Diamond Days – An Interview with Ben Gillies
Many, many moons ago 3 young lads from Newcastle, Australia decided to start a band….this is nothing unusual I know, but these 3 young men in question quickly became known around the whole world. They were Silverchair.
Since Silverchair has put a pause on their long and successful career the spotlight has fallen on their drummer…….quite possibly up for competing with Dave Grohl for the title of nicest man in rock. Ben Gillies has always been known as a drummer, but now he steps out of the shadow of his drumkit to take on lead man duties for his new band Bento.
Was it nerve wracking stepping out from behind the drum kit after all these years?
Have you always wanted to front your own band?
I’ve always wanted an outlet for my music. Being a frontman is by default.
Please tell us a little about Bento, for those that don’t know, who is in the band, how did you form and what can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
BENTO is my new creative baby. My musical outlet. My own project outside of Silverchair. It’s just me for now, but the long term plan is to have full time 100% members of the band.
Does it feel liberating or scary to be putting out your first material as Bento after being in the same band for so long?
It’s liberating to finally get all of these ideas off my chest! and have somewhere to keep doing so in the future. Although it is scary bearing your soul for all to see and opening up yourself for criticism.
How do you keep ‘normal’ when fame was put upon you at such a young age?
I think it’s a combination of friends, upbringing and the city I grew up in.
Did you ever dream of being famous or was the sole purpose of Innocent Criminals to just jam in the garage?
I’ve always done music because it excites the shot outta me! I love it so much. Fame is just the bi-product.
Is there anything you feel you missed out on by being famous as a teen or do you feel it only enhanced your life?
No. Somehow we managed to have a really good balance between band commitments and doing “normal” stuff at home.
The experiences you have had must be out of this world, if your own child wanted to be in a band would you encourage it or discourage it?
Do you play any other instruments?
Bits & bobs. Keys, guitar, bass… put anything in front of me and I’ll have a crack
For any up and coming band out there trying to make it – what is the best advice you could give to them?
Play gigs, practice… then rehearse some more, play gigs…..
What are your top bands?
Led Zeppelin, James Brown, Beatles, Hendrix…. ++
Describe your writing process and what inspires you to write?
I don’t have a formula. No rules. I just make sure I document ANY ideas. I’m constantly inspired… what’s going on in my life, anything on my mind, other peoples experiences, what’s going on in the world… Anything I connect with.
Do you prefer Touring or recording?
I love the studio! especially when I’m in the driving seat. Too much fun! Touring is great though… hangin’ out with friends playing gigs… how could anything go wrong 😉
Junk food or healthy home cooked dinners?
Home cooked dinners with occasional cheat meals. Put pizza or fries in front of me… I’m fucked.
Are you an early worm or Night owl?
Fluctuates depending on work. I simply adapt.
If you could be a superhero who would you be?
Wolverine. I can fucking heal myself. Brilliant!
Marmite, love it or hate it or is it all about the vegemite?
What’s the most played song on your itunes?
Once in a Lifetime – Talking Heads
What song do you wish you had written?
Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
What do you hope for the future of Bento?
Great Music! Build a loyal world-wide fan base. Albums till I die. Tours till I die (or get to old ha ha)
And lastly I wish you the best of luck with Bento and will you be touring the UK? Thank you 🙂 No tour plans for anywhere just yet… working on it. Cheers.
Find out more and keep up to date at www.wearebento.com
Diamond Days is out now!