Benj Axwel was in a heavy rock band for all of his twenties, and some of his teens. If you didn’t have your ear to the ground, you probably never heard of them. But if you had, you’d remember their pulsating rhythms and big melodies; their underground following, who never stopped filling venues when the band played live, and supporting Australia’s finest well known bands like Karnivool, Cog, The Butterfly Effect and Dead Letter Circus to name a few.
It was during those shows that Benj first experienced what it was like to write music that people love, but eventually life caught up. The wear and tear of casual employment started to overshadow the glory of living ‘the dream’. So in 2008, Benj disbanded the band, Sleight Of Hand, moved overseas and started writing songs he didn’t expect anyone else to hear.
The time away from the band refocused his song writing. Rather than relying on drop tunings and percussive thuds to make an impact, Benj took to an acoustic guitar and began to tell his stories using a new musical vocabulary.
This year Benj had a turning point, he and his (now) wife had their first little baby boy, Toby. It was seeing Toby for the first time did Benj realise he has been kidding himself and if he is to be any kind of father he needs to not cheat himself by giving up on what he is good at, writing a song that people like.
‘Safety First’ is the debut E.P from Benj Axwel, former front-man for Sleight of Hand. This release is unlike anything Axwel has released until now. Along with Benj’s big voice and penchant for a catchy chorus is Chris Hoole (Let THe Number Be X) providing the synthesisers and beats.