PAUL BANKS - BANKS - CD / LP IN STORES OCT. 23RD
Paul Banks, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for Interpol, finally steps fully out from behind his Julian Plenti alter-ego on his second solo album, entitled simply, Banks.
Following this summer’s limited edition (and now sold out) EP, the new album is a tour-deforce of mechanized, minor-key intensity.
Recorded in New York and Connecticut with producer Peter Katis (Interpol, The National, Shearwater, Jónsi among others), Banks is by turns bleak, sad, and exhilarating.
Featuring some of Banks’s most complex song structures yet, tracks like “The Base” and “Young Again” explore topics ranging from military alienation to loss of childhood. “I’m young again, thanks a lot – I feel young again, ra ra,” Banks sings, to a background of mournful, treated guitars, backward masking and raw strings. Paul will be hitting the existing Interpol fanbase with underplays prior to street date and has also been active in the urban world lately, appearing on El P’s latest album, covering J Dilla, collaborating with RZA, planning production work with Chad Hugo of the Neptunes, and producing a mixtape for Datpiff. He will be
tackling this new audience via WorldStarHipHop.com as well as a big Complex.com event taking place near street date in NYC leading into CMJ.
Key national television appearances, including Jimmy Fallon, are coming in October, along with a video clip for Young Again, which will hit in September in an exclusive premiere on VEVO.
North American tour Oct. 29 – Nov 11, and Nov. 27 – Dec. 10.
“At once daring, awkward, and moving— startlingly personal, even.” – Pitchfork (review of summer EP)
“Banks maintains his post-punk dapperness, with plenty of jagged bass lines and chiming downstrokes.” – Spin
Banks is a vivid documentation of Paul Banks in the here and now, and may be his most personal work to date. “Yeah, I suppose I wanted to simplify things this time around,” he explains. “Julian Plenti was something that I had to do, but once it was done, I didn’t need to hold on to it. I’m just making music and hoping to let it speak for itself.”
He delivers some of his most disarming and heartfelt lyrics to date with opener ‘The Base’, far removed from his often detached anomie with Interpol, “Now and then I can see the truth above the lies/Now and then, oh, I feel those beauties this life belies”. The writing of Banks proved to be a cathartic process, “I do think that in some sense there are more direct lyrics on this album, and there is some purging and venting happening. I suppose it was therapeutic,” says Banks.
The idealistic and wistful ‘Young Again’ stands out, kicking off with a transfixing guitar line before blooming into a dense, orchestrated chorus, “The lyrics depict an adolescent mind-set. Crazy absolutes that I used to feel when I was a teenager – ‘jobs are disgraceful’ – and as the lyrics came to me, I was revelling in feeling that headspace again. And in another way, it was kind of an epiphany of ‘Wait a second, right now I truly give zero fucks what anyone has to say about me. I’m like Bender from ‘The Breakfast Club’ which was how I felt when I was 18. That headspace doesn’t last. But it felt good for those ten minutes when I was writing the song, and when I sing it, it always feels good.”
‘Paid For That’, is Banks’ “Rage song”, recalling Folk Implosion’s ‘Natural One’, who are actually namechecked in the lyrics. “I referenced Folk Implosion because it’s honest. I almost took that name-check out because of fear of people harping on it. But I left it in for the kids growing up today, and for the kid in me”, says Banks. “One song by The Boo Radleys, ‘Upon 9th and Fairchild,’ influenced me more than any band or genre that is ever mentioned in relation to my work. Shit, so did ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ or ‘Nights in White Satin’ or ‘Riders on the Storm’. But I’m tired of caring what people think I actually consider an influence. I haven’t made much of an effort to be clever here. Just to be honest about my mood and perhaps to confess a little.”