It’s official: everyone we know seems to be heading to Southwold to eat organic humous and see their favourite (radio 4) acts. We wish them well. However, if you – like us - are in London this weekend, fear not, there are still a couple of bands knocking about, eager and willing to smother your ears with sonic brilliance….
Of note, this Sunday, the Lock Tavern will be hosting the launch of Seams‘ (James Welch) 12″ release, Focus Energy/Motive Order. Having supported Gold Panda on tour, Seams’ rise to the top has well and truly begun. Seams constructs recordings on dictaphones and through laptops and cables. But don’t let that concern you. He’s billed as “the gateway drug to electronica for those kids that grew up listening to guitar music“. Intriguing.
Tonight concept band Baaneex are playing at the Lock Tavern. If you run, you should just make it. Ahead of their St Patrick’s day jamboree, we caught up with young Rosie, drummer for the band to hear about the band, the plan and The Count….
So, Rosie, you’re the drummer, tell me about the rest of the band. Who are they? Where did they come from?
The rest of the band are Joel Shea on guitar. He is from a tiny island on the west coast of Canada which is apparently more beautiful than Cornwall. Owain Paciuszko on keyboard. He comes from Cornwall. Andy Hopwood adding fat grooves on the bass. He comes from Bermuda and grew up in a forest somewhere in Britain – I forget which one.
We all met through Joel really. He used to play in a very sensible band called Muerena Helena with Andy. They made intricate beautiful art rock. MH broke up and Andy and Joel wanted to do something different. Joel was my housemate at the time and I had mentioned to him I went to some drum lessons when I was 13. Though I insisted I really was not “a drummer” and was also shy he bought me a snare and some cymbals and suddenly I was in a practice space tapping almost inaudibly along to a Roland 606 drum machine.
We didn’t know what we were doing but we thought something along the lines of “dreamy desert crescendos” or something. We fiddled about, then Owain came along. He is an amateur like me but his head happens to be full of wondrous childish sounds and catchy tunes. We got louder, faster and sillier and then we were BAANEEX. There is nothing really dreamy about BAANEEX.
And, who writes the songs? Is it a collaboration?
Lots of the time we decide “Right, let’s make a song – it is time” and we all hit/pluck/poke our instruments until something comes out and we all nod and say “yes, that’s OK.” Sometimes something good comes out of our mucking around and it actually becomes a BAANEEX song.
Your sound is (and I am not just saying this!) unbelievably unique. I really have no point of reference. The sporadic use of vocals leaves me completely gripped, wondering where each track is going to wind up. Do you think that you are deliberately shunning song writing norms of verse, chorus, verse…?
Thank you that is very nice to hear! In all honestly I think it is less of a decision to be deconstructivist in our approach and more that we don’t really know what we are doing! We are all quite positive and if one of us does something the others tend to say “that sounds great!” so we’re not really cutting much out. The vocals are developing as we go. At first Joel and Owain did the voices then one day Andy showed up with a microphone and started yelping along so now we have three.
We all love a broad range of music and have all in our time come across experimental bands that really rip up traditional Western song writing norms. Joel loves old Jazz. Andy used to be a drum and bass DJ but listens to black metal and I have a thing for African pop and traditional music. We all love Michael Jackson and Black Flag. We all like dancing. We don’t really have a plan for a BAANEEX song, we know we’ll never be as good as the music we love we just play hard, have fun and do our best.
What inspires your songs do you think? With so few words, is it more about the images that the sound creates?
I could say noises, sounds and humour but actually it all comes down to Count Dracula. It may not be immediately – or at all – obvious but BAANEEX actually makes concept songs. We have a series of eight songs all called Weird Dance and each one is about our own version of The Count, a clueless loser who just cannot get it right. It all started with Weird Dance 1. The lyrics are ”I need ice! I need ice!” – this is about poor Count D wandering through a hotel corridor at night looking for the ice machine. All the weird dances are about the trials and tribulations of Count Dracula the social outsider who is niggled by his own failings. Weird Dance 3 (Lyric: “Avoid the light”) is a more conventional Dracula tale. Weird Dance 6 is about The Count’s attempt to have a holiday but he can’t help asking himself- “What is the point!” (Lyric: “What am I doing in Blackpool?”)
It seems like you’re really a band on the up, gigging all over the place, what are your ambitions for the year? More gigging? More writing? Any forthcoming releases? Should we expect to see you at Glastonbury?
We do love to play live and try and do a gig in London at least once a month. We like to give the audience a good time if we can! I think our ambitions our fairly simple – we would like all our shows to be full! That would be great. We have just had the first four Weird Dances released as an EP by Oddbox Records, a little independent London label. We’ll be recording the next four in June so hopefully we can get those into physical format too. We’ll be playing live on Resonance FM on Saturday April 16th….. Glastonbury! Wow, yeah why not!