Thursday, 28 August 2014

SAFIA - BIGSOUND Live 2014 Feature Artist

Brace yourselves... BIGSOUND is coming and with it comes the funnest two nights of music in Australia all year; BIGSOUND Live! For two nights, Brisbane's Fortitude Valley plays host to more exciting acts from home and abroad than you can count. Ok, there's like 144 or something, but that's heaps. As far as "festivals" go, we say BIGSOUND Live is Australia's best. You don't have to camp. You get plenty of exercise running around to all the different venues and most importantly, you get more amazing, incredible live music than you can shake a disco stick at. So you should totes go check out the line-up and get your tickets over at QMusic! In the lead-up to the event, we'll be bringing you some (mad) chats with acts that will be putting on showcases at the event... acts like Canberra's SAFIA who are kicking all kinds of musical butt. Enjoy! 

Ben Woolner
Performing as part of BIGSOUND Live 2014
Thursday 11 September - 9:50pm @ Woolly Mammoth's inthemix Stage
Interview by Matt Bond

SAFIA! Hello and welcome, thanks for joining us. How are you on this fine day?

Ben Woolner: I am very well thanks :)

Easy one to get us started... what's the last song you listened to?

Ben: New Dorp, New York (ft. Ezra Koenig) by SBTRKT

You've been on a roll since winning the Canberra slot for a triple J unearthed act at Groovin The Moo last year. You've placed in the Hottest 100, toured with Lorde and score airplay all over the world with your music. What have been your highlights of the SAFIA journey so far and did you ever expect to make an impact as quickly as you have?

Ben: The Lorde tour was pretty amazing. Not only was it awesome to play to that many new faces it was good to be part of a tour that big on such famous stages. It's a lot different to playing in small clubs haha. Being tucked away in quiet Canberra we're so oblivious to a lot of the hype that apparently is happening for us, we still get pleasant surprises when people turn up to shows in all kinds of cities and sing along to our tracks.

Looking forward, you'll be performing at this year's BIGSOUND Live in Brisbane! What are your thoughts on the BIGSOUND concept? Any acts you'll be keen to check out during the event?

Ben: Bigsound is a great platform for upcoming bands to meet the right people in the industry early on in their music career. We're particularly keen to see Crooked Colours, Remi, D.D Dumbo and Tkay Maidza  

And BIGSOUND Live is a warm up of sorts for you, because you dive straight into a national tour afterwards in support of your new single, 'You Are The One'. How would you describe the new track and what separates it from what we've already heard from you?

Ben: We're super excited about our new single 'You are the One'. Like everything we want to keep people guessing when it comes to our music, we like to mix it up and not do the same thing twice. The new track focuses a lot on live elements, there's a lot of electronic producers around at the moment and we wanted to separate ourselves from that movement by going into the studio and recording all the sounds and instruments live rather than programming them. We're super keen to see how people will react to it haha.

What can live music fans expect from a SAFIA show? And I noticed you're playing a Halloween Party in Perth at The Bakery on October 31. Anything special planned? Do you need help with costume ideas?

Ben: You can expect big over the top vocals, energetic drums, guitars, bass, buttons, everything haha. Yeah that's going to be a super fun show were doing with a bunch of good friends, our mates Crooked Colours and Paces are playing as well. We're still stuck on costume ideas so any ideas would be good haha :). Maybe I'll go as Slender Man. 

You guys are from Canberra. I once lived in Canberra. Apart from my lack of musical talent, we clearly have a lot in common. What do you think of the local music scene in the nation's capital?

Ben: The music scene down here in freezing Canberra has really picked up in the past few years. Acts like the Aston Shuffle and Peking Duk have already proved you can make it as a Canberra band now. There's venues as well now like Transit, Trinity and Meche that are bringing all the right acts to town weekly, playing to full clubs. It wasn't long ago that barely any acts came to Canberra.

Surprise! You've been selected to curate the line-up for Big Day Out when it comes back in 2016 (one would hope). Those new American overlords are throwing bags and bags of money at you to pay for whoever you want to play. So you've got 10 acts you can pick. Any at all. Who are you going to pick and why?

Ben: Tkay Maidza - The girl is awesome and is going to be Australia's biggest hip hop export I reckon, she already pulled a massive crowd at her early spot at Splendour in the Grass.

Peking Duk - These boys are absolute legends, I've had the pleasure of hearing a whole heap of their unreleased music and i can tell you that 'High' is just the beginning, the best is still yet to come ;)

The Gorillaz - It's been too long since these guys have toured, i want to see them live so badly and I reckon if you put their name on the top of a festival bill it would sell out in no time.

Rufus - I've seen these guys probably nearly 20 times now and I'm still not sick of them, one of the best electronic bands going around for sure, album number 2 will probably be out by then so prime time to do a headline spot ;)

Gun's n' Roses (with the full original line up) - Because it would be epic that's why, and 15 old me would pee his pants in excitement haha.

Sam Smith - His voice is insane, I could listen to him sing for hours.

Eminem - Because who isn't a Slim Shady fan?

The Kite String Tangle - Danny's music is incredible, people will need to swoon during the festival so there's no better option than The Kite String Tangle

Rage Against The Machine - Everyone needs to experience a RATM concert, I've been told its like a near death experience in the mosh haha.

Fat Freddie's Drop - My favourite set of Splendour 2013 by far, everyone needs a bit of dub reggae in their lives.

Quick Hits:

The ultimate dance song is... 

I say Lorde, you say... 
Ben: Best fans ever.

The first album you ever bought was... 
Ben: The Eminem Show.

The next big thing in Australian music is...
Ben: Violent Soho.

If you were a WWE Wrestler, your entrance music would be... 
Ben: 'Livin La Vida Loca' by Ricky Martin haha.

Lastly, when they air the SAFIA Behind The Music special on MTV in 46 years time, what are they going to say about you?

Ben: Who's SAFIA?

Massive thanks to SAFIA's Ben for taking the time to answer our Q's. If you're in Brisbane on the 11th of September, make sure you head along to BIGSOUND Live and check out SAFIA's set... it's going to be a good 'un! And you should add their national tour dates into your calendars right now! 

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