Florida-born multi-instrumentalist Radical Face (a.k.a. Ben Cooper) has his sights set on Australia and New Zealand for the first time ever this coming May and June!
For more than a decade, in a shed behind his mother's house, Ben Cooper embarked on an unprecedented musical journey. He created the intricate concept album trilogy, -The Family Tree', which revolves around a fictitious otherworldly 19th century family. The trilogy came to a close with the 2016 critically acclaimed, -The Family Tree: The Leaves'. The final instalment is the most personal of all the -Family Tree' albums, as Cooper's personal stories meld into fictitious ones.
In 2017, Radical Face began releasing music sporadically. His latest EP, -SunnMoonnEclippse', is a three-track masterpiece with visuals for fans to watch. This short unpredictable burst of music sees Cooper step into new territory and invites fans into his quiet, soulful and unforgettable world.
With over 80,000 million Spotify streams and three consecutive albums in Billboard's Top 30 chart, features on major television series and films, the wait is finally over for Australian and New Zealand fans to experience the troubadour that is Radical Face live.
Friday 26th May 2017 - Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Saturday 27th May 2017 - Factory Theatre, Sydney (18+)
Sunday 28th May 2017 - The Zoo, Brisbane (18+)
Wednesday 31st May 2017 - Jive Bar, Adelaide SA (18+)
Thursday 1st June 2017 - Badlands, Perth (18+)
Saturday 3rd June 2017 - Tuning Fork, Auckland (18+)
Presented by Select Touring and Blue Murder: http://selecttouring.com.au
Question: What can we expect from the upcoming show?
Ben Cooper: The live band I play with is built of my friends and my boyfriend, so despite the kind of music I write, the shows tend to be pretty lighthearted. We joke with each other a lot. And I think I'm happiest if I can make the venue feel as casual as a living room by the end. Those are my favorite shows.
Question: What are you looking forward to most about visiting Australia and New Zealand?
Ben Cooper: Coffee and nature. I'm really into coffee, and have a fairly involved set up here at home. Everyone I know who's visited and likes coffee a lot has said I'm in for a treat. It's also gonna be such a different location compared to what I'm used to, which is super fun. I always remember the nature more than the cities when I travel.
Question: How would you describe SunnMoonnEclippse?
Ben Cooper: I'd say it was an audio-visual collaboration about some things I needed to get off my chest, and some things I needed to let go. I made the music while my friend Gordon McBryde built the visuals, and I'd never done that before. It's always been music first, visuals second in the past. So it was cool to have something to bounce off of. The result was something neither of us expected.
Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?
Ben Cooper: I listed to a lot of movie scores and classical music, and a lot of electronic artists like Jon Hopkins and Boards of Canada. I often go weeks without listening to anything with words.
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Ben Cooper: Oh, for sure. I will always make music – it's kind of a compulsion – but there are times that putting out records and touring has pushed me to the point of contemplating, in a very big way, what the hell I'm doing with my life. Hahaha.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Ben Cooper: Recording, by a long shot. I'm happiest writing and creating. I don't mind touring, and sometimes it's particularly fun, but it doesn't drive me. Shows are a side-effect of writing, not the other way around. I can be a pretty big homebody if left to my own devices.
Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Ben Cooper: Circumstances, really. Music was always a safe haven for me. I got kicked out of my house when I was just shy of 15, and music really helped keep me together during that time. I've done it constantly ever since. I figured since I was already spending all my time making it, I might as well try to make a living out of it.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Ben Cooper: I'd say balancing business and art. I mostly work alone, musically, and I make all the videos and visuals with friends of mine. I work with a manager, but the two of us have done lots without the help of labels and such. Sometimes the logistics of keeping all of this together can leave barely any energy for actually making new material. It's a constant juggling act. I've gotten better at it though. It doesn't feel as enormous as it used to.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Ben Cooper: Wake up. Make coffee and have breakfast with my boyfriend, Josh. If I have a lot of emails and phone calls to do, go sit in a coffee shop all day until I catch up. Come home late afternoon and start recording/writing/practicing, depending on what I have on the horizon. Somewhere in between, go to the gym or go for a walk. Around ten, wind down with a TV show or a video game (lots of Tetris and Zelda lately), or read.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Ben Cooper: I think I most enjoy how unpredictable it's all been. Sometimes the lack of structure sucks, but I've really enjoyed how many times working in music has put me in places I never imagined I'd be. It can certainly be stressful, but it's never boring.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Ben Cooper: Right now, I'd say Jonsi from Sigur Ros. I really love his voice. Just saw them a couple weeks ago and was reminded just how much.
Interview by Brooke Hunter