Ahead of a rare performance in Melbourne at the East Brunswick Club this coming Friday 10th June, Ella Jackson caught up with Glenn Bennie to discuss the band’s new single ‘How Do You Glow’,
It’s very rare that gb3 play gigs. Is there any reasoning behind suddenly playing this show? Could it be a hint towards some new material?
All of our gigs depend on the availability of various band members and contributors. Steve Kilbey had just finished a sold out US tour with the Church as well as an acclaimed Sydney Opera House gig with the George Ellis Orchestra. Steve had some time free so we decided to get together and do another gb3 gig. We informed Rubber records of our plans to play live again and to commemorate the event they jumped into action and released a new digital single of ‘How Do You Glow?’. The song is off the album Damaged/Controlled which was released last year on Rubber. It will include some bonus tracks. We would love to record something new but there is nothing planned at this stage.
You’ve collaborated with a lot of great artists. Who do you think was the best to work with? Is there anyone that you just clicked with?
Steve Kilbey of course! He’s such a giving person and is prepared to throw himself head first into a project if he is into it….He is also a genius….There are others I love too though…Philippa Nihill, Grant McLennan, Stephen Cummings, Adalita, Angie Hart, Sarah Blasko and Sianna Lee.
Have you got anyone that you’re hoping to collaborate with in the future?
Tell us a bit about your songwriting process. How does a Glenn Bennie song come to be?
Hum a tune whilst driving in the car…work it out on guitar when I get home…record it on my digital porta studio…send it to Steve Kilbey…. the rest is history…
Do you find that you’re able to branch out a bit more doing work for gb3 rather than Underground Lovers?
The gb3 songs are probably more restricted by the style of recording…low budget, home studio type stuff. When I collaborate with different singers the songs branch out to follow the type of feel they might bring to it. Gb3 and undies are never restricted stylistically though. We always do whatever is right for the song.
New Wave influences such as Joy Division, The Smiths etc are evident in your music. Did you always listen to that sort of music? Take us back to your bedroom when you were 14, what sort of band posters did you have on your walls?
At 14 I was right into Split Enz. I discovered their album Mental Notes when I was 12. I met Tim Finn when Undies played at Homebake in 09. I think I embarrassed myself in front of him and Eddie Raynor telling them about a gig of theirs I saw at the Rosebud RSL in 1976….
Joy Division and The Smiths came later on…..
How does that differ to what you’re listening to now? Have you got any new bands that you think your fans should look out for?
Look out for some new bands called Verdaine and Teak. They are supporting gb3 at the East Brunswick Club this Friday. I also enjoyed the new Marlon Winterbourne Movement CD and anything by Conway Savage….don’t talk to me about Grinderman though.
The classic line up of Underground Lovers has played a few times over the past few years… Would there be any chance of you guys doing a proper tour ever again, or are you happy just playing every now and then?
We will be touring a compilation cd nationally at sometime between August and October. We are just waiting on Rubber records to put out the cd. It’s called ‘Wonderful Things’.
You’ll have Steve Kilbey with you at your show at EBC, might there be any other secret special guests?
Yes. You will have to come along to find out.
After many years in the rock n’ roll industry, we’re sure that you have some scandalous tales to tell. Are there any that you’re willing to share with us?
I am going to reveal all at ‘the East’ on Friday night!
The music industry has obviously changed a lot since you first entered the business. Do you think that Internet downloads have either assisted or impeded your progress as an artist?
Assisted I think. Our undies CDs are no longer available but can be downloaded from iTunes. It’s not the best way to get them but it’s better than nothing. Our preference is to have them all pressed on vinyl. Anyone willing to do it?
GB3 featuring Glenn Bennie, Steve Kilbey and Phillipa Nihill play at the East Brunswick Club this Friday 10th June with special guests Teak and Verdaine.