Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Friday, 30 September 2016

Banks: \'I\'m Going To Move Here Or To Canada If Trump Wins\'

Banks: 'I'm Going To Move Here Or To Canada If Trump Wins'

The Debrief: She's certainly one of the coolest popstars around right now. And she's back with a new single and a new album...

She’s almost certainly one of the coolest popstars out there at the moment. 28-year-old Jillian Banks (just Banks to you and me mate) hails from Los Angeles, has toured with the Weeknd, is best mates with Lily Collins and dresses in a spectacularly macabre way that you can only dream of emulating. Now, she's back, with a new single, and a new album.
The first single off The Altar (how's that for a strong name?) Fuck With Myself is all sorts of good. It echoes her earlier song from 2014's Goddess like Brain and Alibi but also, it’s darker, more mature. 'It's like an ode to my own relationship with myself.' She tells us. 'Sometimes I’ve been put in situations where you have to be your own biggest ally, and even if you’re not feeling confident you have to stand up to yourself and that makes you more confident.'

Surely Banks, the woman who storms across the stage with a face of devastating determination doesn't have any self doubt though? Welp, turns out, she might be more like the rest of us that you'd think.

We spoke to her about silencing negative voices, switching off and, of course, Donald Trump.

So why 'The Altar'?

For both my albums – I didn’t really know what they should be called until the end. I was driving down Sunset Boulevard in LA and I saw this altar on the side of the road and it was really broken down, it looked like it hadn’t been taken care of well, but it still felt like  a sacred place. I feel like my music is like my altar, my religion. And it just felt like a title.

You’ve said music takes you to a place where you don’t have to think; do you find the world overwhelming?

I definitely find technology overwhelming sometimes and the need to switch off is necessary. People are so connected all the time. It’s important to learn how to shield yourself from that but for me music isn’t trying to switch off. At the end of the day I just love it. I just really love it, it makes me so happy.

How do you stay sane travelling around? Do you do meditation or mindfulness?

Yeah. I think it’s really necessary. It’s hard to stay on it all the time – but I can feel it when I haven’t been taking the time to do that kind of stuff. It definitely centres me and give me energy and giving out so much energy from singing really real things about yourself to so many people is like giving away energy.

Do you get that same self-doubt all do when you’re putting out new work?

Yes of course! If anyone says that don’t, they’re lying. But you just have to keep it under control. For me it’s a relaxing thought to remind myself that the reason why I make music is not for other people. If I remember that then it becomes much less scary and much less overwhelming. It doesn’t really matter what other people think about it. Of course I want people to love it and really connect to it, and my fans will, and the people that love my music will, and for the rest of the people- I don’t really care.

Do you think that self-doubt weighs harder for women? Do you feel like we’re taught to be less self-confident?

I don’t know if we aren’t taught to be confident. I think there are just a lot of pressure in society that are much harder on women and make women feel less powerful because they’re fragmented into body parts and, sometimes, purely being a woman makes people treat you in a certain way. That can really chip away at how powerful you feel.

You travel so much – have you found a connection to anywhere other than the US and the UK?

It’s funny because when I first started touring I was so excited to see Europe and these places that were so far away and they were incredible but the thing I didn’t expect to feel was feeling really inspired by different parts of America. There were all these really cool cities that I hadn’t been to within America and I found that really refreshing because you think you have to go so far away if you’re feeling uninspired but sometimes it’s just a few hours on a plane rather than twelve hours.

Has travelling round the US made you more politically aware?

Yeah, I think just growing up and getting older made me more politically aware as well. I was watching the debate last night in the middle of the night and I was so jet lagged but I mean, I’m really going to move here or to Canada if Trump wins. Or somewhere else that isn’t America.

Mate, you guys are welcome. We’ll welcome you with open arms. 


The Altar is out now.

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Tags: Music