About A Girl: Banks
Singer, songwriter and Goddess Banks recently spoke to us about her writing process, her love of Greek myths and what we can expect to hear from her upcoming album Goddess. And after a whirlwind year of EP releases and festival performances, we're thrilled to see Banks embarking on her own headlining tour this Fall. If you'd like to meet Banks and get her debut LP signed, make sure to catch her at our next For The Record vinyl signing event on September 10 at Space Ninety 8 in Brooklyn, NY!
On preparing for shows:
For me, I get nervous, but it's kind of just funneled into adrenaline and the second I'm on stage, it turns into something else - maybe some sort of power. I definitely get nervous before the start of almost every show; I'm not sure that will ever go away.
On being a self-trained musician and how it affects the way she approaches music:
I've never used music any differently than what it means to me. It's honesty and it's truth. It's really just a tool for me that I use to survive, really. [Laughs] A way of letting things out and expressing things that I need to express. Whether that's really happy and bright things or dark things, it's really just another language for me that will always be there.
I taught myself to have my own way of doing everything. I developed my own style and my own point of view and way of structuring my songs because of being self-trained. I didn't have any voices in my head, so it's had a lot to do with how I write, I think.
On her other hobbies and what she'd be doing if she weren't a musician:
I used to love drawing and painting, and I mean... I love art, but music is like my entire heart. Even if I love doing other things, it's not the same as writing music for me. That's something that I need. The other things are fun for me, but music is like water to me.
Banks' US television debut performance on Kimmel
I played in so many different places! It's cool when you play in different countries, different cities, even different towns, because culturally the audience can interact differently with music and you really feel it when you're doing the festival circuit. When I was in Poland, the crowd was so juicy, they were just incredible. There was this staircase from the crowd into the audience, and I think you're supposed to tell security if you plan on entering the audience, which I'd never done before so I didn't think to plan out, but during "Goddess" I just wanted to be closer to everyone, so I went into the audience down these stairs, through this pathway. I was touching everybody as I walked and it's just one of my juiciest memories of performing.
You don't really get a day off when you're touring, but in every city I go to, I try to wander around for at least an hour or two, just to see things.
On what she's interested in right now:
I love all Greek stories, Greek mythology. I've been reading those when I've been on the road. I love moving my hands in hypnotic ways. Very smooth. And I love ginger. [Laughs] Any type of drink with ginger in it!
On her upcoming album Goddess:
Goddess is my whole heart. It's me 100%. I put everything into it. I feel like after you listen to it, you'll really know me – my layers and all my flavors.
I don't really think in terms of albums. I'm constantly writing because it's just a part of my life - I can't stop writing, so I don't really think of it in terms of albums. Goddess is a body of work that represents a time in my life, a really important time in my life. I'm always writing, I have more songs, and I'll always be writing more songs.
On what the rest of 2014 looks like for Banks:
I don't know! Lots of touring. My album is coming out so soon. There's so many things that I'm doing that I've never done before. Even when I hear that question, my heart starts beating really fast. [Laughs] It's just a mix of excitement and nerves. Everything is new - doing Jimmy Kimmel is new, so I guess I'll be doing more stuff like that and more collaborations. Right now my head's just on the Goddess tour in September. I'm really, really excited for that. It's crazy. I'm so happy and it's the most fulfilling feeling to know that people are connecting with the music. Every stage is exciting - playing for five people or thousands of people, it's all great.
8/27 Washed Out: UO Pittsburgh (435 Cinema Dr.) 7:30pm-8:15pm
9/18 Lykke Li: UO Portland (2320 N.W. Westover Rd.) 5:30pm
9/28 Lykke Li: UO Minneapolis (3006 Hennepin Ave.) 1:30pm
10/6 Lykke Li: UO Washington, DC (3111 M St. N.W.) 2:00pm
Come out and get vinyl signed by your favorite artists!
Pre-order Goddess here