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"Direct And Honest Is The Only Way I Know How To Write" - Banastronaut's Debut Single "Or Forgotten"

By Will Yannacoulias

I have no trouble trusting people with my money, with my car, with my home, but I don't trust very many people with my music. My friend (and Zine photographer extraordinaire) Tracy Creighton is one of the few people I know who is consistently spot-on in their recommendations, so when Tracy shared her excitement about Saskatoon's Banastronaut after catching their live set I took notice. August 11th brought with it Banastronaut's much-anticipated debut single "Or Forgotten", a smart, passionate combination of emo/pop punk energy with that measured songwriter sensibility. An energetic exciting live band with the substance to deliver in the studio, Adam Beitel, Terrence Cunanan, Alex Brassard and Joel Wiks impressed with their debut and I was looking forward to talking with Beitel about "Or Forgotten".

Banastronaut move through "Or Forgotten" in stages, hitting hard with crashing drums and driving guitars, then pulling back to a whisper to allow space and time for the story to unfold. The catchy hook, introspective lyrics and ebb-and-flow energy of the song come together in a deliberate yet organic, graceful way, evoking that gravity we all love in great punk/emo songwriting. Beitel shared that "picking a core set of influences for our band is an impossible task. Terrence and I have each written about half the songs in our catalogue, and we both have really broad listening habits of our own. For this project, I tend to write more towards the pop-punk end of the spectrum and Terrence leans more to the indie punk/ shoegaze side, so it sounds really cool when that blends together to finish a song. Around the time I was writing 'Or Forgotten' I was listening to a lot of The Wonder Years, Coin, and Julien Baker. I think you can kind of hear those influences in the song with the pulled-from-life lyrics and big pop-punk chorus."

Groups which impress onstage do not always deliver in the studio, and I've lost count how many times I've heard some band's new release caveated with "well, you gotta see 'em live". Banastronaut, however, have transitioned confidently from stage to studio; all the raucous energy and seamless chemistry of their live set is captured faithfully by the rocksteady Matt Stinn at Rainy Day Recording, and Beitel's sincere, candid lyrics shine brightly. "The song is about the end of a relationship with someone you rely on" Beitel shared with NSMZ, "and wondering how long they would still pick up and be there if you really needed them. The words are direct and honest; that’s the only way I know how to write. This was the first song I wrote explicitly for use with a band and one of the first that made us feel like we really had something. When we put the group back together, we fleshed it out and it’s been one of our favourites ever since."

Banastronaut is hoping to carry the momentum forward as they play more this summer and find their way back into the studio. Beitel explained that "we’ve got songs to fill an album, and we keep making more, so we’d love to do that if we’re able to find a way to make it happen. Everyone in the scene has been so great to us so far, so I’m really hopeful we’ll be able to find a way to execute that in the future."

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