021: Alex Banks
Updated: Jul 17, 2019
Interview: Alex Banks on Music Production, Creative Flows & Beneath the Surface
We launch into Season 2 with an extremely insightful conversation with electronic music talent and visionary Alex Banks. Alex has remixed for the likes of Bonobo and also very recently released a brand-new album called ‘Beneath The Surface’ on MESH, Max Cooper’s imprint.
So what will you learn in this podcast episode of Your Music Industry?
1 - How Alex produced ‘Beneath The Surface’ including getting Alex and Dan getting nerdy about the gear and hardware he used.
2 - How Alex uses music production tools to inspire him and how you can use them in the same way too.
3 - How Alex is turning his album, 'Beneath The Surface' into a live show, including the process of designing the Audio Visual companions.
A little bit about Alex...
Alex Banks wanted to clear the decks, to start afresh. His Monkeytown-released debut album
‘Illuminate’ caused a ruckus on its 2014 release, praised by the likes of MixMag and Uncut, and
propelling the Brighton-based producer through a lengthy series of enormous international live
shows. But that was one chapter – and he needed to start another.
“I think there comes a point where you have to take a step back and somehow reflect on where you’re
at, and where you’re going to be,” he explains. “I feel like, as an artist, you’ve got to have something
new to say.”
So he returned to Brighton and began overhauling his studio. A supremely technically gifted sound technician – his other work also includes recording music for film and television – he brought in new analogue kit, a variety of vintage synths and cutting edge hardware to open up fresh avenues, clearing the pathway to his new album ‘Beneath The Surface’.
“I make music all the time, I make music everyday,” he says. “If you’re going to have that much output you have to have new things to inspire you. And even at this stage in my career I still get that excitement when I plug in a new bit of kit, and it does something unexpected. It’s important to have that introduced when you’re working on a new record; if you feel like you know all the equipment inside out, and you know all the sounds you can get from it, it’s not that exciting any more.”
One thing that Alex Banks could never be accused of is lacking excitement. Whether that’s touring with Moderat, DJing in Japan, or winning Solid Steel’s Mix Of The Year, he’s been able to connect with audiences around the globe, and those achievements are channelled into his new album.
This episode is brought to you in partnership with Help Musicians UK
The Music Minds Matter listening ear and support service is there for anyone who works in music who is struggling to cope. It doesn’t have to be a crisis, or about music, and trained advisors there to help.
Contact Music Minds Matter day or night on 0808 802 8008 or email MMM@helpmusicians.org.uk.