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!
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.