When Brisbane-based Benjamin Forbes, aka BANFF former frontman of Little Casino, stepped away from the band environment it was to pursue his passion for songwriting and to find a voice unfettered by the influences of others.
‘It was new territory for me,’ says Ben. ‘When I played in Little Casino, it was a collective songwriting effort but I wanted to embark on the responsibility of the full creative process. I engaged with Tom Scary, and wanted to do some songwriting sessions with him and shared some demos…
‘It was a very confronting experience. In the past I had always relied on four brains in a band and four creative minds to make the sonic output and the songwriting. Suddenly it was about what I could come up with. It was challenging and rewarding at the same time. Tom taught me about how he approaches his songwriting and it was great to share my songs and show Tom and help shape the EP.’
For Tom, the more he’s worked on his music making, the more it evolves. ‘It’s changed a lot over time. I used to be really reliant on fiddling on the guitar or the piano and playing with sounds or melodies or hooks that I like and working everything around. I still do that a lot but I have a new journey now where I hear things without having an instrument on hand or having to stimulate an idea. I record that idea into my phone and then retro-fit it and the start demoing; it’s continually evolving.
‘When I am recording I want to be accountable for everything. I have had sessions where I have recorded to tape. I use digital format but I like to keep that mentality – I don’t think you can rely on too many digital aspects for a good song; it has to be a guitar or a piano. Keep it simple so you can play it and, in the end, people can feel it.’
Although he set out alone, he didn’t stay that way for long.
‘Obvioulsy in the beginning, being a solo project, it was just me initially and as the project developed and I got ready to perform I recruited a lot of friends to come and play. I had to consider how I wanted to bring out the studio qualities that I loved and was proud of, but the live set needed its own personality and quality and I wanted to bring out the talents of the players as well. We continually craft as the band grows and plays more shows together. We extend sections or play more tonal stuff. If you come to a BANFF show you hear everything from the recording but you also get a bit more.’
Ben is excited about his show at Byron Falls Festival.
‘It’s a good authentic live show, and we are really keen to play to a new crowd!’
For more information about program and ticketing for Falls festival go to byron.fallsfestival.com.au. 31 December 2015, 1 & 2 January, 2016.