Ben Wright Smith

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Ben Wright Smith

Back with a psychedelic new single ‘Sand Grabber’ and currently travelling on the ‘Up The Guts’ tour after a whirlwind 2015, Melbourne’s Ben Wright Smith chats to us about the being on the road, playing tunes for a living and his future plans.

Hi Ben, thanks for taking the time to chat with us, how are things going for you?

I’m great, thank you. I’m currently on a bus with some bands heading to South Australia.

You are nearly halfway through the ‘Up The Guts’ tour. How has life on the road been?

It’s been great. The reception to all of the shows has been really fun and everyone in the group is having a ball. We still have a few big stretches coming up, but it’s been pretty cool starting in the snow in Tassie and then heading up through the desert.

What has been the best part about it so far?

I’ve just been laughing the whole time. All the music’s been great. We’ve been meeting loads of great crews in each town and everyone’s been partying on. I couldn’t really ask for more. Heading to some of the smaller towns which we may not have been able to play has been a huge highlight for me.

We’re fans of what the guys are putting on, how did you come to get involved in the tour to begin with?

I had been planning to try to get out to the Northern Territory and Central Australia for some time to play, but of course the overheads to heading out that way can be tough. When Jack Parsons (The Pretty Littles) called me and told me what these guys were planning, I was keen to get on board straight away. Without the guys putting the ‘Up The Guts’ tour together, I don’t think a trip of this magnitude – Hobart to Darwin in 18 days that is – would have been possible.

Are there any towns that will be new to you and what are you most looking forward to about visiting them?

Well like I said, Central Australia and the Northern Territory are really appealing to me. I have never been up there before and I think coming from the south east of the country, it seems like a different world. The more I’ve been travelling around the country, the more I start to see how unique so many of the places are.

After you’ve done Up the Guts you’ll actually be heading out on your own tour, how do you cope with being on the road for so long?

Well it can be tiring at times but it’s what I’ve always wanted to do so I’m not complaining. Obviously it’s a lot of work, but I love travelling and meeting people so playing tunes for a living is fine by me.

What are the plans to relax when you finish up with the shows?

I was thinking of getting started on some more music, maybe taking a break and finding somewhere to stay and write for a while. I had an idea of maybe going back to India and heading up the mountains, but that’s still about eight months away. I’ve just been taking it one step at the time at the moment.

Your music has very chill vibes. Where do you draw your inspiration from when writing music?

I guess you just write from experience so you take any inspiration you can get. I think being on the move a lot helps, and new places can bring out an alertness that seems to be conducive to writing.

Early this year, your song ‘No One’ was nominated for an APRA AMCOS music award for best Blues & Roots work of the year. What was it like to receive the news?

Yeah it was amazing. I really didn’t expect it. I had known that the song had been getting played a bit on the radio, but I never thought that I’d be in a room nominated for an award with all these people who are super big time. I guess what’s cool is that I never really expected or thought I’d ever be in a position where people would be congratulating me for writing a song. It’s kind of surreal really.

Thanks again for the chat, any last words of wisdom you’d like to share with our readers?

Don’t follow leaders. Watch your parking meters.

When & Where: Golden Vine Hotel, Bendigo – August 18 & September 15, Workers Club, Geelong – August 20, Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine – August 21