- RELEASE DATE /9 March 2023
- CATALOG /CRT125
- LABEL /Cheersquad Records & Tapes
- FORMAT /digital single
A FEW WORDS
With a career that spans 20 years, half a dozen bands, a dozen albums, EPs, and singles; it would be safe to assume that Benny J Ward has scratched all his musical itches. Safe… but wrong. Taking a sojourn into solo territory, Benny J hunkered down in the studio he built with his bare hands, and produced the first single ever released under his own name – the psychedelic garage pop belter Tell Me Tell Me.
As with almost all of Benny J’s work, Tell Me Tell Me has the core of a super-catchy pop song, but with layers of delicious weirdness on top. Melodic hooks come thick and fast, drenched in peculiar harmonies, tantalising guitar fuzz, and laid-back grooves. The end result is an irresistible swirling racket that finds its place in Benny J’s discography somewhere between the power pop mastery of Rinehearts, and the balls-out rock’n’roll of Screwtop Detonators.
This is not the first time Benny J has gone solo. Back in the early 2000s he caught the attention of Triple J with his Ginger-Pride-themed country-music alter-ego The Lone Ranga (subject matter that would later resurface in 5-piece alternative outfit The Red Panthers). Tell Me Tell Me, however, is the first time Benny J has played every instrument on a track – from his native guitar to the bass and drums – as well as recording and mixing the tune himself.
The adorable icing on the cake; Benny J enlisted his 10-year-old son, Sonny J Ward to create the animation for the video clip to Tell Me Tell Me – following an inspired 2am New Year’s Day kitchen brainstorming session. The patriarch of an incredibly musical family, Benny J and his wife Nici Ward (Lonesome Dove, Boy+Girl) spend most of their time making tunes in their Pinkhouse Studio with Sonny and his younger brother (and bona fide shredder) Kit Wally Ward.
Released on legendary label Cheersquad Records, Tell Me Tell Me is the first of many Benny J Ward tunes to come in 2023 – which will also find him releasing a 7” with acidic punk rockers LEECHES!, plus albums by indie kings Rinehearts (produced by Dom Mariani), and ’80s hardcore outfit Covøids. A man of many talents (and voices) Benny J will continue his eye-watering level of prolificacy well into the foreseeable future, all while producing other incredible Perth bands such as Zerodent, Brackets and Desert Dogs as a side-hustle.
“I’m really proud of this song,” Benny J explains. “It just came out really quickly, and I think it’s a lot of fun. I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
Words and music Benny J Ward
Performed by Benny J Ward
Video animation by Sonny J Ward
Photo by Nici Ward