Interview with Ben Gillies

By Michael Tunn (Triple J)

[BEN] Mr Tunn.

[TUNN] Ben...

[BEN] How ya doin'?

[TUNN] Oh, I'm good mate. How are you?

[BEN] I'm not too bad.

[TUNN] And you're playing, Ben, with the Sex Pistols and Cypress Hill, right?

[BEN] Yep, Sex Pistols, Cypress Hill...

[TUNN] Bad Religion and Spacehog.

[BEN] Yep, and um, I think there might be another one...

[TUNN] A local Brazillian band maybe?

[BEN] Oh, yeah. There's like Marky Ramone's band... That's what they're called: Marky Ramone and the Intruder... Intruder's Soundcheck or somethin'...

[TUNN] So have you had the pleasure or the displeasure to meet Johnny Rotten yet?

[BEN] No we haven't, we've like, seen him roamin' around, like we saw him down at the pool and we saw him in at the lobby and stuff, but we haven't actually... officially... shook hands and, y'know, been introduced.

[TUNN] Do you want to, knowing his reputation?

[BEN] Yeah, I wouldn't mind meetin' 'im. Like, um, I reckon all that stuff he goes on with is just like, y'know, put y'know, the image, y'know, the image he's trying to make.

[TUNN] And how about Cypress Hill?

[BEN] No, we haven't met Cypress Hill. We've seen them roamin' around too; they look pretty scary.

[TUNN] Stoned, you mean?

[BEN] No, no, well I guess they're stoned as well, but I mean, but it looks like, y'know, if you say the wrong thing to 'em, they'll just like, y'know, break you into 5 million pieces.

[TUNN] How many people are you going to be playing in front of?

[BEN] I dunno, someone... someone mentioned 35 thousand but I don't think there's going to be 35 thousand people there.

[TUNN] Oh, right. Why not?

[BEN] I reckon more like 20 thousand -- it just doesn't look like it'd hold 35 thousand.

[TUNN] Is that the biggest crowd you've played to?

[BEN] If there's 35 thousand people there, yep, that'll be the biggest we've ever played to.

[TUNN] And you were planning to shoot a video in L.A.? Is this for the first single?

[BEN] Um, yeah, we're in L.A., we're shooting the Freak film clip. And, ah yeah, that shall be the first film clip.

[TUNN] So, um, when do we get it?

[BEN] The single, um, some time in January I think.

[TUNN] Oh, I was hoping we'd get it in December.

[BEN] Oh yeah, it's January 13th, that's it.

[TUNN] Oh right, OK.

[BEN] Yep.

[TUNN] And the album's out in February of course.

[BEN] Yep, February 3rd!

[TUNN] So how are they taking you in South America?

[BEN] Oh, it's been really cool, umm... the crowds, like, the crowds here go absolutely psycho, they're just like... like, mosh pits are like from, y'know, one end to the- of the- to the field to another, it's just huge... it was just, yeah, that's my biggest memory.

[TUNN] Was that Buenos Aires?

[BEN] Yep, Buenos Aires.

[TUNN] Buenos Aires. How do you pronounce it correctly?

[BEN] Oh, geez, I don't know! Y'know, I was just kinda.. y'know...

[TUNN] So you don't go on stage "We love you Buenos Aires!"

[BEN] No, we kinda... oh what did we find out? We found out how to said- say "Please take ya clothes off." And it was [phonenetically] "sa-GAta le ROpa ja." Yeah, it was "Please take your clothes off now." And, um, and Johnsy said it on stage but noone understood 'im. So only me, Daniel and Chris got the joke, so we were all up there laughing and everyone in the crowd's like "What the hell?"

[TUNN] Those crazy, zany, wacky Australians.

[BEN] Yeah, yeah.

[TUNN] So you didn't get your clothes off at this gig?

[BEN] [pause] No...

[TUNN] Oh, OK. Well you did it in Sydney with Everclear didn't you?

[BEN] No, I did the girl. Y'know the girl, when you put your um, you put your long, wobbly bit in between your legs...

[TUNN] Right, yes.

[BEN] So all you can see is, y'know, your map of Tasmania.

[TUNN] Yes.

[BEN] So it looks like you're a girl.

[TUNN] Yeah, yeah.

[BEN] That's what I did.

[TUNN] That was from Silence of the Lambs, wasn't it?

[BEN] I dunnno, ah, just like, the guys from Unwritten Law showed us that. They go like, we were at this gig with them and they go "photo-op" and they go "do the girl" and we were like "what the hell's that?" And this guy proceeded to pull his pants down and put his long, wobbly bit in between his legs. We just laughed.

[TUNN] But you're not doing that in South America?

[BEN] No, I don't think so.

[TUNN] No, OK.

[BEN] Probably, the police, we'd probably get arrested here.

[TUNN] Fair enough. And what are you doing this summer? Of course school's all over for you guys.

[BEN] Yeah, um, pretty well I think when we get back from this tour we've got like a week to go and after that it just... bludge, do what you want.

[TUNN] You're not gonna do much 'till the album's released, 'till February then.

[BEN] Yeah, um, actually in Jan- in um, January, we've got a couple of Australian tours. We've got a couple of shows in Tassie in early January, then we're playing at um, some festival at Albury.

[TUNN] It's good that you're going to Tasmania 'cause they keep saying "We never get to see silverchair."

[BEN] We played there once before.

[TUNN] But it's been a while hasn't it?

[BEN] Yeah, it's been ages. But we are, we're like it was a heaps good gig, it was a memorable gig. So, we thought yeah we gotta go back.

[TUNN] Well it's been good to catch up with you, Ben.

[BEN] Yep.

[TUNN] And say hello to Chris as well.

[BEN] All right.

[TUNN] And to Daniel, for me.

[BEN] All right.

[TUNN] Um, I'll let you get to bed.

[BEN] Yeah, um.

[TUNN] You've got a big show tomorrow.

[BEN] Yeah, I know, I gotta, y'know, I gotta get a bit of closed-eye.

[TUNN] And what's the- can I play you a song? Not that you can hear it in Rio.

[BEN] Um, the new Tool single.

[TUNN] The new who?

[BEN] The new Tool one.

[TUNN] Oh, the new Tool, Stinkfist.

[BEN] Yeah, that's it.

[TUNN] OK, here it is for you Ben.

[BEN] All right.

[TUNN] Catch ya mate. Have a good sleep, and obviously we'll speak to you when the album comes out.

[BEN] Cool.

[TUNN] See ya mate.

[BEN] See ya.