Banjo Bones is a native of Puerto Rico, but has spent nearly half of his life in the US; with the last 10 years or so in Sacramento, CA where he now calls home. His career in music spans nearly 40 years with five albums to his credit, and a sixth one just released on October 31st called, Lucifer’s Hand.
It was a vacation to Virginia and a chance visit to a jam session that exposed Banjo to Bluegrass music, and thus altered the flavor of his music entirely. Originally leaning towards the punk rock style, Banjo now plays more of what he calls “the dark side of Americana.”
He combines elements of roots music that borrows in equal portions from rock, blues, country, jazz, and folk. Described as a “whiskey infused philosopher, frustrated poet, and wannabe cowboy, Banjo Bones takes listeners on a journey filled with the musical landscape equivalent to Death Valley, as told by a pallet of characters that would be perfectly at home in a Fante or Bukowski book.”
Banjo says he’s usually up at 5:30 in the morning and dedicates the first two hours of his morning to writing. “Whether I have something or not, I write, every day” he said. “A lot of it’s crap and ends up on the cutting room floor, but some of it is good. What I end up with is a data base of lyrics and rough ideas of songs. Then when I get this feeling that I’ve got an album of material, I got to work on it.”
For his latest release, Banjo took a central theme and wove it into a collection of tracks taking a look at the religious idea that everything bad is blamed on the devil. Banjo’s assertion is that, “rather than prescribing to dogmatic ideas of evil being authorized by the devil himself, we should instead look within to understand the evil we think, do and say.”
“I tend to resent anything that’s fear based,” he said. “I guess I’ve never grown out of my punk rock days, and I just resist all that stuff,” he laughed.
To find out more, visit www.banjobones.com. To listen to the full interview click here.