Gearing up for the release of his new EP later this month, GILLBANKS is a man who continues to allow his talents to shine through the London circuit on a regular basis.
Here in his first interview with Female First, he talks about his sound, dream collaborations and much more...
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
My music has been likened to bands like Radiohead, Pixies, Blur and Nirvana. I like to create catchy hooks whether it's with my voice or the guitar, use a lot of dynamics within the song structures, especially with the use of drums. I love creating wild textures and noise with my ever-growing guitar effects collections. Lyrically, I like to tell a story that the listener can relate to so I don't like to give too much away.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
So far unfortunately resources has been the number one problem. I would love to buy multiple pieces of equipment to help me progress my creativity but sometimes limitations are a blessing in disguise as you work harder and more creatively to find interesting sounds you're looking for.
The other problem is time. I wish I could spend every hour of every day writing, recording and performing my music but right now this isn't an option as I unfortunately need to spend the majority of my time supporting myself. Circumstances change though so we'll have to see where I am in a year...
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
Extremely difficult as there is so much music available via the internet these days, but at the same time the internet has made it easier for people that want to find new music and to cultivate a niche fanbase curated for a particular type of music. I think all it really takes though is discipline. If I keep writing good songs and playing amazing shows then eventually I believe it will pay off.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
Having creative control is really important to me. Creating music is a way for me to express myself and it gives me such a buzz, if someone took that away from me then there wouldn't be any point in [doing it]. I think that applies to anything you do.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
I would love to collaborate with Damon Albarn. He's someone that has consistently pushed the boundaries of his own songwriting, whether it's been with Blur, Gorillaz or his solo stuff. He's someone that hasn't pinned his work to one genre and I strongly admire artists with that ethos.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.
When I was about 11, my Dad asked me to wash his car for a bit of pocket money. The thing is my Dad is obsessed by cars and is a very particular man and likes things done his way. Anyway, so I was washing his car and was having a bit of trouble getting the muck off from around the wheel arches. So I did what any 11-year-old kid would do, (I was a bit slow sometimes), and went to the kitchen to grab a scouring pad. I got back to work and the scouring pad was doing wonders on the filth. After I was done I rinsed the car down with a hose and asked my Dad to come see what an amazing job I had done. He was not impressed...
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
To write the best songs I possibly can and travel the world with them. Ultimately I feel that if I've made someone create music as a direct result of listening to my music, then I feel that would be a success.
Where do you hope to be by this time next year?
By this time next year I hope to have released another two pieces of work that both push my own creative capabilities and take me on a journey with my limitations.
Debut EP 'Lend Me Your Skin' is released November 27 on limited edition CD and cassette, digital download and to stream on all major digital platforms.
GILLBANKS will be performing live at the following dates:
- November 20 - Urban Bar - Whitechapel w/ Lost Dawn
- November 27 - Four Quarters - Peckham Rye w/ Tony Njoku and Penelope Isles
- December 11 - The Sebright Arms, Bethnal Green