Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Records

Discover & Download - Banks & Steelz

June 20, 2016

It all started deep in Chinatown, in a noodle shop where the noodles are handmade. See, long before the RZA and Interpol’s Paul Banks could become Banks and Steelz and make an album together, they had to become friends.

So there they were in Chinatown, Paul Banks and the RZA and the RZA’s martial arts coach, chopping it up over noodles. “It was a very Wu-Tang Clan thing for me to do,” Paul said. “I brought up my favorite Wu-Tang song. I said it was “Bells Of War.” He nodded and told me about the Nord Lead keyboard he’d acquired at that time and used for the song. I saw he was stoked that I’d said that. That was my first interaction with him where I felt an artistic connection.” The RZA liked Paul right away. “He had a cool New York musician type energy.” But they had to hang out a lot more before they could get to making music.

This album brings together two powerful men who have been friends for years and fans of each other for even longer. The album is a hybrid of their styles that feels like a natural blend of both of them. “It’s a great balance of who we are,” RZA says. “It’s pop but it’s not too pop. It’s hip-hop but it’s not hip-hop all the way. It’s alternative, but it’s not alternative totally. It’s actually a melding of the right amount of each. Something about it feels modern and space age and something about it feels 80s to me. To me it forms its own genre.”