So tell us Ben, what can your fans expect of your DJ sets down here? I’m usually so busy I don’t usually decide until the day before and then I realise I’m getting on the plane and I just throw some records in the bag and just hope for the best. I’m kind of a bit last minute these days. We’ve got new albums coming out on the label, kids are back at school and trying to sort out this trip to Australia!
Can you describe what your music is like nowadays? Random. I think people know what to expect from me. I hate trying to describe it though. Which country do you think has the best crowds to play for? I think Australian crowds are very good. They have two crucial ingredients which are: a good degree of musical knowledge and knowledge of the scene in general and then they really know how to enjoy themselves. I’ve always been very well received with what I’ve chosen to play in Australia.
Where would you rather play, big or small venues? I do just like playing small places. This past year I did quite a few festivals and bigger gigs and at the end of it all I realised I really enjoyed playing in little ‘sweat boxes’. Because you know, as long as the sound system’s good, I get a much bigger buzz in something small.
So you’ll be cruising around on a boat for Australia Day playing a set, have you played on a boat before? No. And I get seasick!
Better take those Quells then… Exactly! I’ve managed to make it across on the Manly Ferry.
Will you squeeze any other travel in apart from around the harbour? I’m doing a gig in Melbourne and one in Brisbaneand then there’s talk of an after party and a bit of cricket. I’m going to go and see one of the one-dayers while I’m in town as I’m a bit of a cricket fan.
With your record label Buzzin’ Fly going well, are there any particular artists you think we should keep our ear out for? I’ve got really high hopes for Chris Woodward, whose been my sort of young DJ sidekick and warming up for me for years in London. I’ve been really impressed with what he’s come out with. We’re actually putting a single out of his on the label this month. I’m also really into a guy from Argentina called Loco. We did a track of his at the end of last year. I think he’s got a real good deep groove to what he’s doing, he’s young and again, keen. On a slightly different track I’m also working with a band who wrote to me with demos, they’re from Montreal, and they’re called Flowers and Seacreatures. I’ve just been helping them through getting out an album and turns out they’re brilliant songwriters, they didn’t know they had it in them. I’m really enjoying doing something that started from almost nothing.
As an artist, how do you think you’ve changed since the Everything But The Girl days? Probably not as much as I think. I think my instincts still seem to be the same they were when I was 20. I’m still crazily driven by it all and always wake up wanting to atone for the mistakes of yesterday and think I can go one better and actually say what I mean this time. Rather than fucking it up like I did last time! I think even now, even though I’ve been doing it for so long, I still feel that there’s stuff to prove and everytime I walk in to a room to DJ, the large proportion of people, don’t know who I am and that’s kind of what keeps me going. It is all about proving yourself each time as a DJ with the music that’s put into the room and the way you second guess the crowd and that’s one of the most exciting things about DJs, you rarely play to a total kind of home crowd who hang on every track and who are waiting for the hit singles.
Ben plays Sydney January 26 at Agwa Yacht Club, Melbourne Jan 29 at Darkbeat (tickets at http://www.inthemix.com.au) and Brisbane January 30 at Barsoma (tickets at http://www.residentadvisor.net).