Twenty-First Century Nomad
Benedict Sinister lives a vagabond existence, passing through dozens of countries each year.
Sinister says, “There are two classes of people in today’s developed world - the sedentary and the mobile. The sedentary are condemned to live and die in their office cubicles, their cars, their easy chairs, their beds. They are immobilized by both the comforts of their cocoons and their fear of what lies beyond.
“Meanwhile, a new nomadic class has emerged, more mobile than any people in history, acting on the primordial instinct to keep on moving. No comforts of home, no ties that bind, no routines. No limitations. We are the intercontinental drifters.”
From the world's largest cities to the back roads of Ecuador, Senegal, Bulgaria and Laos, Benedict Sinister lives as a perpetual traveler and adventurer, while preparing his latest musical and poetic projects.
Sinister writes, records and produces his music on the road, working with musicians in different countries each recording their parts locally, with the final mixes completed in Los Angeles.
Sinister's works abound in cultural references extending from advertising to philosophy, from world cinema to literature. A disciple of the art of songwriting, with emphasis on the greatest lyricists, Sinister’s own lyrics often cite songwriters ranging from Cole Porter to Lana del Rey.
While traces of his Australian accent remain, Sinister has matured into a vocalist who “makes Tom Waits sound like Justin Bieber”
Benedict Sinister started his music career in Sydney Australia, as frontman for cult indie guitar bands The Violent Four and Against Nature.
According to Sinister, “The Violent Four was like a post-punk/funk fusion band. We actually did a mash-up of ‘Boogie Fever’ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart.’
“With our song “H “ I learned that heroin chic humor and gibes at William Burroughs and Hunter S Thompson can get a crowd surprisingly riled. Punches were thrown at me from the audience. That’s what I call really connecting.”
Against Nature were formed from the residue of The Violent Four and The Subliminal Choo-Choos. Their combination of cynical humour and modest indie guitar virtuosity made them comparable to “Leonard Cohen with a wicked sense of fun.”
Against Nature produced the album Adult Entertainment, which featured on its cover “La Gimblette," a quirky erotic artwork by rococo artist Fragonard - evidence of Sinister’s love for eighteenth century French painting and other out-of-copyright imagery.
When asked about Against Nature, Sinister memorably admitted: “Our work is not for everybody. It’s for those who know there’s more to alternative music than unusual hairstyles. But not much more.”
Sinister was particularly inspired by live recordings of artists ranging from Jim Morrison to Sid Vicious. “The music they produced, that was of no interest to me,” he says. “What I was into was the stage banter – what they said to the audience between the songs. I think that was the origin of my own desire to combine poetry with music.” Sinister’s spoken-word interludes have won him more bemused followers than (even) his propensity to lose his voice mid-performance.
As a farewell to Sydney, Sinister released the poetry compendium No Good Will Come of This. Both the CD and book are available to buy.