Bananagun: Isolation Selection

Trump wants to inject everyone with disinfectant. Fuck me. 

While the president of the United States of America might not be offering much assistance in all this, a certain group from Australia have arrived and aren’t only giving us something to look forward to when all this is said and done, but to get us through the malaise of today.

Bananagun’s first full-length is a breezy tropical delight. Full of bold, eccentric colours and rich, detailed textures, ‘The True story of Bananagun’ evokes timeless idiosyncrasy – the sort that will lift you from any sombre mood and demand you let yourself loosen up.

New single ‘People Talk Too Much’ is prime example of this – an effervescent and vital jam that will help you escape the very present while ensuring it feels authentic to the present time it’s made. A group unified by their unspoken ability to work off one another’s irresistible abilities, Bananagun are about to release a truly golden record when its most duly needed.

Today, at home in Melbourne, guitarist, flutist, trumpeter, harpsichordist and chief songwriter Nick Van Bakel takes us through how he’s coping through Isolation, digging deep into meditation, the exciting possibilities for the arts after all this and the eclectic playlist the group have made for us as a whole.

These really are unprecedented times, how are you, how are you all feeling in all this?

Nick: I’m missing seeing friends and we all wanna play together! Also wondering what the government are scheming. Absolutely loving isolation though – no work, I’m getting money from the government to stay at home and make music and meditate. 

Can you quite comprehend the impact this is having on the music industry?

Nick: It’s all fairly hearsay and I’m not paying much attention to it. I’ll just wait for news and then react once there’s some concrete information.

I know at this stage it’s perhaps not the most important of things to consider, but do you think when all this is said  and done, the foundations and the nature in which the industry runs will change??

Nick: It’s most likely going to be different for a while and there could be new platforms opening up, which is exciting. I’m hoping there’s a wave of bedroom recorders dropping dynamite albums. Button Pushers studio in Melbourne have been doing live streams and online content is going to be pretty big. I’m sure the industry will adapt but international travel looks dicey!

How has this affected your work personally?

It’s free’d up heaps of time to go deep into the piano, which I haven’t played for a long time. What feels familiar is different to usual so you break old writing habits.

How are you finding trying to be creative while being in such a restrictive environment?

People are usually fighting for the time to be creative. It’s not often the world stops for you so I reckon it’s there to be had! My house is in the forest so i’m used to being isolated but I don’t have kids or a mortgage or a business though so it’s easy for me.

Talk us through your playlist, what does it represent for you? 

Nick: We each chose songs that we’re digging lately, there’s been lots of time to research and find new gems! Here are a few of ours: 

Jack’s picks: Robert Wyatt – At Last I Am Free, Faust – Giggy smile and Love – I’m With You

Charlotte’s dope cuts: Black Sabbath – Planet Caravan, Rihanna, SZA – Consideration and Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks On Me

Josh goes home to: Nora Orlandi – Lady Luna and Henry Mancini – Mr. Lucky

Jimis digging: Dorothy Ashby – Nabu Corfa, De Frank Professionals- Afo Ato Yen Bio and Biff Rose – Ain’t No Great Day

For me: Colin Bluntstone – Say You Don’t Mind, Strawberry Alarm Clock – Barefoot In Baltimore and Erasmo Carlos – Mundo Deserto

Bananagun’s debut album ‘The True Story of Bananagun’ is out 26th June 2020 via Full Time Hobby and Anti Fade (Aus / NZ). Listen to their Isolation Selections below.

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