Soundigest recently had the opportunity to chat with European band, Banfi. Banfi is made up of Joe Banfi, Aaron Graham and Chris McCuaig, and they just released their new single, “June.” We chatted with the guys about “June,” their upcoming debut album, and more! Check out our interview below.
Joe, you were a solo artist before you joined up with Aaron and Chris. Did that inspire the three of you to decide on Joe’s last name as the name for the band?
Yeah, maybe! At first we were putting off naming the band because naming a band is always troublesome. For a lot of good bands, their name ends up being something they regret and are stuck with, like a bad tattoo. If you a pick a surname it gets around that problem because you’re already stuck with that name. Also, Aaron liked “Banfi” as a word, and we wanted a name that wouldn’t get in the way of the music so we just went with that.
You just released your latest single, “June.” Break it down for us in your own words.
A lot of the album is about memory, and trying to carry the best parts of memories forward into the future, which is hopeful, but then there is also sadness when it’s not possible to carry a memory any further. So this song expresses that. The verses sound like time driving you forward, and then the chorus opens up as you call out to who you used to be and what you don’t want to lose.
You’ve been working on your debut album, which features “June.” Can you give us any track titles or details on a planned release date?
Yeah. The album will be called “Between Us.” There will be three or four songs on there that we’ve already released, and then some songs we play live that we’re going to put out soon like “Future” and “Never Really Cared.” And also some really new ones like a song called “Caroline” that we only wrote and recorded very recently.
You’re based in Europe. Do you find it difficult to break into the music market overseas or to win over fans overseas? Why or why not?
It’s been easy in some ways and hard in others. Spotify helps a lot. We’ve had a lot of plays from fans in countries like Germany, Austria and The Czech Republic, and then we’ve been able to combine that support with touring there by opening up for other bigger bands. We find that touring helps more than anything and we would love to get overseas more but it costs a lot to tour abroad in these early stages! That’s the only real difficulty.
If you were to describe your music to someone who’s unfamiliar with it, how would you describe it?
I’d ask them if they like The Police, The National or Biffy Clyro. And if they like all three, then they’ll probably really like Banfi. In terms of genre language, it’s hard to describe. A lot of the songs are guitar-based pop songs, and we’re aware of being very inspired by new wave bands and early indie rock, but we try not to overthink our sound too much.
How has the writing process changed for you all since “Where We Part,” your debut single, was released, to now with the release of “June?”
The first stage hasn’t changed much: I (Joe) normally write the song on acoustic guitar or piano, which usually includes whatever the main riff is as well, and then Aaron and I explore a lot of ideas on Logic (some computer software that helps for making demos of songs) for finding grooves and the right sort of mood. Then, the three of us try to play the demo live, and this is a way of finding out which bits are crucial and which bits need to be left out. As a three piece band, this last stage is also a big part of our sonic identity.
You’ve played at several different festivals (Citadel, Bushstock and Great Escape to name a few). Out of all of them, which one has been your favorite and why?
We played Dot to Dot in the UK which we loved because we got to play three cities across the UK as part of a single festival. The Nottingham show in particular was one of my favorite shows ever.
Joe, what made you want to get a band together after being a solo act for a while?
I felt like my writing and live performance was starting to suffer a bit as a solo artist, and I think that’s because I had played in bands since I was 13 and I just really missed that dynamic, which was an essential part of music-making for me when I grew up.
Do you have any upcoming shows or tours that fans can keep an eye out for?
We’re going to be announcing a lot more shows literally in the next few days! I can’t say specifics, but our next proper UK and Europe headline tour will be early next year.
Anything else you’d like to add that we might not have touched on?
No I don’t think so. Thanks for your interest in the band!