Coffs Coast born national touring musician Benny Black is a man on fire. In the last 12 months he has performed to over 175,000 people at major stadiums and venues along the East Coast of Australia, including ANZ Stadium Sydney, Suncorp Stadium Brisbane, The SCG, GMHBA Stadium Victoria and Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
He has performed centre stage at the NRL, the AFL and the NBL. Benny is about to release his third international single, On Fire and will perform to a sell out crowd at Melbourne Arena this Boxing Day for NBL Champions Melbourne United’s Grand Final Rematch vs. Adelaide 36ers.
We haven’t seen you as much on the Coffs Coast lately. How has all the touring been going, and how have the big shows been?
I know! It’s been a super busy year and I’ve been constantly on the road, or in a plane [laughs]. I’ve learned to love suitcases and hotel rooms [laughs again]. It’s always good to be back in my home town and to be around my good friends and family, though. It’s like my oasis here.
I do have some more Coast shows coming up soon, which I’m looking forward to. The touring has been awesome, and the shows have been amazing. The crowds have been really supportive. I’ve been really lucky and blessed to be able to play them and to do what I love to do.
Which show has been your favourite and why?
It’s really hard to say. It was a real honour to walk out and play in legendary venues like the SCG and Suncorp Stadium, and the feeling is unbelievable and surreal. I would have to say that the most fun the band and I have had recently and the gig we enjoyed the most was playing at GMHBA Stadium at Geelong, at the AFL for the Geelong Cats home game vs. Brisbane Lions. The stadium was a sell out. There were 40,000 people there, and they were singing along with us and getting right into every song. It was definitely a buzz, and we felt right at home …
Not to mention the band got a full rider of premium beer in the dressing room. So, you could say it was an extra good time!
Tell us about your new single.
It’s a track called On Fire I recently wrote and recorded in Sydney with my friend and drummer Alexie Pigot. It’s just been mastered by Grammy Nominated Mastering Engineer Leon Zervos (formerly of Sterling Sound, New York) who’s worked with INXS, Aerosmith, Santana and Muse. It’s basically just a fun track with a feel good vibe about having good times with friends. It’s a bit of a party track. You can put it on and jump around to it.
I’ve been listening to a lot of vintage and indie rock lately from bands like The Rolling Stones and The Strokes. I think you can hear some of those influences in the track. I’ll be releasing it internationally on iTunes and Spotify sometime in the next couple of weeks. So, it may be out by the time people read this interview!
We heard you filmed the video for it locally?
I worked with a some good friends of mine who have a production company in Sawtell called “Bathtime Productions” – Matt and Clare Bath and Tom Schneider. Apart from being legends, these guys are absolutely brilliant with film and do some awesome work.
They’ve also recently done some amazing work on productions for the ABC and Channel Seven; it was awesome to work with them on it.
We wanted the video to have some fun vibes, so we basically got the band and a few friends together and went to some super cool local venues (Cedar Bar in Bellingen and Element Bar Coffs Harbour) and had a some fun and some good times. It was so good to be able to film it with some friends, and the guys got some fantastic footage. I’m super happy with the way it turned out.
What else have you got coming up?
I’m performing two solo show in Coffs Harbour at Element Bar on Nov 17 and 22. I’m playing Dee Why Hotel in Sydney on November 23. I have another solo show booked at Cedar Bar, Bellingen on Dec 21, and the band and I have a massive show coming up on Boxing Day in Melbourne at Melbourne Arena for the NBL.
I’m currently recording my fourth single in Sydney, which will be finished soon, and we’ll start shooting the video for it as well. I have some more shows planned for Sydney and Brisbane in the New Year that are yet to be announced. Things are super busy, so I probably won’t have any holidays coming up soon!
You’ve had lots of success yourself, but we know you also book and manage and help develop up and coming artists.
Being a musician, I always love to help talented up and coming acts realise their potential and chase their dreams. If there’s anything I can do to help, I will.
Through my agency Ace Entertainment and Artist Management I offer assistance with booking venues and providing management services to them. I also offer advice and information to them I’ve learnt from working in the music industry.
Thanks for coming in and chatting to us, Benny. Keep doing the Coffs Coast proud.
Benny Black’s current single On Fire is out now on iTunes and Spotfiy, and the video is available on YouTube. For more information, visit www.bennyblack.com.au or email Ace Entertainment and Artist Management at firstname.lastname@example.org