Picture Atlantic‘s “Billy Banker” is a song about a vampiric A&R man, chasing after a hapless band in the pursuit of sales, sales, sales. The song’s atmosphere fits this narrative appropriately: nose-thumbing lyrics (“Billy Banker / is a wanker” is the opening line), paranoid guitar, and energetic, sprinting drums and bass. It’s a loud cry against sucking out artistic vision and extracting pure profit, and its frenetic instrumental banking gives that cry nice heft.
“I was writing a lot at the time about our experiences with the music industry and the people we were meeting in Los Angeles,” says vocalist Nikolaus Bartunek. “Billy Banker is the satirical archetype for all the young A&R and label reps we’d meet or had met in the past. It’s not so much about one person we’ve met, but rather it represents a lot of young people who want to be these Steve Jobs-type hot shots in the music industry.”
“Billy Banker” drops August 26. Ahead of its release, we’ve got a stream for you — check it out below.