The Bean Project took out first place at the FReeZA Push Start Eastern Metro Regional Final on November 21, 2014 in Maroondah. They will join eight other regional final winners to play at the FReeZA Push Start Grand Final to be held at the City Of Melbourne’s Moomba Festival on Saturday March 7, 2015.
Hi The Bean Project, what’s the name of your band, who’s in it and where are you guys from?
Hey, we’re a duo called The Bean Project consisting of Ben Langdon on guitar and vocals, and Bryce Turcato on the French horn, and we hail from the hills of Belgrave.
Briefly tell us the story behind your band and how long you’ve been making music and writing songs?
The Bean Project itself has only really existed since the beginning of 2014, but we’ve been playing music together in various projects since about 2011. We were introduced by a mutual friend when writing music for an early band. One of the songs had a really cheesy computer produced horn sound and we needed a way to reproduce it live, and so entered Bryce. It wasn’t until the start of 2014 that we really focused on this new project, but we’re having an awesome time doing it so far. Definitely looking forward to the coming year.
What are your band’s musical influences? Have they evolved from when you guys first started out?
The two of us have very different influences and I think that’s something that definitely adds a bit of variability to our music. Songwriting influences would probably be anything rock between the late 90’s an now, as well as guys like Mike Doughty and Bob Schnieder, and playing style would probably more be influenced by old school jazz guys for Bryce on the horn. We like a pretty wide variety of music so it’s hard to pin down what actually affects the stuff we work on, but a marriage of all of the above and then some.
Which Regional Final did you win, and how was the FReeZA Push Start competition experience for you guys?
We won the regional final for Mooroolbark, and then the Eastern Metro final at Croydon. It’s such a great change of pace being part of a competition where everyone is relaxed, supportive and cool to hang out with. We’ve met some really cool people chatting with the other bands, the judges, the audiences and the various Youth Services staff during the competition thus far. Folks like Sean Daly of Yarra Ranges Youth Services that are so incredibly supportive and just generally great people to be around.
You’ll now be battling it out with eight other bands at the Grand Final at Melbourne’s Moomba Festival 2015 for a pretty sweet prize pack. Which prize excites you most and why?
That’s such a hard question, there are so many rad prizes! Probably the most valuable to us currently would be the 500 pressings of an EP or album. That isn’t cheap to do and we’re both students… Would be incredible for us to be able to get that many copies of our music out in to the world.
What were your favourite songs or albums for 2014? What music are you most looking forward to next year?
This year has been a bit of a country year of music for us, with Nickle Creek’s new album A Dotted Line and Hurray for the Riff Raff’s new album Small Town Heroes, both awesome examples of soft and solemn acoustic music. Also can’t go past a bit of Sonic Highways. As for 2015, we’ve got new releases from Hiatus Kaiyote and Tangled Hair to look forward to!
Where have you performed? What are your favourite shows to play at?
This year has been so fun. We’ve had the chance to play at classic Melbourne venues such as The Espy, Revolver and The John Curtin Hotel, as well as street festivals in North Melbourne and Mornington, with awesome acoustic acts at The Vineyard and even a couple of gigs in Hobart. But we definitely can’t go past a great Friday night gig at Sooki Lounge in Belgrave. We have been playing there sporadically since March, having the opportunity to play with great Melbourne bands such as The Woohoo Revue, The Twoks, 8Foot Felix and Cat Or Pillar. Great people out there, and an awesome venue to play thanks to Jeff Springfield.
If you had unlimited amounts of money, what would be your dream gig or tour? Where would it be, who would be playing, etc?
So many options! We would probably take a van or two across Europe or the US with some of our musician friends from Melbourne. Hanging out with friends while playing tunes to cool people abroad! We’re men of simple pleasures, maybe with a few lobster dinners along the way.
What’s the plan for your band in 2015, what will you be doing or working on?
We are currently working on a set of recordings that will make up our first EP that we plan to release online early in 2015. We’ll continue gigging like madmen and hopefully build a bit of a following so we can hit the ground running when we both graduate from uni at the end of the year. Fingers crossed it all pans out!
Where can fans find out more about you and upcoming shows?
We have a facebook page at facebook.com/thebeanproject upon which you’ll find links to videos, and our EP will be there once finished too! Send us a message if you like what you hear, and come hang out if we’re in the area too. Bryce is the nicest guy on the planet!
For more information about the FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands competition, click here.