Menu Subscribe Search



Subscribe for the Latest Music News

Enter your email address below to subscribe to a regular(ish) dose of AAA Backstage goodness direct to your inbox.

PREMIERE: Ghosts, Falsettos, & Strange Flirting In Beneb’s Single “What’s Going On?”


Brisbane’s Ben Mackay has been floating around the local music scene few a few years as part of several bands, but it looks like his latest project beneb may finally be his chance to breakthrough to national acclaim. In little over a year beneb has become a name hot of the lips of those in the know in Brisvegas, and their debut single Temporary received praise and rotation by triple j…not bad for their first ever release!

Mackay and his merry crew are back again with their second single What’s Going On? and it shows beneb definitely aren’t a one trick pony! Opening with palm-muted guitar work similar to the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s The Getaway, the track bursts into your ears with a wailing reverb guitar hook before Mackay’s signature slightly off-kilter vocals start delivering some seriously intriguing lyrics.

The lyrics seem to be an enjoyable mixture of Mackay seemingly coaxing a lover and whatever seems to float across his mind, “Drowning but you can’t fight it/Breathing’s adorable/I will let you stay here with me/So stay” and “Maybe we can walk on water, it’ll be fine/Trust me girl, I’ve done it five times”. The song is also anchored around the Mackay’s catchy chorus yell “now sing with me, WHAT’S GOING ON?”, which will be an absolutely hoot to sing along with live.

Much like in their debut single Temporary, the combination of super crunchy guitar countered with quirky lead breaks and sudden volume cuts mean you never quite know what’s coming up…yet the song makes complete sense. That there is the genius of beneb, so don’t fight it when your limbs start grooving while your head’s still wrapping itself round the lyrics and jagged vocal melodies.

Produced by fellow Brisbane act Zefereli, the latest single delves further into Mackay’s transition from his previous life as a religious devotee to his new outlook on life.

What’s Going On? is about coming out of the church and into the new world and seeing everything that was ‘spoken over/prophetically’ and going, ‘well sh*t, what the f*ck is going on really?”. Sh*t is unreal and unbelievable. The new [world] is a theme park and one of infinite possibilities. The previous one was controlled and brainwashed.

“That “No need to get excited” lyric is kind of like saying, “F*ck hope, we’re all gonna die really, it’s gonna be tough”. But then you find people you like and you’re like, “F*ck it, you’re cool. Let’s chill for life”. Your perspective on life changes (for the better)…essentially it’s like being born again, but into a human being,” says beneb.

While Mackay is the sole instrumentalist in the two released beneb singles so far, the live band features Alistar Richardson (The Cairos, Zefereli), Bill Bingley (Hey Geronimo), Dean Gordon (Sheppard), and Guy Richards. We’ve seen them live, and yes beneb is pretty darn fantastic!

Beneb will be launching What’s Going On? at Brisbane’s Black Bear Lodge next week and tearing up the main stage at Jungle Love Music & Arts Festival in late November. Check out the new single and live date info below!

Beneb Live Dates

Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane (Single Launch)
Jungle Love Festival, QLD

More Info HERE