Melbourne outfit The Bennies will this week release and launch their new 7″ ‘Better Off Dread‘ through Jackknife Music. The new record captures their high octane punk-rock rapture on wax. It comes with a download code that includes access to a bonus track and a stencil insert for the DIY merch enthusiasts. Order your copy now [Here]. This week they tell us a bit about it via our On The Record questions. If you are in Melbourne, catch them at The B.East this Saturday night for a free show. They’ll then visit Hobart, Adelaide, Ballarat, Sydney and Wollongong. Expand this post for the interview and tour dates as well as a listen to the tracks.

Better Off Dread cover

Tell us about the release title.
The title ‘Better Off Dread’ is about how ska music is supposed to be ‘dead’, but that’s total horseshit, because good music, is good music. Any dread man can see that.

Tell us about the artwork.
The artwork was done by the most talented designer in town Stephen Baker (Hawaiian Islands, Death By Chandelier, Legend). Steve designed the cover for our Japan only release ‘JAH-PAN’ last year, so we were totally stoked he was up for doing some more stuff for us. The cover has a giant dreadlock rasta skull on it, and the actual vinyl has a magic mushroom on it to show sides A and B. We just asked Steve to ‘make it look as trippy and reggae as you can’, and with such a loose guide, we were stoked with what he came up with. The inside sleeve tells a little tale about how each song was written, and also includes a Bennies Mushroom stencil, so you can DIY your own Bennies merch, or re-paint your neighbourhood!!

What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
The official release is 7” vinyl, with 4 brand new Bennies songs. Each vinyl also comes with a download code that includes a fifth bonus song called ‘Sensi-less’.

Who will it be released through, and when?
The record is being released through the legendary Jackknife Music and will be available online, and at the record’s official launch party, April 20 at The B.EAST in Brunswick. Once the record is out, we’ll be touring it nationally throughout April/May – details at

Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We recorded all the drum, bass, guitar and korg tracks at Lighting Lab rehearsal studio, and all the vocals and extra bits at a separate studio in Yarraville. We chose lighting lab cause we’re broke as shit, and we chose the other place cause Jacob (sound engineer on the release) knew the dudes there. Really technical stuff as you can see hahah!

Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them? We recorded with Jacob ‘The Money Man’ Munnery for this release, because we’d worked previously with him on our debut album ‘PARTY! PARTY! PARTY!’ and we really liked his relaxed studio vibe and technical prowess.

Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
The only real direction we had was that we wanted the tunes to have energy. We love to make music that is exciting and not about thinking too much. Originally we wanted to record some more tunes for a full album but it just didn’t work out. But as it happened, the songs we did record had a feel of their own, so we’re really proud of how ‘Better Off Dread’ as a 7” has turned out.



Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
At the time we were listening to a lot of Blind Melon, Mos-Dub, Hawaiian Islands and Black Sabbath, so I think in some way those bands have filtered into the recording. The breakdown in Mushroom Tea owes a lot to Black Sabbath…..not gonna pay them though!! Hahah sorry boys We also went for a bit of a Blink 182 vibe on the song ‘My Bike’.

Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
We just wanted it to sound better than the last recording we did. I think (hope) we got there. Anty had the idea of making the horn section in the song ‘Better Off Dread’ sound like the horns from an old reggae recording, and I think we got pretty close.

How long did you spend in the studio recording?
3 days total, which was the longest for us so far! We don’t like to spend a lot of time recording cause the more takes you do of a song, the more it starts to lose that ‘fresh’ feeling. I know that sounds totally wanky, but we want our songs to feel like they’re bursting to get out of the speakers towards you, cause that’s how we feel when we play them.

Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
For the songs ‘Better Off Dread’ and ‘Mushroom Tea’ we were lucky enough to have the amazing Wes and Nathan from the Kujo Kings play some sax, trombone and trumpet. And for the song ‘(Return To) 9-5’ we got Ethan from Tassie’s own Phat Meegz to lay down a tasty rhyme. The music for this song is an old lee scratch perry tune remixed by our good mate Marto.

Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
Apart from the 4 songs on the vinyl, we also recorded two more tunes, one called ‘Sensi-less’ and the other was a cover of the Clash song ‘Bankrobber’. ‘Sensi-less’ has been included on this release as a bonus track that you get with the download code. It’s a song about touring without chron, and we’re glad that it’s seen the light of day, if only in digital form. As for The Clash cover, at this point it’s anyone’s guess!

Anything else you want to say or about the release?
We really hope people dig the songs, and enjoy listening to them as much as we enjoyed recording them!

Better Off Dread tour poster

Jackknife Music, Blood, Sweat & Beers and present…

20th – The B.East, Melbourne [18+] “Hazy Blazy 420 Smoke Out Session” Free Entry
27th – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart [18+] “All Tomorrow’s Shoeys”
3rd – Enigma Bar, Adelaide [18+]
4th – Karova Lounge, Ballarat [18+]
10th – Venue TBA, Newcastle
11th – The Roxbury, Sydney [18+]
12th – Yours & Owls, Wollongong [18+]
—> Tickets available at the door for all shows except Hobart, which is on sale now [Here].
—> For more information, visit [Here].

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