Jeff Berkley & The Banned

By all accounts, award-winning songwriter and producer, Jeff Berkley, has something special. But rest assured, he doesn’t keep it to himself. “Writing is therapy,” says Berkley. In the early days of the pandemic he didn’t know what to write about. He was in a stunned state for months, and the missing of being out there on the road was profound. The song Wanderlust came from that desire to get back out there and wander around. “Some songs we work on for years and years, but this one was a gift,” he says. 

Wanderlust was the first song The Banned recorded, and they did it live in the studio all together. The musicians are top notch and seasoned to a fine finish; when you listen, you can hear that. In addition to Jeff Berkley on guitar and lead vocal, members are Cathryn Beeks on Backing Vocals, Jason Cox on percussion, Josh Hermsmeier on drums, Ted Stern on pedal steel, Rick Nash on bass, and Josh Weinstein on organ. “There’s this great orchestration in the way everybody sings and plays,” says Berkley. “The dynamic vibe of this band is always quite amazing to me.” 

Nash says, “Soon as I heard the title I was inspired, and knowing Jeff, we’re off on a journey, 

“After the year we had, where everything shut down, it’s so nice to be doing this again, and enjoying each other’s company on a human level, also on a professional level.” Hermsmeier adds. “I always joke with Jeff that being a good engineer or producer is just as much about psychology as it is about knobs and faders, and being able to really get the best out of the people, and putting the right people together in the same room,” says Hermsmeier. “There’s no egos involved; everybody just has this brotherly chemistry.” 

We’re Banned Together