GUEST MUSICIAN BEN WELLS OF TASMANIA'S THE MIDDLE NAMES on recording their debut album

 |   |  3 min read

The Middle Names: Jealousy
GUEST MUSICIAN BEN WELLS OF TASMANIA'S THE MIDDLE NAMES on recording their debut album

In May 2013 we started recording our debut album ‘I Need Space. Now in May 2014 we get to release it to the public... finally.

Let me start by saying this is one of the single hardest things we have done as a band; and ultimately the most rewarding. From writing and demoing 30 songs, to all five of us living in Brisbane in the one room for a month, to seeing it finished in stores and in your hands.

It all started with a trip around Australia that I took with my brother; at least the basis for the album did anyway. After both breaking up with our girlfriends we decided we needed to get out of the Hobart small town mentality and spend a couple months surfing, writing, drinking and making new friends. “I Need Space” is based around that six-month period.

I can relate some songs to a particular moment. Watching the sun set on Phillip Island and thinking “what the fuck have I been worrying about, this is all I really need, I’m here with my brother, drinking beer after surfing pumping waves all day.”

I went back to the van and wrote “My Brother and I” after that.

One of my favourite songs on the album is “Looking For You”. When I first wrote it I thought I was writing about someone else. Once the band got their parts down and we finished it, it struck me, “this song is fully about me”; just trying to figure out where I’d lost my head.

Turns out writing an album can be very therapeutic.

“Lions” tells a story of the breakdown of a relationship. It’s about hating change, even though the stitch you’re in is shit; you still don’t want to change. I found myself there for a long time. In hindsight a break up was the push I needed, the best thing that ever happened to me and spurred me on to adventuring overseas for a while earlier this year.

“Scar” is the one song on the album that isn’t based on an experience that has happened directly to me. “Scar” relates to my brother and his girlfriend, I remember taking a step back one day and seeing him really struggling with everything. It was a catalyst I think to realising we needed to get away and find our own feet.

“Everybody’s Waiting” is another favourite on the album. The bass line Jordy wrote for it is off tap! Jordy has had a big influence on our sound that’s shown on this record, the songs got bigger and more in your face. An intention of honouring our excitement and feel when playing a song; not everything had to be precise. We wanted that to come across on the album and “Everybody’s Waiting” really shows that.

And that adage somewhat leads to why we went for an album.

coverWe wanted to show all of who we are, a full set, a complete compliment to the music we like to create and perform. Give you our live show on record, minus Probin’s sweat (come to a show and you’ll understand...).

The Middle Names is Nick Probin, Ali Probin, Jordan Hooper, Ryan Doyle, and I (Ben Wells). Together we wanted to make something different – pop that stands out, pop music that still hits you in the face and lets you sing along at the same time. So we took a month out of our lives being bar managers, tattoo artists, florists, plumbers and surf store managers to do it and we’re fucking proud of it.

We hope you’re proud of it too.

From all of us at The Middle Names,

Enjoy ‘I Need Space’. Peace. Ben.

Tasmania's Middle Names have dates in Australia scheduled (see their website here) and New Zealand concerts planned. Within their ranks are Nick and Ali Probin whose mother was born and raised in Upper Hut, Wellington, and being the eldest of six children they have pockets of family all across the two islands so have been regular visitors to New Zealand. The band's debut album I Need Space is available from Reuban Records here or iTunes etc.

Other Voices Other Rooms is an opportunity for Elsewhere readers to contribute their ideas, passions, interests and opinions about whatever takes their fancy. Elsewhere welcomes travel stories, think pieces, essays about readers' research or hobbies etc etc. Nail it in 1000 words of fewer and contact graham.reid@elsewhere.co.nz.

See here for previous contributors' work. It is wide-ranging.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Other Voices, Other Rooms articles index

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO remembers the unique quality of Klaus Nomi

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO remembers the unique quality of Klaus Nomi

The transitional period between decades is always highly charged with the excitement of things to come, and nostalgia for an era coming to an end. The Seventies had their final burst of... > Read more

GUEST WRITER KEVIN BYRT recalls touring the strangely troubled Townes Van Zandt

GUEST WRITER KEVIN BYRT recalls touring the strangely troubled Townes Van Zandt

I first met Townes Van Zandt at Auckland airport in 1988. He and guitarist Mickey White were waiting on the pavement, Townes sitting on his suitcase and Mickey standing next to him. Even in that... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Thom Burton of Wilberforces

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Thom Burton of Wilberforces

Thom Burton is the mainman in the Auckland-based band Wilberforces (clearly he grew with Under the Mountain) and their stark, bristly sound is captured on their second album Vipassana (named for... > Read more

THE SALVATION, a film by KRISTIAN LEVRING (Madman DVD/Blu-Ray)

THE SALVATION, a film by KRISTIAN LEVRING (Madman DVD/Blu-Ray)

Only those with limited imagination would see the Western genre as just being something about horses and gunplay. Certainly those elements may well be there – I prefer my Westerns with... > Read more