Benny Mayhem has covered a lot of ground, literally and figuratively. Written in a hotel room in the Austrian Alps, his latest single Song For Absent Friends is both a tribute to, and a product of, the songwriter’s considerable world travels. From being a guitar-strumming teenager in his bedroom at the turn of the millennium, to a decade as the shirtless-and-writhing frontman of rock monsters Project Mayhem, to performing over 500 shows in nine countries worldwide… the musical journey of Benny Mayhem has its own overfilled passport.
From a home base on the west coast of Australia, Benny Mayhem has toured the world in a way that few other artists have considered… as a wandering troubadour. And through this lifestyle choice, Benny has toured continental Europe thrice and the UK four times; working his way up from busking outside Tube stations to the UK’s festival circuit within two years. But, more importantly, he has met people and seen places that have changed and forever enriched his life.
Both a hook-laden sing-along and a song from the heart, Song For Absent Friends is an ode to the people that have helped shape Benny’s journey and, indeed, the person he is today. Equipping himself with a new live band, Song For Absent Friends finds Benny embellishing upon his trademark folk-punk sound with some Sunnyboys-style Australian power pop and a touch of Californian punk. And why not indeed…
Teaming up with West Australian multimedia creative Steve Correia, Benny’s move to this full band sound came about when he settled into Perth’s Citrus Studios to mix songs he had recorded at Somerset’s Fuelled By Cider Studio while on his three-month 2015 European tour. As the pair worked on the songs, two things became apparent: that these songs were itching for a full band, and that there were enough of them to already have an album well under way. So that’s where things are headed.
From here on, Benny has two touring formats: solo and full-band; both of which will visit Australia and Europe over 2016/17. And as he already prepares to get back on the road, Benny will be studio-bound, adding the finishing touches to his most interesting and personal album to date. Nostalgic, yet ushering in a new era, Song For Absent Friends headlines this fresh chapter in the tale of Benny Mayhem while recapping the story that came before it. It is the perfect introduction of the shape of things to come.