The Flashier Side of Rock n’ Roll
By Kathleen Chaill
The two-man group of out Troy, Electric Banana, brings heat to the stages of Dayton venues by using ‘80s-esque dance beats, backed by an invigorating classic hard rock sound. The electro-rock duo uses an unconventional set-up of a drum machine, keyboard synthesizers and two guitars, with only the guitars being played live.
“Two guitars are a lot fuller than one,” singer and guitarist Sean Patton noted about their unique arrangement. “It gives it a heavier sound, and seems necessary because we have two different styles of playing.”
Guitarist Mike Schultz has a more fluid style of playing than his counterpart and this is evident when seen live. The pair complements each other well, with both bringing their own unique guitar solos and riffs.
“No one is really doing solos anymore, it is like the flash has been taken out of it,” Schultz said.
On stage, the two-man group goes full throttle with energy and flare with front man Patton usually sporting unique outfits such as pink leotards or all white denim pants and jackets.
“You also need visuals with the music; you will see us and not forget us,” Patton expressed about his sometimes wild clothing.
Schultz, however, does not get lost in the background, but instead ignites on stage with head-banging and long, smooth guitar solos. Combined, the two of them live have a full sound that when heard, sounds like a four-man band. Patton and Schultz recognize that they work well together and do not want to disrupt the chemistry by bringing in another member such as a drummer.
“It was how the band was built; why fix something that isn’t broken?” said Schultz.
By incorporating the use of a drum machine and keyboard, Electric Banana has a dated electro-pop rock feel that is hard to put a label on. To the two of them, it is just strictly rock n’ roll.
“It’s rock music, why make it difficult? People have so many things that they wish their music to be, ours is just rock,” Patton expressed.
Exhibiting a mixture of light dance pop with heavy rock, their music is a product of their influences such as Prince, Megadeth, Ween and Queens of the Stone Age. Together, they work on concepts for songs – even the writing of the lyrics is a team effort. Their songs are unconventional and what they sing about even more so. On their last full-length album, “Black Rubber,” they used pitch shifts on the vocals -often times spoken instead of sung. The lyrical writing is done by the two of them and is a reflection of their daily lives.
When speaking about their lyrics, Patton said, “We don’t take them too seriously because why sing about serious things all the time? Some of what we write about is based on real people that we turn fictional.”
Electric Banana was formed out of what Patton and Schultz expressed as years of them simply playing around. Since forming, they have released a series of three albums and have shown improvement with each.
“We are forever changing our song structure; we don’t just write one way and then just go with it,” Patton commented about their evolving sound.
Electric Banana has recently released a new EP titled “Odds and Ends.” The album consists of six tracks with a blend of both dance and rock and is a strange mix of songs that range from drug references to a light-hearted break-up song. With the range of songs such as these, it is easy to see why the EP got its name “Odds and Ends.”
To debut the new release, Electric Banana had a show at Jimmy’s Cornerstone with accompanying bands Astro Fang and Roley Yuma. Their next endeavor will be making a concept album with hopes of being finished around the beginning of summer 2011. They have hopes of touring in surrounding states after the release of their next album.
Electric Banana introduces an unusual blend of dance rock that is uncommon in the Dayton music scene. Staying fresh and not getting caught in repetition is what helps to keep them from fading away. One of the recent highlights of their music career was going onto WYSO’s show “Kaleidoscope” where they were interviewed and played a few of their songs. The secret to their success and feel good music is their philosophy of what Patton says is, “Not taking ourselves too seriously.”
For more information on Electric Banana you can visit their website www.electricbananarocks.com