Q&A Scene: Australian Music Week Special ~ Ben Leece

Member of Band: 

Ben Leece & Left of the Dial       

When did you first start playing music? 

13 

Which artist influenced your music?

Paul Westerberg 

Tell us about your latest single/album/tour.

Paper Thin is my latest single. It was recorded between Newcastle and Melbourne and features performances from my band Left of the Dial and our very good friends from Georgia State Line. We’ll be touring together in November.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

An ethically sourced can of tuna – ‘Sirena Chili in Oil’ maybe. A little funny on the nose but surprisingly tasty. Full of protein with a conscious. Convenient fuel to keep you going for hours. I’m not your first choice for lunch, but once you’ve had me you’re incredibly thankful you chose me over the junk you were craving. 

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

After writing and performing music for 20 something years, in 2018 the best gig I managed to book at the Tamworth Country Music Festival was an afternoon spot on the floor of Hungry Jacks. The power kept cutting in and out, my capo literally snapped in half during the first song and the 4 customers that walked through during the set could not be less interested, but that didn’t matter cause they wouldn’t have heard me over the banter and shitty mumble rap blaring from the kitchen anyway. I didn’t get paid – they even made me buy my own Sprite. Quickly approaching 40, I walked out thinking I was done. I sat in my car, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I swear at that very moment I received a text message from my friend Tori Forsyth explaining her show the following night had just sold out and would I come open for her. Things kind of just kept getting better from there. 

What, or who, inspires you?

My friend Andy Golledge once told me, ‘Surround yourself with good people and the rest don’t matter.’ That advice will keep me inspired for many, many years to come. 

Which song do you wish you wrote? Why?

‘From Down Here’ by Georgia State Line. Why? Cause it’s f’ing rad yo! Duh!

What does Australian Music Week mean to you? When / where will you be performing?

Aside from the chance to soak up invaluable wisdom from the guest speaker panel, AMW to me is an opportunity to perform for, and hopefully win over, new people that otherwise wouldn’t have crossed our path. The lineup this year is also chockas with so many mates that we don’t get to see all that often.

We’ll be playing the Stanley Records/Mother Hen Touring Showcase @ Croydon Lane Wine & Tapas Bar Friday 8th November w/ Georgia State Line, Sam Shinazzi, Katie Brianna, Peta Caswell & The Lost Cause, Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes and JD & The Hungermen.

What’s your scene?

I think I’m a bit of a chameleon. I’m not necessarily uncomfortable anywhere, but I’ve never really felt like I belong anywhere either. I’m a punk-rock-thrash-metal kid whose first love is hip hop, but somehow wound up playing this honky kind of music. Go figure.

Catch Ben Leece at AMW and around town:
Nov 8 – Australian Music Week, Cronulla NSW
Nov 9 – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth w/ Georgia State Line
Nov 10 – The Junkyard, Maitland NSW w/ Georgia State Line

About Mary Boukouvalas 1146 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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