Regional Victoria’s produces some excellent musicians and Benny Walker is no exception. With a new album coming out in the next few months, we had a chat with Benny about his national pre-launch tour including the support slots with Dan Sultan at the Zoo Twilights series in Melbourne and Sydney.

So you’ve kicked off 2015 by heading pretty much straight into the pre-launch tour for your upcoming album, how has it been going so far?

Really good! The band and I kicked things off in WA and it’s hard to complain about being on the coast playing music with your friends. It’s been great road testing the songs too.

Are you excited about any particular show you’ve got coming up?

The Melbourne and Sydney (Taronga) Zoo shows with Dan Sultan will be a lot of fun. Also, I’m taking my debuting my 9 piece band – Benny Walker and The Family Tree – at the National Multicultural Festival in Canberra. That’ll be heaps of fun jamming with all those guys.

In November you were on the bill for the Homeground Festival in Sydney, along with Dan Sultan. Are you excited to be sharing the stage with him again at the Zoo Twilights shows?

Yeah, I’m really excited. Dan’s a great guy as well as brilliant performer. His band are fantastic as well.

You recently posted a picture on Facebook of the lyrics to one of your songs, written on a Qantas sick bag. What’s the story there?

Well, I was on tour for the last album (Sinner and Saints) and the band and I were flying from Perth to Darwin. I normally right with the guitar in hand but obviously that was stowed away under the plane. I had the melody and some ideas for lyrics floating around in my head. I hate letting those go to waste so I started writing on the back of the sick bag. I had to sing the song over and over again in my head as I was writing so as not to forget the melody. When I finally got to our hotel in Darwin I was able to record a little demo into my phone. The song is called “Time” and will be on the new album.

It also raises a question for me, what comes first for your songs: the lyrics or the melody?

It’s definitely a mix but usually I will be sitting around the house playing guitar and I’ll come across a chord structure. After that I hum a bit of a melody until the words start to fall out of my mouth. From there I’ll work out the subject matter. Sometimes the first line can dictate that.

So what’s next? Once the album comes out is it straight back on the road for you or do you have some other plans?

Back on the road for a national tour. I’ll do all the capital cities fairly close together and then do all of the regional areas after that. I love touring regionally.

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