Banks & Steelz, the ongoing collaboration between Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Interpol’s Paul Banks, have premiered the new track “Speedway Sonora”, the third single from upcoming debut album Anything Is Words. The duo previously shared singles “Giant” and “Love + War”, and will release their new LP on August 26.
RZA said in an interview with Pitchfork that “Speedway Sonora” is reminiscent of early Rage Against the Machine, and that the lyrics were inspired by Zach de la Rocha.
I will say that’s the only song to me that reminds me of early Rage Against the Machine, and when I toured with Rage, Method Man introduced me to their music, and I fell in love with their whole style, and I think that that’s the only song on this record that you could potentially say has any kind of rock/rap influence, and that’s because at that time when I was doing my lyrics, I kind of invoked the idea of my boy Zack.
While heavily indebted to rap-rock, “Speedway Sonora” is RZA and Banks’ attempt to fully merge their distinctly non-related production styles into something more cohesive. The track joins Western influenced boom bap with soaring Interpol-like electric guitar and drum machine production. RZA handles the track’s verses, spitting rapid-fire Zach de la Rocha shout raps. Banks sings the chorus, countering RZA’s harsh rhymes with clean pop vocals.
Anything is Words marks RZA’s first full-length vocal album since 2008’s Digi Snacks. He has also executively produced six albums since 2008, and has provided guest verses and production on numerous other projects. Banks, meanwhile, last released new music on Interpol’s 2014 LP, El Pintor.