This Ep, 'Standby, Steady' is Ben McNeil's debut solo effort, was recorded during Jan-Feb 2012 at Mononest Creative suite on the south Coast of NSW Australia. It was produced by Syd Green, with the help of Ben McNeil and Daniel Farrugia, Ben's long time friend and collaborator.
Ben had been writing, and recording in his bedroom for a couple of years before deciding to run a crowd funding campain on the 'Rockethub' website.
This campain garnered a response that Ben hadn't expected, fulfilling his original quota within a couple of weeks, and gaining the attention of the website's founders resulting in an online interview and being a feature artist on the site's mainpage. An excerpt from the interview is found below...
"Ben McNeil is a singer/songwriter from Nowra, Australia - influenced by Jeff Buckley, The Foo Fighters, Bon Iver and Radiohead among others. His heart-felt Acoustic pop/rock sound strikes a chord with a wide spectrum of fans. And his fans have come out in full-force to quickly overfund his project to the tune of 132%! I had the pleasure of conducting a trans-continental interview with Ben.
The inspiration [for my project] was mostly out of frustration of not having a great sounding backlog of songs; or the resources to record them at home and have them sound professional enough to sell them without feeling guilty that you are giving people something that isn't what you know you can sound like. Besides that, a few years ago, I released a record on CD Baby, and have been receiving emails, and listening to the CD Baby DIY podcast, and came along a podcast named 'The Crowdfunding Manifesto' with one of RocketHub's founders, Brian Meece. After hearing the possibilities of what you can achieve with a little bit of work, I figured that I could actually do something like this.
It kinda had a vibe of something out of the sixties, where you have a band that played at the county fair or school dance or what have you... Since rock 'n' roll was so new, people got on-board with their favorite bands, because it was exciting, like you were going on a journey WITH them, like you had some ownership. That's the beauty of RocketHub and the crowdfunding idea, people really DO get involved. So ultimately, I guess that the need for a quality product and the excitement of something different and new, that people could be a part of, were really the main inspirations for me getting myself into this venture.
Very nice - we love working with CD Baby and CD Baby artists.
The experience has been incredible, and all together positive. It's surprising and humbling that you have folks give you what feels like a piece of themselves, it makes you more determined to create something that is worthwhile and, for want of a better word, good. It has also made me realize that I could actually make music for a living. I have a full-time job, and music has always been a passion of mine. I've never kept that a secret, which helps when you start a project like this, so it's no surprise to those you email asking for contributions; they know that you're realizing a dream you've always had. I have had a few phone calls from friends, saying how cool it is that I am getting out there and making it happen. There is one friend in particular, who is a budding film maker, loves the idea, and had never heard of anything like it in Australia. I believe he's now in the planning stages of getting a RocketHub crowdfund together for his next film. It's cool knowing that people are getting on-board to help out, and the fact that my project is fully funded and still growing is super exciting. It's really cool too that friends are thinking about running their own project, it's pretty awesome actually."
The songs on the EP are a mix of older numbers Ben had been working on, and a new track, the opening number, "Candy Store' that Ben had finished writing 2 weeks before heading into the studio.
Ben entered 3 songs from the EP to the australian music competion, Musicoz, and through the votes from his fans has been in the top 10 people's choice since the day after entering.
Ben hopes that the Ep will help open doors so he can pursue his music career full-time.