Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
TB: I always find our music difficult to define, as we don’t really fit a particular genre. I guess we are a rock/pop outfit – but our music often leans towards a bluesy/ folksy style too. We’re pretty traditional; we’re certainly not trying to reinvent the wheel, and there’s definitely something quite old school about our songs.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
TB: Leon used to always write music and songs, but I was pretty caught up in education, studying for an English degree and then a Masters. But when I’d finally finished studying, we decided to put our talents to use. I knew I could sing – but hadn’t really took it further than karaoke. We decided we should start making music together. Then, our friend introduced us to Fran one night, who we later discovered plays, not only the drums, but the guitar, the piano, even the bloody didgeridoo – so we struck a fair bit of luck that night. He was keen. We were keen. The Banquets were born!
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
TB: Musically, all things blues and rock. Bands/ artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Stones, Janice Joplin, Chuck Norris and Bob Dylan have had a big influence on our music… and for Leon, most definitely Oasis and the whole Manchester music scene.
Non-musically, I’d say that for all of us it would have to be our families. Leon’s family are all massive music fans. Both Fran’s mom and dad were professional musicians. And for me, it’s my dad. His CD collection was epic.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Gem: To play at Glastonbury festival – you’ve gotta dream big!
Leon: To be a professional musician one day. Or to own a yacht, and sail around the Ionian islands.
Fran: To win the lottery and live forever.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Me and Leon. Each song has its own unique story or theme. Some are literally pulled down from the ether. We’ve written about all sorts of things really, from the good times to depression; from terrorism to technology; from Byronic heroes to city girls; from alcohol to psychedelics.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
TB: Facebook and Instagram, mainly. But for our gigs, we have a promoter and they do most of the promotional stuff.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
TB: As a consumer, brilliant. As a producer, outrageously bad. It’s quite sad to see the physical CD/record diminishing. It’s become quite niche/ vintage/ trendy. My Dad used to have the largest CD collection – you just don’t see that anymore.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Gem – ‘Jolene’ by Dolly Parton – that song just has everything for me.
Leon: ‘Tightrope’ by the Stone Roses – just so exceptional.
Fran: ‘Loving You, Holding You,’ by Donnie Blackman
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Leon’s taking too long to answer this, and it’s probably going to be something political or offensive, so we’ll move on to me and Fran.
Fran: People who put their dog’s poo in a bag when outdoors, then hang it on a tree. Pointless!
Gem: When people wear their shoes in the house, especially when the floors are carpeted. It sends my OCD to the sky!
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
TB: I reckon it would have to be our very first gig. We were very lucky to be asked to support The South (formerly The Beautiful South) on one of their UK tours. It was an overwhelming and amazing experience to be stood on the stage in front of 400 people for the very first time. I think we all felt very proud, especially when we came off stage and received a round of applause from all the members of The South.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
TB: We’re currently working on another track, which should be released sometime in March. We’ve almost finished the recording of it, and then we’re going to work on the music video.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
TB: We have our debut single ‘Red Sky Morning’ and this latest release ‘What Ya Sayin’?’ available on all online music platforms. And then we have our very first EP available on all of these platforms too. If anyone wants a signed CD of our EP then just head to our website: https://www.thebanquets.net/thebanquetsmusic