What's in a name?

Ben Woods. Photo: Supplied
Ben Woods. Photo: Supplied
It's hard to know what to expect from Ben Woods Group.

So far the only Ben Woods release is one song called Lozenge on Melted Icecream's awesome new compilation of Otautahi music, Sickest Smashes from Arson City: Legacy Edition. It's a sort of fuzzy lo-fi indie-pop type thing which feels just right as it slides down your earholes. I wouldn't mind a few more of those.

Other than that, Ben previously played guitar in a trio of awesome bands: Wurld Series, Salad Boys and Fran. And now he's doing an eight-date national tour as himself with Motte (another Christchurch musician who also had a track on Sickest Smashes), which will see him land at The Cook this Friday.

"When Fran stopped, I was writing songs, but I hadn't done it before and I felt curious about what it would look like just having everything be me you know? I guess I just want to have complete control over everything essentially, and be able to do it with my own time, at my own pace."

Part of doing everything was picking a name to release music under, which ended up just being his own name.

"Initially, I was like `I could never do that', I don't feel like I have a flash name, I've got a pretty, you know, standard one. But then the other thing is I'm just, like, really bad at naming bands or songs or anything, so I was just kind of like `that'll do'.

"I kind of like the fact that my name is kind of a little bit, I dunno, there's something a little bit dorky about it which I think is kind of funny."

So for the past year he's been banging out demos by himself. Recently he re-recorded them as an album with Steven John Marr at Radio 1. And while it might not slide down quite as easily as the track on Sickest Smashes, it should be pretty similar.

"I'm trying to be pretty intuitive and quick about it and allow myself to do what's comfortable, which is why I think I felt good about putting that song out on its own, despite the fact that it's quite misrepresentative. I dunno, I just felt like it's just such a cosy pop song, the rest don't really sound like that.

"I think they all . . . flow kind of similar you know, they kind of have that constant movement to them that feels quite natural, but the others are much slower and more, I guess, somber."

The gig

Ben Woods Group and Motte national tour with Wet Specimen, The Captain Cook Hotel, Friday, September 21. Tickets, $10 on the door. 

 - Fraser Thompson

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