Q&A Scene: Ben Birchall ~ SLOW FADES

Tell us about your new EP Canyon Songs?

It’s six songs organised around the theme of failure and redemption, of climbing up from the well when you fall. Because you will fall. Stylistically, it’s indie rock, which is what we’ve been doing in one form or another for a couple of decades, but it has one eye on 70s rock – Springsteen, Petty, Jackson Browne.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time? (your own or your group’s work)

Well the EP is still pretty fresh, so it’s hard to say what our favourite moment is. I’m pretty keen on ‘Vikings’, which was a pretty sparse acoustic ballad that I handed over to our guitarist/producer Dave. He turned it into a space age, Eno-y drone track with a George Harrison slide solo. A little different, but good different.

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

We all used to play in a band called Klinger. In 2001, we were on a tour with Motor Ace and Fur Patrol and passed through Albury, where some local girls gave us some hash brownies. None of us are hugely into weed, but we took them and a few days later, on a night off in central NSW, we took them. And they were STRONG. Darren totally greened out and couldn’t move. Dave wandered off into the woods somewhere. About 7 or 8 years later, Glenn and Daz and I were playing in my band The Corrections and we passed through Albury. I told the story between songs and this voice called out from the audience, “THAT WAS US!” The same girls were in the crowd. They gave us some more brownies. We were more careful the second time around. That’s the metaphor for Slow Fades right there. We’re more careful now.

What, or who, inspires you?   

Talented friends and friends and healthy competition. Having friends like Dave Rogers makes you really work on your songwriting. Other friends like Georgia Fields and John Palmer who are playing our launch really push me to write better and sing better.

Which song do you wish you wrote?    

No Myth by Michael Penn. I just keep coming back to that one for some reason. It’s just a perfect little symphony with that soaring chorus. It’s so fun to sing.

What’s next for you?    

Finding our audience, wherever it might be. Figuring out how to be a band again after many years of not being one. Making an album.

What’s your scene?    

Laurel Canyon, 1970. There’s smoke in the air from the forest fires but that hasn’t stopped the pool party. Models, out of work actors, screenwriters lounge around. Someone pulls out an acoustic guitar and starts playing a song that you feel like you know but you don’t. Not yet. But you will.


“Leave The Canyon is refreshingly candid. The music is coming from a real place, and the instrumentation is there to back it all up. It’s innately mature music—their directive is set in stone, resulting in a nicely crafted alt-rock track crafted to pop sensibilities and masterful guitar melodies.” AAA Backstage

Slow Fades are a new project with an impeccable Australian indie pedigree. Led by songwriter Ben Birchall (Klinger, The Corrections, Duke Batavia) and multi-instrumentalist Dave Rogers (D.Rogers, Ben Lee), Slow Fades is the widescreen sound of four musicians who know each other inside and out, but are still searching for something just over the canyon.

Their debut EP ‘Canyon Songs’ uses their well-worn indie rock as a starting point, but has one eye on the bittersweet sound of the 70s rock of Tom Petty, Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen. The result is a polished, accomplished debut release, produced by multiinstrumentalist Rogers. Veering from the hooky, anthemic ‘Leave The Canyon’ to the spiky ‘Knocking’, to the George Harrison-via-Brian Eno drone of ‘Vikings’, ‘Canyon Songs’ is a debut brimming with confidence.

‘Canyon Songs’ is released independently on November 15, and being launched on November 25 at the Thornbury Theatre with support from Amarillo and Georgia Fields with John Palmer. A limited edition 10-inch vinyl version will be available at the launch.

Connect with SLOW FADES:

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About Mary Boukouvalas 1614 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.