If you think Bankai is a word that sounds like a positively explosion, then you and Will Dayble, the creative mind behind the electronic music Bankai, have one thing in common. According to Will, the stage name is from an anime series called Bleach, where characters perform the Bankai, a sort of “final ultimate power realease”. The Bankai results in huge explosions and, it goes without saying, sends the opponent off to lick his wounds. That exact same power is probably what you’d get after hearing to Bankai’s music.
The album, Quarter Circle Punch, is licensed with Creative Commons. Yes, from torrents to wav downloads, everything in this EP is free for everyone to download and mesh with their own tracks or videos. In fact, since he released the Quarter Circle Punch, Will literally saw it evolve in the Internet. It got mixed, remixed, and integrated with videos in Youtube among a few other things. And what’s his take on the way his music has gotten people inspired? “That’s such a win.” This statement alone explains how much he supports peer-to-peer sharing over the net.
Bankai’s songs, as he himself explains, is about the tune that precedes the fight scene music. He tries to evoke that “manic, grandiose feeling” that something big is about to happen. Those big things, according to him, are those small victories: climbing a tree, getting laid as a teenager, feeling invincible on a BMX home made ramp, beating the crap out of the school bully as a kid.
At first I wasn’t exactly sure what he meant when he made these allusions. Having listened to his EP, though, I got to understand what he was trying to say. And how was he able to deliver his message? He has his laptop, which he uses after he records tunes using vox, guitar, slap bass, piano, mandolin, and other random things.
Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Will:
What is your music background?
I played violin as a kid, I was raised on balkan / macedonian folk music and stuff. I taught myself guitar in my teens, got vocal lessons later on – I played in a punk band for about a decade. I only started doing electro about 9 months ago, so I still tend to scream and rant a lot on stage. It feels weird twiddling knobs and sliders.
Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Devin Townsend was a big deal to me and my friends growing up. Big fat epic production, manic songwriting. Of course there’s Oizo and SebastiAn and whatnot, but a guy called Joe Forrester I used to play with – astoundingly talented dude – has probably been an even bigger inspiration over the years.
I wrote a big chunk of QSP in a wee little town called ‘Savonlinna’, in Finland. Really inspiring place. It’s like someone reached into reality and turned down the hue, all black and white and dark green, with 5 hours of sunlight a day and -30 temp and stuff. I spent a lot of time in this bar called ‘Happytime’. Hah!
Do you compose your own songs from scratch?
Most of it starts on the piano or guitar, or I go “laa laa” into my phone when I’m not at home. I tend to start things too late at night and mix them together the next day at the cafe down the road, or the pub. I tend to finish remixes the day I start them, but originals take a lot of obsessive tweaking. I have trouble keeping things simple, the last step tends to be pulling out all the unnecessary extra synths and samples so it’s listenable again.
Now, what’s next for Bankai? He’s says, “I’m in the process of modding some Wii bits and fixing up a pedal thingy I made from a broken usb keyboard, ’tis fun… but way cooler is this group of people over in Vancouver (from the ‘Electro Freaks’ group from T61) who are trying to do a sort of crowd-sourcedBankai minitour, where they share the costs and effort over a bunch of people, making merch and buying plane tickets and all. If it actually works out it’ll be quite the feat…” If anything, his EP is already quite the feat.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License and is available as a free album download (.torrent) from mininova.org. If the torrent doesn’t download because of seeding issues, you can download the album song by song from Bankai’s website.