Erin Bennett is the front women of the music group EBB an “Art Rock”group of five women and one guy who spend their time writing their own music and telling their own stories. We appreciate her taking some time to share her words with us.
Q How did EBB get started? What was the common thread that brought the band members together?
Well, its a bit of a long story, to be honest. I suppose the shortened version would be:
In 2005 Dog, Kitty, Suna and Nikki were touring the US in their band MT-TV. I met them all in Alabama where I was living at the time, (I am originally from Texas.)
We became instant friends and I joined their crew as a tech and soundy. In 2008, MT-TV returned to the UK and their bassist, Amanda, drummer, Jo and I formed an alternative/rock trio called Syren. I had been in a relationship with Jo pretty much since meeting the group.
Syren toured the UK and Europe from 2008 until 2010 and then went into the studio to record our 2nd album. In the meantime, Dog, Kitty, Suna, Nikki, and the rest of MT-TV were living communally in Scotland working on various other projects, like filming, having given up music….or so they thought.
In 2012, Jo, to whom I’d been married, died unexpectedly of a rare type of Breast Cancer and Syren instantly ceased to be. Amanda was too distraught by the loss of Jo to carry on in music and I was intrinsically left with no band and nothing to focus on in my time of immense grief.
But only a few months after Jo’s death, friends of mine in a band called Hawkwind, reached out asking if I’d be interested in opening for them at The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh. But I had no band, right? So I appealed to Dog to come and play bass with me, thinking we could do an acoustic set.
In Dog’s words, he saw it as an opportunity to give me something to concentrate on and help me out of the pit of my grief which was truly killing me.
So he built a band around me recruiting Suna and Nikki on backing vocals and keys respectively and getting a local drummer to sit in for that specific gig.
In doing that one show, Dog, Suna and Nikki found the potential to heal from the sudden end to their musical past and knew also that it would be a great form of rehab for me. So we started writing and rehearsing and found a permanent drummer in Anna who Dog found at Napier University in Edinburgh studying for her BA in popular music. In 2015 Kitty joined the band, having previously been our mixer.
Since 2016 we’ve worked and toured endlessly to find our place in music as a band. We’ve gone from performing simply under my name with all the others effectively being a backing band, and playing power-pop and heavy rock. We released two albums under the ‘Erin Bennett’ banner, but when the worldwide lockdown happened in 2020 we put our heads down and really focused on what type of music we wanted to make. What type of music made us feel, ya know?
We were lucky with the lockdown, in as much as, we all live communally in Scotland in an old hotel we’ve done up.
Eventually, and quite organically, we settled on what we do now, which is being described as art/prog/rock; and rebranded, essentially, to form ‘EBB’ which was initially short for ‘Erin Bennett Band’…but now stands as a metaphor for our movement away from our past and into our future as new people and new musicians.
Our debut album ‘Mad & Killing Time’ which we released on November 1st, 2022, is the result of being locked down together in Scotland for 18 months and I believe, in this album which has received some stellar reviews, we have found ourselves as artists, musicians and as a band.
Q How does the band writes its music, there seems to a lot of elements are they usually the product of one person or a collaborative effort?
It really depends. A lot of the time, I will write a song on an acoustic guitar and bring it to the band. We will all get together and add our own ideas to the piece with Dog, who produces all of our stuff, having the overview to add or take away anything that doesn’t ultimately serve the song and the emotions behind it. Sometimes, though, Dog, Nikki, and Anna will be jamming and a musical piece is written that I then write a tune and lyrics for. And then there are also times when we are just messing around in rehearsal and something grows.
So I guess it truly is a collaborative effort. Because even if I go and write a whole song from start to finish on my own and bring it to the band, everyone is affected by the song differently. And Dog’s job is to take everyone’s individual emotional reaction to a song and polish it into something that can be universally absorbed and understood and that happens to always come out as art/prog. So without everyone in the band, the music we put out wouldn’t be what it is.
Q I saw that you style yourselves as Art-Rock which is I find fitting because you do have a unique style, What some of the influences you draw up when crafting your songs?
Well, this is always an interesting question. Because as individuals, we all have different influences and different bands/musicians that we love. But if you spread everyone’s favourite artists out across a table you can see the median love of Prog, 70s rock, Jazz, and Classical; which are pretty key components of what inspire us as a band. There’s a lot of love of King Crimson, Hawkwind, Genesis and we are also crazy about Soft Machine, Wagner and Edvard Greig. So its pretty varied.
Q Did you ever face any problem in the industry with being a band almost entirely composed of women?
Oh definitely! In the early 2010’s the UK music industry faced a huge backlash from music fans about the fact that major music festivals were seemingly, deliberately excluding women from line-ups, let alone headline slots. And that is sadly still ongoing, although the ratio of men to women acts on festival line-ups has improved. There seems to be the excuse of ‘Well there just aren’t a lot of women in music’ thrown around which is utterly laughable.
UK radio is largely dominated by pop and ‘top 10’ acts, unlike in the states where you get national radio stations that are genre specific, there isn’t an awful lot of access to more ‘out there’ genres here. This means that in order to get in front of listeners, as women, you need to fit into a very tight mould. And god forbid you’re over the age of 25. You have to dress, sing and act in a very specific way. And if you don’t you’re doomed.
Throughout the whole arc of our career together we knew that if we just ‘got good’ regardless of our age, gender, or appearance, we couldn’t be ignored. And luckily for us, at the same time we started getting very serious about it, Prog had a major resurgence here in the UK. (I think that is partially due to the fact that music fans on the whole are frustrated by the same old saccharine crap that is being pumped out of their radio speakers day in, day out.)
Within the Prog community we have been welcomed quite warmly by music fans, who are certainly surprised that we are a band comprised of mostly women, but that we are women does not colour their opinion or appreciation of our music.
Q I saw that EBB’s home was an art collective that you shared with Krow. How did that come about and how do you think it affects the music you put out?
All of the members of EBB and Krow (as well as a few other artists who don’t play music) have lived together communally as a way of life for quite some time. There have been people coming and going from our group of wayward weirdos over the last 30 years or so. In fact, Dog and Krow herself effectively started living this way back in the 80s as a way of collating expenses in order to focus on music and performing. So you pool your resources as well as your bills and have more time and money to focus on writing and touring, right? And this idea has carried on through the years, even when not doing music; because at the heart of the art collective, is the fact that we are also a pagan community who share a belief system and world view. Some of us come from rough backgrounds, although not all of us do, and we have built a loving, supportive family who can share a life and make the most of living.
In terms of how it affects the music, I think it does inevitably and greatly! Intrinsically we are all on the same page and it means that when focusing on a song, for instance, there is a lot of trust and a lot of understanding. There isn’t anyone off on an ego trip which can ultimately cause the song or end product to suffer.
Where we are now, The Lodge Arts Collective, was an old hotel in the borders of Scotland that we bought in 2017. It was totally derelict. We spent the first two years here fixing it up, building a recording studio, video suite and rehearsal space. Because the old bar was still in the hotel, we kept it and open the doors a couple of times a month for live music events.
Q Mad and the killing time is your first studio album. What did you learn by putting out your previous release Death and the maiden, has your approach to crafting an album changed?
Oh the approach has definitely changed! I know it sounds a bit silly, but everything up until ‘Mad & Killing Time’ was like a musical expression of growing pains.
We are all always evolving as people, individually and collectively. And I think we’ve reached the ‘goldilocks zone’ as a band where all of our eyes are gazing upon the same horizon. In releasing ‘Death & The Maiden’ in 2019 we could see how close we were to where we wanted to be but we think with ‘Mad & Killing Time’ we have absolutely nailed our colours to the mast and found our place, as it were.
Q} if people want more info about you or your projects where should they go?
EBB and Krow are both flying under the Boudicca Records banner. So any info people might like on either of those bands can be found at
Failing that EBB can be found across all the platforms! (Links below)
Final four questions –we ask everybody
Q) When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
There’s a really great services on the M6 at Lancaster which has a huge tower. It is completely impenetrable and has an excellent vantage point. We stop there often on tour and we literally call it ‘The Zombie Apocalypse Services.’
Q ) What is your favorite Fandom
Ooh, me personally I am a HUGE fan of both (yes both) Star Wars and Star Trek. I kind of refuse to get absorbed into the rivalry between the two because I just love them both so much. I will, however, happily debate the pro’s and con’s of each in terms of writing and direction. For me, they’re both just great.
Q) What piece of art, be it in the form of music, a book, a film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
Oh now, that is a really good question. And perhaps this answer is a bit of a cop-out, but I truly think that the finest, most magical, and artistic ‘thing’ that people absolutely SHOULD experience is the world itself. Our planet is absolutely mind-blowing in terms of its landscapes, wildlife, and cultures; as well as the fact that it exists the way in which it does at all anyway! And simply by travelling, even a short distance outside of one’s town, county or country, one can experience never before seen beauty and wonder that will literally change the way one thinks about and understands all the other forms of art (poetry, music, food, painting, etc.).
When we understand the cultural and geographical differences that make our world what it is, we are better able to understand different perspectives, and the forms of art that might have been lost on us previously become an undiscovered universe of endless possibilities.
Q) Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?
Ha! I always find these types of questions difficult. I guess it would be that I do auto mechanics. I’m not that exciting. haha
Photo Credit: Bryan Taylor