“I don’t really want to move. I love it here,” Shane Blanchard says over the phone from his Long Beach home. It’s hard to blame him. Blanchard’s day-to-day life sounds pretty ideal at the moment. His days are spent “hanging out with [his] buds,” skating, and recording “dreamy, jazzy pop” songs in his garage under the name Bane’s World.
The relaxing, mellow sounds coming out of that garage are right in line with his chilled-out lifestyle. It’s the kind of music that Blanchard says could be just as easily enjoyed in a dimly lit bedroom as a car loaded up with friends. Inspired by the sounds of artists like King Krule and the oldies that his parents’ used to play at home, Blanchard’s songs have a throwback feel that give them a timeless quality—helped in part by the fact that many of them are sad songs about love.
After the release of his nine-song 2016 project, Drowsy, people have started to take notice—he now counts Tyler, The Creator as one of his supporters.
“Tyler came to one of our shows at The Observatory earlier this year and I was talking to him,” Blanchard notes. “He said that he found my music through the kid who plays guitar in Bane’s World, Michael Seyer. I think he kind of scours SoundCloud and looks for new things.” Explaining that Bane’s World will be playing a show with Tyler, Steve Lacy, Taco, and Brockhampton in Santa Ana on December 30, Blanchard continues, “He’s been really supportive and throwing my name out there—which is awesome. It’s really surreal.”
Listen to his single “You Say I’m In Love” below and continue for our full interview with Blanchard.
When did you start making music?
I’m from Long Beach, California. My dad was always in bands when I was younger, so there were always instruments around. My sister always sang, too. But I didn’t really get serious about it until I started playing in my friend’s band. He was recording everything himself and I thought that was really cool, so I started to invest in all my own equipment. It kind of went from there. It was all just goofin’ off at first.
When did the Bane’s World stuff start?
Bane’s World started around the same time as those first recordings. Bane was just a nickname at the time. All my friends in high school called me that. I didn’t really know what to put it under on SoundCloud, so I just threw it up there and now it’s too late to change it. [Laughs].
Has your sound always been similar to what we’re hearing now or has it changed over time?
I think it has to do more with the recording aspects of it. I started to get in a groove with the way I would record it. The first stuff that I recorded doesn’t really sound anything like it does now. And I think it will always continue to change.
For the first demo that I recorded, I was super heavily inspired by King Krule. I was listening to that album, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, a lot. So one of my first demos sounds a lot like that. But then I started to develop my own thing and I think it’s going to continue to change over time. Even the stuff that I’m recording now doesn’t sound like the album, Drowsy.
What’s the Long Beach scene like? Does it have much of an influence on your music?
There’s a lot of people that record music here. But I think the thing that influences me the most here is just the people that I know and my friends and family. Everybody here is really cool and it’s a very artistic community of people. I have really good friends here and I don’t really want to move. I love it. I’m really comfortable and everybody’s really supportive of everybody else who’s doing things. A lot of my friends are recording music. It’s really cool to watch them all do their thing.
A lot of the time what I write comes from being really sad. But that’s not always what I’m trying to do—especially now. I don’t want a portfolio of just depressing, sad music. That’s not a bad thing, but when I sit down now, I’m trying to keep a more broad outlook on things.
Are you still mainly doing this DIY in a home studio?
I’m still recording everything on GarageBand in my garage. That’s how I started and I like that freedom of being able to just do what I want. Maybe at some point I’ll go to a studio for mastering or if I can’t do something myself. But for now, it’s been working out, so I’ll keep trying.
You record everything yourself, but play with a band when you do this stuff live, right?
Yeah, I met these guys that I’ve been playing the live stuff with a couple years ago. But they started playing with me around six months ago. I’ve gone through a number of groups of guys and it just never really felt right. My friend Michael Seyer, he records his own music, too. He’s from Gardina. He has a band and his band that he plays live with is pretty much the same group of guys that I play live with.
So yeah, I do the recording side, then they come in. It definitely changes from the produced side to the live side. They bring a lot to the table. We try to keep it pretty true to the recordings, but obviously it’s not always going to be the exact same. They give a lot of really good input and I really appreciate what they bring to the table.
What are all the instruments you’re playing on this stuff?
Well, a lot of the drums that I use are drum samples. But I do have a few songs that I play drums on. So I play keys, bass, guitar, vocals, pretty much everything unless it’s a drum sample or electronic drums. Then, I also do all the mixing and master—well, if you would even call it mastering.
When you sit down to make music, what feeling are you usually trying to get across?
A lot of the time what I write comes from being really sad. But that’s not always what I’m trying to do—especially now. I don’t want a portfolio of just depressing, sad music. That’s not a bad thing, but when I sit down now, I’m trying to keep a more broad outlook on things. A lot of it is about love. And a lot of it is sad. I’m sad when I’m recording some of this stuff, but a lot of it is a blur when I’m recording. It gets lost. Sometimes I’ll be recording and then I’ll walk away and be like, “Damn, how did I get here?” [Laughs]
Tyler came to one of our shows at The Observatory earlier this year and I was talking to him. He said that he found my music through the kid who plays guitar in Bane’s World, Michael SEyer. I think he kind of scours SoundCloud and looks for new things.
Your music has an older feel to it. Would you say you’re mainly inspired by artists from older generations? Or do you listen to newer stuff, too?
I’m definitely drawn to older music a lot more. I think it’s just that the production quality is really, really nice from the old music—and just the content. But I’m not saying I don’t like new music, too. I like all music. If it comes out and it’s good, I’ll listen to it, you know? But I’m definitely drawn to older music. My dad is super into the blues and my mom always played oldies, too. That’s always been in my life. That’s my cup of tea.
I saw your name in a tweet from Tyler, The Creator about a show at the Observatory. How did that happen.
Yeah, I’m super, super excited about that. And I’m honestly pretty blown away that he wants us on that show.
Tyler came to one of our shows at The Observatory earlier this year and I was talking to him. He said that he found my music through the kid who plays guitar in Bane’s World, Michael Seyer. I think he kind of scours SoundCloud and looks for new things. I guess he stumbled upon it through Michael’s music and he liked it. It’s really cool. He’s been really supportive and throwing my name out there—which is awesome. It’s really surreal.
What are you into outside of music?
I like to skateboard. I haven’t been skating as much as I used to but that’s always been a part of what I do. I like hanging out with my buds. I used to surf a lot, but I don’t surf anymore. I like video games.
Outside of music influences, what would you say mainly inspires your music?
It’s some personal experience. Then sometimes I’ll just be sitting there and pull influence from a movie or a book. It’s never a set process. I never know where it’s going to be coming from. If anything draws my attention and I think I can make something out of it, I’ll pull from that.
When friends and family ask you what kind of music you make, what do you usually tell them?
Dreamy, jazzy, pop. That’s a hard question. I never really know how to answer it. I guess that’s my best description.
What would you say an ideal setting or scenario for someone to listen to your music for the first time would be?
Maybe in their bedroom with dim lighting. Or with friends in a car. I think anywhere could be a good setting for it. Maybe something low key. A lot of people say it’s pretty relaxing.