THE SECRET'S OUT.
Originally interviewed in 2016.
Banshee are an alternative, electronic, rock band hailing from Greenock, Central Scotland. The band consists of Erin Donnachie (vocals), Gavin Williams (Guitar) Gianluca Demelas (Drums) and Liam Walker (Bass).
After a string of amazing live performances and playing at Download Festival the band recently released their latest E.P "Say My Name" on March 25th 2016. The E.P, which also has a music video for the title track, includes powerful vocals, amazing guitar work, intense drums, and deep bass all with masterful electronic influences.
I recently talked to the band about their newest E.P, playing Download Festival and their amazing music.
Question 1) This interview is taking place just a few months since the release of your newest E.P “Say My Name”. How has the last few months been for you all? Is it a good feeling to finally get your music out to the fans?
The last few months have been great thanks, “Say My Name” grabbed the attention of fans who had perhaps forgotten about us after a quiet few months, and also brought in a lot of new listeners. It took some time to pull the release and changes to the band together, however we’re hoping that it was worth the wait.
Question 2) Very few bands experiment so early in their career. “Say My Name” includes immensely powerful vocals, pounding drums, deep bass and ambitious guitar work. Was it the intention of BANSHEE the band to always push the boundaries of the alternative rock sound? Or did that come naturally in the creation process?
There was nothing natural about how “Say My Name” (our single) came to us! We started the song over a year before it was even recorded, but none of us could agree on how it should sound. Like you said, we had a change in sound that even we weren’t sure of how to approach. That particular song sat for some time and once we went back to it after months of writing and gigging we had fresh ideas and the finished product is great. Well, we think so. We’ve always found that our style has been a bit different to other bands that we have played shows with or even bands that we love. Pushing boundaries is what everyone in this industry strives for, and if you think we’re doing that then great!
Question 3) Do you find it difficult being a female-fronted rock band in a male dominated industry? Do you have any words of advice for young female singers who are looking to start a rock band?
There have never been many challenges that we have faced having a female singer that have come to mind. The music industry is predominantly male yeah. However, I think in this day and age girls don’t feel threatened by that or really even think about it.
As for words of advice, Erin: “Before I joined the band it was never something that I had thought of doing, and when the offer was put to me I was really unsure. But now looking back on everything that we have achieved as a band, how much fun we have and the lifelong friends I have made I would fully encourage anyone who thinks that they would like to try it, or it’s something that they have dreamed of doing to go for it.”
Question 4) “Say My Name” shows massive ambition for a band so early in your career. Many of the songs have massive anthem feels and sounds that could easily inspire stadium singalongs. Ambition emanates from the band and comes through clearly in the E.P, but what is the scale of ambition for the band? Are you genuinely going to take over the world?
World domination is the dream, but we know is a hard graft. We’re going to keep writing away, playing gigs and with a bit of luck make a living from it. We’re all friends and working with some of your best pals and knowing that this could be something that you could do for a long time drives you to succeed, not only for yourself but for them.
Question 5) Banshee hit the mecca of what it means to be a rock band in the UK by playing Download Festival. How was that experience for you all? I was going to ask if it rained and how this affected you but... you’re from Scotland so...
Fortunately, the only rain that hit us at Download was the day we were playing, and even more fortunately we were playing in a tent – score! The Download experience was incredible! We were just this little band from a small town who were a part of this massive festival and it completely exceeded our expectations. Erin was the most nervous on the day, and of course as soon as she ran on stage Liam hit her with his bass! To this day we’re unsure if anyone actually noticed but she certainly did. From the minute that the first chord was played we had an absolute blast. The crowd were amazing and after all of the nerves, practice and anticipation it was all over too fast.
Question 6) If people have never heard of the band (Banshee) how would you describe yourselves to them to hook new listeners in and get them to listen to your E.P and come see you perform live?
Banshee is the product of 4 friends from a small town outside Glasgow who are hardworking and ambitious, constantly striving to break out from the crowd. Our music is for those who love the likes of Bring me the Horizon, Pvris and Arcane Roots that infuses big vocals, electronic sounds and rock to make the outfit that is Banshee.
Question 7) You guys have played with some massive bands in the past such as Marmozets and the unfortunately recently disbanded Fearless Vampire Killers. Where has been your favourite place you have toured? What is the craziest thing to happen at a Banshee show?
Our recent gig at Brew at the Bog festival in Inverness last month was honestly one of our favourite shows to date. The festival itself is amazing, a great platform for bands like us situated in such a cool venue. We first played last year and this year was even better, busier and louder! At that particular festival later in the evening, Gavin decided (after a few drinks) that crowd surfing was a great idea. It was amazing up until he fell and kicked a girl in the face…oops, and if you’re reading this sorry.
Question 8) Fans are a huge aspect of Banshee as we can see with your regular social media updates and interactions with fans. Do you find regular fan interaction makes the band feel closer to the fans and is there anything you would like to say to them?
We love fan interaction, it’s what keeps you going. There’s no better feeling than the post show notifications of people tagging you in their photos from the night with words along the lines of how they enjoyed the show, the reviews from bloggers bigging up your performance and even trying to make your way to the dressing room but you’re stopped so many times by fans that it takes you an inordinate amount of time to get there. So thank you for ever photo, tweet, download and share of anything that we have ever posted. You all are the reason that we keep going and the reason that we have got to where we are today.
Question 9) Let’s be honest, it’s only a matter of time until you hit the big time. However, if you had the choice now to headline any festival which would it be and why? Also what would Banshee’s band rider consist of?
We’ve got to say that headlining Reading and Leeds would be incredible as they always have such a strong line up, this year included. On a slightly smaller scale, we’d love to play 2000Trees as it’s such a cool festival which plays all of our favourite bands like Arcane Roots and Black Peaks. Ok, our rider would consist of a lot of booze – we’re Scottish so it’s only natural. Plenty of gin, Jack Daniels, the dangerous drink that is Dragon Soop – if you’re not sure of what that is it’s a vodka energy drink which is delicious but fuels a dreadful hangover! Gianluca said that he would need a bottle of Buckfast – keeping it classy – a barber and tattoo artist to look fresh on stage. Gav would need some fish and chips and the latest episode of Corrie haha! We would add more but we’re currently looking like massive divas.
Question 10) With a recent tour (which is still ongoing) and the release of your E.P in the last 12 months, what is next for the band? What can we expect over the coming months from Banshee?
Next for us is the release of our new single which is called “Starts with One” which we’ve just finished! So watch out for our new video and single release that will be with you shortly.