Alex Bennison talks Sans Parents’ Dead End EP, looking ahead to a debut album & more

Chatting with Sans Parents vocalist and guitarist Alex Bennison recently, he called through from a roadside as the rest of the band loaded gear into a venue ahead of an EP launch show. Their debut release, the Dead End EP, has already been welcomed warmly by a fan base that has been steadily growing through 2016, an EP that signifies a solid step forward by the band who has come together to become a tight unit over the last few years.

“It’s really nice to have it out as something you can refer people to for a collection of songs [too],” Bennison says. “Also, we can start working on an album now. When you don’t have something out, you just keep writing songs and you’re like, “We should put this on the EP,” but now the EP’s out, it’s not an option now.”

While Sans Parents may be relatively new still, the seeds of music for the group have been sown for a little while now. Between Bennison and fellow songwriter and vocalist Kane Mazlin, there has been a creative partnership burgeoning since they began sharing stages together back when Hungry Kids of Hungary were on the road a few years ago.

“I met Kane years ago,” Bennison says. “Even before I knew him, I saw Hungry Kids and I really liked his songwriting in particular. I loved Hungry Kids as a band but I always liked his music. I, just by chance, toured with him – they did three Hungry Kids tours, but I toured with him in all different capacities. I did as a support with someone and then I toured supporting him with Andy Bull and then he had a side-project called Spring Skier and they supported Andy. In one year, I think we did like 80 shows together or something. It was meant to be. We always said from then that we’d do something at some point. It’s all worked out really well and he’s one of my best mates; we get to hang out all the time and write tunes, it’s great.”

Being in Sydney while the rest of the band (including Ryan Strathie and Charles Sale) are in Brisbane hasn’t shown itself to be too much of a problem and looking ahead to 2017, Sans Parents are set to be busier than ever.

“I feel like it’s fallen into place at the right time,” Bennison says of the EP. “For a bunch of reasons. Even just trying to figure out how to make the band work with the geographical issue, being in separate cities. It’s been good because we’ve got a plan now for how much we can tour now; next year will be a lot busier.”

“It’s pretty weird,” he admits. “Kane and I often say that you meet someone and they’re from a different city and you just make it work. All of a sudden, we’re talking about mastering our EP! You just became mates when you’re making all this music and talking every day. It’s nice. I come up to Brisbane all the time anyway and we’re always sending each other songs in emails too.”

Recently, the band has been launching the Dead End EP down the east coast, with shows in Brisbane and Melbourne going down and introducing people to, what Bennison describes, a louder, rockier show than they may have been expecting. In separating their sound from that of previous bands they’ve all been a part of, he says that Sans Parents have reached a comfortable place where they’ve established their own identity, one they’re happy with and excited to further explore.

“When we play live we usually play 10 or 11 songs,” Bennison explains. “There is a lot of stuff in there. I think that one thing that people who came to see us would leave with, was that the show was probably more rock than they’d expect, after hearing the songs. Not rocky as in Marshall amps, but in that 90’s way. Big, loud guitars in the choruses. That’s probably the thing I think separates it from Hungry Kids.”

“Kane and I sing together in Sans Parents the whole time,” he adds. “Every song is a harmony the whole way through and I think that when people come and see us, they’re a little confused – they’re like, ‘Who’s the singer?’. It’s a band, it’s not one person leading a bunch of people and calling the shots.”

Looking ahead to how a potential debut album is going to come together, Sans Parents have definitely got a good foundation laid with the music featured on the Dead End EP. All tied together with a punchy energy and tempo that wastes no time in introducing the listener to the band and their direction, while indicating at the potential still to be tapped into beyond the restrictions of five tracks.

“We just wanted to have all those songs together,” Bennison says. “There’s a similar spirit to all those songs. There’s nothing too slow on there, they’ve all got a vibe. By the time it comes to doing an album, we’ve got so much other stuff and other little flavours. It’s nice to be in a position to be able to do something a bit more sprawling next time. I think the EP works well because it’s pretty up-tempo; five songs over fifteen minutes. Starting a band from the ground up as well, it’s good to have a bit of a sound so when people hear two or three songs at different times, they can link the band in a way. It might be a guitar sound or a vocal harmony or something.”

“We’re working new songs into the set,” he adds of how the Sans Parents new shows are coming together now new music is in the mix. “It’s pretty cool. We’ve been doing a lot of rehearsals, a lot of singing. Because I’m in Sydney and Kane’s in Brisbane, I come down for a week at a time, which is nice, because you can get a bit more of a concentrated experience.”

Can’t wait to hear what’s coming next.

Sans Parents’ Dead End EP is out now. Catch them playing Rare Finds’ next party in Sydney at the Oxford Art Factory on September 30th.











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