What is your names? 
Reverend Genes’ actual name is Ben. Reverend Genes is the name behind the music. The word reverend is used as an adjective meaning respect. So together Reverend Genes means to respect all genes, including all plants and animals. 

What is your genre of music? 
It’s hard to pick just one genre. If two are ok, then post-punk and new-wave are probably the closest ones. Post-punk and new-wave bands are definitely the biggest influence on the music of Reverend Genes. Still, influences are drawn from lots of genres including country, reggae, blues, and rock. Even disco pops up from time to time in the bass lines.

Give us a little bio about you. 
Reverend Genes is from Newcastle, Australia. Newcastle is a regional coastal town about 200km north of Sydney. The town used to be an industrial centre and home to the Newcastle Steel Works. After the steel works closed Newcastle became a cleaner city. However, it is still the largest operating coal port in the world.  Like much of the east coast of Australia, Newcastle has beaches of sand that are never ending. Growing up in Newcastle was fun. Even today the city is not too big and not too small. It was pretty common for kids to start bands and practice in back sheds or surf clubs around the city.  That was pretty much the path for Reverend Genes. Hang out, start a band, learn how to play and then get a pub or club to let you play. Along the way you learnt more about music by playing songs by your favourite bands, and in turn got better at writing your own songs.

What made you go into music? 
Making music started at high school. One of the school’s English teachers played guitar and I put up my hand when he asked if anyone else played. The teacher was organising a student rock band and I found myself in that band on rhythm guitar. Our teacher suggested playing Bowie’s Suffragette City and U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday. After school I played guitar in bands and around Newcastle pubs and clubs while studying computers at uni.

Who are your influences? 
Some influences include the Australian bands Midnight Oil, The Church and You Am I. The main international influences are The Cure, Pavement, REM, Fugazi, Grandaddy, and The Pixies. Influences may or may not come down to sound. An influence could be an approach to songwriting, use of rhythm, or maybe harmony or dynamic. It could also be that a band’s influence relates to the way they go about their craft as is the case for Midnight Oil and Fugazi. Still both these bands sound fantastic and not like anything else. Influences are important, but hopefully these do not get in the way of developing a unique Reverend Genes sound.

Are you a signed? 
Currently, no. It would be great though if Revered Genes could find a home within the industry to help with music production, distribution, publishing and PR. Feel free to get in touch if you’re in the biz!

You released your new latest single Plastic People, tell us more about the single and the meaning behind the song. 
Plastic People is a call for change. The song has a simple two part verse and chorus structure. The verses are built around a simple rhythmic guitar riff in A minor. The minor key helps to add some gravity to the verses. The chorus borrows chords from related major keys. The brighter major sound of the chorus lifts the song away from the verse sound.  Plastic People is probably Reverend Genes ’best example to date of a song that has a clear message. That message is that we all impact the planet and ourselves through plastic pollution.  Plastic is unsustainable. Most new plastic is made from finite fossil fuel sources, and its manufacturing contributes to habitat destruction and global warming. It is about the plastic that we make, our plastic pollution, and in turn, the plastic that pollutes our bodies.  Perhaps worse than visible plastic pollution is the fact that plastic breaks down to form tiny particles known as microplastics. This stuff is everywhere, and there are also microplastics that are made, and deliberately added many cosmetic products including lipsticks and toothpastes.  It would be great to go back to a time when there was no plastic in the water we drink, no plastic in the food that we eat, and no plastic in our blood.

Describe the track in two words? 
Plastic people. I think the title of the track is probably the best two word summary. If the question had asked for four words the answer would have been: We are plastic people

What was the writing and recording process like? 
All the songs, including Plastic People tend to start as an idea that comes from playing nylon or steel string acoustic guitar. This is usually a riff or a harmonic progression. Either way the best ideas tend to hang around and are either expanded in the case of a riff, or decomposed back into potential melodic ideas in the case of a harmonic progression.  There’s a super handy little 4 track audio app that’s on my tablet that can export audio tracks to email. It’s great for capturing ideas on the fly.  When there is time to record I drag and drop audio from the 4 track app into recording software. Drums and percussion tend to be a mix of live triggers and programming and vocals are tracked last. Bass, guitar and keyboard parts are recorded in the normal way using microphones and preamps.  I’ve always liked melodic bass lines like the line from Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart and Mike Mills’ lines in REM. Also music that generates texture and harmony from overlapping melodic lines. The aim is to leverage similar ideas to build out the Reverend Genes style.

Who did you work with on the single? 
Plastic People is essentially a solo effort. While most of the music is written and arranged by Reverend Genes, friends do help out. Like most musicians Reverend Genes is lucky to have mates around to bounce ideas off. Everything from sounds and lyric ideas through to recording and production help.

We are also expected to see a couple more singles before your EP ‘Time’. What can you tell us about the inspiration behind these. 
The Time EP is the second five track EP from a collection of three EPs. Collectively the EPs are referred to as Space Time Change. The Space EP was released first in 2023.  The tracks across the three EPs have an underlying theme that relates to sustainability. Sustainability can mean looking after our planet and our natural environments, or it can also mean looking after ourselves and each other.  The second single from the Time EP is a track called It’s Not Enough (21 June 2024). That track is about consumption and greed. It’s Not Enough asks if unbridled capitalism is the best that we can hope for our world. Irrespective of politics most countries have embraced capitalism’s endless desire to convert finite resources into products for sale.  But how much capitalism is enough? What happens when we run out of natural resources What happens when there is nothing left to buy? What do we do then?

Will we see an EP or album if so, what can we expect from it and the meaning behind it. 
The Time EP will be released on 21 November 2023. Leading up to that are the three singles Plastic People, It’s Not Enough, and Everyday People (21 September 2024).  After the Time EP, there is a reasonable chance that a further single or two will be released as part of promoting all three EPs as a larger work called Space Time Change. Essentially the three EPs could come together and be released as a debut album.  As for the meaning behind Space Time Change. That is essentially whether, as a species, we are capable of living in a sustainable way.  I certainly hope we can change in ways that lead to a sustainable world. A world that includes healthy natural environments and wildlife, and also minimises destruction and pollution would be a happier place. There is nowhere else we can go.  We are all capable of self-initiated change, and we all change every day as we learn and age. We also change our environment. But it is hard to understand why we choose to accept the damage and extinction that we cause as we change our environment.

Do you have any live shows coming up? Let us know where we can get tickets if so. Unfortunately, not so much at the moment. Unlike the UK, Europe and the USA, here in Australia it is a long way between potential gigs, and audiences are also limited. Also many pubs and clubs have shifted away from live music. Most now rely on a mix of bar, poker machine and food sales to make money.  Essentially, distance and reduced live opportunities is why Reverend Genes chooses to focus on song writing and recording.  But, you never know. It would be fantastic to get any opportunity to tour if that were to work out. Music Of The Future will be the first in line for free tickets!

What else can we expect in 2024? 
Aside from releasing tracks in the lead up to the Time EP, 2024 will mostly be spent arranging and recording the follow up to Space Time Change.  Initial tracking and testing song ideas is well underway. The tracks are sounding pretty good. No bias of course! There will likely be more guitar work this time around. A mate has leant his Gibson SG to the cause

Where do you see yourself now in 5 years? 
In five years time it would be great to have finished three albums out and to be working on whatever is next. The first album is all but done now. The tracks for the next two are currently underway, and maybe a cover or two may sneak onto these follow up recordings.  After that it would be interesting to get more involved in producing music for other artists. Or maybe, by then there will just be more Reverend Genes ideas and music to record. I guess we’ll see in a few years time!

What quote or saying do you always stick by? 
There is no specific quote or saying, however if there were one then it would be something like the title and lyric from Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody’s song called “From little things big things grow”.  Being as consistent as possible has always been at the centre of the Reverend Genes project. For example, playing guitar for an hour every day works out in the long run to be better than playing only on Sundays. The same goes for writing songs, or whatever it is we choose to do in life.

When you are at a gig what are 5 things you cannot forget? 
Extra strings, picks, favourite microphone, ear plugs, and my guitar!

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you? 
Sure, Reverend Genes can be found on all major social platforms via the handle @reverendgenes. The best places for music and videos is or Spotify, Bandcamp and Apple Music. To keep track of everything else look for @reverendgenes on your favourite social channel. Thanks Music Of The Future!
All links can be found here!

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