It seemed like The Panda Band dropped off the face of the earth. They’re now back with a new single and will be embarking on an Australian tour in June. I was lucky enough to ask the band a few questions about what they’ve been up to during the past few years and their upcoming album Charisma Weapon.
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from you guys. What have you been up to since then?
After we toured Australia for the last album we lived in America for 6 months. It was a bit of an adventure. We lived in New York for the most part but we drove right across the country. We played Chicago, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and many places in between. And we spent Christmas in Florida that was not even close to white. We had pool that was getting a good work out.
Since we arrived back we’ve just put a lot of work into new songs and hope to get the next album out next year if we can, as we have a lot of material ready to finish off for that. This album was slow coming out for a bunch of reasons that are painful to retell.
How did the American tour go?
The tour was modestly epic as we covered a lot of miles. It was such a great time. We played with a lot of different bands of different styles. Touring the US is tough, you never know what to expect when you turn up to a show. But folks are usually especially friendly and accommodating when they find out how far away from home you are. They really appreciate the effort.
How do American audiences differ to Australian audiences?
I’m only guessing but it feels like they are very open to watching all the bands on the bill. They don’t just give their attention to the band they’ve heard of, or just the headline band. They seem very curious and hungry for new music.
You’ll be releasing your latest album Charisma Weapon in June. Can you tell us a bit about that?
It feels to me to be a bit darker than the last. When I think about what the songs are about, what we’ve put into them, it feels quite heavy. Quite deep and existential. We worked very hard on the lyrics and melodies on the album. I think it will be quite a rich and fulfilling album to listen to.
Did you approach it differently to recording your first album The Vital Chapter?
We tried to. There’s more collaboration on this album. David and I wrote a few more songs together this time, and Chris and I wrote the last track on the album, ‘Cliff Dweller’, together. I definitely knew I didn’t want to mix it this time, so we went up to Magoo’s studio in the hills outside Bribane to finish it off. That was still pretty intense, but Magoo was right into it, he was great.
What are you plans for the near future?
Really, we just hope people embrace the new songs and we can tour as much as we possibly can. We can’t wait. We’ll probably be off to the UK and USA towards the end of the year around October. Then hopefully we can hit the summer festivals back in Australia if all the timing works out. I have a good feeling that this album is going to appeal to a lot of folks, the response to the first single has been amazing so far.
The Panda Band are touring in June. The dates are:
Thurs May 19th – Endeavour Tavern, Lancelin WA
Fri May 20th – Jurien Bay Bowls Club, Jurien Bay WA
Sat May 21st – Discovery Centre Ampitheatre, Dalwalinu WA
Sun May 22nd – Civic Centre, Wongan Hills WA
Sat May 28th – Northbridge, Perth WAMI Festival WA
Fri June 3rd – Beetle Bar, Brisbane QLD
Sat June 4th – The Lansdowne, Sydney NSW
Sun June 5th – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
You can also grab their new single The Fix for free from their Bandcamp page.