Bank Myna Singer Maud
"There are exciting times ahead of us!"
Bank Myna singer Maud texted me to ask me about an interview. That's when I first came in contact with her band's music. When I listened to Bank Myna's songs, it felt a bit like coming home or arriving at some place I had missed for a long time. Kind of like something that's been apart for quite a while is now whole and put into place again.
The release of the Paris-based project's latest record, "Volaverunt", was quite a success: The haptic version was sold out after just a few days. Bank Myna created a unique universe with their music, in which the world of dark post-rock, drone, sonic experiments, and doom-like incursions come together in a very natural and harmonious way.
Maud's beautiful voice sounds mystical and adds a fairytale-like touch to the droning soundscapes and deep and texture-rich sound of Bank Myna.
Anne: Hi, Maud! Thanks so much for inviting me to the world of Bank Myna. I love your music! It is so multifaceted and powerful!
How are you doing today?
"We are working on new material"
Maud: Thanks for your words!
I'm feeling pretty good! We had our last rehearsal of 2022 today with the band, and it was heart-warming. We've had a fierce and full year with the release of our album and many shows. Furthermore, we're finally working on new material with our not-so-new-now drummer, and we have many great things ahead! Thanks for asking!
Anne: Your current album is terrific. I enjoy listening to it a lot. You must be delighted with the outcome of your work, are you?
Bank Myna – "Volaverunt"
Maud: It's not really in our DNA to brag, but yes, we're proud of it, and mostly because it is a result of a complicated and complex period for us. Our former drummer had just left the band, we'd found ourselves without a rhythmic basis, and we were pretty lost. This album is a success because the three of us have continued writing and producing new sounds and tracks. It was a real challenge and felt like a "rebirth" somehow!
Anne: What inspired you to write it?
Maud: After our drummer left, we planned a gig at Post in Paris festival three months later. We decided to give it a go anyway and wrote the basis of "Volaverunt" in a few weeks. It was initially a 30-minute-long improvisation with various parts. We had no drums any more, so we wanted to release ourselves from structures and norms to have as few boundaries as possible! So, our central theme is freedom.
Anne: You released "Volaverunt" at the beginning of this year. And now you're already working on new stuff?
Maud: We first spent some time rearranging the songs with our new-but-not-so-new-now drummer for our live set. He magnified all the tracks and gave them more depth and power. As a result, they sound much louder live now! It took us some time, and we also had a couple of shows we had to focus on. But we've been working on new material for months, slowly but surely. I can't wait to discover what the four of us can write together. There are exciting times ahead!
Anne: You've been on tour with Rook! How was it?
"Touring with Rook was awesome"
Maud: It was pretty grand! We had a couple of shows in France and one in their hometown of Gent. We loved it. When you play several shows with the same band, it creates a sense of belonging. We did not know them very well. I fell in love with their music when I saw them at Dunk!festival in May and offered to organize a few shows in France. We had a couple of Skype calls, and that's all. It was a bit of a leap into the unknown, but it turned out great. They're really remarkable. We loved playing and spending time with them. Plus, they're AMAZING live.
Anne: Please tell me about the live session you filmed before you started your tour!
Maud: One of our labels, Stellar Frequencies, offered us the opportunity to record a live session of one of our tracks. They had already released a few great-looking and sounding videos, so we jumped on the opportunity. We filmed it in an old barn in Haute-Loire (France) which is a meaningful place for us. It's filled with memories. It's large and majestic, draped with old stones—quite mystical. We decided to play "The Open Door" with a brand-new introduction and, of course, with drums. The result is beyond our expectations. You can watch it here:
The label is also preparing a strictly limited lathe-cut vinyl edition, hand-painted by one of the co-owners. They have such an artsy/DIY vibe, I love everything they do, and you should definitely check their catalogue!
Anne: Any other occasions we can see you live on stage these days?
Maud: As a matter of fact, yes! Soon! We'll be hitting the stage in Brussels and in Zottegem (near Gent) on the 26th and 27th of January. Again with the mighty ROOK! We're also planning a few gigs in May 2023 in Western France, and that will be it for our "Volaverunt" extended tour!
Anne: Did you always want to make doomy and gloomy post-music?
Maud: At the beginning, we wanted to be at a crossroads between Sigur Rós, Beach House, and Warpaint, so I wouldn't say that. What we write reflects what we're inspired by at the moment. And it's valid for the three/four of us, since there's no "lead composer" in the group. We write altogether. So, there was never a clear direction pointing towards gloomy music, but that's what influenced us when we recorded "Volaverunt". We were also in a unique and gloomy period as well, with COVID-19 hitting our homes and lives.
Anne: If there was one musician, you could pick to produce some songs with. Who would it be, and why?
"I love Anna von Hausswolff's music"
Maud: I've been musically in love with Anna von Hausswolff since I discovered her in Göteborg in 2012, so I'd definitely pick her. She has this sense of textures and fluidity that sounds incredibly dark and luminous at the same time. What she creates is always so immersive. It appears that it follows an organic/body-like pattern. It's just outstanding.
Anne: Do you think it's the sound of our times?
Maud: I don't know. I hope the world is not as gloomy as our music sounds and that you can find a little light in several places! Someone once told us that we are too joyful to play such music. Ha ha!
Anne: What does the name Bank Myna stand for?
Maud: I wish I had an amazing story or concept to tell, but unfortunately, it's not the case! So, let me tell you how it happened! In 2013, we had just had a fixed line-up, and we wanted to work in a democratic way. So, we absolutely wanted everyone to agree with the band's name. None of us was from Paris, yet, all of us lived there, so we decided to pick up a list of migratory birds. Migratory because we felt uprooted, and a bird because we like airy music and ethereal atmospheres. The name "Bank Myna" really stood out to us, and we liked how it sounded and looked. Well, the bank myna not even a migratory bird, but there you go. So, that's why we are called Bank Myna!
Anne: I believe there is a lot of great post-music coming from Paris these days. As a local, how would you describe the music scene there? Has it gotten more vivid over the last few years?
Maud: It is indeed quite a vivid scene, but also relatively small at the same time. You often see the same faces at post-shows (which is quite remarkable). A lot is going on, and it's been that way for several years. You even have an incredible post festival called "Post in Paris" that I warmly recommend! Among the post-Paris-based-bands I like: Nordkapp (they released one of my fav album of 2021!), Echo says echo (they've released such a great album called "Pause", I can't wait for what's next!), Frise Lumière (experimental and minimalist bass guitar), When waves collide (top notch!). Lost in Kiev also just released a terrific album. And the fav of my fav, are Oiseaux-Tempête!
Anne: Thanks so much for answering my questions! Talking to you was an honour!
Maud: Thanks a lot. I enjoyed it a lot. Have a lovely holiday season!