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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos

5 THINGS BANFF WANTS TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE TWO STROKE MOTOR IN THE BACK OF HIS HEAD

Beverly Spills is out now!

Image: Supplied.


BANFF is back, sharing his first taste of new music since 2019 with the release of his single Beverly Spills. To celebrate the release, the musician has shared with MILKY five things he wants you to know about the two stroke motor in the back of his head.


Co-produced with Dan Puusaari from ‘Cub Sport’, the BANFF shares of the track: "Beverly Spills is like a memoir to myself. It's about looking back after a significant hiatus and trying to come to grips with this creative vision that has spanned my lifetime. And just wondering if it had all been hopelessly manufactured in my head.”



MAKIN’ METAPHORS

Beverly Spills narrates the to and fro of hope, anguish, excitement and desperation in your head - all wrapped in one tiny but pretty significant story. It felt like a way to mirror those feelings back to myself. As I did that, I began describing those feelings over the top of an original running guitar lick. Phrases like “it feels like i’m floating, in and out of place”, and “it’s the fight for correction, ending this lone war” seemed to describe to me how I felt fighting those feelings throughout the creative process.


The “two stroke motor” lyric is pretty funny, and admittedly one which landed pretty early on as I sung dummy lyrics over the core melody. It seemed to stick.


That lyric is my own made up metaphor, explaining the urge to find a way to ignite some sort of spark in my head to get going again. To accelerate through my own bullsh!t and just get back into my groove. It was one of the first lyric lines that stuck as I was mumbling words over the lead line. I found it kind of funny, cause it’s by far the most alpha shit I’ve ever written. But it explained a poignant and relevant feeling for me, and I felt like people could explore their own meaning in it. So that’s how it stayed.



EXTENDING THE STORY

My last EP ‘Mt Pleasant’ follows a pretty personal journey in contemplating self worth. After quitting a full time job, building a studio in my home and dedicating my life to making music, it’s pretty fair to say that things didn’t really go to plan. After countless weeks sitting in the studio trying to summon up some sort of inspiration, nothing came. And it surfaced every insecurity I’d ever harboured about my ability to be an artist.


Shortly after releasing ‘Mt Pleasant’, some pretty significant life events happened for me. So the 1,260 days since releasing a piece of work made a lot of sense. But when the time was right to jump back into my world as BANFF and bring new ideas to the front, I felt it was right to extend upon the story from ‘Mt Pleasant’. One that ended at the time of my son’s birth, and has begun again as he approaches his fourth year of life. So welcome Beverly Spills - a recount of my journey down the mountain, looking back after a pretty significant creative hiatus, and trying to come to grips with whether this creative vision I’d had across a lifetime had just been hopelessly manufactured in my head.



SOMETHING CAN BE CREATED OUT OF NOTHING

For me, it’s pretty rare that the creation of new work follows the same process each time. During that hiatus, I did strum the guitar in very rare moments of peace. Over that period of time, I’d collected maybe 40 different audio snippets of my phone. Very unrefined and unformed ideas. But they existed.


As I began exploring where this new batch of material would take me, I’d find myself scrolling through those years of voice memos - scrambling for a line. It was then, that deep in the scrolls of 2018 audio recordings, I hit ‘Beverly Spills Guitar Idea’. A running guitar melody that sung the words “The Revolution’s Tiring Me”. And while that demo had never really eventuated into anything, it hooked me right back in. So that was the start of the story, and a reminder that something can be created out of what seems like nothing.



COMRAD

I owe so much of this track's existence to my beautiful mate Dan Puusaari. Dan and I have been long-time collaborators, mostly touring BANFF live (Dan on drums). But over the past couple of years, we each carved out our own studio spaces, and have begun sharing and collaborating ideas in each of our studios. Dan was so instrumental in instilling some belief back into the BANFF project. I had a bunch of demo’s layed out in soundcloud, and he was the guy that pushed me to keep the dream alive. We’ve spent so much time together over the last year or so, and I can’t wait to share more of our work.



VERSION 1 TO 5 - TEST & LEARN

Four recorded versions of this song exist. And I gotta admit, I really struggled to land on a direction for this track. At times, I felt the main guitar line and vocal melodies were enough to bring it to life just on their own. So the first recorded version of that is pure and simple. The second version went down more of an upbeat, thrashy-indie pop sort of route. Channeling a bit of early energy from the Nationals back catalogue. That direction didn't seem to nail the emotion in the song as well. So a third version brought itself to life, the acoustic guitar, my vocal and a string arrangement. I really loved it, but towards the back half it felt a bit boring and repetitive - and I couldn’t lean so heavily into the strings for so long to keep that energy alive. The overall direction felt a bit stuck until around February this year. Dan and I spent the day tinkering on the fourth version in his studio. He suggested we rip everything back and just start building the song back up, without any guitars. We played in the chords on the mini upright in his studio, and began building up drum loops around it to give it a point to lift up from. Pretty quickly we knew this was the right path to go down, so we went all in. And that’s the version of the track you hear today. A special shout out to our other beautiful mate Adrian Mauro (Machine Age), for always having my back and for bringing the Beverly Spills trumpet vision to life too.



Beverly Spills is out now!



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