Interview by Mabh Savage
Recently I had the pleasure of listening to and reviewing an EP from Scottish rockers, Banshee. Say My Name was right up my street and you can read my review here.
Delightfully intrigued, I decided to find out a bit more about the band that released this EP; who are they, what are they up to and how can we hear more?
Mabh: The Say My Name video premiered via Team Rock. How did you partner up with Team Rock and how has this experience been?
Banshee: We teamed up with Team Rock through LuLu at Incendia Management who has been working closely with us in getting us some good exposure over the past month, Team Rock being one of them, who were kind enough to premier our new video release which all has been exciting for us and even received plays from Joe Elliott (with a little helps from our fans). It’s great to see and hear reviews on the new release from both companies and public.
Mabh: What inspired the more electronic feel of the new EP?
Banshee: We’d say we’ve always had an electronic feel, well since we can remember haha, but this feels and sounds different. It didn’t come from anywhere or anyone in particular, it was just a case of going in to the studio and experimenting with different sounds until we all agreed on which ones felt right for us and our sound. But if Enter Shikari want to lend us some samples, then that’s fine too haha.
Mabh: Is the EP a prelude to a full album, and can we expect to see it in 2016?
Banshee: We can’t promise a full album but we can promise new material not too far in the future. We can say this as we have kept the ball rolling on producing new material since before we even released Say My Name. We have already laid down 5 brand new demos in the past week which we hope to get recorded and released in the coming months.
Mabh: How did you all meet?
Banshee: Gav and Gia have been close friends since the beginning of high school, through bands in their teens until the beginning of Life on Standby in 2011 when they were introduced to Erin, only a few weeks after forming the band. Liam then joined us a year later when we were in need of a bass player. He saw us play and offered to fill the position. Since then we have been a tight unit and feel this line up is final.
Mabh: What’s the Rock scene like in Scotland these days? Did it feel like you had to break out of Scotland to get exposure, or is it a thriving scene?
Banshee: Scotland’s rock scene is good, well, in a lot of places but not everywhere we have visited. Glasgow is the obvious choice for having the top scene in Scotland, especially around venues like King Tut’s where a night never proves to be negative. There’s just something about that place that seems to bring a good vibe to bands. Exposing ourselves outside of Scotland has proven to be difficult. Playing Download festival in 2014 didn’t appear hard at all. Playing a major festival as your first gig on English soil was a massive jump to which the response we got was mind blowing but since then, especially 2015, was a difficult year for the band inside and outside the scenes we were used to, hence the whole rebranding of the band which you can see further on.
Mabh: Which do you prefer, recording or touring?
Banshee: Touring is excellent fun. I mean which band doesn’t like getting a week off work to get drunk with their band mates, seeing different towns and cities throughout the country and doing what you love doing most by playing your music live every night? But, for Banshee, I’d definitely say we prefer recording purely down to how focused we become and seeing what we can produce at the end of the day within that working environment. I can’t recall any major bad experiences we have had inside the studio whilst working on a track. Everyone just seem to screw their head on, tune in and do what they’re supposed to do.
Mabh: What live events are coming up for Banshee in 2016, and which are you looking forward to the most and why?
Banshee: Our first hometown show under the name of Banshee will be in a venue we like very much called Stereo with Boy Jumps Ship – we have played on bills with these guys before and looking forward to doing it again! We are playing Brew at the Bog in Inverness the first weekend in June which is our first festival of the year. We played this festival last year and what a great atmosphere there was! We will also be playing Wildfire Festival on the 25th May which is a new festival for us. There are more dates we have confirmed but we’re not allowed to tell anyone about those yet!
Mabh: Who are your biggest inspirations musically?
Banshee: It’s always a difficult question for the band as we are all different and have different tastes. It’s what probably makes us who we are as a band. Bands that we all do like would definitely be Biffy Clyro: got to support the fellow Scots y’know. Marmozets are also a band we all respect and enjoy their ideas behind their music and how they’ve got where they are so fast. The list could go on but these are just examples of who we like as a band and who have inspired us musically.
Mabh: What prompted the name change to Banshee?
Banshee: Knew this question was coming, haha. Some readers may know and some may not, but we were originally called Life On Standby until January 2016 before our change. I mentioned earlier 2015 was a tough year for us and we had to do something before it was too late. Everything we were doing as a band just was not moving anywhere. So before Christmas we decided rebranding ourselves was the best option. We thought a new sound, new video, new EP, new release and most of all, new name, something short and sweet, was the best but hardest idea we had come up with in almost a while. Since the change at the beginning of 2016, it appears it is working well for us and the spirits are high again.
Mabh: And when you’re not rocking out, how do you guys like to relax?
Banshee: We don’t get much time to relax to be honest as we all work full time. Being in a band kids; it’s not all pretty and being Kool drinking beer and hanging around venues making lots of money. But to answer your question, Gav likes to hang out with his Labradoodle Charlie, when he wants to that is. Gia has a tendency to be in Nando’s a lot on his days off, don’t know why he hasn’t got shares in that place. Erin enjoys a wee drink or 9 now and then around the city and Liam enjoys looking at his John Mayer posters whilst plaiting his beard and playing with his Lego set, he can multi task when he wants to.
Thanks Banshee for taking the time to talk to the Wyrd Ways Rock Show. Watch this space for further updates. In the meantime, to whet your appetite, here’s the video for title track Say My Name.