We caught up with Bane Riff to talk about his new single ‘Out Of Our League’ and to get to know this new singer songwriter a little better.
Tell us about yourself?
Born and raised in Denmark, but always wanted to see the world, and at 18 I moved to the US for some time. Along the way I’ve been around the Netherlands and Switzerland as well. I’ve always been a free spirit and a bit of a rebel, always wanting to do the impossible…If someone said it couldn’t be done, I would want it even more. That’s how I came into running my own insurance company and partly why I’m now in the music business. The music takes up a lot of my time, but I do find time for hobbies such as hiking and keeping in shape in general.
You came from a background in the finance industry where you were running your own successful insurance business, what sparked your decision to leave all that behind and pursue a career in music?
Music has always been in my blood and I had a lifelong dream of being ‘the lead singer in a rock n roll band’, but truthfully, I never had the courage to pursue it. One day, not so long ago, I felt I had come to an impasse in my life and something needed to change. On the outside, I seemingly had it all, but I wasn’t happy and I spent quite some time figuring out why. In the end, music was what was in my heart and no matter the insecurity that came with it; I had to go for it. So, I mustered up the courage and took a leap of faith I guess.
Your friends and family must have thought you had gone crazy?
They thought I had gone mad, yes ha ha. It was quiet support, but I could see in their eyes the question “how could you leave the safe and secure existence of being a CEO?”. And on top in a industry that never runs out of money so to speak.It also cost a few relationships along the way, where I guess they identified me with being a certain person and when that person was gone, so were they. But hey, some lasts a chapter, some a page – life goes on.
Had you any involvement in the music industry or experience with writing or playing music before?
None, and I had no idea on how to even start or what would be my first step. I didn’t know anything about song writing, music composing, recording or the industry in general. But I knew what I wanted and I had a story to tell. So I set out to make music with substance that would bring emotions to the listener, to make music that made you wanna sing along. With that in mind, I put one foot in front of the other and off I went. In addition, I thought my journey would serve as inspiration to others to follow their own dreams, whether that be in music, finance, raising a family or something else. That’s actually what the title song of upcoming album ‘We Go Out’ is about – ‘follow your heart, let go of fear and control, take your hands off the wheel, put one on your heart and let life show you the way’. You might end up with exactly what you always didn’t know you wanted!
Were you nervous when you released your debut single Less Than Enough?
Very, ha ha! Writing a song from scratch, pouring your heart and soul into it and then giving it to the world, is an intimidating thing I can tell you. In so many jobs, in so many things and situations, there are things you can hide behind – with music you’re ‘naked’, nowhere to hide. So, it was an exciting day on this Friday in June, but when it ended at 2 in the morning, I was completely exhausted from all the excitement and tension. Fortunately, it was well received, got radio airplay and it is a favorite amongst the audience at live shows. Good for singing along!
Your style has a pop rock vibe with some country thrown in, does this reflect the music you like to listen to?
Funny you should say that, cause that’s actually what my producer said the first time he heard me sing. I don’t hear it myself, and I rarely listen to Country, only if it’s somehow played on the radio I’m listening to. I guess it’s just my voice, the way I sing and the fact that my songs have a story-line, which is not so common these days except in Country, Folk, Americana and the likes.
Talk us through your song writing process?
Usually I come up with a title and then a hook or even an entire chorus. I don’t know where it comes from, it sort of shows up out of the blue when I go for a run, work out, or just busy with something else. Then the real writing process start…I sit down and go to work, find the theme of the song (which of course is half done with having the title), the song path and I write a lot of raw material. Depending on the song, I do a lot of research as well, anything from places I write about; to human emotions and making sure the lyrics are in alignment with the song in general. So when it goes ‘tired of living life on the ground, I gotta get up off this runway’ as in Less Than Enough, the rest of the lyrics need to match that aerial/flying theme, which I think I succeeded with on that one!
How do you find the recording process ?
I love it! This is where your words come alive for the first time and you start to get an idea of what the end product will be. It’s countless hours in the studio. I mean it took us 18 months to record 9 songs, but I absolutely love it and we have a lot of fun. And you get to experience a lot of different emotions yourself, not only from the songs themselves, like I did with Out Of Our League, which at times was quite emotional to sing, cause it still hurt. But also, you’re working in close quarters with other people in a creative process…it’s great and most times a positive experience.
You have released your new single ‘Out Of Our League’ tell us about that track and how it came into fruition?
Well, this song basically wrote itself. This is a broken-heart song and it is one-to-one what happened, so it was more or less just telling the story. My ex-girlfriend and I split up and it wasn’t because of the lack of love. I guess you could say, that the idea of her and I was bigger than what we could handle. We wanted the relationship badly, but in our own way and in the end, too stubborn to compromise…the love was simply out of our league. There’s a lot of emotion in this song, which you can hear both in the lyrics and in my voice as well. I find that the song works great and it is well put together (thanks to my producer), and because of this, it’s one of my favorite songs. Great for live as well. It’s fairly easy to learn the chorus and to sing along to. However, it’s one of those songs when we play it live, you can see the audience quiet, listening, really feeling the song. When you write and make something like that, that’s all you can ask for.
There are some lovely guitar moments in your tracks ‘Out Of Our League’ in particular has a Bon Jovi- esque solo how do you come up with these?
Ha ha, I don’t know if it’s Bon Jovi-esque – I think it’s all Bane Riff! All credit goes to my producer Martin Daus on this one. Not only is he a seasoned producer, he’s also a guitar guru, ha-ha! He came up with it and played the solo in the studio. But I agree, it sounds very good, and to me it brings even more emotion to the song.
Do you find it easy to create the melodies for your tracks or is it quite the lengthy process?
Yes, very easy. Melodies come easy to me and sometimes even before I have a single word of the song. The second released single ‘Falling’ came about that way. I came home from the studio one day. We had just finished Less Than Enough, which was the first song done. I was happy and in a good mood, and all of a sudden out of the blue while cooking, came the chorus-melody. I was just humming it out loud feeling love, love that I had created something completely from scratch and my very first song (and also a little bit because I was having a teenage crush on this girl!. Out of those feelings came the words pouring out and I just started to write…ending up burning the food.
What is a live show with you like?
Live shows, they are what I wanted to do when starting making music. I like the writing process, I like being in the studio, but live is where I come alive! My music is made for live playing and I always have this in mind when writing songs, creating melodies, and often I even have a ‘stage-show’ in mind when I write a song. All goes into making sure that the people coming to our shows are getting more than what they expected. People should feel the show, not just hear it, whether it’s the power of We Go Out, the sing along on Less Than Enough, the happy feelings of love in Falling or the more straight from the heart feelings in Out Of Our League.
Is there a particular track you like to play live?
I like’em all for different reasons. For me, there’s a story to be told at a live show and the song order is no coincidence. It takes the audience through emotions, feelings, experiences and stories, and what isn’t said in the songs themselves, I narrate in between. I guess out of the released songs I like to play Less Than Enough. Of our unreleased songs, I would say ‘Grey Over Night’, cause it’s a beautiful song with a humoristic twist, or ‘Make Sense’ for the social importance it carries. Both will be released early next year.
What’s next for Bane Riff?
Well, it’s a process of milestones. First, writing songs, recording and releasing them, to performing live. We are building on that, but we are ready for the big break. At the moment I’m in talks with several different parties who might be able to assist opening up the very big door. We wanna go to the big arenas, we wanna reach a larger audience to share our music and hopefully start to make a living doing it as well. I’m writing a lot of new material too. I guess I have about 20 songs eligible for studio recording, enough to keep us busy for the next couple of years.
You can follow Bane Riff on his socials here
Website : https://baneriff.com/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/bane_riff/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/baneriff/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/BaneRiff
Spotify : https://tinyurl.com/baneriffspotify
Stream ‘Out Of Our League’ on YouTube here