In the beginning, there was a small child with a piano that turned into a teenager with a guitar and then became a grown-up man called Mike Bench. This journey definitely was worth it.
Mike Bench, that’s Michael Bencsics and his band which consists of his friends Thomas, Dominik, Benny and Bernie. His motto is “Every kind of music has to be played well!”. And he has been living by this motto since childhood days. That’s possible because of his rich musical knowledge from folk music to classical music.
The thoroughbred musician now lives in Graz but is actually from the south of Burgenland. He was born in Oberwart in 1990 and started to play the piano at the age of 6. Even back then, he questioned the origin of the pieces he was taught. And that hasn’t changed over the years, but his main instrument has. Bench, that’s what he wants to be called, doesn’t just look like the guy with the guitar, he really is the guy with the guitar since he was 15 years old. But he doesn’t want to renounce his roots and will also play the piano every now and then. He’s a pleasant guy who grew up in a family in which music was and still is omnipresent. As a child, he accompanied his father to weddings and, in this way, got immersed into the folklore genre.
As a teenager, there was no doubt anymore: he simply had to be on stage, come what may! Since then, he has played in several bands: The Dash, Firewall, Elmiro Tinnitus. Although Mike was having success with these bands – with Firewall, he won 6th place out of thousands of entries at the FM4 Protestsongcontest – he felt that the personal fulfilment was missing. And then, in 2012, Mike Bench was born. A project, of an intensity and realness, that the 25-year-old disappeared within the project and emerged as a well-rounded musician like a phoenix out of the ashes. The tour in 2015 and the acoustic album that was released not long ago were the deciding factors for Mike to entirely focus on music.
Michael Bencsics is Mike Bench, Mike Bench is Michael Bencsics. And, of course, the show on stage must go on. Therefore, Mike and his band members look at great musical icons such as Bruce Springsteen or Die Ärzte for inspiration. When he mentions Springsteen, there’s a spark in Mike’s eyes as if he was still a child. Talking about Die Ärzte, he grins like a canny schoolboy.
After experiencing the sounds of punk music, the artists have now arrived in the genre of folk pop music. Catchy tunes and lyrics that tell stories but still leave room for own interpretations, that’s Bencsics’ description of what he does and how he manages to engage with the various personalities of his audience during a concert. But he is also critical with himself. On and off stage, he stands by his opinions and believes this to be an important part of his life as an artist.
When asked why you should go to a Mike Bench concert, the frontman answers with a grin “I get up on the bar and sing, the CD doesn’t do that”. To hear the band live is definitely an experience and that’s how it should be. The guys live and breathe for being on stage.
The cliché “Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n‘ Roll” is by the way not true for the frontman and also not for his band members. None of them puts on airs and graces which might be the reason why their music is so pure and honest. Each artist claims that he focuses on his music, that heart and soul can be felt in every chord. While this is true for some artists, it is guaranteed with Mike Bench.
Michael Bencsics aka Mike Bench is not different or better than the numerous other musicians in the world, he is just what he is: himself. And that’s enough.