Blank Banshee creates audio-visual works full of samples and exotic images. He is often mentioned as one of the pioneers of Vaporwave. Online we found one email interview with him only, so we decided to talk to him. We had seen the very short answers in his first interview, so we tried some little tricks. (They did not work.) You can read this email interview (we did it in two takes) differently: as a funny or boring piece of journalism, or as a hint that interviews with musicians are non-sense and that one should let art speak for itself. An edited version of this interview was published in the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).
[Thomas Burkhalter]: What are the four main reasons why you give interviews via email only?
[BB]: This is like the 2nd interview I can recall doing and it’s just easier for me because I really don’t have a lot to say.
[TB]: Why do you think so?
[BB]: Music is a universal language and I like to think mine speaks for itself.
[TB]: I mean we could talk via Skype and create something like a conversation?
[TB]: Do you ever work with other artists? Or do you create everything by yourself, with visual and acoustic material that you find on the Internet, and/or that you create with audio and video software?
[BB]: I haven’t done many collaborations.
[TB]: So you work like a guru, but in front of a screen?
[BB]: Beyond that
[TB]: What does this mean?
[BB]: I really don’t know
[TB]: Can a bedroom producer change the world?
[BB]: Of course. Anyone can.
[TB]: How often do you leave your bedroom? If so how does your ordinary day look like – from morning to night?
[BB]: I’m producing a new album right now so I’m up here a lot. I still need to get out and chill as much as possible because I draw inspiration from living my life and my friends and being outside of my room.
[TB]: Lets talk about your video «Visualization». What is it about?
[BB]: It’s abstract really. Its short video clips that I recorded an ran through datamoshing software.
How exactly was it made – the sound and the visuals?
[BB]: Sound: The voice is from a cassette I found at a friend’s old house. The lady upstairs had a box with a bunch of random shit she was throwing out and I found this tape that just said «Visualization» on it. It was like this weird 90s meditation tape. The music part is sampled from the playstation game Chrono Cross.
[TB]: Is there a reason why you worked with sounds from Chrono Cross?
[BB]: Yes, I love that game and I’m a huge fan of Yasunori Mitsuda (the composer) in general.
[TB]: How long does it take you to do the music and video of a clip like Visualization?
[BB]: The song itself was pretty simple to produce. I built it over a simple beat that I removed for the final mix.
[TB]: The term exotica. What are twenty sentences that come to your mind when you it?
[BB]: dude 20 sentences? I don’t know.
[TB]: Sorry about that!
[BB]: lol it’s okay. Exotica isn’t a term I’m familiar with. Exotica sounds like exotic which reminds me parrots
[TB]: Is meditation in front of a computer possible?
[BB]: Meditation in front of a computer is totally possible.
[TB]: What are your feelings or is your opinion towards the topic meditation? Is Visualization more like an homage to it, or more like a parody?
[BB]: I haven’t spent enough time practicing meditation to speak from experience. But it seems cool. And visualization is definitely not parodying meditation.
[TB]: What are goals you have when you create a piece like Visualization?
[BB]: Just to make it cool.
[TB]: Lets talk about images, sounds and effects that I see and hear in your work. What is fascinating about:
[BB]: Everything. I grew up and still live by the sea. I’m all about the sea. When I die I would like to be buried at sea.
[BB]: Love islands. Used to hang out on one a lot back home. and I used to live on one.
[BB]: Sampling is dope. You can basically sample any noise in the world and turn it into defined musical notes and then play those notes on your midi controller. I love it. The possibilities are limitless
[TB]: Palm Trees?
[BB]: Palm trees are cool. Trees in general are cool but palms seem to be synonyms with chill vibes. The ones that grow here in Vancouver look like malnourished relatives of the ones you’d find in South America.
[BB]: Cuts…..Cuts suck.
[BB]: Getting your flesh cut open sucks. Bleeding sucks. imo
[BB]: Masks are cool generally speaking.
[TB]: New Age Music
[BB]: Dope. Into it.
[BB]: 20 Sentences about exotica.
[TB]: Steel Drums?
[BB]: Steel drums are pretty cool hey.
[BB]: Gardens are dope. My appreciation for gardens goes deep.
[BB]: Origins are important. Mine still define me.
[TB]: Where are you from? Where do you live? And where was this island you lived on?
[BB]: I’m from a town called Saint John, New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada. I moved to the west coast in 2012 and lived on Vancouver Island for a bit. Now I live in Vancouver.
[TB]: Origins. Is it important for you from where a sound or an image comes from or what it stands for?
[BB]: What’s more important to me is forming an emotional connection to the sound. The origin doesn’t matter so much but. kinda.
[TB]: In five sentences: What is your work not about?
[BB]: My work ?
Not about bullshit.
[TB]: In five sentences. What is your work about?
[BB]: Real shit.
[TB]: Why do you wear a mask?
[BB]: Looks trippy.
[TB]: What are your seven main goals as an artist?
[BB]: be healthy
be low key
be making dope music and art always
[TB]: Thanks a lot!
The interview was conducted via email on 25.2.2015 and 20.3.2015. The text was published in an edited version in the second Norient book «Seismographic Sounds». Click on the image to know more.