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Jacob Banks Chats ‘Lies About The War’, Anime & Being an Independent Artist – PAUSE Online

I heard that you and your band get a new tattoo after every tour at the same spot in Dallas, Texas. Is that true?

That’s true.

Do you plan to do that again this time around? And do you have any ideas about what you’re going to get?

No, we never decide until we’re there! It’s just on the spot, I just design something… I’ll probably start having a think now. We have two together so this will be our third time going through Dallas…they need to take Dallas off the tour! There’s only so many times we can do this. But yeah, we get one every time, it’s been pretty fun.

Obviously you made Barack Obama’s Summer 2022 playlist. How did that feel? And what are your sounds of the summer so far?

It was bitter sweet. I don’t care about much, but it was nice to know that he liked stories that I wrote. I think it was with that song specifically… I wrote that song days after my grandma died and it was for her. I wrote that song on my mum’s bed with my sister crying her eyes out next to me and she wouldn’t leave because she wanted to hear. I wrote that song for my grandma and it just talks about my time with her. We had a routine where my grandma would call me every Saturday and it was coming up, so I was like “What the f*ck am I going to do? What am I supposed to do with this time that’s allocated for grandma?”. That’s what that song is about. For my grandma… everyone got to know what kind of love she left behind and her love gets to keep other people company, which I’m grateful for. That’s the sweet side. The bitter side is that, why did it take that? There’s a radio station, who will remain unnamed, who hit me up after that happened and were like, “We want to get Jacob in for an interview to talk about Barack Obama’s list.” I was like, “I’m promoting a whole ass album that you know about.” They never called me for an interview or played my songs, but because I made some playlist they want to come and talk to me? I don’t find that inviting… why does it take that? That song was out almost two years ago, why does it take one person’s opinion for you to have one? I didn’t do the interview because I’m a little hot-headed about stuff like that. So yeah, with stuff like that, it’s been interesting to watch. It just doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. No offence to Barack Obama, but he’s not the keeper of music or the measure of it… I mean it’s nice, but at the same time he’s just a dude. He doesn’t assign value. He hasn’t come out and said I know all things music, he just listed a song that he was enjoying and people happen to assign value to something that he didn’t necessarily assign value to. It’s just been funny to watch. With my summer playlist, there’s a lot of Afrobeats. There’s a song called ‘Closer’ by Oxlade… Beyoncé’s entire album. There’s a song called called ‘Sleepwalk’ by Santo and Johnny, which is like this bluesy guitar song and there are no words to it, it’s just beautiful. There’s a song called ‘5 Star’ by Adekunle Gold. A song called ‘I Am a Firefighter’ by Cigarettes After Sex, but yeah, that’s been my main playlist. Also, Kendrick Lamar’s album… that’s not really summery, but it’s just an incredible body of work.

I’ll make sure to add those to my playlist! Now I’ve heard that you’re big Anime fan and that it’s had an influence on your style. I’ve been looking to get into it, so what are a few shows that you would recommend to a newcomer like myself? 

You’re lucky man! I wish that I had just become an Anime fan because I’ve been watching it since I was 16. There’s one show called One Piece that has 1,000 episodes… and it’s still going! I think there’s a 1,020 right now… I’ve given so much of my life to that show and nothing has really happened yet! I would say that there are two shows that you should definitely watch and that I think would convert anyone. There’s a show called Jujutsu Kaisen and there’s another one called Demon Slayer. So, I’d say start with those two and you’ll be an Anime fan within a week.

I’ll hold you to it! Which one is your favourite to watch aesthetically?

The animation on Demon Slayer is out of this world. Demon Slayer is just beautiful made, I don’t know who does it but that’s probably the most stunning one that I’ve seen. Or, well it’s not really Anime… Spirited Away. All the stuff by Studio Ghibli. If you’ve got time, start with Spirited Away and Jujutsu Kaisen and Demon Slayer for more action-packed stuff.

I’ll add it to my list! Obviously PAUSE is most predominantly fashion, so, talking about style and aesthetic, if you could give someone your own personal styling tip, what would it be?

Work with what you have, not with what you want. I mean that in every facet, like, understand your body type… like, for me as an example, which is a weird thing to say as a musician, I don’t like tension. So, I dress according to that. I don’t like tight stuff. I like a nice crewneck, but I like my shirts boxy because I’m strong as sh*t and I don’t necessarily want people to know that. I dress according to what I can find for me. In regards to what other people are wearing, I can look at that and think, “Oh, that looks cool”, but I will think that it looks cool on you. I won’t ever be like, “That looks cool, I need that”, because I understand the way my body is put together and my proportions, and that probably wouldn’t work on me. Air Forces… everyone loves them. I’m jealous that I can’t wear them because I’m a size 11. It pains me that I can’t pull them off, but they just look humungous on my feet and I don’t think it works. I’m really into boots, they work really well for me because I can’t find trousers that are long enough, so boots are good because they meet the trousers where they are… it looks tidy. That’s my best advice, just dress for yourself what makes sense for your body and your morals.

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