A couple months back I sent up a trial balloon on my socials: “If I return to concert promoting, who should I book?” I didn’t expect to encounter my new favorite band right out of the gate!
No fewer than five friends recommended Banny Grove, an inventive L.A.-based trio of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Louise Chicoine, drummer/percussionist Taylor Bybee and guitarist/synthesist Peter Nichols.
I trust my friends’ tastes. Five votes of confidence was more than any other local group had gotten. I tuned in (you can too).
‘Oh WOW!’ I thought. You know when you get that instant connection to an album or song you can’t put down? I felt that immediately with Banny Grove. (Thank you, my friends.)
Now Banny Grove is bringing their desert-infused, interweaving musical magic to Oracle Tavern for Sean Carnage Fridays this October 14th with STUNTDRIVER, Glen Meadmore, Banny’s pals from NYC, Ziemba, & DJ Kyle Mabson.
It’s funny, I loved Banny Grove’s music so much I held off for weeks before asking them to play. But my DM to Louise Chicoine got an immediate friendly reply.
For our interview below, Louise acted as interlocutor, channeling her bandmates’ and her own opinions—and ‘Banny’s’ as well! I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did.
And I hope to see you at the show this Friday…
Who is “Banny Grove”?
Banny Grove is a fictional, personal deity or guide who I imagined to help me use humor to make it through hard times, be kinder and more patient, and enjoy the notes of a major scale.
How long have you been playing under that name?
I am 23-years-old and have been making this music for about six months.
Who plays in the band? How did you meet each other?
Peter and myself (Louise) met in the Pioneer Valley and began making the music just before moving out west. There (here) we met Taylor while playing a show together and she joined Banny Grove not long afterward.
How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard your band?
I call it “experimental pop” when I am demanded of, but it’s really much better than most other song-type music and incorporates a wide variety of styles.
What are your biggest inspirations lately?
Regular life. Desert rain. Fruits and vegetables. Mysterious sounds. My ever-changing body.
What was the most recent song you’ve written?
We started work on a new body of work this summer. One song about a horsey, one about Alaska, and one about the human race. Alaska one is the most recent, I think.
If you had to take three songs to a desert island, what would they be?
“Streets of Fire,” ABBA and “The Sweetest Taboo.” Each member of the group got to pick one “song” since I am guessing we will all be trapped together.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Southern California right now?
Pet my doggy.
You’ve been touring—what unusual sights or situations have you experienced?
While we slept at my mom’s house a loud thud woke us and a tree branch was pierced through her roof!
How did you meet Ziemba / René Kladzyk? Is there any creative relationship between the music that she makes and what you create as Banny?
René and I are email pals who live far from each other but have been aiming to play together for sometime.
When she recently posted about playing in California, a mutual friend suggested she play with us and we began our semi-annual attempt to have a show together. This time it worked out good.
So you can see other people make a creative connection between us simply with their comments.
Do you have anything new coming out?
Yes. We just finished recording an album that will come out sometime next year.
What can folks expect from your upcoming show at Oracle Tavern?
Rejuvenating melodies and instrumentation played at an appropriate volume. Grooving base and drums. Congas and bongos. Sincere and humorous banter and lyrics. Good, brave singing.
If Banny Grove was an ice cream, what flavor would you be?
Tutti Frutti. A classic but hard-to-find flavor combining quality (tasty) and entertainment (colorful) with a fun-to-say name.
Don’t miss Banny Grove & friends: