In Conversation With Bansith
23rd March 2023
Please introduce yourselves,
Tasha: My name’s Tasha and I sing and write the lyrics. Did a bit of the drums when we were recording but vocals is what I focus on.
Sam: I’m Sam I write a lot of the music, generally, it’s quite bizarre, Tasha fixes it up then I play drums and the guitar on the records.
What’s the origin story?
Tasha: It started as a university project, me and Sam both did music at the University of Sheffield and we had a big project for our final year to make a concept album, we got to choose what the project was and we wanted to make an album and the Uni said we should do a concept with it. Then we kind of formed the band out of that really.
Sam: Yes, it was two years of open mic’-ing and then always having this idea that we would be able to do something of our own and I think that Uni project was the perfect opportunity to actually do it.
What’s the story behind the name?
Sam: Ah, that’s yours Tasha
Tasha: This was one of my ideas. I am quite interested in mythology and folklore. That’s quite separate, but I like music and I like that, because it’s my main two sort of interests. Bansith is a different spelling from Banshee and I think it’s Celtic. When we decided our concept was going to be apocalypse, end of the world, the idea just came to me because Banshees in folklore scream to signify someone’s imminent death - which is depressing - but I thought for a concept that’s about the world ending and everyone dying then it sort of seemed to fit.
Sam: And I said yes.
Tasha: And Sam said yes ha-ha.
Give us a general overview of your sound and the common themes in your music.
Sam: The themes are definitely apocalyptic, doomy, spookiness. Lots of synths - we try and make it quite ethereal and synth-y. A lot of people say it’s quite grungy.
Tasha: I’d say we’re very much in the metal genre as an umbrella term. But there’s a lot of modern metal at the minute that’s very synth-heavy, and combines a lot of synths and guitar to make a nice wash of sound, and that’s quite in at the moment.
So where are you based at the minute?
Tasha: Based in Sheffield because of gigs. But this year I’m living down in Guildford.
Sam: I live in Derby.
Tasha: It’s hard to coordinate rehearsing because we’ve got two other people who play live with us as well, it’s not just us for the gigs. So, to coordinate four people in four different places is quite difficult. But Sheffield is our main place.
Sam: It’s our spiritual home, it’s definitely where we focus at the moment.
How do you find being an up-and-coming band in Sheffield?
Tasha: I like it, I like it.
Sam: It’s really good fun, you meet a lot of nice people and get to play some cool venues and do some cool stuff. It’s what you want to do, isn’t it?
Tasha: Sheffield’s got a lot of opportunities as well, which definitely helps. We’re in the Metal to Masses competition this year and not everyplace has that opportunity.
What are your favourite places to play in Sheffield? Do you have any memorable gigs?
Sam: I mean our first Corp gig.
Tash: Well, Corp so far. We’re playing Record Junkee tonight so that should be cool.
What kind of a live presence can people expect from you?
Sam: What kind of a live presence? Me being very sweaty.
Tasha: That’s a tough question but…
Sam & Tasha: attitude
Sam: Definitely attitude.
Tasha: I know you’re behind the drums but me and the two guitarists next to me, like to give it some movements, some head banging.
Sam: I think we try to be an energetic and a bit out there. The more we play, the more we want to kind of push what we’re saying and gain the face of what we’re doing.
Tasha: We have a long intro for one of our songs, just for live gigs, just like ethereal sounding synth that gives a kind of spookiness to it.
Sam: Subtle! Energetic but subtle.
What are your priorities as artists going forward? Is it recording, live music, or both?
Tasha: Both really. We were in a studio yesterday. We’re trying to get onto recording stuff professionally while also doing loads of gigs. At the moment we’ve got a few lined up.
Sam: Pretty equal, aren’t they?
Tasha: Yeah, equally as important.
Sam: We started off as a song-writing endeavour but the live stuff’s fun and I think the live stuff as well gets you where you want to be. Because it’s much harder to promote yourself if you’re not a physical presence anywhere. So ultimately you can’t really separate them too much because you have to have both unless you’re a Bon Jovi tribute act, which we’re not.
Tasha: There you go.
What’s your process whether you're in a gig or in the studio?
Tasha: I guess it differs depending on what we’re doing. For live gigs it just started with us sending the songs to the two guitarists that we play with and we say ‘we’re going to rehearse on this date and this date and we’re going to do these songs’ and we just kinda see how it goes. Everyone learns their parts on their own, and we all come together and try to nail it.
Sam: It’s quite an easy process really because there’s not too much, in terms of rehearsal, fiddling of things ‘cos it’s ‘this exists let’s play it,’ and because we’re working with good musicians it’s easy to go, ‘oh play this,’ and it very quickly sounds like what we want it to be. Which is nice.
Tasha: For recording, it’s a bit different because obviously you’re not working towards a live setting. Hmm - what is our process for recording?
Tasha: Chaotic yeah. Yesterday we started with drums - mic’ing up for drums takes forever - and then the vocals after that, then the backing vocals and we tidy it all up.
Sam: Then all of the synths and guitars we try to pre-record so that there’s less work to do in the studio. Then it all comes together, it’s magical really; you hit some circles, you sing some words and it all comes together.
Tasha: Magic happens!
Sam: It’s weird sometimes.
Tell me about the creative process.
Tasha: Like writing songs? It differs depending on the song. Most of the time Sam writes the music and I try to slot words in over the top.
Sam: I’ll send a lot of either slightly odd music or with no structure and send across this big chunk of ‘here’s a lot of songs which fit across one theme’ and then I think quite a few of the songs you’ve then changed it all around, and made it into something that made sense, and sang over it.
Tasha: It’s usually music first, vocals afterwards, and then we bounce off each other. For me in terms of the lyrics, sometimes I wanna write a song about X and then the words come out of that. Other times it’s just the words just come to me without a specific topic in mind going into it.
What or who would you say is a major influence on both your sounds?
Tasha: Well, a lot of modern metal that you mentioned before, bands like Sleep Token and Spirit Box, Bring Me The Horizon as well, so they’ve gone into the realm of synth-metal so definitely them.
Sam: Arcane Roots, they’re a slightly obscure British metal band but they do a lot of synth work. There’s a song called LARP, which is where I got inspiration for a lot of how our synths sound - building structures and layering music comes from that background, that song particularly.
Tasha: We’ve been compared to Evanescence as well, a couple of times.
Sam: “Big-clean vocals”
Tasha: I think because of my voice, Amy Lee from Evanescence is one of my biggest vocal inspirations, so I’ve practicing a lot of Evanescence. Not trying to copy her style, more experimenting with singing in her kind of way.
Sam: There’s all sorts in there. The shared love of Enter Shikari rears its head a lot. But it’s nice, it stops us from being restricted by trying to be a sound, which sounds a bit pretentious but we’re trying to do something a bit more interesting than copying a band. We try to work that out a bit and do what we want to do even if it’s not that good.
What inspires your lyrics?
Tasha: For the album we released, Final Lullaby, as I mentioned is a concept album, and the concept is end of the world, so all the songs on the album are based on different sorts of things that are leading up to a potential apocalypse in the world or issues with the world that are feeling quite apocalyptic. It started with me brainstorming everything wrong with the world… everything.
Sam: Hah. You literally had this massive mind map in your notebook.
Tasha: Yeah, just everything wrong with the world from mental health to nuclear war. Again, a difference from song to song, but all of them stemmed from that theme of apocalypse.
Sam: Then obviously recently beyond that album, our focus has changed.
Tasha: We’ve got some things in the works right now that are not yet released and they kind of stray away from the apocalypse theme. We’re starting to look more inwards and exploring our own personal feelings instead of looking out at the world. But most of the stuff we’ve got online is still about end of the world and crises within it.
Sam: In the future you’re going to see into the souls of Bansith.
Tasha: Ha-ha, for better or for worse.
You’ve mentioned the album, tell us about what music you have currently released
Tasha: It’s on Spotify, Apple Music…
Sam: On all major streaming services. That’s what they say isn’t it?
Tasha: Yeah. There’s a big list of streaming services and I could not tell you the names of all of them. But all the big ones, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Deezer…
Sam: We’ve got a stripped version of our own song on YouTube.
Tasha: So everywhere really.
Obviously you have your gig at Record Junkee, what else do you have in the works?
Sam: We’re at Corp next Friday the 24th, for Metal to Masses. Then we’ve got another Corp gig in December, which is a long time’s away but that’s for a Mental Health charity. We’re playing the Harley on the 21ST of April. I’m sure we’ll have a load more by the time we get there, they just seem to keep plopping in at the moment, don’t they?
Tasha: Yeah, the more momentum you get with gigs, the more you get offered. Hopefully we’ll be playing in the final for Metal to Masses as well, which is in May. But we’ll find out in our semi-final next week on Friday so…
Final question for you. What are your musical ambitions?
Sam: I’ve always wanted a band name on the Download t-shirt ha-ha. That would be a start.
Tasha: Yeah, Download would be good. Big festivals I’d like to play. Is suppose for me I guess I’d like to get as big as the bands I’ve looked up to. I love the idea of being the front woman of a band in future years that young girls are looking up to. That’s for me personally, just ‘cos I as a teenager reading a lot of Karrang Magazine - as an emo kid, and I was just seeing people like Hayley Williams, Amy Lee, Lizzy Hale, and I was thinking ‘wow I want to be like that one day.’
Sam: I mean there’s an element of I enjoy making music, I enjoy playing music and if I could do that full time, sorted. Like I want to be very successful but there’s a part of me that wants to do what we were doing yesterday in the studio and then do what we do today in the gig all the time, and have that as my life.
Tasha: Yeah, we love doing it, so to have something we love as a job would be incredible.
Well, thank you very much.