tasmania’s favourite sons Ben Wells and The Middle Names are backing up their incredible EP ‘House, Come Home’ with a summery themed single called ‘Bear in a Birdcage‘.
‘Bear in a Birdcage’ channels that classic mentality that every Aussie can relate to, ‘I would rather be surfing’, and backs it up with a ripping mix of indie, rock and roots style instrumentals. The track has a real drive to it and uses these near constant changes in tempo, to break up the sense of mundane work life and really capitalises on how much better having a surf would be. Again Ben Wells vocals are solid, but it the epicness of the soaring guitar solo between verses that really does it for me. Definitely a new favourite by the guys, and has me frothing in anticipation of another EP being not to far away.
The other cool news is that BWTMN are also doing a monster tour to celebrate, so be sure to catch them as they hit up the mainland. Tour dates below the videoclip.
Bear In A Birdcage Tour
Nov 7th Wed – Brisbane – Black Bear Lodge w/ Kira Puru & the Bruise
Nov 8th Thur – Byron Bay – Beach Hotel w/ Kira Puru & the Bruise
Nov 10th Sat – Hobart – Amplified (Tasmanian Music Industry showcase)
Nov 24th Sat – Hobart – Tasmanian International Beer Fest w/ Monique Brumby, Christopher Coleman Collective, and more…
Nov 30th Fri – Hobart – The Grand Poobah w/ Kira Puru & the Bruise
Dec 1st Sat – Launceston – Royal Oak w/ Kira Puru & the Bruise
Dec 5th Wed – Melbourne – The Workers Club w/ Buchanan
Dec 6th Thur – Geelong – Beav’s Bar
Dec 7th Fri – Canberra – The Front w/ Adam Cousens & Rebecca Moore
Dec 8th Sat – Sydney – Kittens @ Spectrum w/ The Guppie
Ben Wells and the Middle Names released one of the best EPs of 2012, ‘House, Come Home’ that has been played continuously in Aussie Playlist HQ.
One of the more popular tracks off their EP was ‘A Good Read’ which received a fair amount of Triple J airplay thanks to its intense piano melody and catchy overlaying guitar riffs. It was one of the more heavy numbers off their EP, and in many ways reminded me of a more rocky version of Irish band The Script.
The cool news is that Ben Wells and The Middle Names have finally released an official video for ‘A Good Read’. The clip initially details the almost adventures of some book thieves, just eager to read, before becoming a little more intense as people gather around a fire for some book burning, giving off some pretty Lord of the Flies vibes. Nonetheless, its a cool little video.
Every now and then something happens that makes you realise that Tasmania really is part of Australia and this EP by Ben Wells and the Middles Names is exactly that stimulus.
This six-piece from Hobart have produced an absolutely killer debut EP that combines everything we love about indie music. They have melodic keyboards, sweet violins, catchy guitar loops, a fantastic lead vocalist with the back-ups to boot. Its a crazy good EP, and its not surprising that several of the tracks have already gained some radio time.
My favourite track has to be ‘Hey’. It is a wicked duet mixing the smooth vocals of Ben Wells and the beautiful voice of Hannah Foley, that just commands your ears to listen. The instrumentation is impressive to, particularly the introductory section to the song. It starts with the percussion, followed by the guitars plucking away, then piano interjects and finally the chanting vocals with ‘Hey’. Its pretty cool.
Yet there are more great tracks such as ‘My Dear Summer’ which is that kind of chilled almost folky kind of music that you feel compelled to sing along to. Its fantastically well layered, with the keys, drums and guitars mixing flawlessly with the happy-go-lucky vocals of Ben Wells. This track is full of catchy melodies, and has more charm than anything I have listened to lately. It is just such a polite and friendly song and an awesome listen. Put simply – I love it.
Each of the remaining 4 songs gives something different. ‘Sinners’ is a slow moving raw acoustic piece that verges on spoken word, that I cant help but feel it doesn’t suit the band as well as the sounds on the other tracks.’A Good Read’ is the heaviest of the tracks and reminded me of a heavy version of Irish band The Script. ‘River’ is more of a slow tune driven by the percussion of the egg shaker, but comprises a pretty cool piano solo that helps create a mega chilled track. ‘Robin Hood’ is their most popular track, and it uses some catchy hooks, beautiful harmonies and driving beats to tell an interesting love story.
The whole album has charm leaking out of it. Its just clean indie fun. I have been made into quite the Ben Wells and the Middle Names fan, and am looking forward to their future releases.