Bane’s World is the pseudonym of Long Beach songwriter Shane Blanchard. He’s had a crazy year or so, getting props and gig slots from Mac DeMarco and Tyler The Creator after the release of his 2016 project ‘Drowsy’. This summer, he rolled through Orlando’s Henao Center as a part of a Ugly Orange show with Innerwave. Post soundcheck, we snuck away to the side of the building while over 300 fans funneled in, waiting for their man. He’s a cool cat, yo. I appreciate his love for the blues, something we shared. Let’s get to it.
Matthew Warhol: You’re from California ?
Shane Blanchard: Yeah, Long Beach.
Matthew Warhol: Long Beach. And I don’t know what it is—this may be a Florida person thing—but I always felt that I’ve had a kinship with California, being from Florida. Especially with your music, I feel like I get it quicker than maybe some other people. For me, it evokes drives to the beach and drives back from the beach when you’re tired and gross—the like, mellow lifestyle. But I’m curious, how have people’s reaction been in other places—landlocked places. How do they connect?
Shane Blanchard: I think it could be a living vicariously thing. Like maybe they could feel that beach-y kinda vibe.
Matthew Warhol: Who doesn’t want to go the beach?
Shane Blanchard: But the live stuff differs a lot more. When we were in Texas, I think this guy like—a lot of the guitar playing that I do is kinda bluesy, like a lot of solos—so that’s a thing people can connect with being in the south or over there. I really like Steve Ray Vaughn and I play a lot of the blues shit. I think people can connect with it in a lot of different ways. But in the recordings, I don’t know man, if they like it they like it.
Matthew Warhol: I like the living vicariously thing, because everyone does dream of California and that lifestyle. I heard you guys where 12 for 12 on sellouts. That must be a pretty good feeling.
Shane Blanchard: It’s pretty tight dude. It’s been … it’s been fucking crazy.
Matthew Warhol: Has anything like that ever happened before?
Shane Blanchard: Nah man.
Matthew Warhol: Is this like one of your first bigger tours?
Shane Blanchard: This is my first tour.
Matthew Warhol: Ever?
Shane Blanchard: Yeah, before this, I only played in Texas and around California, maybe Central California. But yeah, this is my first time being in a lot of these places. I’d never been to New Orleans, everywhere we’ve driven through. I’ve never been to Oregon.
Matthew Warhol: What’s that shock like? You know, not having to go play a town and there’s three people there. What’s the feeling of going from playing in Texas or California with fewer people there, to like, instantly jumping up.
Shane Blanchard: Well most of the shows we played before in California, they all did pretty well. But this consecutive sold out, sold out, sold out, it’s something to be proud of man. It makes me want to do it more. I feel like that’s kind of shitty though, like if nobody shows up then I’m like, “fuck this shit.” That’s not how I feel, but like this is definitely an incentive to do it. To be here and be stoked on it.
Matthew Warhol: How have the fans been?
Shane Blanchard: Really cool. All the people have been so gracious. Very nice people. I haven’t had any bad experiences with anybody. They’re just all here …
Matthew Warhol: Nothing weird or anything?
Shane Blanchard: No, people are just down to listen to music and express the love that they have. I don’t know why they love me so much, but it’s cool. It’s really cool!
Matthew Warhol: Something I’ve been touching on at least a little bit in most of my interviews—because it’s something that’s happening in my personal life—is growth and how to live life. Especially at the ages we are, you’re constantly learning new stuff and trying to become a better person. What have you learned since that jump from being an unknown to selling out dates?
Shane Blanchard: I think it’s really important to keep it real. Keep yourself true. Stay true. Just cuz all of this stuff is happening, I don’t want to be a different person because of it. I’ve just experienced a lot of people I look up to and I’ve met some of them, and they’re not very nice or into it with their fans. And I just think it’s really important to be kind to the people that are supporting my life and allowing me to do this. And it really has taught me how much I love my family and I miss them.
Matthew Warhol: Really?
Shane Blanchard: Yeah, being gone is really hard in that aspect. But I also learned that I’m stronger than I thought because working off of hardly any sleep. I normally sleep all day at home.
Matthew Warhol: I’ve been on a couple tours and it’s hard.
Shane Blanchard: There’s still a long way to go too. Everyday is going to be different.
Matthew Warhol: You kinda start from square one everyday too. You’re not building at something. You’re chipping away at like this big monster of a tour. Have you felt any fatigue yet?
Shane Blanchard: Yeah, certain days, when we party the night before, are always tough. Last night, we were up all night.
Matthew Warhol: Where were you at?
Shane Blanchard: At a hotel.
Matthew Warhol: No, but where?
Shane Blanchard: Tampa, we were not too far. But um, not like crazy fatigue. Once we get going, there’s a lot of people here. We see friends. You get that lil boost that you need.
Matthew Warhol: You were saying that blues is a big part of your guitar playing. Who do you look up to?
Shane Blanchard: John Mayer.
Matthew Warhol: When I started playing guitar, he was the first guy too.
Shane Blanchard: A lot of it I get from what my dad likes — um, BB King, Muddy Waters, Steve Ray Vaughn, or like um … Jeff Beck.
Matthew Warhol: I think a lot of the soul in blues guitar—that style is not being taking advantage of right now, or maybe even looked down upon—longer guitar solos, more emotion. I feel like a lot of people are more stoic.
Shane Blanchard: Repetitive.
Matthew Warhol: Exactly.
Shane Blanchard: Which—and there’s nothing wrong with that—but it’s kind of boring to me. Every time I play a solo it’s going to be different, which is cool to me, dude. If I fuck up, that’s it—it happens. But sometimes, it’s fuckin’ tight and I’m like, “Woah where did that come from?”
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Matthew Warhol: So you’re improvising a lot on stage?
Shane Blanchard: Yeah, pretty much all the solos are improvised except for little things I know I want to do. The pace is always different.
Matthew Warhol: It keeps it fresh.
Shane Blanchard: Yeah, that’s another thing with touring too—you get tired of your own music.
Matthew Warhol: I saw BB King a couple years before he died.
Shane Blanchard: You saw him live?
Matthew Warhol: Yeah, it was him and Buddy Guy. He’s like 83 or whatever. He comes out and he’s just sitting on this stool, telling stories, and just kinda riffing.
Shane Blanchard: Yeah dude, I’ve only seen him on YouTube but he seems like a guy I would have wanted to had a conversation with.
Matthew Warhol: Totally, [he’s got] just that old spirit. You look at him, or Hubert Summlin …
Shane Blanchard: … I don’t know him.
Matthew Warhol: He was a Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar player. Yeah, people like that man … they’re just … what do you identify with in the blues?
Shane Blanchard: I love that it’s um … it’s … it’s so telling … it’s like all a fucking conversation. The guitar parts, the pacing, is all “She says, he says that back.” You know what I mean? And it’s just ripping, dude. It’s so fun. It’s fun to just play like that. And I identify with that largely because of my dad. I was never big on it. But once I started playing guitar and I was playing solos or trying to learn moves and stuff, I was doing all this shit and it was kind of boring to me. And that was before I was doing any blues riffing.
Matthew Warhol: What did you say you were doing before?
Shane Blanchard: What any kid would play on guitar. I started listening to [the blues] a lot and wanted to play it. It’s super cool to watch. I’m sure it’s similar to any guitar playing, but you watch yourself evolve as you’re playing.
Matthew Warhol: I think, it was therapeutic for me. I would just sorta lay—cuz you know I was in high school going through all that shit and I had family issues at the time too—I would just lay on my floor and play those blues riffs continuously—coming up with stuff—and [the hardship] leaves your body.
Shane Blanchard: There’s only two things I do to get the shit out of my head, playing guitar and skateboarding. Skateboarding is good because it’s a physical thing. You can just get out all the emotion.
Matthew Warhol: Are you pretty good at skateboarding?
Shane Blanchard: I’m alright.
Matthew Warhol: Can you do some tricks?
Shane Blanchard: Yeah, I do some tricks.
Matthew Warhol: Yeah, I could never.
Shane Blanchard: No?
Matthew Warhol: Naw man, I trip over my own feet all the time. I tried it for a bit and I was over it. For me, I hit my ass like two or three times and I’m done with shit.
Shane Blanchard: It’s always been off and on. I didn’t skate for a while before this tour because I didn’t want to get hurt.
Matthew Warhol: That’s something with the lifestyle too—when I think of California/Long Beach…
Shane Blanchard: Yeah dude, I was on the surf team in high school too. It was always between skating, surfing, guitar. Whenever I do something I have to do it fully. I can’t really go back-and-forth. It always has to be, “My head is on this right now.”
Matthew Warhol: So when you’re touring, your main focus is music? You’re not skating?
Shane Blanchard: Yeah man, I don’t have a board with me. I actually meant to bring it but I forgot it. There’s not really any time to do it. And if there is time, you’re tired. It’s been a lot of go, go, go. But a lot of it is also in a van. You can’t really do much. It’s also a bummer because you get to this place that you’re really excited to be and you just drive to the venue. You can’t see anything or do anything.
Matthew Warhol: Have you had any off days?
Shane Blanchard: Yeah, we had some off days in New Orleans.
Matthew Warhol: How did you take advantage of that?
Shane Blanchard: It was kind of disappointing dude. I’m sorry, New Orleans. But um, it was just … Bourbon Street was cool but you do that once and you never want to do it again.
Matthew Warhol: Those aren’t really my style of people too. The tourists drinking those big blue drinks.
Shane Blanchard: I got one of those. [laughs]
Matthew Warhol: I got one of those too. [laughs] But I got one. I wasn’t trying to drink liquor slushees all day.
[Some guy, maybe from one of the opening bands walks up and starts talking to us. We’re not sitting around with microphones so I’m not going to blame him, but I’m not going to write what he says.]
Matthew Warhol: It’s really hot too. Even being from Florida, that place …
Shane Blanchard: ... hotter?
Matthew Warhol: Yeah, and more humid too. I didn’t think that was possible.
Shane Blanchard: I actually really wanted to get out of the city and hit the swamps and shit. The stereotypical bayou shit. I missed out on that.
Matthew Warhol: I think the last thing I was wondering—and this comes from just listening to your music—I was curious; you’re stuff is pretty chill, mellow. But I was wondering, what do you listen to that’s aggressive? What’s your …
Shane Blanchard: … when I’m trying to let it all out …
Matthew Warhol: … trying to go hard. Maybe trying to get lit or something like that.
Shane Blanchard: When I listen to harder shit … get lit? Is that what you’re saying?
Matthew Warhol: Whatever. Whether you’re mad or feeling aggressive. Like on the way here, I was listening to the new Pusha T album because I’m trying to boost myself up, get confident, get in the mode.
Shane Blanchard: Sometimes, I’ll listen to Slipknot.
Matthew Warhol: OKAY! WOW.
Shane Blanchard: [laughs] Yeah, or Avenged Sevenfold. I really used to love Avenged Sevenfold.
Matthew Warhol: Dude, I had, I had …
Shane Blanchard: A phase?
Matthew Warhol: Yeah, high school.
Shane Blanchard: That was me in middle school, I really loved Avenged Sevenfold and My Chemical Romance. They’re not that hard but I loved them.
Matthew Warhol: Did you ever see Avenged Sevenfold live?
Shane Blanchard: No.
Matthew Warhol: I saw them once. I was really into it then. I was into a lot of …
Shane Blanchard: They’re guitar player fucking ripped.
Matthew Warhol: YEAHHHH.
Shane Blanchard: Synyster Gates or whatever?
Matthew Warhol: Yeah, yeah. He’s a jazz player too.
Shane Blanchard: Yeah, he’s a gypsy jazz player. Aw, I love gypsy jazz. Django Reinhardt?
Matthew Warhol: What’s that about?
Shane Blanchard: Django is a guitar player. He lost like these two fingers in a fire. It’s just a really cool style of playing, almost like a swing, really melodic. You’d definitely recognize it.
Matthew Warhol: I definitely know the style you’re talking about … alright man, I’m done.
Shane Blanchard: Hell yeah.
Matthew Warhol: Thank you.
Shane Blanchard: Yeah I enjoyed that.
Matthew Warhol: Mind if I take a picture of you?
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