Combining elements of trunk-knocking trap metal, symphonic black metal and pulsating witch house, Banshee's uniquely vicious sound is one of the most innovative and interesting in the heavy-music underground. We named the self-proclaimed "fairy-metal" songcrafter — who's equally influenced by Death, Three 6 Mafia and Megan Thee Staillion — an Artist You Need to Know earlier this year, and since then her name has only risen in anticipation of her debut LP, Fairy Metal, which is due out this Friday, June 17th.
The nine-track album of self-produced material also features an appearance from Montreal rapper-producer Backxwash, but the focus is on Banshee herself, who uses her music as a vehicle not just for her creativity, but also to encourage a culture of "believing and supporting" survivors of sexual abuse.
Below, learn about Banshee's singular artistic identity, what drives her as a singer-producer-multi-instrumentalist, her fascination with banshees and much more.
WHO IS BANSHEE? HOW DID YOU START MAKING MUSIC, AND HOW YOU GOT TO THE SOUND YOU'RE MAKING NOW?
I started playing guitar when I was eight and kept getting into heavier and heavier music, which led me to metal production. When I left metal, I fell in love with electronic music and sound design, and just wanted to create my own world through sound. I went wild experimenting for a few years and eventually found my own sound through production. I was solely a producer for a while, then the Banshificiation happened when I started screaming over my beats.
HOW'D YOU LAND ON THE NAME BANSHEE?
I've always been fascinated by banshees and Irish mythology since I was little. Their whole existence is a warning to others, they don't want to hurt anyone. The more experiences I had, the more I felt like I could relate. I'm not someone who stays silent about things anymore.
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE BANSHEE'S MISSION STATEMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I want to see a culture of believing and supporting survivors, and the end of rape culture. I've seen so many ways in which society and institutions reward abusers for their behavior. I will scream about it until I die. I want survivors to feel safe existing and never have to live in silence.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO HEAVY MUSIC?
I was an emo kid listening to bands like Chiodos and Alesana. I was very influenced by the internet and any bands they were promoting at Hot Topic. Then I saw Lamb of God in eighth grade and decided metal was the only music I wanted to play.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN BLENDING ELEMENTS OF RAP WITH METAL?
I thought I wanted to be a hip-hop producer for a while, but I got too emotionally attached to my beats, so I decided to start hopping on them myself. I already had the sound in my head, and I couldn't hear anything else but screaming on them.
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES?
My production is very inspired by Memphis hip-hop, especially early Three 6 Mafia. The entire witch house genre was really impactful to my sound, as well, artists like △SCO△ and Sidewalks and Skeletons. Saweetie, Ashnikko and Megan Thee Stallion have inspired my confidence and my delivery. Some of my biggest metal influences are Death, Devin Townsend and Septicflesh.
WHERE DOES THE INSPIRATION FROM YOUR LYRICS COME FROM?
It all comes from my own experiences. For years it was impossible to talk about the things that happened to me, like the words would get stuck in my throat. Lyrics were the only way I could talk about it.
ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO ADD ABOUT YOUR MUSIC, LIFE, ETC.?
I'm so grateful to be doing this and for the support of the stanshees. All I've ever wanted was to make music for a living and I feel so lucky to be able to do it.