I was lucky enough to have a chat with Ben Gumbleton, one-half of Boo Seeka while he was taking a break in the studio from their national Australian tour, which ended with Big Pineapple Festival at the end of May, and their regional tour (which kicked off the very next day). We spoke about their never-ending tour cycle (did we mention their 13-date North American tour/appearance at SXSW?) cheeky on-stage habits and of course the new album, which I can confirm is not as far off as you may think!
Gumbleton has quite literally only just received the first mixes of the record when I buzzed, and is slowly going through it track by track, having his first listen in-between interviews. The whole process is something himself and Sam Croft – Boo Seeka’s other half – have been loving and feeling inspired by.
You’d think these boys must have some sort of work addiction if you saw their schedules lately – downtime between their US tour and Australian tours was a whole 14 hours… on an aeroplane… eating in-flight meals and of course, drinking red wine. “It’s been so inspiring and overwhelming,” Gumbleton tells me. “There’s so many words I could use for it. [We’re] just so honoured that people kept showing up.”
Gumbleton threw me back to when Kingdom Leader – their first single, which was released in 2015 – and how only a week later they were asked to join Kim Churchill’s tour… with their one single. From creating this track to having five days to produce another 30 minutes worth of tunes, they got it done!
Also, may I shed light on the fact that Kingdom Leader was produced only four days after Croft and Gumbleton met for the very first time? They had a chat for 20 minutes about music and red wine. The next thing you know, within a month, Boo Seeka was born, and on their way to truly doing what they both love.
From the 30-minute support act with Kim Churchill to a 45-minute performance with Sticky Fingers, they have been writing anywhere and everywhere to produce enough music to perform their own headline shows.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to these new kinds of places we haven’t played before. There are so many amazing and so many beautiful places in Australia,” Gumbleton tells me before mentioning how he just doesn’t understand why more bands and artists don’t tour to regional towns. Both Croft and Gumbleton are super keen to continue coming back to some of these places they’ve already played, as well as going further into rural Australia to places that don’t get to hear live music all too often. “Whether it’s ten people or 1000 people, we’ll get out there and do it.”
Gumbleton and Croft are not only extremely talented, but very cheeky alongside one another up on stage. Apparently, one will pull together some chord progressions in the afternoon whilst the other says, “Ah, fuck it” and quite literally thinks of his lyrics on stage. “When you’re there in the moment it just shows you how kind of moving it all is, you know? You shut your eyes and you put yourself into what you’re feeling and it just comes out,” Gumbleton explains. Keep an eye out for Mission Man, the track that only came together to fill in some leftover time in a live set.
When I asked them to describe themselves, a chorus of strange voices joined in, hurling suggestions through the phone. Croft started it off with “lush”, followed by “handsome”, and I twiddled my thumbs while the studio (evidently full of people) argued over whether or not “dashing” was better suited than “handsome”. Then came the debate over “dirty”, or “energetic”, and finally, everyone settled on “saucy”.
The duo had an amazing response to their single Does This Last, released in February. “It was kind of an amazing process because we wrote it and we decided to go live to Instagram and kind of let people hear and see how we built the song,” Gumbleton says of the single’s creative process. Not long after came their DIY-style video clip, and he explains that they really wanted to show their fans what their lives are really like on the road.“This is us and this is what we do behind the scenes… on a G-rated level, and I think people have really actively connected with it.”
Of course, now for what you’ve all been waiting so patiently for – their debut album. It is coming, and whilst we may not have a date, we know it’s being produced by long-time collaborater Ian Pritchett. The overthinking of fans and critics’ opinions was something Gumbleton tells me he struggles with: “I can’t control what people think” he says, but he also confirms that the album is a complete package of the duo’s thoughts. “We’ve just got to accept that some people are going to like it and some people may not like it so much… It’s just down to being happy within ourselves with it and putting it out there and yeah, it is the first record and we’re going to be back with more! But yeah it’s been an amazing process this whole thing.” And with that being said, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Boo Seeka, touring, albums, love and happiness, you name it – they’ll provide it, and I for one, can’t wait!
16 June, Comercial Hotel, Milton
22 June, Baha, Rye
23 June, Uno Bandroom, Geelong
24 June, Karova Lounge, Ballarat
25 June, Sooki Lounge, Belgrave