Basically joined at the hip, BOO SEEKA duo BEN GUMBLETON and SAM CROFT are used to writing on the road with around 285 shows played in the last two years. They’ve just come off an epic USA tour and are starting off their festival rounds for the Aussie summer here at Festival of the Sun. LOUIE SMITH chats to the pair while trying to take Sam seriously as he wears a crab with pipe cleaner legs named after Freddy Crabs on his head for the duration of the interview.
Let’s get the question everyone has no doubt been asking you out of the way. Album?
BEN – How did we know it was going to be that! We promise that there will be some new songs out early next year but the album, mid year. The album kind of got pushed back because of the American tour. That was a three-month tour so it took up some of the time that we had to record it. We’re half way through it we’re just doing the back end of it so yeah mid next year for sure.
Have you finished writing the album?
B – There’s about seventy percent of it done but then there’s so many new songs that we’ve written over in the states that it’s going to be hard to pick the last three or four songs that go on. So there’s plenty of material, it’s just putting the record together.
You’ve been touring pretty hard core. How do you find the time to write?
B – I think we’re up to about our 270th to 285th gig in 22 months, but we write better on the road. We just like being in the realm of music. When we’re on the road we’re inspired every night by new people that we’re playing with or going to see. So yeah we actually write really well on the road.
SAM – The American tour that we just did, we bought some gear before going over and just set up a little studio in the RV that we were driving around.
So you’ve spent a lot of time together?
B – Yeah we’ve pretty much been attached at the hip since we met. We met in January 2015 and we’ve literally been in a car travelling around the world with each other since.
When did you know that you both had such a strong musical connection?
B – We didn’t have a choice really. Our connection was that we liked the same music and then we literally just said let’s try and write a song in a couple of days which was ‘Kingdom Leader’. So yeah, we wrote the song, put it out a week later and then quit everything we were doing to start doing this. Definitely not good planning what so ever.
What were you both up to musically before you found each other?
S – I was doing more electronic stuff, producing under another name. I played in a punk band as well but it was pretty stupid. It was more just for the fun of it. Ben was a singer in a band and brought the songwriter kind of vibe to the Boo Seeka mix.
Do you predominately write and record in the studio or do you prefer a home set up?
S – There’s different phases of recording for us. We’ll write and then we’ll record whatever we can in that moment and then we might go to my house and do a bit in the studio that I’ve got next to my bed and then take it somewhere else and try to smash it all out. It’s definitely like a baseball field. We’ll get to first base and then it ends up home and we’ll play the song to producers.
Recording vocals can be quite a personal thing. Where do you feel most comfortable recording yours Ben?
B – Sammy has a good ear. I’ll just be in my own little world humming something and before I know it there’s a fucking phone in my face and he’s like do that again. All the times I’ve hummed something and think I might remember and don’t.
S – Everyone does it, I’ve done it. You think a line is gold and you’ll remember it for sure and then you don’t.
B – The other thing for us is getting songs to a certain level where people think we’ve been playing for a long time. In the states we were actually just making stuff up on stage.
That’s quite a talent to have.
B – I don’t know if it’s a talent or just stupidity. It’s helpful for us to get a gauge off the crowd and how they react to certain things. So I don’t think there’s really a right or wrong way as to how you write songs. Vocally yeah, I like singing in the shower like everyone else.
How do the crowds overseas react to your live shows compared to us Aussies?
B – I feel like America has a bigger love than what Australia does. We just clicked straight away especially with festivals. Europe will probably take a good while to get the feel of what we’re all about.
S – The crowd that we predominately played to in the states was just like Frat party kind of crowds. They were just into it from day one.
You’ve been in partnership with Neal from Sureshaker from the beginnings of Boo Seeka. Why did you feel Sureshaker was and still is the perfect fit for you?
B – That’s how we met, through Neal. Neal was a good friend of both of ours without us knowing each other and he just said I think you guys should meet and talk about music and that’s what we did. Sureshaker has always been a thing for me personally that I’ve loved. It’s a great independent label that started with Beautiful Girls and now it’s been built into an empire with Sticky Fingers. It’s such an amazing thing to be asked to be a part of the label and it’s just growing. People are following the label itself and not just one certain band.
Sticky Fingers have recently announced a hiatus. Did you see it coming?
B – Yeahhh, we won’t say too much.
So will you be making things up during your set today?
B – Nah, we’ve got a bit more of an idea of what we’re doing now.
S – Yeah, we’ve had 56 shows in America to practice what we’re doing so we’ll be all right today.
Will we hear any songs today that’ll be on the album?
B – Yeah, you’ll hear a fair few. There’s two new ones that we haven’t played in Australia before. Hopefully you like it!