If you’re the kind of person who dreads checking the balance in your bank account, musician Louis Cole has written the perfect synth-funk song for you. ‘Bank Account’ is extremely bare bones. One voice over keyboard and drums. It clocks in at a minute and thirty-three seconds and contains just twelve words. Yet it perfectly captures the feeling of existential dread so many of us feel when we’re compelled to look at the balance in our checking account. Add to that Cole’s hot keyboard playing and you’ve got one of the catchiest songs about being broke since Jay-Z remixed “Hard Knock Life”.
The Daily Dot got a chance to chat with Cole via e-mail about matters both financial and musical. Here’s what the artist had to say:
Daily Dot: The theme of this song is certainly relatable to a lot of people. Do you feel like it’s particularly applicable to people in their 20s right now, or is it more universal?
Louis Cole: Man I actually have no idea. I would guess yes though. 20-year-olds probably don’t have their careers and income all the way figured out yet. I know a lot of people with money problems of all ages though.
Did that McDonald’s shirt you’re wearing come from an actual past job?
No, I bought that shirt on eBay. I did have some minimum wage jobs though. Pretty searing.
If you don’t mind us asking, how much is really in your bank account at the moment?
69 dollars and 69 cents. I just put the song out on Bandcamp though so maybe a little more now.
A lot of people on YouTube have commented on how much they love the funky sound you get out of your keyboard. That keyboard seems like it shows up in a lot of your songs. How long have you had it, and how much time did it take you to come up with a tone and feel you liked?
I’ve had that gold keyboard a while. It used to be gray. I spray painted it gold when I went to go play for Quincy Jones in his living room. I just run the keyboard through GarageBand and use it to play sounds I made.
In the video, it looks like the cymbal you’re playing is resting on the floor tom instead of on a cymbal stand. Was this to achieve a certain sound or could you just not find a stand that day?
Yeah, I like doing that. It’s good for maximum funk.
You’re playing drums and keyboard in the video. Do you play any other instruments?
I really want to get better at singing. Right now I can record good vocal takes. But I still sound like an idiot live. Cracking notes and hitting out of tune notes and stuff. Pretty tight. I sometimes write on guitar too.
Any advice for other people who are also afraid to check their bank account?
Dude, yeah. Just know that there are people who love you. And that will get you through the hard money times.
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.