Melbourne-based garage-pop band, Bananagun, are releasing their latest record, Do Yeah, this week on September 6. The group fuses music elements such as Fela Kuti-esque repetitions, exotica, jazz and 1960s pop-rock to create their psychedelic sound. The group consists of Jack Crook on guitars and vocals, Josh Dans on bass, Jimi Gregg on dog drums, Charlotte Tobin on Djembe and percusion and Nick Van Bakel on guitars, vocals and flute.
We had a brief, but nice chat with guitarist Nick Van Bakel about their new record, growing up with music, music influences, what’s next and a few of his personal music favorites.
What was the writing and recording process like for you all with “Do Yeah”?
Nick Van Bakel: It was fun, we got the idea for it at practice and the chorus chant and the I finished of the lyrics at home. We recorded it at my house. Its decorated like Pharaohs tomb because it used to be an Egyptian travel agency!
Did any of your familial upbringing play a role in your love of playing and performing music?
Nick: A few of our parents were in bands or played something and my family is really into it; there’s always been plenty of music around.
Are there any particular song(s) on “Do Yeah,” that have a special meaning to any of you?
Nick: Nothing in particular but it’s nice sometimes listening back and it’s a time warp to when you made it and everyone in high spirits.
Who are each of your main musical influences, especially for this record?
Nick: I think for this record kind of African and South American music generally. Anything you think it sounds like. “Top Cat” I definitely had The Troggs in mind or some bubblegum vibes. There’s so much good stuff getting created or re-discovered everyday.
What’s next for the remainder of the year?
Nick: We just recorded an album so getting that all ready. Jack’s in Mexico so not much playing. Mostly getting some new ideas cooking up.
Who was your first concert, and who has been your favorite so far?
Nick: My first was 28days this Australian rap rock band like Limp Bizkit and they signed my hat!
Probably just seeing all the crazy performances in India of street musicians because its all so exciting in another land and exotic and crazy!
What was your first album on cassette, CD and/or vinyl?
Nick: No cassettes, but CD was Dr. Dre – The Chronic. I got a box of vinyl from a family friend when i was about 15 and I remember it had some Donavan, Simon & Garfunkel and Days of Future Past by The Moody Blues.
Which five albums and/or artists would you not want to live without?
Incredible String Band
Which artist would you love to collaborate with?
Nick: There’s a Sudanese guy called Gordon Koaang living here at the moment, trying to get citizenship that makes the coolest music. He kills it but our immigration policies are so tight. We’ve got so many people being held in detention centres being treated so badly and we’ve got so much land but people are too racist and xenophobe weirdos.