Pic: Bob Gordon
Farraday's Cage on reaching the Gozzy Rock Grand Final:
Calvin Bennett: “So far it has been terrific. I have been astonished by the music I had heard at the heat so much, that I would've been happy just watching. I was honestly shocked that we had gotten through, given all the exceptional music I had heard online and live. I'm very much looking forward to the final, not just to play, but to be inspired by the talent being showcased.
Farraday Tween: I wasn't sure what to expect - didn’t expect it to be easy! There were so many bands I've been watching all day on Facebook - I was amazed! I felt a bit nervous, but I love being on stage with Calvin and rocking the audience!
Farraday's Cage have been together for two years, after a chance meeting between the duo’s fathers uncovered a musical commonality.
“Calvin and I met through our Dads,” says vocalist, Farraday Tween. “My Dad was working at his Dad's house and he heard Calvin playing guitar. We decided to meet up and see what happened. Together we were great! Everything worked and we both enjoyed doing what we were doing. It was amazing.”
“Before we met, we both had a long history in music,” adds guitarist, Calvin Bennett. “She had been singing and I'd been playing the guitar since the age of 3. Farraday's Cage was our first experience of being in a band, and we had a real energy together. Learning guitar for so long without other musicians, it was hard to develop as a mature musician without doing it in context. So I feel like we've both developed a lot as a duo.”
Early on the 13-year-old friends knew what kind of music they wanted to make – essentially the kind of music they’d want to listen to.
“I wanted to make music for people of our age,” says Tween, “music people would love and relate to. Being in a band that's successful in the charts was my dream, so this is something I hope for us in the future. Ultimately, I hope we can be a band of lifelong friendship and being passionate about our music.”
“What gives a musician the incentive to play music at the beginning or at the end of their career is their passion for it,” Bennett offers. “I personally don't discriminate against any particular genre of music or specific band, I just love music which has quality, whether that be melodically, rhythmically or poetically. I didn't set out in being in a band to play a specific kind of music or appeal to what the population would listen to, I just wanted to make music which I enjoyed playing, that I would listen to regardless of having created it or not.”
From the initial pairing to bonding over personal chemistry and songwriting, Farraday’s Cage soon ventured into live performances and have thrived upon and learnt from that space ever since.
“When playing live, interacting with the audience and having a visual understanding of how the public feels about a song lets you know why and how you are making music,” Bennett says. “Performing isn't as enjoyable for me as being in the midst of being inspired in writing a song, but it is a completely different experience to just playing, and I like that.”
“I've really enjoyed the experience, meeting all the different bands and being creative on stage,” Tween adds. “Also, all the feedback from the audience sometimes helps me feel like I'm on the right track.”
The band has already had success in the Scholarpalooza and Defeat The Beat band comps and taking the #15 spot in triple j’s Unearthed High chart. They also won the Schools category in the WAM Song Of The Year 2016 with Meaning of Life.
In terms of the writing process, the pair do what’s best for the song. Whether that be running with the moment, or letting an idea bake for a while.
“We definitely let some of them bake a while!" says Tween. "Some of our songs change over time - they sound completely different to how they sounded when we first performed them.”
“Sometimes a song seemingly miraculously comes to me and 10 minutes later it's on paper, which was the case with a song like Fractured Heart,” says Bennett. “However, some songs either come to me bit by bit, or I'll write something down entirely and not be satisfied with it and revisit it until I have something I'm happy with. Meaning of Life was written over the course of around six months, and I'm working on a song now which I have written three drafts of and is still developing. That is what I love about songwriting, the possibility that at any moment you could sit down and have the best song you've written and share it with the world for them to grow an intimacy with, just as you have.”
Farraday’s Cage recently released the award-winning Meaning Of Life as a debut single. The feedback has been both interesting and educational.
“I have been pleased with its reception,” says Bennett, “however I have been surprised by the reasons people enjoy it. I like the song as one of my creations because of how it is open-ended yet specific lyrically, and simple yet complex technically. However, others enjoy the song for reasons such as its momentum and its catchy lyrics. I like that something that is my intellectual property can be appreciated by lots of people for lots of reasons, which is why I continue to write.”
Farraday: “I'm so happy with the finished product of our single. It's such a great song with great meaning - I love singing it. We have been getting some amazing feedback and great reviews, which I love because I'm always looking for things I can do to make our songs better.”
The 30th Anniversary Gozzy Rock Grand Final happens from 2pm on Sunday, August 27, at the Don Russell Performing Arts Centre with Farraday's Cage, Mitchell Martin, J.F.K, Choking Stanley, Hibiscus and Sweet Surrender, with guest sets from previous winners, Young Robyn (2016) and RAKSHA (2014).