Banana Skin was a song that I wrote around 2015 during the Demonbow solo years.
I have resisted doing lyrics analyses until now because I am always of the mind that lyrics are personal for the listener. This song means something different to you when you listen than it does to me and I think that is how it should be. I would love to see some comments of alternate interpretations, so if you have any please share! I do think it is interesting to hear the songwriter’s perspective when it comes to their songs so here we go:
To me, Banana Skin is about the fear of taking risks. As an introvert I like to isolate myself and reinforce my bubble by making it comfortable. The first line “I could tell you stories and I could tell you lies” reflects the myth that we project to other people whether intentional or not. We want to seem more brave than we really feel. Social media is often a reflection of this due to the controlled aspect of our “brand”.
“My life could be real boring and then I’d never die” is obvious to me: I convince myself that if I don’t take risks I will never fail. This is of course absurd.
I could really be somebody
Going to lay here instead
Going to live out my whole life
Just thinking in my head
The chorus is describing the tendency to think about the things I want to do rather than put myself out there and risk failure.
Trumpets start their blaring
Soldiers start to run
Their open hearts are tearing
At the end of someone’s gun
This verse is about the emotional bravery of putting yourself out there in a creative project and opening yourself to criticism. The anxious line of thought is that people will tear you down and you will artistically die from unacceptance.
I won’t give up
I won’t give in
I won’t slip up
This part is about overcoming these fears and barriers to express myself artistically. I choose to share the things that make me happy even if I do not get the connection that I want. I refuse to freeze up and keep my art to myself and I strive to make the world a more positive place to exist in through the medium of art. The words “banana skin” is a reference to Mario Kart as in just because you run into a banana in the game does not mean you don’t play or that you give up.
This is one of the first songs that we recorded using 2 usb mics to record drums. our lofi philosphy embraces the use of getting the best sound we can out of cheap microphones so this was done on purpose. We do have better microphones but choose not to record with them because of our love of early Modest Mouse and Alex G. The decision to keep as much of it drums and bass as possible was an artistic choice due to those instruments being what we would play live.
Drums: There is an up close Samson Q2U mic in front of the kick and a further away Samson GoMic used as a sort of overhead. These were panned and EQed to create a little separation. Starting at around 2:30, I copied the Q2U track and bit crushed it to distort and beef it up to create an explosion of sound.
Keyboards: If I remember right I made all of the sounds from scratch using the VSTi Massive. I am usually attempting to have a distorted Gameboy type of tone that kind of goes through changes during the recording process.
Acoustic Guitar: Believe it or not there is an acoustic guitar in this track. At 1:46 I am playing a simple harmonics riff that is distorted and gated.
Pink Floyd Vocal: At 3:10 my vocals double the lead line in the style of Wish You Were Here. I don’t know why but I was super obsessed with this idea at the time. Seems to fit though.