Banana Gun Interview

Banana Gun shows are an event, not just a few guys and a girl strapping on their instruments to wank through a set. They do exactly what you want a band to do on stage: Lay it all out. No Bullshit. No hustle. Their set lists often include only the instructions: “just the hitters, no quitters.”


Banana Gun Interview

Scott- Hi Kevin, thank you for agreeing to do this written interview w/ me and my readers. Tell us a little about the band, where you are from and what is the music scene like.

Kevin - My pleasure! Banana Gun is a 6 piece rock band featuring danceable beats, memorable lyrics, and blaring guitars. But the first thing people probably notice when we get on stage is Kyle on Sax. Last year we added a second Kevin on violin/keys so we've really been exploring more orchestral soundscapes and seeing how far we can go with blending various layers for a really interesting sound.

I'm from Missouri, but the band also covers New York, Michigan and Arizona. Some of the band grew up playing together in various projects and eventually made their way to Phoenix, AZ. That's where we all met and where we've been based out of for the last 10+ years.

The Phoenix music scene is interesting. Arizona doesn't usually come to mind when people think of great music but it really can be this diamond in the rough. Bands come and go, like other cities I'm sure, but there's a good sense of community and friendly competition amongst musicians here. We've pulled members from other bands on stage and in the studio with us and vice versa. I feel like it really pushes all of us to be more creative and it's something special that translates well to an audience and listeners.

Banana Gun’s sound is described as bluesy, jammy, eclectic, and jazzy. But, we all know that “jazzy” is a catch-all musical term too many music critics use when they don’t know how to describe a band that incorporates so many influences. Banana Gun actually has never approached writing or playing music with the intent of fitting into a comfy description Their sound fits anywhere and is comfortable in a 1000 plus venue or your neighborhood dive bar.


Luxicon Photography:

Scott - Please give my readers a short description of Banana Gun's style of music and songwriting. Is there an overall message in the music?

Kevin - Our style of music is constantly changing and evolving. Haha it might sound cliche but we really don't try to stay in any one box for very long. There are elements of punk, jazz, rock, grunge, and a lot more. If you have some time, you can pull up our discography on Spotify and hear the range we've covered. As for our process, a song could be written over several months or in a few hours...whatever we're feeling in the moment. Nic and myself are the principle songwriters in the band but everyone contributes ideas, melodies, edits, and arrangements. It's fun to listen back to an original demo for a song and see how much it changed through the song writing process. We really feed off of each other in a way that creates music that we couldn't come up with by ourselves. It's a true collaborative effort.

Releasing their eponymous 'Banana Gun' in 2010 and then 'The Elephant in the Room' in 2012 (which was voted Top Ten Digital Download of 2012 by Amazon Music Editors), Banana Gun then toured the Southwest and California before releasing their latest album 'Love.Instinct' in March 2014. The EP, 'I and the Me' was recorded and released December 2014 as part of their five year anniversary.


Luxicon Photography:

Scott - Who are some of the band's musical influences and which one of these influences stand out the most when it comes to influencing the band's songwriting?

Kevin - Oh man! A lot of 60s and 70s era rock I guess but it's hard to pinpoint any one influence. We range from Tom Petty and Queen, to Nathaniel Rateliff, Spoon, and Jack White if I gotta name a few!

Banana Gun is one of those bands that lay everything on the line for each other. Writing, recording, or playing live, they do it for each other and hopefully you’re lucky enough to be there to see it.


Luxicon Photography:

Scott - What instruments do you play and what is your "go to" instrument for writing a song?

Kevin - Primarily guitar but I've been focusing a lot more on piano lately. Sometimes it's nice to hear an idea and map it all out on one instrument then transpose parts or different melodies over to the other instruments.

Scott - Are there any new bands out there that you guys like that are making a difference in the music business and are setting a trend on how to market their music?

Kevin - Not a new band to us but Playboy Manbaby is killing the TikTok game right now. They write little parody jingles that are hilarious. Some have to do with current events or politics, others are just goofy. It's a super original way to get their name out and share some laughs at the same time.

In 2017 we recorded a double vinyl entitled "Dance Monkey Down in Faux Town" at Stem Recording Studios with engineer Curtis Grippe and Produced by Brian Stubblefield and Brian O'Neill. Our latest album is a 4 track EP entitled, "Rules" recorded and produced by Bob Hoag at Flying Blanket Studios in February 2020 and released October 2020. The album featured the singles, "Born to Lose" and "Get It".


Luxicon Photography:

Scott - Tell us of any recent music and or videos you have released and what are your musical goals for 2021.

Kevin - Of course! We just put out our 5th studio album back in October. It's a 4 track EP titled, "Rules". We released two music videos that you can find on our YouTube channel. One is a quarantine zoom-style video for "Born to Lose" that we filmed ourselves while in lock down back last March. The second is a badass psychedelic animated video by our good friend Konstantin Bosch for our song "Get It".

As for our 2021 goals, we've been working on writing a few more songs that we are excited to eventually share with anyone. But if we could have one wish, it'd be to be able to play to live, rocking audience before the year is over. Here's hoping!!
Scott - Thanks for all you do!

Kevin - Thanks for the opportunity. You rock man!


Artwork by Scott Thomas

Email me if your are interested in purchasing this artwork...


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