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Banana Gun Gets Heavier and Darker with Its New Album

Banana Gun has an odd tale of how the band ended up in Phoenix. As bass player Ross Troost tells it, he and drummer Ian Breslin and guitarist Nick Dehaan were on a West Coast tour nearly a decade ago in their old band, Fat Rabbit, when they swung through the Valley.

"Phoenix was our last stop," Troost says, "We had a sponsorship with a hotel and the general manager let us stay a few weeks, and that turned into, what, like eight or nine years now? So we've been here ever since."

It's a unique tale that goes along with Banana Gun's unique recording style, which it utilized during the creation of the band's two most recent albums, including the latest LP, Love Instinct.

Troost says the band's recording process on both albums was different from that of most other bands.

"We did it live, no tracking. We did everything all at once, everyone in the room at the same time. We recorded it all to a DAP and ran it back through the board in the mixing process. You don't lose any music quality that way," he says. "When you go through [mixing software] Pro Tools, it creates another process that the computer has to calculate. We went more old school, and it's a way not many people do. My best advice is listen to it loud."

Banana Gun's sound is an amalgam of several '60s and '70s classic rock acts, with just a hint of country music. And though the band has released several CDs, including three in as many years, Love Instinct (which will be released on Saturday night at The Sail Inn) is a departure.

"This one is a little heavier and a little darker. Maybe it's still got the funky rock that people are used to us doing, but it's definitely got more of the rock 'n' roll aspect than the funky," Troost says.

You can hear proof of such on first single from the album "Mirror Mirror," which has been already been played on KWSS. Love Instinct is Banana Gun's first studio release since Elephant in the Room in June 2012 and was recorded at Stem studios with Curtis Grippe (of Dead Hot Workshop fame) and mastered by Dan Counsel at Sun Room Audio in New York City.

"The last record had folky lighter stuff [and] was a 15-track mishmash of a bunch of different styles" says Troost. "We went in this time and had an idea of what we wanted to do as a record because we had been through some shit as a band. This time, we have a similar style because we wanted it to more focused than the last one."

Troost promises that the release show is definitely going to be a blowout, with Dry River Yacht Club, The Sugar Thieves, Japhy's Descent, The Woodworks, The Pistoleros, and Morning Theft all on the bill. In fact, the show already has garnered enough interest that Banana Gun was forced to release a second single, "Punk Funk."

"We are always trying to get to a broader group of people to listen to us. That's always the idea, we do records for ourselves when we feel ready," says Troost.

Banana Gun's CD release party is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday at The Sail Inn in Tempe. Admission is $10 and includes a copy of Love Instinct.

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