Interview – Banana Blonde

By Charlie Matthews

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Banana Blonde, a power trio out of Birmingham, Alabama, asking how Station 219 could help them spread the word on their band and their upcoming album. Of course, they were emailing a blog that, at its core, is trying to spread the word on indie bands everyday! There is no “pay to play” here. There isn't any special handshake. A few emails, answer some questions, and we are in business!

Image: Banana Blonde

I followed their links over to their ReverbNation page and gave them a listen. These guys rock! They are a hard hitting rock band that leaves no doubt about their roots. Banana Blonde is offering up songs drenched in over-drive buzz, heavy drums and driving rhythms. The very first song I listened to was “Good” (no, really, that was the name of the song). It opened up with a gigantic bar chord reminiscent of the Sex Pistols, and contained a chorus that would have been easily at home in an Alice In Chains song. Banana Blonde are in the studio now working on their second album due out in August, and I am looking forward to it. I like the whole garage band vibe, and these guys are just taking that to the next level.

Banana Blonde is:
Zach Sheffield – guitars/vocals 
Chris Harrington – bass       
Chris Sims - drums

Zach answered all the questions for the not-so standard-interview, and just like his band, he isn't afraid of getting right to the point!

How do you describe your music to people?
Basic rock with distorted guitars and heavy drums, but still keeping a melodic feel in the songs.

Tell us about your local music scene. 
The music scene in Birmingham is really bad right now.  If you like rock and roll, it’s really bad.  Dead, nonexistent.  The only original bands performing are folk/Americana groups, or a guy with a laptop and cool lights. 

It is the weekend, who should we be checking out in your town?
Nobody in our town.  Well, maybe a group called The Essentialists.  Young guys who have the high school girls falling all over them.  You have to go to Nashville or Atlanta for some good rock music.    

What’s the immediate future look like for your band? Tours, festivals, working with other bands, etc. 
Right now we are recording our second album.  About halfway finished with the recordings.  Hopefully the album should be available around August.  We are not currently doing any shows unless it’s a really high quality gig.  Just focusing on the writing and recording of the new album.

What's your outlook on the record industry today? 
I think it’s changing and evolving every day.  The Internet and streaming services have completely changed the old ways of doing things.  The upside is that artists can really get their music out there to listeners and decide how hard they want to push their music.  The artist can be completely in control. The downside is that anybody can record a song and throw it up on the Internet.  Just because somebody recorded a song doesn’t mean that it’s good or should be made public.  The overwhelming amount of music available to the public has actually depreciated the value of songs and albums.

What three bands are you listening to right now?
Iggy Pop, Saint Motel, Ministry

What is that one piece of equipment you can't live without?
My Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.  Effects pedals and digital processors are really just a headache.  You can rock out with just a good amp.

Follow Banana Blonde here: 


57 Replies to “Interview – Banana Blonde”

  1. Banana Blonde’s opinion of the Birmingham music scene is disappointing and quite frankly, horribly misinformed. There are 15+ local bands/musicians I’d happily step out to hear/see if they were playing in town this weekend, of which only 1 may have a laptop and 1 be a folk/Americana group, neither of which is a problem if the music is good. I guess that comes with having broad musical interests and healthy spirit for community. To make up for Banana Blonde’s bad attitude about the Birmingham music scene, I’ll happily send links to a variety of local musicians and bands who produce excellent music in many different genres and appreciate the Birmingham music community, just hit me up.

  2. This guy is very wrong about the Birmingham music scene. Just because you’re not involved with the scenes around town doesn’t make them nonexistent. There are plenty of good bands around here that are active in the scene. Please don’t spread the false rumor that our scene is dead, you are helping kill the scene.

    I’ve never heard of Banana Blonde, but this interview makes me not want to support them. Get out and meet the kids making rock and roll, or stop complaining about your “nonexistent” scene.

  3. Every single word in this interview is dumb. Barring this guys baseless opinion about the Birmingham music scene (a scene that not only hosts Saturn, one of the most high-profile rock clubs in the United States), this guy not only doesn’t ever describe his actual sound (“heavy rock with melody” is a joke right? He heard that in Parks and Recreation and was being ironic?) and he found it really important to point out that the Internet changed the landscape of the music industry. Man what a brilliant observation no one else has had over the last twenty years. I hope he enjoys the eight seconds when the editor of this blog took him seriously because it’s the last time anyone else ever will.


    Here’s a calendar of some extremely talented Birmingham bands. I’d be happy to answer any questions about the birmingham music scene. It’s a shame to see birmingham bands not support their compatriots and It’s comments like these that are detrimental to our entire community.
    I host a radio show that talks about a lot of our local acts and I am a contributor to our DIY scene.

    My email is

  5. Nobody in Birmingham has ever heard of this band. Birmingham has a thriving rock scene. Butt-rock, on the other hand…

  6. Oy vey, man. This interview is embarrassing. Clearly, this band is not very well plugged in to the Birmingham music scene.

  7. So yeah, been around Birmingham since I was born, over 40 years ago. In the last few years, especially, the music scene in the city has been spectacular, and I have gone to more live shows at local venues in the last 3 years than i did in the previous 10 combined. You have amazing venues like Saturn and Iron City that bring in national acts and use local support, you have breweries always supporting local music like Trim Tab or Avondale. You have staples of the music community like The Nick still going strong and newer places to hold shows like the Firehouse . Bars like the Syndicate and Black Market holding everything from local bands to Burlesque shows. Go check out the Woodlawn area and take part in the Sound Edge Festival. I am not sure who these guys are, or where they are going for music, but it clearly isnt the same scene that everyone i know contributes to. I go to a lot of local shows, but no one i know has even heard of these guys until they started talking this misinformed trash.

  8. Could these guys be any more removed from reality? Yeah…B’ham has a thriving original music scene at the moment and is receiving a lot of attention. Nerves Baddington, Future Primitives, Wray, Lee Bains, The Green Seed, Shaheed & DJ Supreme, Burning Peppermints, etc.

  9. Do these guys even go out and see bands in Birmingham? There’s an awesome scene!! These indie/alternative/metal/punk bands gig regularly in Birmingham and out of town and these are just the ones off the top of my head. I’d say we have quite a good scene and I book some of these bands. Banana Blonde is a band of idiots.

    The Lolas (international and critically loved power pop group )
    Skeptic (punk with a good sized following)
    Low Frequency Buzz
    Ember (RE-LOCATED from Atlanta to Birmingham for a BETTER scene)
    As a Nation Dies
    Moth Face (4 dates booked within 24 hours after a hiatus)
    The G Rights
    Underland Express
    Dan Sartain
    Nowhere Squares
    Murder of Jane Crow

  10. “We are not currently doing any shows unless it’s a really high quality gig. ”

    Translation: “we are not playing any shows because no one has asked us to play a show, and we don’t know how or where to book our own shows.”

    But seriously folks,
    Birmingham has a vibrant music and art culture. Fifteen years ago there weren’t many bands or venues in town.
    Now, so many events are happening on a weekly basis, that I can’t even afford to see all the shows my friends are playing, much less all of the touring acts coming through.

  11. The music wasn’t good to begin with, and now you’ve ruined any chance of ever doing anything for yourselves as musicians in Birmingham. Laughable.

  12. Birmingham has finally stepped up to the plate . The reason why is clear in the comments. Birmingham is not only home to so much GREAT music, but also a community of passionate people who stopped complaining and decided to make it great together. Birmingham is thriving because we addressed the things that are important. Because people are electing people that thrust us in a positive direction. Broaden your perspective . Visit 3 venues (Other than the Nick**) and listen to 3 bands that you’ve never heard, i bet you’ll find a band out of the 9 that you like.

    **disclaimer** the Nick rocks, but you’ve been there.

  13. This interview is basically like some guy whose crush rejects him saying he never liked her in the first place. Look here, you pretentious douche, just because your shitty band doesn’t get gigs around here doesn’t mean the scene is dead. Bham’s music scene in the last several years has gained national attention. Oh yeah, and judging by the other comments here, it is obvious no one has ever heard of you, so you might want to consider amending that “we aren’t playing gigs unless it is high quality” policy. Even the most successful bands had to at some point play on a Monday night to 8 people. Good luck. Maybe you should find another city to claim as your own. Only this time, don’t bash it.

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