It’s barely been a month since BANFI unveiled their last single, but they’re already back again with another slice of weird and wonderful guitar-pop.
The East London trio are meticulous crafters of off-kilter hooks and once again deliver, mustering a twitchy and dramatic rock gem that tips its hat to The Police.
With the infectious ‘June’ out now via Communion Records, we talked to BANFI drummer Aaron Graham to get to know the band a little better.
‘June’ is brilliant. How did the track come about?
“Thanks a lot – we’re super proud of this track. The harmonic riff that you hear at the start of the track was actually the base for the whole thing, but it originally started out as two separate songs that when we went into pre-production for our record we ended up merging together into one. The energy and feel of the song really lends itself to how we perform as a three, so the parts all evolved quite naturally over time which was great. It’s also one that we’ve been playing since we first started as a band, so it’s had that time to breathe and develop along the way – we’re super happy with the end result!”
How did BANFI start out?
“BANFI started when somewhat of a mutual acquaintance introduced me to Joe and his music and kind of tried to pair us up to work together. We lived really close together in East London, so we just started hanging out and working on music. Once I heard what Joe had been working on since he finished his solo project, I was absolutely sold and so we started developing these songs and writing new stuff together. Not long after, we decided to give Chris a call (who again, I knew through mutual friend) and we started trying to get a live set together in my old basement in Hackney. This is where we and the songs stayed for a while! And like magic – here we are today…”
What inspired your name?
“It is actually Joe’s surname. We were sat together one day trying to decide on a name for this new band and we were just like, that’s a cool name isn’t it!? So we stuck with it!”
Who are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?
“The biggest influences on our sound right now are probably Tom Waits, Bill Frisell, The Police, Willy Mason and John Wizards. There’s so many things that influence us, so I wouldn’t say that all of these are exactly what’s influencing our music, but we sure as hell listen to them all a lot so I guess they could be.”
Any other new bands that you’ve played with and would recommend?
“We shared the stage with Bear’s Den for over a month and we truly grew to love those guys, as musicians and people. They’re just amazing. We’ve played a few festivals with the band Spring King this summer and we’ve been to see them play every time! Their energy and precision is just mind-blowing.”
And finally, what does the rest of 2017 hold for BANFI?
“We’re heading out on our first ever headline tour this September, which is exciting and nerve-racking. You’ve got to step up and perform 100% every night and give people what they’ve come for… a bloody good time hopefully! Then, into the autumn, we’re heading back over to Europe for some festivals and other little bits. So we’re pretty stacked until the end of the year, but that’s exactly what we want- we just want to be out playing shows and trying our hardest to win over as many people as we can.”