John Banks Jr


I've always loved music and started playing band instruments (Cello, Baritone, Trumpet) in grade school. Freshman year of High School I switched to Classical guitar. By Sophomore year, I was completely hooked. I formally studied Classical guitar for seven years and Jazz for three. After all that, I decided I wanted to be in a rock band. I've been professionally performing steadily since '91 and show no signs of relenting. The bands I've formed over the years are as follows: Flux, Arms of the Sun, Daughters of Fission & EL. I'm also a recording member of Supajoint.







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music is like oxygen to me, definitely a necessity! Everything.

What is your music dream?

To comfortably sustain myself while making music full time.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Raising the awareness of the connection of and to everything.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

Wings - 'Band on the Run'

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Rush, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Black Sabbath, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Buckley, Soundgarden, Failure, Tool, Deftones, Primus, Clutch, Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine, Porcupine Tree, ISIS, Pelican, Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah, Neurosis, Mastodon, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Eleven, Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, Mike Patton, Monster Magnet, Queens of the Stone Age, A Perfect Circle, Mars Volta, Jane's Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, The Police, Alice In Chains, Medeski Martin & Wood, Leo Kottke, Mother Love Bone

What inspires you to make music?

I'm not sure if I can effectively quantify and sum that up, but I'd have to say that life is the greatest inspiration. Quite often I find that my inspirations come from the darker sides of life, at least from a lyrical standpoint. Musically, I feel like the best things I've ever come up with seem to be pulled magically from the ether. I've often said that I feel more like a cosmic conduit than an actual songwriter.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

While life has many challenges to surmount, it can be done. Gracefully...

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Perfectly at home. I love the trade off of energy.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

Hmmm, I've been in this game for quite some time now and I have to say that the changes that have occurred have both pros and cons, just like everything else in life that experiences change. Which, by the way, is everything. There are many more opportunities available with the advent of technology/social media. However, as it is easier to obtain by the masses, there is much more competition for bandwidth/attention. This is also compounded by the fact that the prospective audience also has far more entertainment options to occupy their time without ever having to leave their houses. This puts the impetus directly on the band to have an amazing live show/presence. Which, come to think of it, is pretty much how it's always been. If you don't wow the crowd, they won't come back. Ultimately, this is the real deal and always has been.

What do you think of Drooble?

So far, so good...

What frustrates you most as a musician?

Soulless, manufactured music designed for mass consumption.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

I'm pretty active in my local scene, I attend a fair amount of shows and interact with fellow musicians on a regular basis.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Well, it definitely helps to be proficient on your instrument. Practice your craft & it improves. This goes for every aspect, from your chops to songwriting to promotion, etc.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

EL, Fred Green, Gladhammer, Daughters of Fission, Pretty Years, Sorxe, Andy Warpigs, Supajoint, Dadadoh, The Bittersweet Way, Zig Zag Black, Hogjaw, Casey James Brooks, DL Harrison, Indogen