Internal: Taking five with SAFIA’s Ben Woolner

Canberra’s beloved indie electronic-pop outfit, SAFIA have just released their debut album, Internal today. Internal combines intimate moments and up-tempo feel-good vibes in 12 distinctly SAFIA tunes.

SAFIA front man, Ben Woolner said the album is a celebration of the themes explored in their previous singles, and their external influences.

“It delves into all the other influences coming from film soundtracks, to old-school rock and roll and psychadelica and then more modern electronica and pop and soul,” he said.

“We love all good music, no matter where it comes from and it sneaks in somehow and it makes itself into super things.”

He said the album reflects the contrast between their internal experiences and external influences.

Internal kind of felt like an appropriate name because we’ve always kind of considered ourselves apart from all other bands or electronic artist. We sit in the middle of both of those worlds,” Ben said.

“A lot of the themes are internal thoughts and things we think to ourselves that affect us, and the external basically delves into some of the less glamorous parts of the music industry and life as a whole.

“It’s that kind of juxtaposition between what we want to do and our experiences in the industry so far.”

The album was written, recorded, self-produced and mixed by the band in Canberra. Unlike their previous work, Internal was then also mixed by Eric Dubowsky who has also worked with a range of other well known artists such as Flume, Chet Faker and Flight Facilities.

“We we’re skeptical at first but Eric was great. He offered to work with us on ‘Make them wheels roll’, show us an option and if we didn’t want to use it we didn’t have to. He came back and he did a great job,” Ben said.

“It’s good to have that other person sit back and approach it as a listener would and make sure it’s a holistic thing, rather than heaps of our favourite ideas being the most prevalent.

“We were still very involved in the mixing process with him – I would mix the songs to the level that I would with the last singles, so to the best of my ability, and then pass them on to Eric and it kind of gave it that extra five percent.”.

At the end of this month, SAFIA are heading on a seven-week tour around Australia and New Zealand, supported by Set Mo and Running Touch. Ben said this will be their biggest show to date, showcasing their modern electronica-pop tunes with the energy of a stadium rock show.

“It’s going to be fun to play a full catalogue of music that is out there in the world and it’s going to be interesting to play songs that aren’t necessarily singles that everyone knows.”

SAFIA are hitting up the Odeon Theatre in Hobart for an all-ages show on Friday 14 October.
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Daisy Baker

Daisy is studying a Bachelor or Arts and is majoring in Journalism, Media and Communications, and English. She loves all things arts and culture.

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