Paul Banks (American musician)

Last updated

Paul Banks
Roskilde Festival Interpol Paul Banks 2.jpg
Banks performing with Interpol in 2018
Background information
Birth namePaul Julian Banks
Also known as
  • Julian Plenti
  • DJ Fancypants
Born (1978-05-03) 3 May 1978 (age 44)
Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • DJ
Instrument(s)
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass
  • piano
  • drums
Years active1997–present
Labels
Member of

Paul Julian Banks (born 3 May 1978) is an American–British musician, singer, songwriter, and DJ. He is best known as the lead vocalist, lyricist, and guitarist of the rock band Interpol. He released a solo album called Julian Plenti is... Skyscraper in 2009 under the name Julian Plenti, though his solo material is now recorded under his real name. As a singer, his voice lies in the baritone range. [1]

Contents

Early life

Banks was born in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, on 3 May 1978, [2] to English parents. [3] His father worked in a corporate job for an automobile manufacturer, and his employment required that their family relocate frequently. [3] His family left England when Banks was three years old and moved to the United States, settling in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. [2] They subsequently moved to Spain when he was around 12, and it was here that he studied at the American School of Madrid in Pozuelo de Alarcón before the family moved back to the U.S. to settle in New Jersey. [4] [5] His father was later transferred to Mexico, where Banks finished high school at the American School Foundation in Mexico City. [6] Describing his childhood, Banks recalled: "We moved around like a military family, but we weren't a military family." [3]

Banks was involved in stage productions during his time at the American School Foundation, playing the lead role in the musical South Pacific .[ citation needed ] As a result of his time in Mexico, he is fluent in Spanish and speaks the language with an accurate Mexican accent. [7] [8] He later attended New York University, where he studied English and comparative literature, [9] and he worked at magazines such as Gotham [ citation needed ] and Interview after graduating. [10] He later took a data entry job at the Scholastic Corporation [11] [12] and worked in a café [13] in order to devote more of his time to music and rehearsals. [14] He was inspired to become a musician by Nirvana. [15]

Interpol

In the summer of 1997, Banks ran into fellow NYU undergrad Daniel Kessler, whom he had met previously on a study abroad program in Paris. [16] Kessler then asked Paul Banks to join the band he had started with drummer Greg Drudy and bass guitarist Carlos Dengler. Banks was initially not inclined to join a band as he had been writing songs as a solo artist, but eventually joined Interpol as a guitarist and vocalist after listening to the type of music they were writing and playing. [17] [12]

Banks' voice, singing style, and lyrics have been strongly compared to, most notably, Ian Curtis of Joy Division. [16] Banks has said that he does not try to emulate his greatest influences because he thinks he cannot live up to them, saying "I would never try to sing like Frank Black or Kurt Cobain because you just can't do it." [18]

Beginning with the recording Interpol's fifth album, El Pintor , Banks has assumed bass duties. [19] In the music video for the album's lead single "All the Rage Back Home", Banks can be seen playing a Fender Precision Bass.

Solo project

Banks claims to have multiple solo projects under various monikers. On 4 August 2009 Banks released solo album Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper under the name Julian Plenti, followed by a five-song EP Julian Plenti Lives... on 26 June 2012. [20] [21]

On 6 August 2012 Banks announced his second full-length studio album, self-titled Banks , [22] [23] which was released on 22 October 2012. In 2013 he released his own mixtape [24] Everybody on My Dick Like They Supposed to Be , which included contributions by Talib Kweli, El-P, High Prizm and Mike G. [25]

Other projects

In June 2016, Paul Banks and RZA announced a joint album Anything But Words as "Banks and Steelz", [26] with guest appearances by Kool Keith, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Masta Killa and Florence Welch. [26] Two singles were planned: "Love + War" and "Giant". [26]

On 5 March 2020, Banks announced that he was forming a new band, Muzz, with Matt Barrick (of the Walkmen and Fleet Foxes) and Josh Kaufman of Bonny Light Horseman. The band also released their first single, "Bad Feeling." [27]

Instruments

Banks using a black Les Paul Custom guitar during an Interpol concert Interpol - Rock am Ring 2015-9030.jpg
Banks using a black Les Paul Custom guitar during an Interpol concert

During Interpol's early years, Banks typically played a black Les Paul Custom guitar. [28] He then started using a Fender Jaguar (primarily due to the use of the tremolo in songs such as "Pioneer to the Falls") and a Gibson Flying V (which, for a time, had the word "breasts" spelled out in white tape on it) [29] [30] for songs from Our Love to Admire , and used his Les Paul for songs from Antics and Turn on the Bright Lights , although some songs like "Obstacle 1" were played with the Jaguar because of the impracticality of switching. Songs like "Mammoth" were recorded using his Les Paul for this same reason.

Banks used his Jaguar as his primary guitar for the end leg of the Our Love to Admire tour, and was also seen using a Gibson ES-135 for songs such as "Not Even Jail", but since the 2010 tour leg he has not been since using the Jaguar or ES-135 and has only been seen using his traditional black Les Paul in live settings. His Flying V, with the white tape now removed, can be seen in the music video for "Barricade". His ES-135 was his primary guitar during his live performances as alter ego Julian Plenti. In the 2010s, during live performances of his solo work, he began playing a Dave Murray signature Fender Stratocaster with two humbucker pickups and a middle position single coil, possibly to avoid having to change guitars between songs for the diverse sounds on his solo records. In terms of bass guitars, he has been seen using a black Fender Precision Bass with a maple fretboard.

According to one source, [28] Banks has used effects pedals such as the BOSS TU-2, Z.Vex Super Duper 2 in 1, EHX Micro POG, MXR Micro Amp, MXR Bass Octave Deluxe, Way Huge Swollen Pickle, Ibanez TS9DX, BOSS DN-2, and 2 MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay (one set at higher repeats). His pedalboard on the Julian Plenti tour consisted of a BOSS TU-2, Way Huge Aqua-Puss, BOSS DN-2, EHX POG 2, Blackstar HT Dual Tube Distortion, and an MXR Carbon Copy. Since 2004, he has used two Fender Pro Reverb amplifiers.

Personal life

In contrast to Interpol's melancholic indie rock sound, Banks has been a fan of hip hop since he was a child and has worked as a hip hop DJ under the pseudonym DJ Fancypants. [31]

In October 2012, Danish supermodel Helena Christensen referred to Banks as her boyfriend. [32] In July 2018, Banks confirmed that they had split up after a long-term relationship. [33]

Discography

Solo releases

Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
US
[34]
US
Heat

[35]
US Indie
[36]
AUT
[37]
BEL
(FL)

[38]
BEL
(WA)

[39]
GER
[40]
UK
[41]
UK
Indie

[42]
Julian Plenti is... Skyscraper (as Julian Plenti)
  • Released: August 4, 2009
  • Label: Matador
10311670818117118
Banks
  • Released: October 22, 2012
  • Label: Matador
17574175387510317
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

EPs

TitleEP detailsPeak chart positions
US
Heat

[35]
Julian Plenti Lives...
  • Released: June 26, 2012 [43]
  • Label: Matador
25

Singles

TitleYearPeak chart positionsAlbum
MEX
[44]
"Fun That We Have" [45] 2009Julian Plenti is... Skyscraper
"Only If You Run" [46]
"Games For Days" [47] 14
"The Base" [48] 201243Banks
"Young Again" [49]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Interpol

Banks & Steelz

Muzz

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Albert Hammond Jr.</span> American guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music producer

Albert Hammond Jr. is an American musician, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for his role as rhythm and lead guitarist, as well as occasional keyboard player and backing vocalist, in the American rock band The Strokes. Hammond Jr. released his debut solo album Yours to Keep in 2006 and followed up with ¿Cómo Te Llama? in 2008. Since then, he has released the 2013 EP AHJ, and the albums Momentary Masters and Francis Trouble in 2015 and 2018, respectively.

Bob Mould American musician

Robert Arthur Mould is an American musician, principally known for his work as guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for alternative rock bands Hüsker Dü in the 1980s and Sugar in the 1990s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interpol (band)</span> American rock band

Interpol is an American rock band from Manhattan, New York. Formed in 1997, their original line-up consisted of Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler, Carlos Dengler, and Greg Drudy (drums). Drudy left the band in 2000 and was replaced by Sam Fogarino. Dengler left to pursue other projects in 2010, with Banks taking on the additional role of bassist instead of hiring a new one.

<i>Turn On the Bright Lights</i> 2002 studio album by Interpol

Turn On the Bright Lights is the debut studio album by American rock band Interpol, released on August 20, 2002. The album was recorded in November 2001 at Tarquin Studios in Connecticut, and was co-produced, mixed and engineered by Peter Katis and Gareth Jones. It was released on August 19, 2002 in the United Kingdom and August 20 in the United States, through independent record label Matador Records.

<i>Interpol</i> (EP) 2002 EP by Interpol

Interpol is the third extended play (EP) by American rock band Interpol. It was released on June 4, 2002, and was the band's first release on the Matador Records label.

Brandon Curtis Musical artist

Brandon Curtis is the vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist in the space rock band The Secret Machines. Originally from Norman, Oklahoma, he was friends with members of The Flaming Lips, The Chainsaw Kittens and Tripping Daisy. Brandon and his brother Benjamin moved to Dallas and formed The Secret Machines in the early 2000s with drummer Josh Garza. The trio later moved to New York City, where Benjamin eventually left the band to pursue a career in his previous side project, School of Seven Bells.

<i>Our Love to Admire</i> 2007 studio album by Interpol

Our Love to Admire is the third studio album by American rock band Interpol, released on July 10, 2007, through Capitol Records and Parlophone. Recorded at Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village and The Magic Shop in New York City, the album is the group's first to be released on a major label as they departed from Matador Records beforehand. On April 25, 2007, the band officially announced the album title as Our Love to Admire as well as the track listing. The first single off the new album, "The Heinrich Maneuver", was released on May 7, 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beautiful (Eminem song)</span> 2009 single by Eminem

"Beautiful" is the fourth and final single from American rapper Eminem's sixth studio album Relapse, and was released on August 11, 2009. The song samples "Reaching Out", originally recorded by British rock band Rock Therapy. This version of "Reaching Out" is taken from the Queen + Paul Rodgers 2005–2006 tour, which used Eminem's "Lose Yourself" as the house music. The song was partially written during the first time he went to rehab in 2005, and the song would not be finished until he got clean years later, when he added a third verse and released the song on Relapse.

<i>Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper</i> 2009 studio album by Julian Plenti

Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper is the first solo album released by Paul Banks, the lead singer for the band Interpol, under the name Julian Plenti. It was released on August 4, 2009.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Real Estate (band)</span> American indie rock band

Real Estate is an American indie rock band from Ridgewood, New Jersey, United States, formed in 2008. The band is currently based in Brooklyn, New York, and consists of Martin Courtney, Alex Bleeker, Matt Kallman (keyboards), Julian Lynch (guitar), and Sammi Niss (drums).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interpol discography</span>

The discography of American rock band Interpol consists of seven studio albums, seven extended plays (EPs), and fifteen singles. Interpol was formed in 1997 by New York University students Daniel Kessler and Greg Drudy, with Carlos Dengler and Paul Banks joining later. Drudy left the band in 2000, and was replaced with Sam Fogarino.

Peter Katis American musician and producer

Peter Katis is an American Grammy Award-winning record producer, audio engineer, mixer, and musician.

<i>Interpol</i> (album) 2010 studio album by Interpol

Interpol is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Interpol, released on September 7, 2010, through Matador Records. The self-produced album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village. Bassist Carlos Dengler left shortly after the album's completion.

<i>Banks</i> (album) 2012 studio album by Paul Banks

Banks is the second solo studio album by Paul Banks, the lead singer of the band Interpol. It was released on October 22, 2012. The first single is the opening track, "The Base", which spent 7 weeks on the Mexico Ingles Airplay chart, peaking at #43.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Josh Kaufman (musician)</span> American musician

Josh Kaufman is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, composer, arranger and engineer based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a member of the supergroups Muzz and Bonny Light Horseman.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Banks & Steelz</span> Musical project of Wu-Tangs RZA and Interpols Paul Banks

Banks & Steelz is a musical collaboration between Interpol frontman Paul Banks and Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA. The duo began making music together in 2011 and began recording a full album in 2013. They released their debut studio album, Anything But Words, on August 26, 2016.

<i>Anything But Words</i> 2016 studio album by Banks & Steelz

Anything But Words is the debut studio album by Banks & Steelz, a collaborative project between Interpol vocalist Paul Banks and Wu-Tang Clan member RZA. It was released August 26, 2016, on Warner Bros. Records. Recording of the album dates back to 2013, with a demo of early material being created two years prior. Anything But Words features guest appearances by other musicians, as well as other Wu-Tang Clan members, and additional production from Ari Levine and Andrew Wyatt, among others. Five singles were released from the album; "Love and War", featuring Ghostface Killah, "Giant", "Speedway Sonora", "Sword in the Stone", featuring Kool Keith, and "Anything But Words".

<i>Marauder</i> (Interpol album) 2018 studio album by Interpol

Marauder is the sixth studio album by American rock band Interpol. It was released on August 24, 2018, by Matador Records. The album was produced by Dave Fridmann and recorded at his studio, Tarbox Road, in Cassadaga, New York from December 6, 2017 through April 18, 2018.

Muzz is an American supergroup based in New York City. The band consists of Paul Banks, Matt Barrick, and Josh Kaufman.

<i>Muzz</i> (album) 2020 studio album by Muzz

Muzz is the eponymous studio album by American rock supergroup Muzz. The album was released on June 5, 2020, through Matador Records.

References

  1. "Interpol | New Music And Songs". MTV. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  2. 1 2 Harrington, Richard (5 November 2004). "Interpol, Dressed for Success". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 "Paul Banks interview (part 1)". Face Culture (Interview). 19 September 2012 via YouTube.
  4. Kuipers, Dean (25 September 2003). "Interpol calling". Los Angeles Times. ISSN   0458-3035 . Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  5. FaceCulture (2 November 2012), Paul Banks interview (part 1), archived from the original on 13 December 2021
  6. Magallanes, María José (2009). "A Picture of Success". Focus. American School Foundation. p. 35. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  7. "Interpol Eye Up The Indie Crown". ShortList. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  8. "INTERPOL / Paul Banks - Entrevista Rolling Stone". YouTube. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  9. "Julian Plenti - Julian Plenti Is...Skyscraper - Album review - Time Out Chicago". timeout.com. Time Out. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  10. Murphy, Tom (27 November 2012). "Paul Banks on the joys of getting "Logic-ed up" in his hotel room instead of liquored up on tour". Westword. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  11. "MTV.com Exclusive: Interpol". mtv.com. MTV. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  12. 1 2 Goodman, Lizzy (1 August 2017). Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001–2011. Faber & Faber. ISBN   9780571337996.
  13. "FILE UNDER...NEXT BIG THING". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. 14 June 2002. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
  14. Johnson, Neala (27 February 2008). "Interpol singer Paul Banks talks about fame and music". Herald Sun.
  15. "Paul Banks (Interpol): "Os Nirvana são a razão que me levou a ser músico"". mtv.com. Blitz. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  16. 1 2 "Interpol: Princes of Darkness". Rolling Stone. 14 October 2004.
  17. LLC, SPIN Media (April 2005). SPIN. p.  67.
  18. Umbrella TV (22 July 2005). "Interview with Interpol's Paul Banks". Google Videos.
  19. Foster, Matthew (15 July 2014). "No Hidden Agenda: The Return Of Interpol". The Quietus.
  20. Alex Knott. "Interpol's Paul Banks covers Sinatra on new EP". Frost Magazine.
  21. "Julian Plenti Lives... EP". Julian Plenti. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  22. "Paul Banks lamenta no haber grabado concierto de Interpol en México".
  23. "Julian Plenti Lives...EP". matadorrecords.com. Matador Records. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  24. "Paul Banks: Everybody on My Dick Like They Supposed to Be Album Review". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  25. "Mixtape featuring El-P, High Prizm, Mike G and Talib Kweli". bankspaulbanks.com. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  26. 1 2 3 Lilah, Rose (9 June 2016). "RZA and Paul Banks Team up". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  27. "Interpol's Paul Banks Forms New Band Muzz, Shares New Song". Pitchfork. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  28. 1 2 "Rig tour: Interpol". MusicRadar.
  29. "Stylish and shy, Interpol left a lasting mark". onmilwaukee.com. OnMilwaukee.com. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  30. "Interpol at the Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI, July 27, 2007". post-rockist.com. 2 August 2007. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  31. Pitchfork Media (6 August 2007). "Interpol's Paul Banks Interviews with Pitchfork". Pitchfork.
  32. "Helena Christensen, Queen of the Runway". Wall Street Journal.
  33. Smyth, David (6 July 2018). "Interpol interview: 'We've never made a record that didn't have some strange things on there'". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  34. "Paul Banks – Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  35. 1 2 "Paul Banks – Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  36. "Paul Banks – Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  37. "Paul Banks chart history". AustrianCharts.at. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  38. "Paul Banks albums (Flanders)". Ultratop . Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  39. "Paul Banks albums (Walloon)". Ultratop . Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  40. "germancharts.de - Discographie Paul Banks" (in German). germancharts. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  41. Peak chart positions for albums in the United Kingdom:
  42. Peak chart positions on the UK Independent Albums Chart:
  43. "Julian Plenti Lives... - EP by Paul Banks on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  44. "Paul Banks – Chart History: Mexico Ingles Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  45. "Fun That We Have by Julian Plenti on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  46. "Only If You Run by Julian Plenti on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  47. "Games for Days by Julian Plenti on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  48. "The Base - Single by Paul Banks on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  49. "Young Again by Paul Banks on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved 15 June 2020.