Melbourne via Auckland quintet Banks Arcade have unleashed their new EP Fever Dreams on to the world, and it’s ripe for the picking as your next favourite metalcore record.
Featuring singles ‘Sick’ and ‘Drown’, Joshua O’Donnell (vocals), Jason Meadows (guitar), Kenny Kemsley (synths), James Feekes (drums), and Harlan Allen-Jones (bass) have released a collection of neck-breaking, misanthropic gems.
From being named “something along the lines of Thornhill doing Deftones” by triple j Unearthed’s Dave Ruby Howe, to gaining support slots for Stray From The Path, Counterparts and Silverstein, we thought it was high time you got to know Banks Arcade.
Check out our Q&A with Banks Arcade’s Joshua O’Donnell.
Check out Banks Arcade’s Fever Dreams:
How did your artist name come about?
It was an aesthetic decision more than anything. Our old drummer and I were throwing around brands we liked the sound of.
It kinda represents the youthful vibe of being at the arcade with the lads having a good time, and I guess this whole thing is just an effort to hold on to that and hopefully make some a bit of bank in the process.
Check out Banks Arcade’s video for ‘Sick’:
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
It’s heavy but has enough pretty elements to keep the grandmas happy! (Our Grandmas are actually some of our biggest fans to be honest!).
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
‘Wilt’: This song is about a type of revenge that comes through success. Whenever you try to be successful In something there will be so many people that try and bring you down.
Check out Banks Arcade’s ‘Wilt’:
They creep into your life and are sometimes the closest people to you and the best way to beat them is just to go out and win at what you are trying to do.
The more you live your best life, the more it will eat them up inside.
‘Firework’: This song is about a New Years eve where I got separated from my friends and ended up sitting on a beach in quite a sad drunken state whilst everyone around me joyfully counted in the new year.
I got to thinking about the pursuit of an extraordinary life and how those who choose that path are usually quite lonely and sad but never really show it.
Check out Banks Arcade’s ‘Firework’:
People will come running to check on you once everything falls apart “They only love us when we burn” but sometimes at that point its too late.
What do you love about your hometown?
I come from a small town called Foxton (most of us come from smaller towns in NZ) I love the nature, rivers, and beaches and always miss them when I’m gone.
Career highlight so far?
For me it would be our last headline show in Wellington it was such a crazy energy!
Fave non-music hobby?
I love MMA and spend most of my time outside of making music fighting and training.
What’s on your dream rider?
I want to have some elite chef that can come through and make a healthy (but tasty) meal for the crew, barber that can make sure everyone’s fades are on point, fresh threads for every show (nothing feels better than going on stage in new clothes/shoes), a nice massage like an hour out from playing, and yeah go ahead a chuck a couple of Henny bottles on there haha.
Dream music collaboration?
I’m really inspired by a hip hop artist called Saint JHN. Surely he’ll jump on a Banks Arcade track one day.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself doing exactly what I’m doing now. Making music with the lads and continuing to push ourselves to be the best the we can be.
I don’t like setting goals that are out of my control (Play this festival, work with this artist, have this many fans etc.) these sorts of things have too many variables that are out of our control so we focus on the things we can control.
We wont stop trying to think of new ways to express ourselves and set ourselves apart from the crowd, and that’s all that matters.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Put on anything by My Chemical Romance and Im good to go.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be careful of the stories you tell yourself. Realise your worth and decide what story you want to tell instead of using excuses and accepting your fate.
Change “I’m not good at this” to “I’m getting better at this” and reframe the negative perspectives of yourself. If you can do that and you can always push yourself as hard as possible you can do anything.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
Most of the stuff I’m into you would probably expect from listening to our music. I think literally everything Kenny does you wouldn’t expect.
His hobbies include Golf (Harlan too on dis one), sewing, and obsessing over new household appliances.