Song For Absent Friends

by Benny Mayhem

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about

Four track single feat. three exclusive B-sides.

Benny Mayhem has covered a lot of ground, literally and figuratively. Written in a hotel room in the Austrian Alps, his latest single Song For Absent Friends is both a tribute to, and a product of, the songwriter's considerable world travels.

From being a guitar-strumming teenager in his bedroom at the turn of the millennium, to a decade as the shirtless-and-writhing frontman of rock monsters Project Mayhem, to performing 450+ shows in nine countries worldwide... the musical journey of Benny Mayhem has its own overfilled passport.

From a home base on the west coast of Australia, Benny Mayhem has toured the world in a way that few other artists have considered... as a wandering troubadour. And through this lifestyle choice, Benny has toured continental Europe twice and the UK thrice; working his way up from busking outside tube stations to the UK's festival circuit within two years.

But, more importantly, he has met people and seen places that have changed and forever enriched his life.

Both a hook-laden sing-along and a song from the heart, Song For Absent Friends is an ode to the people that have helped shape Benny's journey and, indeed, the person he is today. Equipping himself with a new live band, Song For Absent Friends finds Benny embellishing upon his trademark folk-punk sound with some Sunnyboys-style Australian power pop and a touch of Californian punk. And why not indeed...

Teaming up with West Australian multimedia creative Steve Correia, Benny's move to this full band sound came about when he settled into Perth's Citrus Studios to mix songs he had recorded at Somerset's Fuelled By Cider Studio while on his most recent three-month European tour. As the pair worked on the songs, two things became apparent: that these songs were itching for a full band, and that there were enough of them to already have an album well under way.

So that's where things are headed.

From here on, Benny has two touring formats: solo and full-band; both of which will visit Australia and Europe over 2016/17. And as he already prepares to get back on the road, Benny will be studio-bound, adding the finishing touches to his most interesting and personal album to date.

Nostalgic, yet ushering in a new era, Song For Absent Friends headlines this fresh chapter in the tale of Benny Mayhem while recapping the story that came before it. It is the perfect introduction of the shape of things to come.

credits

released July 15, 2016

Produced by Benny Mayhem & Steve Correia.

01 02 Tracked by James Pagella at The Fuelled By Cider Studio, Ilton UK; July 2016. Remixed, enhanced, overdubbed and mastered by Steve Correia at Citrus Studios, Canning Vale W.A.; November 2015 - March 2016.

03 04 Recorded, mixed and mastered by Jonathan Tringham in Runcorn UK; November 2013. Remixed 2016. Prepared for release by Steve Correia at Citrus Studios; March 2016.

Benny Mayhem (vocals, guitars, bass, glock, percussion, faux-piano)
David Azmo (melodica, bass)
Steve Correia (guitars, drums)
James Pagella (drums)

Thanks: Natalie Windle, Tony Edwards, Mike Lacey, James Pagella, Lorelle Correia, Adam Weston, Chester, Jono, family and friends worldwide.

Artwork: James Pagella. Photo (CD only): Benny Mayhem. Design: Ian Ritter.

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Benny Mayhem Perth, Australia

Australia's folk-punk troubadour!

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Track Name: Song For Absent Friends
“Song For Absent Friends”
(Watson/Bingley)

I’m sitting in my room,
Thinking of times I shared with you,
And I wouldn’t be me today if it wasn’t for you.

Hangin’ out by myself
Wasn’t good for my health
So I took a plane far away.

It almost broke my head,
Awful things done and said,
But I just had to make my way.

I have struggled, I have fought,
I have worked and I have sought,
And I’m lookin’ down at a mountain of cash in my hand.
So it’s time that I sat down and finally said ‘thanks!’

Hangin’ out with the band,
We were the best in the land,
We blew everyone off the stage.

At the end of the Earth,
It’s a long way to Perth,
We were not just a pretty face.

We worked our arse off for ten years.
We shared the blood, the sweat and tears,
In a corrupt environment.

Stu Harvey worked for Shock Records, let’s not forget!
But I want to say thank you, dudes, we all did our best.

Now I’m sitting in my room,
Thinking of times I shared with you,
And I wouldn’t be me today if it wasn’t for you.

To all my friends in the UK:
You saved me when I was insane.
You’ll probably never know all you’ve done for me.

Cheers to my friends in Victoria,
The backstage mob in Cumbria,
And to my mates in Florida,
This one’s for you!

Hangin’ out on my bed,
All the things that we shared,
You were the one who believed in me.

If you hadn’t been there,
God knows I could be dead,
You’ll never know what that means to me.

We haven’t spoken for so long.
Was it you or I who done us wrong?
After all these years, I still think of you every day.
And I wish you all the best, and hope you’re OK.

Now I’m sitting in my room,
Thinking of times I shared with you,
And I wouldn’t be me today…
If it wasn’t for you.
Track Name: Mother Nature Will Have Her Revenge On Old Fatty [Maj.-Gen. Karl O’Callaghan mix]
Mother Nature Will Have Her Revenge On Old Fatty
[Maj.-Gen. Karl O’Callaghan mix]
(Ben Watson)

Well, if that's what we get for focussing on The Monster
You'll excuse me while I put that Abbott out of my mind
It's not I don't care or I'm not petrified
Re: the country's Great Slide - our moral decline
But Barnett & Howard have proven that people are dumb

Watching TV they get filled with ideas that aren't real
Like the pastors of old laid down fire and brimstone with great zeal
And these Christians believe that their one god is just chock full of love
But he's a vengeful old sod - when it comes to the crunch
They're the ones that'll drown in their flood

And life will go on
Just as it always has before…
And the tides will roll in
Just as they always have before…

So, ga'arn, treat my country the way that she's never deserved
You can rape, you can pillage people and the natural world
In the face of Earth's doom, you can Wittenoom Broome
In the hope that you'll go to some afterlife soon
But you'll get the same hell wealthy Mayans would have faced as they fell…

You'll watch the jungle close in
Just as it always has before…
And the waters will rise
Just as they always have before…

Even if you succeed in replacing the forests with weeds
When the rivers are dead and your ego's been fed
Begging, poisoned, on your knees

When the Earth finally dies with no tears in her eyes
A hollowed-out hide - hey, but at least we tried!
Somewhere far off in space in a temperate place

Comets will rain from the sky…

And life will go on
Just as it always has before…
Oh, and the rains will come down
Just as they always have before…

And you’ll be forgotten, that's for sure.
Track Name: Bulwer Street Waltz [Runcorn Tapes demo]
BULWER STREET WALTZ
[Runcorn Tapes demo]
(Ben Watson)

And I will tell you a tale of a Saturday night
That went on for months ‘cause it just felt so right
And when I look back on the things that were done
Some of it was dumb but was mostly just fun

I was just 21, I was far from my home
All I wanted to do was to be in The Zone
Seventeen years of institutions
Punishments lies and contradictions

‘Cause you’re told when you’re young that you can’t cross the line
But how else can you tell what is wrong and what’s right?
So I do not regret all the friends that I made
The ones I obeyed or the ones I betrayed

I fell in love on those hot summer nights
But it’s hard to be true when your mind’s on the white
Every gold coin has a queen on one side
Just like every cloud has a silver, white line

We were glared at in clubs
But we didn’t care
My only regret is that I didn’t dance.
Track Name: Suspect Device [Runcorn Tapes demo]
Suspect Device [Runcorn Tapes demo]
(Burns/Ogilvie)

Inflammable material, planted in my head

It's a suspect device that's left two thousand dead


Their solutions are our problems

They put up the wall

On each side, time and prime us

Make sure we get fuck all


They play their games of power

They mark and cut the pack

They deal us to the bottom

But what do they put back?


Well, don't believe them

Don't believe them

Don't be bitten twice

You’re a suss, suss, suss, suss, suss, suss

Suss, suspect device


They take away our freedom

In the name of ‘liberty’

Why can't they all just clear off

Why can't they let us be?


They make us feel indebted

For saving us from hell

And then they put us through it

It's time the bastards fell


Well, don't believe them

Don't believe them

Don't be bitten twice

You’re a suss, suss, suss, suss, suss, suss

Suss, suspect device


Well, don't believe them

Don't believe them

Question everything you're told!


Just take a look around you

At the bitterness and spite

Why can't we take over and try to get things right?


But don't believe us

Don't believe us

Don't be bitten thrice

You’re a suss, suss, suss, suss, suss, suss

Suss, suspect device


You’re a suspect device if you do as you are told

You’re a suspect device, you can score your own goal

A suspect device that the army can't defuse

You're a suspect device and you know you’ll never lose


We're gonna blow up in their face!