High school musicals. The birthing ground of many great talents. Brisbane... welcome Friends Of Ben.
“Aled, Damian and I actually did musicals together at school,” admits Friends Of Ben’s Rory J Dawson. “[It’s] not the most rock & roll start to a band — ‘The King And I’, in which I played Willie, the sailor boy; not so rock & roll. But nevertheless, that's definitely where we earned some of our live chops.”
Flash forward to late 2013 and the makers of intelligent pop are ready to unleash their new single, appropriately in time for the change of seasons. “‘Summer’ came out when I was just mucking around as I do. I wrote a bassline and I just let that loop and then basically the song kind of wrote itself. It was one of those good experiences where I was just sitting there and then I played through all of the sections pretty much in the first take ... It's a pop song but it's got three distinct sections and a pretty intense build and coda as well, — we like writing songs with a big, emotional, cathartic buildup.”
The trio will be launching the single next week, with a midweek show in the Valley. “In terms of our live show, [we’ll] be expanding our sound to a six-piece when we play live. We've been honing that since about September when we debuted the new live set at the Spiegeltent.”
While still fresh on the scene, Rory is realistic about a future in the music industry. "Being in a band is a big hassle with a fairly minor payoff, especially at this stage [of our careers]. I wouldn't do it if I didn't think the songs we had weren't good. I've always been doing musical stuff, and I kind of knocked around in a band, but when I started writing these songs, and I thought there was real merit to them, that's when I decided I wanted to do this [rock] thing.
“And I've always enjoyed being up on stage, but I didn't think that that should be my motivating factor; I didn't want to be the singer for a band whose music I didn't like."
Friends Of Ben launch ‘Summer’ at Black Bear Lodge December 4.