Q&A Scene: Ben Cooper ~ RADICAL FACE

Tell us about your new EP?   

It’s a 3-song EP that is built to be a cycle. I made it alongside Gordon McBryde, who has done lots of visual art for me over the years. But the fun thing is we made the music and the visuals simultaneously, and allowed them to influence each other. It was a first for both of us. Normally the processes are very separate. So it was a really fun experiment.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time?

Oh, it’s always whatever I’m working on currently. So right now I’m most excited about this EP I’m in the middle of recording.

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

One time on tour, I was really exhausted. The green room was really crowded, so I went out to the front of the venue and laid down on the nearby bench for some quiet. I fell asleep, and when I woke up, there was some change next to me. I guess people thought I was homeless. I thought it was pretty funny.

What, or who, inspires you?   

Stories, mostly. I get a lot from books and films, or just listening to people who tell good stories. Something about them can make me want to write.

Which song do you wish you wrote?    

Oh, tons. But right now? Gnossienne: No. 3 by Erik Satie. Such a perfect little piano piece.

What’s next for you?    

Mostly recording this year. I have a handful of shows, but I really just wanna get some new ideas outta my head, so that’s what I am focusing on.

What’s your scene?    

Misfits who’d rather make things than do anything else.

Florida-born multi-instrumentalist RADICAL FACE (a.k.a. Ben Cooper) has his sights set on Australia and New Zealand for the first time ever this coming May and June!
For more than a decade, in a shed behind his mother’s house, Ben Cooper embarked on an unprecedented musical journey. He created the intricate concept album trilogy, ‘The Family Tree’, which revolves around a fictitious otherworldly 19th century family. The trilogy came to a close with the 2016 critically acclaimed, ‘The Family Tree: The Leaves’. The final instalment is the most personal of all the ‘Family Tree’ albums, as Cooper’s personal stories meld into fictitious ones.
“Cooper’s music has an emotional impact that is rare in this exhausted genre. 4/5 stars.” – Rolling Stone Australia “The most joyful piece of music you’ll hear all year.” – Pop Matters

Ben Cooper says:

I made the “SunnMoonnEclippse” EP alongside my friend Gordon McBryde, while he was building the visuals.

It’s meant to be viewed as well as heard — I let the visuals affect the music, and vice-versa — so it’ll first exist as a website. Then it’ll move on to all the usual culprits, for just regular listening if you’re into the music. But it’s been really fun. Never done the two side-by-side like that. Usually visuals are a totally separate process.

Thematically the songs run in a complete loop, so it’s meant to be listened to and/or viewed as a complete circle drawing inspiration from the cycle of the rotation of the Sun and Moon.  This is the first group of songs I’ve recorded since wrapping up ‘The Family Tree’ project. To go from eight years of the same material to total freedom was pretty odd. I had no restrictions on how I produced it, or what I would talk about. I found myself just writing about where I’m at now, in my actual life, and not through characters or disguises. I’m producing the tracks entirely based on sounds that I like right now – drum samples from old records, pianos played with old mellotron master tapes, tracking vocals with almost-broken microphones.

And this is the first EP where none of the songs sound very similar. It’s felt both terribly freeing and a bit nervewracking. I welcome both things. I’m having fun in a way that I haven’t in a long time.

For more information, visit Radical Face and SunnMoonnEclippse


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About Mary Boukouvalas 1575 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.