Ben Woods Is The Dispeller: 13th Floor Interview

Ben Woods has been hanging out with Ben Edwards in Lyttelton making his latest album Dispeller. Now he’s ready to take his show on the road.

Ben WoodsThe 13th Floor’s Marty Duda spoke to Ben about making Dispeller with Ben Edwards at The Sitting Room and contributions from friends like Alastair Galbraith, Charlotte Forrester and Marlon Williams. 

Tickets For Ben Woods’ Dispeller September Tour
On Sale Now From Banished Music 

Watch, Ben Woods’s impeccable short film; Dispeller. The film features live performances of three tracks from the record Dispeller.

Directed by filmmaker Martin Sagadin (Aldous Harding, Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams), Dispeller, the film features Woods and a shifting cast of artists from Aotearoa performing takes from the record at The Sitting Room, the portside shack where the record was made with Ben Edwards. Woods’ homemade demos and chopped footage navigating his hometown Ōtautahi Christchurch are stirred through these performances.

Woods notes, “Part of making this record for me was experimenting with and understanding space. With recording, it was the studio versus where I felt the songs wanted to transport the listener. And through writing, it looked at the natural projection of where I was geographically and the people I was making music with or whose music I loved. 

Making this short with Martin— who’s directed most of my videos and knows me inside out— was how I wanted to share that less abstractly. Piecing the songs with my friends in the spaces where I made the album. Not to paint a portrait of myself, but of all those external forces that built me.”

On the first performance in the film, Dispeller’s closing track ‘White Leather Again’, Woods and his band offer a poised thought on riding the tides of our neurosis. “I’ve got a prison made of porcelain embedded with gold/ and drenched in all that’s mighty/ and dressed in all our symmetry/ and pressed so hard for a change we’ll walk away, but then we’ll go” he and Lucy Hunter chime together. Woods’ warbling guitar with IRD Rory Dalley’s backbeat drumming anchors the song, making way for the synthesiser and organs that whirl overhead.

Luke Towart of Wurld Series cameos, pushing the outer limits of a tape machine in a simmered and sax-laden version of ‘Hovering at Home‘. Right before a late and weary-eyed take on ‘Fame’, Dispeller’s opener, with Ryan Fisherman crooning through a phone.