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Banana Gun Set Sights on Heart of the Sun

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 17:04

Banana Gun has a big year ahead. After spending much of 2011 playing shows, the band’s about to head into the studio and board the promotion train.

They’re one of the more colorful bands the Valley has to offer, but, oddly enough, none of the members are actually from Arizona. It’s not often a band with a female saxophonist can knock people’s socks off in Phoenix.

The band possesses a unique sound that takes from various genres and styles including rock, jazz and blues. Banana Gun bassist Ross Troost couldn’t offer up a genre that they fit in.

“I don’t know, it’s just Banana Gun,” he said.

College Times: How did Banana Gun get started?

Ross Troost: [Drummer] Ian [Breslin] and myself have been playing together since we were in middle school, like 17 or 18 years ago. We met one of our guitar players Nic [Dehaan] in high school and have been playing with him pretty much ever since. We were on tour, came through Phoenix and liked it so we ended up staying here in Phoenix. We are originally from Michigan and our tour was done so we were hanging out at a pool for like a month in the middle of the summer and we were like, “This is nice. It’s way better than Michigan so let’s stay.” We met Kevin [Loyd], who’s the lead singer and guitar player, he was in another band called Ghost of America at the time. We were playing shows together. Our band and his band both fell apart at the same time so we called him up. It was kind of slow going at first but things started to click and from there we wanted to have a sax player so we found Kyle [Scarborough] and she sings backup and plays sax. The rest is kind of history from there.

You guys have nice chemistry onstage.

Yeah, I mean I’d like to think so. It helps when you’ve played with people for a long time. We’ve played with Kevin for a couple of years and Kyle as well. Nic, Ian and I have been playing for 15, 16, 17 years together. I definitely think that makes a big difference because being in a band is about being able to communicate with each other. Being able to have that kind of rapport can pay huge dividends when you’re trying to put together a song.

It seems like you guys play a lot of shows.

Yeah, we do, but we kind of cut back actually. If you asked me that back in November, I would have said, yeah, I think we’ve played 90 to 100 shows in the past year. We’ve cut back. We’ve got a couple of shows in the next couple of weeks. We’re going to record at the end of April for a couple of weeks and hopefully get a full-length album done and get that out and we’re set to release that on the 23rd of June.

Wow that’s coming up soon.

That’s why we cut back on shows. We’ve been just sitting in the studio, writing new songs since the beginning of December. We had our last show of 2011 the night before Thanksgiving and then we took two months off to start working on songs. Right now, we’ve got 16 new songs for the record but I don’t know if they’ll all make it.

Are you recording here in town?

Yeah, actually, we’re going to be over at STEM Studio – Curtis Grippe’s studio. He’s got a phenomenal studio with top notch equipment and a giant drum room. We’re definitely looking forward to it. We’ll be there for about two to three weeks to record.

What was it like making Phoenix your home?

It’s been nice. Not one of us in this band is from here originally so for the musicians and bands and venues here in town to accept us the way they have is really nice. We’re all kind of Midwest/East cats, but we’re all here in Arizona. The winters stink there. What can we say?

KWSS PhoChella Fest w/The Love Me Nots, Mergence, Fred Green, Kongos, Banana Gun, Sail Inn, April 20, 4 p.m., TBA

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