Julien Rozenbergs, guitar/vocals, The Bennies

Spaghetti is straight ‘till it’s cooked ...

2016 has been a whirlwind for The Bennies. In January Wisdom Machine’s first single ‘Party Machine’ reached number 88 on triple j’s Hottest 100, the band toured the country with sold-out shows and the album landed at number 40 on the ARIA chart and number 10 on the Australian chart. The band recently played a run of tour dates through the UK and Europe, including Belgium’s Groezrock festival alongside their heroes, Rancid, and now The Bennies return to Australian shores for their biggest and most expansive tour yet. Joined by label mates Clowns and Perth punk-rock trio Axe Girl, The Bennies will take the stage at Miami Tavern on Thursday July 14, but before they do, we had a quick yarn with Julien about epic shows and throwing shoes.

2016 has been a pretty epic year so far having played with Rancid and touring relentlessly, what have been some of the highlights?
Getting the band to Europe and the UK was a real highlight but the album coming out was definitely the biggest, we put a lot of effort into it and it’s enabled a lot of other cool stuff to happen so we’re very proud of it. The tours are always a highlight because it’s always a different adventure, even if we are going back to the same places, it’s never the same the second time around.

Your live shows are gaining quite the reputation, for readers who have not yet had the pleasure, what can they expect from a The Bennies gig?
You can absolutely expect high-energy, fun, party music that allows you to forget the grind of regular life. That’s what we’re about. Your day-to-day is always going to be there with its ups and downs but I like to listen to music that allows me to transcend anything that might be going on in my life so to be in a band that provides that for other people is pretty great.

How do you go about capturing the live energy of a live show in the studio?
Yeah it is definitely one of the challenges. In the studio, we try to flesh out some of the ideas we can’t ordinarily achieve live. It’s a delicate balance between trying to capture that raw energy but also put in that level of production and giving someone something special they can put on at home. We really up the energy for live shows because I don’t think anyone wants to hear the CD performed live on-stage.

Do you get sick of people throwing shoes?
We actually don’t have a lot of shoes getting thrown, the odd shoeings come and go but in general most people need their shoes for dancing otherwise their little toesies are going to get trod on. I think that’s a good thing because concentrating on putting on a good show is difficult when you have shoes getting thrown at you. Plus, they only ever throw one and they are rarely in my size.

You boys obviously fancy a party, who, living or otherwise, would you most like to party with and why?
I would have loved to have gone to Hunter S. Thompson’s ranch just to listen to a few stories and knock back a few Wild Turkeys. That would be number one that springs to mind for some reason.

Any words to live by?
Spaghetti is straight ‘til it’s cooked.

What’s next for The Bennies?
We’re pretty much touring for the rest of this year, we’re going back to Europe in October. There are a couple of announcements that I can’t really talk about now but they are all good things.

Image credit: Ian Laidlaw

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