Some may say female fronted pop-rock is marked territory by bands such as Paramore and No Doubt, but who says it must be rare and restricted? BannerHill’s debut EP, Beautiful. Dangerous, is an energetic whirlwind full of twists and turns with hooks sharp enough to cut diamonds.
To read more of Mike Slobom's review and interview with BannerHill, click below to read more!
The EP kicks off with “Longshot”, a pop-punk reminiscent tune that sets the pace for the rest of the recording. Singer, Liz Hill’s, sassy vocals, accompanied by the feel-good vibe provides an excellent first track. Not to mention, the lyrics add a great “glass is half full” affect.
The album’s final track, and potential single, “Tonight” is a sprightly conducted pop-rock ballad with star quality backing vocals, a guitar lead, and even a choral sing along. I would say it is definitely radio worthy.
Some say that a band’s career rides heavily on their initial recordings, and if that is so, BannerHill’s career has only begun and will exceed far beyond the Orange County limelight.
I was fortunate enough to catch up with BannerHill's guitarist/recording multi-instrumentalist, Matthew Lindblad for an online Q&A. Enjoy!
Mike: Ok, so first off, where did the name Bannerhill come from?
Matthew: I feel like first it's important that you know I'm rocking out to Talking Heads.
Mike: YES! Nothing better. Anyways... BannerHill... the name…
Matthew: The name BannerHill came after months of sifting though various band name ideas, but every time we thought we had one, the next morning we'd wake up and not be satisfied with it. The one we had for the longest time before BannerHill came about was "Oh My Grizzly! (OMG)" but decided that we probably wouldn't be taken seriously. My Dad actually came up with the idea one night to combine my middle name which is Bannerman, and Liz's last name which is Hill.
Mike: Awesome. I think Oh My Grizzly would have been pretty... interesting. Haha. So, I understand BannerHill is a two-piece. Want to talk a little bit about how that works?
Matthew: Gladly! BannerHill started as two-piece to begin with when Liz and I met on Craigslist.
Shortly after we had a few songs written, we started trying out members three to four times a week to find a full five piece band. After going through about 25 tryouts we started to realize just how tough it would be to find three more full-time band mates besides Liz and I to accompany us in writing and everything else. At one point we were very close to having a full five piece, but someone would have some sort of conflict, whether it be school, nagging girlfriend, and/or various other reasons. The initial suggestion to simply be a two-piece with backing live band made up of friends when we got home from recording our EP "Beautiful.Dangerous". We realized how far we had come already just working on things the two of us (with a little help from friends along the way) and that it was simply easier to get two heads moving in the same direction, then five. Liz is graduated from UCLA, and I decided to give school a break after I received my ProTools engineer certification at Studio West in San Diego, so it makes it easy for us to do long hours each week and quite a few practices.
Mike: Well it definitely works for you guys. Do you plan on filling the gaps or do you want to continue working as a two-piece?
Matthew: To be honest, we're not sure yet. So far it's working very well, so we feel no need to change the flow, but we also don't know what will come up in the future. We've been paging through the idea of what happens when it comes to touring and such, because currently, we have two to three guys on each instrument who know the parts, but some of them are doing school full time along side playing in the BH live band, so it'd be hard for them to drop everything and hit the road with us. I guess we'll cross the bridge when we get to it! Let’s just say, having two faces instead of five is a lot easier for photo shoots, haha!
As the music and the name gets out more and more, messages to tryout become more frequent, so I'm sure eventually we'll have the "go to" guys for shows and tour.
Mike: Absolutely. That's awesome. It sounds like you're looking for a strong commitment. Would you say that BannerHill is a serious band? Do you guys want to go far with it?
Matthew: Not too sound TOO cliché, but we want to make it to the top. From day one, I could sense this was going to be more than just a local band that we play in for fun. We've poured so much into it already and wouldn't have it any other way (and we don't plan on stopping)! We want to bring our positive message to everyone willing to hear it, and what better way to do that then be successful and reach as many people as possible? We also don't want to be one of those bands that just blows up overnight. We believe in creating friendship type relationships with our fans and we want to make sure no one gets left behind. Our fans are working just as hard as us so they deserve just as much credit as we do!
Mike: That's awesome, man. You mentioned your message. Tell me a little about that.
Matthew: Liz and I believe strongly in leaving a positive mark on each person who hears our recorded music or encounters us live. "Through music and the opportunities it grants us, we tell anyone who will listen that they are loved, and that their lives are for a greater purpose than what they've been lead to believe", says Liz. So often kids are overlooked for being young, but Liz and I both believe that as young people, we can make a difference. We can make a positive impact on the world around, simply by showing love and compassion towards one another.
Mike: That's awesome. So I'm guessing you guys have strong relationships with your fans?
Matthew: Yes, and it's very important to us that we make them feel welcomed and loved too! Bands work for two reasons; the tunes are good, and people are willing to check you out for one reason or another. To us, we obviously want to make good tunes, but also want that reason people like us to be that we are easy to get along with. Basically we just act like the nerds we are and everyone has a good time. We couldn't do it without our fans
Mike: Well sometimes acting like a nerd is a good thing. Is that one of the reasons why your EP is on myspace for free?
Matthew: Are you asking if our EP is free because we're nerds?!
Mike: Well that's obvious! Haha. But I MEANT is it free as a sort of gift to your fans?
Matthew: We decided to make our EP free because there's no reason people should have to pay for a bands album that they might not even know. We just have found that it's better to get the music out there for free and then have the funds come back to us in other ways like merch and show attendance. The easier it is for people to hear your music, the more likely it is for them to become a fan. AND more importantly, the easier it is for us to get the message out there in a scene were positive bands are much needed. There's a lot of JUNK out there.
Mike: I completely agree. Is there anything else you would want people to know about BH or anything else you want to say?
Matthew: Go check out "Beautiful.Dangerous" and tell all your friends to pick it up for free on our Myspace, OR if you want to really support, pick it up on iTunes! Always remember; you are loved and you, no matter who you are, make a difference. Awesomesauce.
Check out BannerHill and download Beautiful. Dangerous for FREE at: