Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Panda Teeth

Panda Teeth are an electronic group from Milwaukee. He oozes summer ambient/chillwave/lo-fi electronic awesomeness.

What goes into making a song? Do you find your self humming at tune and develop it into a song or do you sit down and consciously try to come up with something?

Sometimes I will end up humming a tune or coming up with a melody, but I haven't really used any of those for panda teeth songs yet. Usually I'll just sit down with my gear, put on some headphones, make some sounds and see where I think the songs should go from there. The writing process for panda teeth was born out of necessity. I moved to Milwaukee and had no band mates, but I did have a few effects pedals, an old casio CT-310, a Gameboy I got from a friend, a delay pedal with a looping feature and some drums. I just started looping parts, adding drums and going from there. It was all just experimenting with nothing really to go on. I'd never even heard of Fuck Buttons back then.

The songs I have heard have a definite lo-fi/glo-fi/chillwave sound, but aren't really any of those style. Which to me is refreshing, because if I hear one more song that is trying to be nostalgic I might go out of my mind. What do you think of these scene and where your music may fit into it?

That's really flattering, thanks! Trying to fit my songs into any certain style isn't part of my writing process at all, so it's good to hear that they come out sounding a little all over the map. If my music fits into the lo-fi chillwave scene I'm cool with that. I haven't listened to much chillwave yet but I've definitely dug what I have heard.

What goes into naming your songs? I could be reading too much into it, but on Fuck Mountain you have references to Life Aquatic, Pulp Fiction, and Arrested Development. I personally always like references bands make to other songs/tv shows/movies.

You're actually reading into the song titles perfectly. Not all my songs are tv/movie references, but Fuck Mountain definitely has references to Life Aquatic, Arrested Development, and Arsenic and Old Lace. What did you think was the Pulp Fiction reference? I'm pretty sure there's no Pulp Fiction reference in there, but there should have been. That's a great film. When it comes to naming the songs I usually like titles that read like quotes that have been taken out of context to the point of being absurd. Only some of them are actual references though, the rest of them I just come up with.

How have you released most of your music? It looks like you have mostly released stuff on tape, is that true? Do you like tape releases? Any plans to release stuff on vinyl? I have recently started to buy tapes again because bands are putting out awesome limited run tapes and they are way cheaper than vinyl.

I've only released two albums so far, but they've been released in both CD and cassette formats. I love tape releases, and definitely plan on releasing some vinyl, and probably even re-releasing the past albums on vinyl as well. Tape and vinyl just have this really warm, organic sound to them. I usually don't like CDs as a format because they've always just felt cheap to me. The only time I'll usually buy a CD is if it's the only way I can get a band's music, or if it's got some really unique limited run qualities to it. It seems like far too often people just upload the CD, listen to the music on their computer and take a glance at the album artwork, while the CD itself gets put on a shelf. If that's how someone likes to listen to music that's fine, it's definitely convenient, but when I'm at home I'd much rather put on a record or put in a tape. Going through the motions of physically looking through and picking out what you want to listen to is pretty satisfying.

Whats the Milwauke scene like? I haven't heard much from the city with the exception of Rhymesayers rap and the Hold Steady. I can not imagine that those two bands are much of an influence on you. Is there a big electronic/art scene?

Rhymesayers and the Hold Steady are actually from Minneapolis, MN. Believe it or not I love the Hold Steady, but they haven't really influenced anything I've written so far. As far as the Milwaukee scene goes I'd say there definitely is a pretty strong music and art scene, but I'm not really associated with it at all, mainly because I haven't met many people in the area. When I moved to Milwaukee most of my previous musical connections and friends were in the Minneapolis area, so I play all of my shows either there or far out of town. It would be more convenient to play most of my shows here, but I love being on the road and meeting new people, so needing to travel to play shows is actually kind of nice.

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