Next Step Music artist of the month is “Beth’n’Ben” from Canberra who play a funky fun mix of Roots, Reggae, Jazz, and Soul.
Where did your band name come from?
After tossing around a bunch of different idea’s for band names, none of which seemed to fit the direction the music was going in, we decided to stick with Beth’n’Ben as a major focus of this project is the interplay between our differing musical styles and how they work together.
Who’s in the band? What’s your musical background? When did you start playing?
The band is based around the music of Beth Monzo and myself (Ben Drysdale) who have both been playing since childhood, and performing solo and in various bands around Canberra for the last ten years. Beth completed the Jazz program at the ANU School of Music and also plays in ‘The Big Score’, and ‘Dub Dub Goose’. I did the Contemporary Music program at Narrabundah College where I played in some metal bands such as ‘Chase’, and ‘Morpheus’, before developing an acoustic folk, roots, and reggae style through projects such as ‘Smitten’, and ‘Ben Drysdale & The Otherwise Occupied’.
How did you meet and when did you get together?
We met in 2004 playing solo gigs at the ‘Bootlegs Sessions’ and a couple of other original showcase nights around Canberra. After years of admiring each others music we finally decided to team up in mid 2009.
What is your creative process?
Its an interesting collaborative process in which we each bring our own songs, both old and new, to the project and then let the other persons style influence them until we find the balance of what that song is as a Beth’n’Ben song. Our styles are quite different but they seem to have a really interesting meeting point that people (and we)really get into.
How would you describe your music to people?
A funky fun mix of Roots, Reggae, Jazz and Soul
Who are your musical influences?
Between the two of us its hard to find someone who hasn’t been an influence at some point. We both have very eclectic tastes and have been into all sorts of stuff (much of which we may not like to admit) over the years
How do you sell your music?
You can buy the Beth’n’Ben demo cd, and cds from our other projects (Dub Dub Goose, Smitten) at www.cardbaordcharlie.com/shop and we are currently recording an EP which will be available through Carbdoard Charlie, MGM, and all digital outlets in September,
Do you ever play covers?
Though we definitely focus on originals we have a couple of covers we like to throw in including Damien Rices ‘Volcano’
What are your long-term goals as a musician?
To play it always…. Always!
Do you have any tips?
As well as working on your own music its really important to get out and see what other people are up to, collaborate with them, learn from them.
Where can we hear your tunes online?
At the moment the demo is available at www.myspace.com/bethnben and we’ll be putting some samples from the new EP soon.