Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Dear Banshee. Together we discussed banshees, creative process, their latest single “Rehoboam”, and so much more!
Their upcoming album “Wake of Modern Life” is out on May 8th!
1. Mustard is thankful to have Dear Banshee join them at Music Shelf. How is everyone?
James: Hanging in there!
2. Mustard has observed that a banshee is a female spirit in Gaelic folklore. Do they best respond to music? Has the banshee heard your music?
James: Ha Ha, I’m not sure! We get asked about the name a lot. It’s an inside joke amongst the band. I personally enjoy the mystery and I enjoy reading people’s guesses about the name online.
3. What are your thoughts on the 2022 film “The Banshees of Inisherin”?
Chelsea: Most depressing film I’ve seen in my entire life!
4. Humans love the origins of their favorite superheroes and bands. What is the origin story of Dear Banshee?
James: It started out as just me making beats in my bedroom. I started performing the music live in 2017/2018 with others. Chelsea joined during the pandemic and it’s made the band so much better.
5. Who (or what) influences Dear Banshee?
James: Many things. Art, literature, politics. I’m very influenced by electronic music like Aphex Twin and new age hip hop like Death Grips.
Chelsea: I have different influences than James. James is really into Jazz and I was classically trained on piano. So we come from different worlds. I love bands like All Them Witches and Idles. Both of us share music with each other though.
6. What is Dear Banshee’s creative process?
James: It’s different every time. We try to keep things exciting when we write a new song. For our new album “Wake of Modern Life” we used a similar approach for “Viva Guernica” in practicing as a live band for half of the album. The other half was all written on a computer this time. It was challenging but fun and new for us.
Chelsea: I try to listen to the songs written and add my parts in and try to play to the song as much as possible. It is challenging when there are so many people with different ideas about how a song should sound.
7. 2019 saw the release of your debut album “”Viva Guernica.” Could you share what it was like to put this album together?
James: It felt very hard because it was our first release at the time. It was mostly stressful. We all felt like we didn’t know what we were doing. I think we were more aware of what we were doing for our new album this time around.
8. If Dear Banshee found a fortress of gold what would they do with it? Does gold still have value in today’s human world?
James: That is a song that we haven’t played live in awhile but we would definitely like to put it back in our live rotation. If we found gold we would all be in a much better place, I think it is challenging to place value on anything that we once placed value on these days.
9. The video for your latest single ” Rehoboam” was created using repurposed materials and practical effects. What was it like to work with bDwS?
James: He was perfect for the visual concept of the video. I had approached the former director that did our video for our 2020 single “Plagued” but because of scheduling conflicts he wasn’t available. He recommended bDwS and he was very excited to do something for us. He had great ideas and told me that he wanted to make a video completely out of recycled materials. When he showed me the final version of the video I couldn’t believe the entire thing was made out of repurposed material. It definitely helped keep the cost low.
10. Mustard loves the message of “Rehoboam.” What was the inspiration behind this single?
James: The inspiration comes from an old political poem called The Masque of Anarchy by Percy Bysshe Shelley. We borrow and sample some lines from it and try to make it relevant to modern times by incorporating our own ideas. The name comes from the show Westworld. There was a lot of time, during the pandemic, when Chelsea and I were watching TV and we would text back and forth about different shows. That is what “TV Show”, the other single from our new album, is about.
11. A human gets the chance to see Dear Banshee perform. How would you describe your shows?
James: We pride ourselves in being multi-instrumentalists. I think one of the most interesting things to watch at a Dear Banshee show is seeing how much every member plays a different instrument each song.
Chelsea: Seeing how different the songs are live compared to the album. The albums typically have string arrangements but when we play live there are only 5 of us and we try to approach our live act in a different way and keep it exciting for the audience.
12. Do you have any upcoming shows?
Chelsea: We will be playing the River Ranch Music Festival on June 2nd in Tuolumne.
13. What is next for Dear Banshee?
James: We will embark on our first tour of the pacific northwest in July!
14. Where can readers listen to your music?
James: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and the usual places where you stream music!