Solo artist and songwriter Ben Browning has been a long time member of the band Cut Copy and is set to release his debut LP in 2015. His own work is electronic and draws melodically from heroes Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney.
His latest work is a FM synthesis of colorful influences including early techno pioneers YMO and current Scandinavian artists Lindstrøm and Todd Terje. Browning took a live show to the USA in 2012 has also been seen DJing alongside current disco acts like Holy Ghost! and the Juan MacLean.
Pre-Order his new LP here!
Thanks to Ben Browning
Thanks to Tegan
I’m good, Merci! You’re not interrupting much, I just went down the street to grab a coffee and psyche myself up for this interview… I’m preparing for the release of my album in June and doing some DJ shows in the USA.
First off, lets hear a bit about this LP you have coming up, give us the details on that, how is it sounding?
It’s coming out in June on Yellow Year Records, which is a small label based in the US. I just got a test pressing of the vinyl and it’s sounding pretty nice I think! Everything sounds better on vinyl they say. It’s a very synthy pop kind of album, with lots of harmonies and melodies inspired by the Beach Boys.
How long have you been working on it for?
I’ve been working on it for the last couple of years in between touring and recording with Cut Copy. I managed to find a bit of time to write material when was in the USA in 2013 staying with my girlfriend in DC. I’d then go back to Australia to flesh the songs out with friends at various studios around Melbourne.
What is your approach to making music? Do you have certain methods that you carry across from track to track or do you let songs evolve more organically?
I’ll work on lots of tracks, some for weeks and many of them won’t end up being what I’m after. Then some songs will come together in a day. I can usually tell pretty quickly what’s going to work and what isn’t. I usually start with a chord progression then maybe a bass line and if I can hear a melody that will work with that it seems to flow easily.
Make it Easy was released as the fisrt single and has received such positive reactions. Do you still identify with the themes on the record in the same way as you did when it was finally released?
Make it Easy was one of the first songs I recorded for this album and it seems like a long time ago that I wrote it. It was really nice to put it out finally and get some good reactions… Yeah I identify with the themes, because they’re about my life and I’m still living it! But hopefully these songs have a timeless quality to them and people will identify with the music.
Do you have any dream collaborators, or people you’ve already worked with that you’d like to make music with again in the future?
I love working with the people who I grew up making music with and a lot of those guys are part of the album. I can still trust my mates to add something special to my tracks so they’re the first people I generally call on. Working with David Friddman on the mixing of Cut Copy’s last album was really special, very educational and I’d love to work in his studio again someday.
Where do you see electronic music/electronic pop going in the near future?
It’s hard to say, there are so many types of electronic music these days. I’m still a fan of real instruments and songwriting, so I tend to listen to electronic music that includes those things. The thing that is incredible today is that virtually anyone can produce amazing sounding tracks on their laptop and young producers are really getting a lot of attention for their ideas because they can produce songs that sound professional almost right away. I think young people should still try to collaborate and jam with their friends though, because that’s a really great way to learn how to make music and it’s an important part of it.
What tracks or artists have been high on your rotation as of late?
The one’s I’ve included here of course. I’ve been listening to Toro Y Moi’s latest record recently, I’m a big fan of his. I also like the latest Panda Bear album as well although that’s a bit older now.