Local singer-songwriter Ben Catley has just released his new single Run, a feel-good, uplifting track that continues the theme of Ben’s love for running and keeping his mind and body strong. The new track even features the voice of Dutch “Ice Man” Wim Hof, who has been an inspiration for Catley, who challenges himself as a free-solo rock climber, trail runner and ice bath enthusiast. BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with Ben Catley to find out how Hof was one of a rich blend of inspirations for the release, his music and his life overall.
What was the origin of this song and how has it changed from your original idea to what it became?
I actually released this track last year, about my love for running, which I sang on. This new version has my vocals taken out and now features Wim Hof’s voice, taken from his breathing exercises. It also has some great trumpet by Eamon Dilworth from Tijuana Cartel.
Why did you want to include Wim Hof in this song? And how did you go about getting permission for that?
I’ve been a big fan of his for a while. He has a very powerful voice, which I thought would blend well with the meaning and feeling of the song. There’s a synergy of calmness and intensity in his breathing exercise that I also feel when running.
Getting permission took a bit of time, but I managed to get in touch with Wim’s son, who is part of his management. I couldn’t believe it when I heard back and they said they loved the track and were happy for me to release it and to keep spreading the love of what Wim is trying to do.
And how does that tie into the meaning of the song? Have you found Wim Hof to be an inspiration to you, not just in music but in other areas of life as well?
He inspired me to get into doing ice baths and I love doing his guided breathing. It’s all pretty powerful stuff.
Speaking of inspirations, what artists do you feel have been most important in shaping your style? And has that changed over time?
It’d say it’s been more a blend of genres than specific artists that I’ve found. But pivotal moments of inspiration back in the day came from the likes of Joe Satriani, Ben Harper, Rage Against The Machine, Ludovico Einaudi, Jon Gomm and Tycho to name a few. And I think these days I get inspired more by fellow artists I’m around. There’s no shortage of great ones here in WA.
What’s the most challenging Wim Hof style thing you have done that really tested your mind and body?
A couple months back I did an ice bath in a friend’s converted chest freezer. That thing is brutal cold, around 0.8ºC I think. I wanted to push myself to stay in for longer, and ended up taking a good couple of hours to fully warm back up. I do like to set myself new physical challenges every so often. Particularly running and rock climbing ones.
And musically speaking, how is this track different from what we might have heard from you before?
I’m trying to release fairly regularly, and to have every release be a bit different – whether stylistically, structurally or sonically. I’d say this track is different in terms of the journey that’s created with matching Wim’s spoken word with the instrumentation. It went through so many different versions and it was a lot of fun to create.
What have you got lined up for the rest of the year? Any more new music or live shows we can look forward to?
I’m supporting my mate Kim Churchill for some shows between Broome and Exmouth later in May, which I’m super keen for. Kim’s fantastic, and well, that’s just a beautiful bit of country to travel! I’ve also been doing some co-headline shows with renowned didge player Si Mullumby from Wild Marmalade. Those shows have been so much fun and have pretty much all sold out, so we intend to put on more of those soon! And I have another new single to come out shortly, titled We’re All Just Here For Now.