Electro-pop sensation Boo Seeka offer up a brand new acoustic track, “Tripwire”. Sincere and expressive, the single mourns the loss of normality throughout a time of global upheaval and change.
The former Unearthed nominee is a well-known figure in Australia’s live music industry – providing an engaging sound and enticing energy which captures the imaginations of fans across the country.
“Tripwire” is a huge revelation from a musician who has amassed millions of streams from the untouchable electronic pop chops. This acoustic release is the essence of Boo Seeka. Whether the track is peppered with synths and drum machines or simply a phenomenal vocal and acoustic guitar, the driving force remains an intricate and complex understanding of sound.
The clip is shot on a farm in Margaret River, WA. It’s gentle, raw and genuine – perfectly complementing the track’s eerie sense of loneliness and beauty.
FIB sat down with Boo Seeka’s Ben Gumbleton last week to chat about the new single and what’s coming up next.
FIB: Thanks so much for making time to chat today.
Ben: Thank you so much for having me.
FIB: I was reading that you’re working as a solo act now?
Ben: I’m actually not, it’s very interesting. Through the last three years, I’ve been writing all the music for Boo. When I first started out, it was very much just me and the original guy, Sam, that wrote the first record. Everything since Sam left, I’ve been writing. Nothing has really changed for me, from a writing perspective in the last couple of years and up until now.
I’ve got some incredible people around me. And it’s been really cool to actually collaborate and write songs with people up in the Gold Coast. The guys from Golding, one half of them is actually the guy that’s producing my whole record, the next record… And the guy that’s actually playing in Boo now that no one actually knows about is Jay from Golding.
FIB: Oh, cool.
Ben: I think the cover will be blown on the weekend when we play our first festival (SoCal). So no doubt, at least, there’ll be some stuff getting online about Jay. Yeah, I’ve been reading all this stuff about me going solo and stuff like that and I’m totally cool with that. But it’ll be a nice surprise when everyone realises that, especially from a live perspective, nothing’s going to change. It’s going to be all the energy that Boo has always brought to a live show. So, yeah, I guess bringing out an acoustic song as well probably didn’t help with people thinking that I’ve changed the whole of Boo Seeka.
But that’s kind of what I wanted to do with this whole next record, that this whole collection of music for this new record is really diverse, like it honestly is the Boo that everyone’s going to know. There’s a couple of the really acoustic songs, and there are some pretty electronic dance songs on it. So, I guess it’s just kind of for me, there are two things I think this record is.
I didn’t want to be kind of be put in a box, get told what I could and couldn’t write for this record. I really just wanted to do what I wanted to do. And usually, when I write music, I don’t listen to a lot of music. But this time around has been very different.
I’ve been listening to a lot of music, and I think it’s just expanded my mind. I was going, you know what? I want to write some music like that, and I still want to do what I guess everyone knows Boo Seeka to be. But I also want to expand on the sound. So for me, as long as it still feels like a cohesive album, I really can’t see why I have to write 11 of the same songs, you know, so surely I can do what I want. So that’s what I’m going to do.
FIB: It’s a nice little vacation for Boo Seeka, sound-wise
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, I guess the singer-songwriter thing is also just my background, that’s kind of where I came from before the whole Boo Seeka thing happened. It was literally just me and an acoustic guitar. So it was really nice to kind of go back to that. And I just felt like the message that I wanted to bring with that song, it just didn’t fit with the normal boozehound, you know. Nothing that we tried made as much sense as just me as an acoustic guitar and strings. And I just think that’s the power of music, don’t push it into somewhere that it doesn’t need to be.
FIB: And what artists are you inspired by at the moment?
Ben: Man, I’ve been listening to so much stuff. I went back and started listening to a lot of old City and Colour that I hadn’t been listening to for a very long time. Tame Impala. Been getting a lot into Hayden James’ new track that he just brought out with Crooked Colours. Yeah, man, there’s so much I’ve been listening to that I couldn’t 100 per cent tell you everything.
I’ve been listening to a lot of hip hop to be completely and utterly honest. Old school and new school. So the range is pretty, pretty big at the moment. That’s the thing. You know, I think most artists get inspired by one thing musically. Don’t be inspired by one thing, certainly something that isn’t just, I guess, surrounded by your sound.
I love digging into instrumental music. And I’ve been listening to this cinematic music and orchestral music. You know, all of that stuff is really, really, really inspiring to me. So even the fact that, I know you might find this really bizarre, but like I love hardcore, heavy metal music, like Parkway and stuff like that. To me, if you do break down some of their more melodic stuff in the middle, it’s actually pretty incredible.
So I think it’s not even just the music side of things. I just think that every piece of music, everyone that is a creator brings something new to the table that you may not see or have known or thought of before. So I think that’s the best thing, is being surrounded and letting people into your creative space to a certain extent.
FIB: Has Covid had an impact on how you work?
Ben: It has, it honestly has. I’m a pretty introverted guy to some extent, and everyone sees me on stage and I’m bouncing around like a yo-yo kind of vibe. I am a pretty quiet guy and I don’t really speak openly about a lot of things. But I think that was also a huge aspect of why I wanted to bring out Tripwire, because it’s kind of me feeling okay about actually speaking up about things that, you know, I was going through in my life at the time and still am. Not feeling ashamed or bad about it, not having to put on a poker face in front of, you know, my friends and family.
And I remember showing my management and stuff these songs. And I guess for them they were like, “man, are you okay?” It’s a pretty deep track. And I felt really, like, worried at the time about how people were going to accept that and take it, and I think that’s been growth for me through this whole Covid period.
I mean, when Covid first hit, obviously, last year, we all didn’t know what was going to happen. And it’s obviously not only for our industry but for a lot of other people, you know, even yourselves and I’m sure my friends and studios, it’s just some really hard times that you can’t always just be like, “oh, it’s OK, you know, everything’s alright”. And “it’s all rainbows and sunshine”, it’s kind of not. There were just a few things that have happened over the last year to me, through Covid, you know, that just kind of stacked on top. And I guess I’ve used music and being able to lyrically put it out there to kind of help to get all the clutter out of my head.
FIB: And what’s the feedback been like?
Ben: It’s been it’s been amazing. I think, again, I accepted that maybe some people weren’t going to like this first song, you know. I guess the last few songs I brought out, Never Enough, Don’t Waste Love and Take a Look, Days Get Better and everything prior to that, you know, it’s all been kind of semi-upbeat and pretty vibin’. And so I didn’t know how people were going to accept this. I was a little bit nervous to be bringing out an acoustic song, but it’s actually been amazing… A lot of people have kind of made the comparison to Kingdom Leader to a certain extent. They’re kind of like, “it reminds me of Kingdom Leader without a beat”.
You know, it’s kind of like you’re almost starting the new record with the sound that we all kind of fell in love with, that really chill vibe. So, yeah, it’s been really, really nice. And there are other people that are like, oh, this is so different to, you know, your last two songs, which have also been great. I love being an artist that keeps you on your toes, you know. Not, you know, “it sounds the same as the last one”. So, the next song that they’re going to bring out is on the complete opposite side to what Tripwire is. So that’s what I want to do for this record.
FIB: During Covid, a lot of artists have really updated their sound and started to diversify a bit. What impact has it had on you?
Ben: Well, I think the other thing that really kind of, regained my love for acoustic music, playing acoustic music, I wouldn’t say regained it for listening, but for playing it. Like when we, at the end of last year, were allowed to do kind of like those whole sit down concerts.
Playing a normal live Boo set to a to a sit-down crowd is just never going to work. And it kind of gave us a bit of a new outlook on all the songs, because we completely stripped them all and were just playing with, you know, piano and strings and an acoustic guitar. And it just kind of blew my own mind. Like going, “well, I’m looking at these songs in a completely and utterly different way”. So I think that also the birth and the beginning of me going back into that whole acoustic vibe as well.
FIB: And which festival is coming up on the weekend?
Ben: It’s called SoCal. It’s in Yapoon. Man, I’m like a little kid in a candy store. Not to rub it in. But man, I wish this festival could literally have every Australian artist on it just for everyone’s sanity and for everyone to come together and be like, everything’s going to be alright. We’re going to get through this. You know, it’s, uh, man, I’ve missed it. I honestly can’t tell you how much I need this even just for my sanity.
FIB: And what do you enjoy the most about what you do?
Ben: That’s a good question, I don’t think I’ve been asked that before. Oh, man. I don’t know, it’s just one of those things I don’t know. It’s pretty amazing to be able to wake up every day and just kind of do what you want to do if that makes sense.
No one tells me that I have to get up and write a song or go and create a song with somebody else that writes music or to get on a plane, obviously not for the last two years, but get on a 24-hr flight to just go and play one show. No one tells me that I have to do that. You know, I want to do that.
And I think that’s kind of the greatest thing in life, is to be able to wake up and be able to say, this is literally what I want to do every minute of the day, you know? So I don’t know. If I had more time to think about that answer, I might give you a different one. But man, it’s pretty nice just to feel like this is what I wanted to do literally every day for the rest of my life. I know it’s kind of cliche, but it’s just it’s as simple as that.
FIB: In terms of any collaborations that you’ve got planned, do you have anything on the cards at the moment that you can discuss?
Ben: There is, but I can’t say anything. There’s a particular artist that I’ve been writing with, and I’m really excited. There’s going to be songs that are on my record with that artist and songs that I’ve done with that artist on their record. So, yeah, that’ll probably start unfolding at the end of this year and into next year. So I think that’s also what’s been kind of really cool now, and what’s going to be incredible next year. I mean, fingers crossed that the whole world and whatnot kind of comes out of this crazy shit that we’re in now and we can somewhat go back to normal.
But, man, there is so much amazing music getting made right now. And I think more than there ever has been because literally, every artist has nothing else to do than just to write music. And when everybody gets to be able to go out and play that again and everyone releases what they’ve been doing, I mean, it’s going to be insanely good. I think like even having the opportunity to work with these certain artists, I don’t know if that would have happened if Covid didn’t happen to be completely and utterly honest.
I think we would have probably been somewhere else and they would have been doing something else. And I think just because everyone’s at home and listening to everyone’s music, it was very much like, oh, I heard your song. Would you be keen to work on something together? So I think that’s probably where all musicians are listening to more music than they probably ever have to be completely honest.
FIB: Yeah. And so you’re hitting the road in September until October.
Ben: Fingers crossed. Yeah.
FIB: Are you visiting Sydney?
Ben: We are. I mean, we obviously have to be ready for what’s happening to everybody else, you know. We’re doing everything that we can to be able to put on a show, but we’re only going to put on the show if obviously one, we can, and two, it’s going to be safe for everybody, you know. I’m not someone that wants to do anything that’s going to put anybody in harm’s way with everything going on. So I feel like the general public, as much as we’re all getting over it and we’re getting tired, everyone understands where we stand as an artist.
And it’s amazing to see people writing into other bands, even, that I follow. Posting, like, “we can we can refund you or you can hold on to your ticket for the postponed dates”. And 99 per cent of people are supporting the industry and the arts and the bands and holding on to their ticket. And I think that’s an incredible thing. You know, it’s amazing to see people going, “I still want to support my favourite bands. I’ll hold on to my ticket. And regardless of when that show is going to be happening, I’m going to be there.” So that’s been a really cool thing to see.
FIB: People are desperate to get out to live shows at the moment.
Ben: Yeah. I mean, the desperate thing is obviously we are all desperate, but I think just even for them going well, even though that show was supposed to happen next week, I’ll hold on to it for the next, three months, you know. Because I’m going to go and support my favourite band when it can happen, like I think that’s an incredible thing. I think it’s really cool that people are holding onto their tickets and waiting for their bands to get back on the road.
FIB: And so just to keep up to date, check your socials? Is that where all the information will be?
Ben: Yeah. Just to check all of our sites is everything’s going to plan at the moment. But we’re obviously day by day. Things may change. So we’re doing everything we can. And we’re so thankful that, you know, even Sydney, that Sydney’s been incredible. Like I honestly didn’t think that we would be selling any tickets, let alone the number of tickets that we have sold to the Sydney show. Considering that you guys have been locked down and don’t know and you’re coming out. So again, it’s just incredible that people are still out there supporting their bands. It’s honestly an amazing feeling.
“The Trip” Tour Dates:
FRI 24 SEP | BEACH HOTEL, BYRON BAY, NSW 18+ | TICKETS
SAT 25 SEP | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE, QLD 18+ | TICKETS
THUR 30 SEPT | CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE, VIC 18+ | TICKETS | NEW SHOW ADDED
FRI 1 OCT | CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE, VIC 18+ | TICKETS | SOLD OUT
SAT 2 OCT | REPUBLIC BAR, HOBART, TAS 18+ | TICKETS
SUN 3 OCT | THE ROYAL OAK, LAUNCESTON, TAS 18+ | TICKETS
SAT 9 OCT | THE ROUNDHOUSE, SYDNEY, NSW 18+ | TICKETS
FRI 15 OCT | LION ARTS FACTORY, ADELAIDE, SA 18+ | TICKETS
SAT 16 OCT | MAGNET HOUSE (FKA THE CAPITOL), PERTH, WA 18+ | TICKETS
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