Benzos’ Band Van Breaks Down, Down, Down

Touring nationwide can simply be a pain in the ass. Locating somewhat healthy things to eat is like finding a needle in a haystack. While finding a place to crash is unfortunately sometimes found in the cold, unforgiving floor of a generous fan. But the biggest headache is when the tour van takes a turn for the worse and breaks down.

For New York-based Benzos, breaking down was a reoccurring theme for their van (lovingly nicknamed “Ole Blue.”) Read on for the downright hilarious account of Benzos and “Ole Blue” at SXSW ‘06.


“After playing a big party at SXSW, when it came time to load up the van with gear and friends to head to another party, we found out in front of the venue, that our van was overheating,” says the band. “We were forced to pop the hood, wrap our hands up in clothes and pop the radiator top to let it cool off. Since our van didn’t have any stand to keep the hood up, we used one of Steve’s cymbal stands. While a group of people waiting in the carpeted interior (see above) we asked a dance club next door if we could fill up pitchers with water to cool it down and fill up the radiator. They obliged and this process took about an hour or more to complete. (See below photo of Brian giving the thumbs up) We were on our way to party.” PRIORITIES, people PRIORITIES.

Benzos released their sophomore album Branches on August 8, and will be touring in their new van (yes, sadly “Ole Blue” bit the dust) in a town near you. See below for tour dates and more information about the band. For more information check out Benzos on the Web at: and for press resources please refer to: And for review materials, high resolution photos and review tickets please contact Christine Ernest at

“Branches” Track listing:
01. “Sell This Thing”
02. “Phase 2”
03. “Branches”
04. “Portland”
05. “Hard To Feel” –
06. “Teach Me”
07. “On Your Own”
08. “Life”
09. “Hurt Everybody” –
10. “Crooked Hands”
11. “Translucent”
12. “Pere”

Catch Benzos live:
08.17 Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs w/ Foreign Islands, Unstoppable Black Clouds, Barnicle
08.18 Mariaville, NY @ Camp Bisco w/ The Disco Biscuits, Sound Tribe Sector Nine, Amon Tobin, The Juan Mclean, Girl Talk
08.22 Philadelphia, PA @ Khyber Bar w/ Tulsa, Ludlow Lions
08.31 Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre w/ Men, Women & Children

See below for advance praise for “BRANCHES”:

“On ‘Phase 2,’ the earnest New York-based quintet hits the ground running with rhythmic house beats and Brit-inspired new-new wave guitar licks, and keep things out of the box by blending beautifully reverberating lead guitar accents over a backbeat and synthesizer chord that demands you to the discotheque floor.” –

“In the mold of bands such as Ours or Palalto (read: Americans who think they’re British), Benzos has more experimental bones in their bodies than the other Brit-pop wannabes.” – Redeye, Chicago Tribune

“While the guitars are often at the forefront of the album’s 12 songs (with the six strings crashing in dramatic contrast to the preceding lines of hypnotic synth), what’s most pervasive throughout ‘Branches’ is a spirit of experimentation that the band shares with Radiohead.” –

“Benzos’ strength is an emphasis on the music, never allowing any one element to dominate or stand out, or to disrupt the harmonies.” – Blogcritics

“Though the quartet mostly centers on a Brit-pop sound, they incorporate hip hop, house, jazz and atmospheric rock flourishes to create songs that are difficult to categorize.” – The Deli NY

“Benzos haven’t released anything too epic or pretentious with ‘Branches,’ but they have put quite a beautiful stamp on melancholic indie rock.” – Absolute Punk

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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