Squeezed in the back of a van with the rest of his band, Benji of Astroid Boys had a good chat with me over the phone about music and their lives as musicians.
What did you think of Norwich?
Norwich was sick. A lot better than what I expected, I never been to Norwich before, I thought it was a pretty small town but a lot of people came to the gig and it was good vibes so yeah it was sick. I didn’t get a chance to have a good look around but we stuck around a bit for the club night after the show and it was a good time yeah.
What are your main musical influences?
I listen to a lot of stuff. To be honest as far as musical influence goes, I find that I’m influenced by culture as well as music. For me it’s not just the sound it’s about the whole package; the style and the meaning behind why people create the sounds that they create. In terms of what songs I’m listening to right now, I’m listening to a lot of reggae, raga sort of sounds, UK rap, I’m always listening to grime, you know, I listen to everything, music’s really versatile in this day and age. The access we have to music now is massive, you can’t really say “what genre do you listen to”, everyone listens to everything now. I always describe it as the ‘iPod generation’ where our music listening is defined by playlists that have all sorts of music on them. This will obviously affect the next generation of music as well, in that music in the future will go beyond genre.
Do you see yourselves as more in line with the punk scene or the grime scene, or a new scene entirely?
I don’t see ourselves as either to be honest; nowadays you see punk artists and rappers as best mates, wearing the same clothes, interested in the same stuff. Culture is so intermixed nowadays that confining your style to one thing is a difficult thing to do
Do you see Cardiff as a thriving music scene?
Cardiff’s a decent scene yeah, you’ve got a lot of independent clubs and artists doing a lot of interesting stuff, yeah id definitely say its thriving, people from all over come down to Cardiff to check it out
Where’s your favourite place to perform in outside of Cardiff?
It’s hard to name a specific place that is my favourite to perform in; it’s more about the whole experience of going to different places, a different city each night with a different crowd each night, seeing the world and experiencing new things. The experience of touring is rewarding in itself
What do you think of hatemoshing?
I don’t really like hatemoshing all that much, but I do respect that its part of the punk scene, you know, as long as people are doing it safely and are being responsible about it then it’s alright. Obviously I don’t want anyone to get hurt, I want everyone to have a good time, and people who are into hatemoshing should understand that it’s not for everyone and everyone comes to gigs for different reasons
What’s the worst thing that you have seen at a set?
Worst thing that’s happened at a gig is that a girl grabbed my balls. That really pissed me off. It’s alright though, we’re friends now, we even dated for six months
What’s next in terms of your sound and direction? Do you see yourselves branching out to different genres?
Yeah we’re gonna do a jazz album next (laughs), nah but in each one of our songs, I’d say, there’s about 7 different genres and styles being incorporated. As I was saying earlier about the mixtures of culture and music, we don’t really follow a specific genre and I’d say that what we do is original. Our main aim is to just keep doing what we’re doing, keep staying productive and having a good time with our music, you know, just keep having fun.
Lastly, how do you know Dainton from Dirty Sanchez?
We live on the same farm (at this point he broke out into laughter and repeated the question to the rest of the band) yeah man Wales is a small place everyone knows each other, and everyone’s into the same sort of stuff, like skating and music, yeah we all get along.