Banks & Steelz

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Banks & Steelz
Banks & Steelz @ Lincoln Hall, Chicago 9-8-2016 (29388339053).jpg
Banks & Steelz performing at Lincoln Hall, Chicago in 2016
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, United States
Genres East Coast hip hop
Years active 2011–
Associated acts

Banks & Steelz is a musical collaboration between Interpol frontman Paul Banks and Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA. The duo began making music together in 2011 and began recording a full album in 2013. They released their debut studio album, Anything But Words, on August 26, 2016.


Early stages and recording (2011–2015)

The duo first began recording music together in 2011, and a demo was created; Banks had provided vocals for a beat created by RZA.[1] During this time, however, the two were not planning on making an album together. RZA later regarded them as just "buddies playing chess" (they had played chess together at the time) who sometimes made music.[1] Their demos caught the attention of an A&R, which is when they began recording longer compositions for an album. The duo began work on an album in 2013,[1] which is when the first public mention of the their collaboration was made, during an interview that RZA had with Rolling Stone.[2] In this interview, he explained that when his manager asked for who he would like the work with musically, he responded with Banks, saying that he "just has an energy about him" and that if they were to combine their musical talents, "it [would] be great".[2] RZA expected the album to take about a year to finish.[3] During 2014, Banks' main project Interpol were recording their fifth album, El Pintor. The album was released in September 2014.[4][5] Banks and RZA were planning on releasing their album in 2015, but decided that it was unfinished.[3]

Anything But Words (2016–2017)

On May 18, 2016, it was announced that the duo, under the name Banks & Steelz, would release music later that year.[6] The duo's first single, "Love + War", featuring fellow Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah, premiered on the Apple Music radio station Beats 1 the following day.[7][8] A video for the song, which pays tribute to a scene from the film Reservoir Dogs, was released on May 20.[9][10] On June 9, it was announced that the duo would be releasing their debut studio album, Anything But Words, on August 26, 2016 through Warner Bros. Records.[11] A song from the album, titled "Giant", was premiered on Beats 1 on the same day. Also announced on that day were dates for a tour across the United States.[12] On July 14, the duo released "Speedway Sonora" as the album's third single.[13][14] "Sword in the Stone", featuring rapper Kool Keith, was released as the album's fourth single on July 28[15] and "Anything But Words" was released as the fifth single on August 12.[16]

In May 2017, Banks and Steelz released the non-album single "Who Needs The World".[17]


Studio albums

List of studio albums
Title Album details Peak chart positions

Anything But Words 186 4 18


Title Year Album
"Love and War"
(featuring Ghostface Killah)
2016 Anything But Words
"Speedway Sonora"
"Sword in the Stone"
(featuring Kool Keith)
"Anything But Words"
"Wild Season"
(featuring Florence Welch)
"Who Needs the World" N/A


  1. ^ a b c Jackson, Reed (June 22, 2016). "Two Music Geeks: RZA and Paul Banks Explain What the Hell They're Doing with Banks & Steelz". Noisey. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Zemler, Emily (October 8, 2013). "RZA on His New Movies and Recording With Paul Banks". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 9, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Horowitz, Steven J. (June 9, 2016). "RZA, Interpol's Paul Banks Talk Meeting in the Middle as Banks and Steelz". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "El Pintor on Matador Records". Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  5. ^ Minsker, Evan; Camp, Zoe (June 5, 2014). "Interpol Announce New Album El Pintor". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  6. ^ Josephs, Brian (May 18, 2016). "Interpol's Paul Banks and RZA Team Up to Form 'Banks and Steelz'". Spin. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  7. ^ Lowe, Zane (May 19, 2016). "World First: Banks & Steelz feat. Ghostface Killah – "Love & War"". Apple Music. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  8. ^ Phillips, Amy (May 18, 2016). "Interpol's Paul Banks and Wu-Tang's RZA Are Banks and Steelz". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  9. ^ Pearce, Sheldon (May 20, 2016). "RZA and Interpol's Paul Banks Pay Tribute to Reservoir Dogs in "Love + War" Video". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  10. ^ Murphy, Sarah (May 20, 2016). "Banks & Steelz "Love + War" (ft. Ghostface Killah) (video)". Exclaim!. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  11. ^ Bowe, Miles (June 9, 2016). "Interpol's Paul Banks and RZA announced new LP, share 'Giant'". Fact. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  12. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (June 9, 2016). "RZA and Paul Banks (Banks & Steelz) to Release Collaborative Album, 'Anything But Words'". Spin. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  13. ^ Lozano, Kevin (July 14, 2016). "RZA and Interpol's Paul Banks Share New Song "Speedway Sonora": Listen". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  14. ^ Trewn, Pranav (July 14, 2016). "Banks & Steelz – "Speedway Sonora"". Stereogum. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  15. ^ Madden, Sidney (July 28, 2016). "Banks & Steelz Premiere "Sword in the Stone" Featuring Kool Keith". XXL. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  16. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (August 12, 2016). "Banks & Steelz Share Album Title Track, 'Anything But Words'". Spin. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  17. ^ "Banks & Steelz Share New Song "Who Needs the World": Listen | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  18. ^ "Banks & Steelz Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  19. ^ "Banks & Steelz Album & Song Chart History – Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  20. ^ Peaks on the UK R&B Chart:
    • For "Anything But Words": "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40 – 02 September 2016". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  21. ^ "Anything But Words by Banks & Steelz". iTunes U.S. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
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