Posts Tagged ‘Bananagun’

Bananagun on fulltimehobby.co.uk

Bananagun follow up the release of their wonderfully received debut album “The True Story of Bananagun” with a remix from Maston. The band gave Frank free reign to turn the track inside out, and boy did he deliver!

Maston’s mix of “Out of Reach” slows things down to an easy pace, enabling the original’s rich melodies to sit at the forefront, resulting in an endless earworm. Band leader Nick Van Bakel told us a bit more about why they decided to work with Frank Maston:

“We thought Frank would be good for the job because we liked his albums and you can tell from listening to them he knows his way around a mix, and also I like his style, seemed like a like-minded fellow. “We weren’t expecting it to sound so sexy, in a mellow Stax / Motown way I like it. We’ve heard that song so much now so it’s cool having this new sensual spin. “I’m sure we’ve never met but have mutual friends. I got in touch via email, it was all easy going. Frank’s real enthusiastic and into it, it’s always such a pleasure working with people like that!

“We hope you enjoy!” Watch the band-made accompanying video here:

The band will be coming over to the UK to play their first shows next May. Tickets are on sale now with more to be announced soon – full dates & info are available soon

The True Story of Bananagun is now available to buy

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Influenced by primal garage-rock and the hypnotic grooves of African and South American music, Melbourne’s Bananagun have evolved from the home-made ideas of guitarist, vocalist and flautist Nick van Bakel to a full five-piece set-up. Their new debut album, “The True Story of Bananagun”, was born from extended jam sessions and presents a grand vision for their self-professed ‘global tropicalia’.

There’s an enticing lost world exoticism to the music of Bananagun. It’s the sort of stuff that could’ve come from a dusty record crate of hidden gems; yet as the punchy, colourfully vibrant pair of singles Do Yeah and Out of Reach have proven over the past 12 months, the band are no revivalists. On debut album The True Story of Bananagun, they make a giant leap forward with their outward-looking blend of global tropicalia.

The True Story of Bananagun marks Bananagun’s first full foray into writing and recording as a complete band, having originally germinated in the bedroom ideas and demos of guitarist, vocalist and flautist Nick van Bakel. The multi-instrumentalist grew up on skate videos, absorbing the hip-hop beats that sound-tracked them – taking on touchstones like Self Core label founder Mr. Dibbs and other early 90’s turntablists.

That love of the groove underpins Bananagun – even if the rhythms now traverse far beyond those fledgling influences. “We didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing,” the band’s founder says. “We wanted it to be vibrant, colourful and have depth like the jungle. Like an ode to nature.”

Van Bakel was joined first by cousin Jimi Gregg on drums – the pair’s shared love of the Jungle Book apparently made him a natural fit – and the rest of the group are friends first and foremost, put together as a band because of a shared emphasis on keeping things fun. Jack Crook (guitar/vocals), Charlotte Tobin (djembe/percussion) and Josh Dans (bass) complete the five-piece and between them there’s a freshness and playful spontaneity to The True Story of Bananagun, borne out of late night practice jams and hangs at producer John Lee’s Phaedra Studios.

“We were playing a lot leading up to recording so we’re all over it live”, van Bakel fondly recalls of the sessions that became more like a communal hang out, with Zoe Fox and Miles Bedford there too to add extra vocals and saxophone. “It was a good time, meeting there every night, using proper gear [rather than my bedroom setups.] It felt like everyone had a bit of a buzz going on.”

Tracks like The Master and People Talk Too Much bounce around atop hybrid percussion that fuses West African high life with Brazilian tropicalia; the likes of She Now hark to a more westernised early rhythm ‘n’ blues beat, remoulded and refreshed in the group’s own inimitable summery style. Freak Machine is perhaps the closest to those early 90’s beats, but even then the group add layers and layers of bright guitars, harmonic flower-pop vocals and other sounds to transmute the source material to an entirely new plain. Elsewhere there’s a 90 second track called Bird Up! that cut and pastes kookaburra and parrot calls as an homage to the wildlife surrounding van Bakel’s home 80 kilometres from Melbourne.

Oh, and there are hooks galore too – try and stop yourself from humming along to Out of Reach’s swooping vocal melody.

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Bananagun are first and foremost a band enthused with the joy of living and The True Story of Bananagun is a ebullient listen; van Bakel – as the main songwriter – is keen not to let any lyrical themes overpower that. There’s more to this record than blissed out grooves and tripped out fuzz though: The Master is about learning to be your own master and resisting the urge to compare yourself to others; She Now addresses gender identity and extolls the importance of people being able to identify how they feel. Then there’s closing track Taking The Present For Granted, which perhaps sums up the band’s ethos on life, trying to take in the world around you and appreciating the here and now.

A keen meditator, van Bakel says of the track: “so often people are having a shit time stuck in their own existential crisis, but if you get outside you head and participate in life and appreciate how beautiful it all is you can have a better time.”

Even the band’s seemingly innocuous name has an underlying message of connectivity that matches the universality of the music. “It’s like non-violent combat! Or the guy who does a stick up, but it’s just a banana, not a gun, and he tells the authorities not to take themselves too seriously.”

The True Story of Bananagun then is perhaps a tale of finding beauty in even these most turbulent of times.

The Band:
Nick Van Bakel – guitar, voice, flute, trumpet, harpsichord, percussion
Jack Crook – guitar, voice
Charlotte Tobin – percussion
Josh Dans – bass guitar
Jimi Gregg – drums
Pierce Morton – alto saxophone
Miles Bedford – tenor saxophone
Zoe Fox – voice
Songs written by Nick Van Bakel.
Released June 26th, 2020

Bananagun on fulltimehobby.co.uk

“The True Story of Bananagun” in the form of The Master, Regarding the track, bandleader Nick van Bakel stated: “The Master is kind of about evacuating yourself from the absurd but typical life of working your arse into the ground for someone else and how no matter where you’re working or how high up the ladder you are in that world, there’s always a person up higher bossing you around or someone you’re trying to please. I just hate when people flex too much and don’t respect people; that’s what the majority of people deal with their whole life. It’s miserable and there’s no room for stuff to blossom. The trash that’s suggested in school, movies, and everything; have all your milestones planned out. You wanna make god laugh tell him you’ve got your life planned!”

The track is out now on streaming services alongside previous singles “Out Of Reach” and the BBC 6 Music-playlisted “People Talk Too Much.”

Melbourne 5 piece who dress like Os Mutantes and dance like Bobby Gillespie, but their grooves are impeccable. Let the sunshine in.”MOJO, Jun 2020

Taken from “The True Story of Bananagun” out 26th June

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Hailing from Melbourne, but with a sound stretching from 60s and 70s afrobeat and exotica to Fela Kuti-esque repetition, the proto-garage rhythmic fury of The Monks and the grooves of Os Mutantes, there’s an enticing lost world exoticism to the music of Bananagun. It’s the sort of stuff that could’ve come from a dusty record crate of hidden gems; yet as the punchy, colourfully vibrant pair of singles Do Yeah and Out of Reach have proven over the past 12 months, the band are no revivalists. On debut album The True Story of Bananagun, they make a giant leap forward with their outward-looking blend of global tropicalia.

The True Story of Bananagun marks Bananagun’s first full foray into writing and recording as a complete band, having originally germinated in the bedroom ideas and demos of guitarist, vocalist and flautist Nick van Bakel. The multi-instrumentalist grew up on skate videos, absorbing the hip-hop beats that soundtracked them – taking on touchstones like Self Core label founder Mr. Dibbs and other early 90’s turntablists.

That love of the groove underpins Bananagun – even if the rhythms now traverse far beyond those fledgling influences. “We didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing,” the band’s founder says. “We wanted it to be vibrant, colourful and have depth like the jungle. Like an ode to nature.”

Van Bakel was joined first by cousin Jimi Gregg on drums – the pair’s shared love of the Jungle Book apparently made him a natural fit – and the rest of the group are friends first and foremost, put together as a band because of a shared emphasis on keeping things fun. Jack Crook (guitar/vocals), Charlotte Tobin (djembe/percussion) and Josh Dans (bass) complete the five-piece and between them there’s a freshness and playful spontaneity to The True Story of Bananagun, borne out of late night practice jams and hangs at producer John Lee’s Phaedra Studios.

“We were playing a lot leading up to recording so we’re all over it live”, van Bakel fondly recalls of the sessions that became more like a communal hang out, with Zoe Fox and Miles Bedford there too to add extra vocals and saxophone. “It was a good time, meeting there every night, using proper gear [rather than my bedroom setups.] It felt like everyone had a bit of a buzz going on.”

Tracks like The Master and People Talk Too Much bounce around atop hybrid percussion that fuses West African high life with Brazilian tropicalia; the likes of She Now hark to a more westernised early rhythm ‘n’ blues beat, remoulded and refreshed in the group’s own inimitable summery style. Freak Machine is perhaps the closest to those early 90’s beats, but even then the group add layers and layers of bright guitars, harmonic flower-pop vocals and other sounds to transmute the source material to an entirely new plain. Elsewhere there’s a 90 second track called Bird Up! that cut and pastes kookaburra and parrot calls as an homage to the wildlife surrounding van Bakel’s home 80 kilometres from Melbourne.

Oh, and there are hooks galore too – try and stop yourself from humming along to Out of Reach’s swooping vocal melody.

Bananagun are first and foremost a band enthused with the joy of living and The True Story of Bananagun is a ebullient listen; van Bakel – as the main songwriter – is keen not to let any lyrical themes overpower that. There’s more to this record than blissed out grooves and tripped out fuzz though: The Master is about learning to be your own master and resisting the urge to compare yourself to others; She Now addresses gender identity and extolls the importance of people being able to identify how they feel. Then there’s closing track Taking The Present For Granted, which perhaps sums up the band’s ethos on life, trying to take in the world around you and appreciating the here and now.

http://

A keen meditator, van Bakel says of the track: “so often people are having a shit time stuck in their own existential crisis, but if you get outside you head and participate in life and appreciate how beautiful it all is you can have a better time.”

Even the band’s seemingly innocuous name has an underlying message of connectivity that matches the universality of the music. “It’s like non-violent combat! Or the guy who does a stick up, but it’s just a banana, not a gun, and he tells the authorities not to take themselves too seriously.”

The True Story of Bananagun then is perhaps a tale of finding beauty in even these most turbulent of times.

The Band:
Nick Van Bakel – guitar, voice, flute, trumpet, harpsichord, percussion
Jack Crook – guitar, voice
Charlotte Tobin – percussion
Josh Dans – bass guitar
Jimi Gregg – drums
Pierce Morton – alto saxophone
Miles Bedford – tenor saxophone
Zoe Fox – voiceSongs written by Nick Van Bakel.
releases June 26th, 2020

From the opening seconds of Bananagun’s “Do Yeah” – which stirs to life in an intoxicating blend of 1970s afrobeat, fuzzed out psychedelia and immersive pop – this very much feels like the case of discovering something different. this track comes from a brand new Melbourne band. With the aim of merging the proto-garage rhythmic fury of The Monks with the tropicália grooves of Os Mutantes, the band soon forged a sound that was as loose and unravelling as it was focused and taut, with an aim of creating a real sense of place and environment. “We didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing,” the band say. “We wanted it to be vibrant, colourful and have depth like the jungle. Like an ode to nature.”

There’s a deeply percussive element to the band’s psychedelic ode to mother nature, touching upon Fela Kuti-esque repetitions, exotica, jazz and 1960s pop-rock. Much like a lot of the influences it filters into its own unique spin on it all, it’s intended as “music for the people” – a unifying groove that spans genres. Even the seemingly innocuous band name has an underlying message of connectivity that matches the universality of the music. “It’s like non-violent combat! Or the guy who does a stick up but it’s just a banana, not a gun, and he tells the authorities not to take themselves too seriously.” This extends to the underlying message of their debut single too: “try to love and not hate because you’re the one who has to carry it around.”

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Releases September 6th, 2019

Nick vanBakel – Guitar, Percussion, Voice
Stella Rennex – Bass, Voice
Jimi Gregg – ThunderDrum
Charlotte Tobin – Djembe
Jack Crook – Guitar, voice of reason

Songs written by Nick vanBakel