Interview With 'Pandacar'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be? Nick: I'm Nick, I play the guitar and sing in Pandacar. We started Pandacar last year after I purchased a new guitar and decided that I probably should do something with it rather than just sit in my room noodling. I met Eddy a few years prior when we both worked part-time at the Glasgow Science Centre and Nathan I met through my wife's best friend. What started as just an excuse to make noise on our respective instruments and have a laugh has quickly become so much more - although we do still laugh regularly and make a hell of a lot of noise.
Nathan: I'm Nathan, I play drums. Basically, Nick missed playing guitar. He messaged me on a Friday asking if I wanted to be in a band and we were in a rehearsal studio with Eddy the next Tuesday. We wrote our first 3 songs in that one session, it just felt right immediately, we all clicked, so we decided to keep going. Now it's been 9 months and we still don't hate each other.
Eddy: I'm Eddy. I play bass, make voice noises, and dance in Pandacar. Nick put up a post saying he'd bought a new guitar and wanted to form a band. I got in touch to offer myself as a bassist. A week later we were in Carlton Studios with fire in our bellies and three new songs! We have tapped into some sort of primal chemistry and we're loving it!
What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations? Nick: For me personally, the goal has always been to play in a band like this - it's just taken me a long time to get here. I studied music briefly in Paisley before ditching it to train as a mental health nurse - which itself was short lived as I just couldn't handle the harrowing nature of the job. I retrained as a photographer and have been working as a creative in Glasgow for the past 4 years, but as I've said music has always been my end goal. Nathan: We've all been in bands before, but it had been a few years. I'd been self-publishing comic books, Eddy was acting, Nick had been doing photography and graphic design, so we've always had creative outlets. We still do all that stuff, but the band became the main focus for all of us pretty quickly I think.
Eddy: Ever since I was a grotty little teenager I've wanted to be a rockstar, and I have been in several bands over the years, with varying levels of success. I am also an actor, performing in short films, theatre productions and open-air tours around the UK. Currently I get a lot of work doing Murder Mystery events, which are a whole lot of fun!
Tell us about your latest EP/Album and why our readers should check it out.
Nick: We are currently hard at work writing new material for an EP that we are planning on recording in the very near future. Currently, we have a few DIY releases across all streaming platforms - the most recent of which is "Sanctimonious" which I can only describe is an ode to the state of the UK at the moment and is probably our most "Punk" release yet.
Nathan: The latest single “Sanctimonious” is always fun to play live, and it's an easy one to sing along to, so people can practise at home and then join in at our next gig.
Eddy: We have three tunes available online across all the usual streaming platforms, and they are all BANGERS!
Who would you say is the bands main song writer or is it a group effort and where do you draw your inspiration lyrically and musically from?
Nick: I'd say that we work collaboratively on all the songs we write. The genesis of most songs starts with me bringing a lyrical concept or a riff idea to rehearsals and then we just jam it out until we have a complete song. Most of our inspiration is from the crap we read or hear in the news every single day. We are oversaturated with media in our lives and it can be really depressing - we just choose to laugh at it and write a song about what we see and hear. Musically we have a wide range of tastes in the band and I think that can be heard in the music. If I had to pick inspiration for my writing I would say the big three are Joe Strummer, Jello Biafra and John Cooper Clarke. I think they have had the biggest influence on how I write lyrics and the way I approach political themes with them. Musically My guitar heroes are Kurt Cobain, Johnny Marr and Annie Clarke (St. Vincent), I could go on for days about them and why they are so important to my guitar playing but I'll spare you all. Nathan: Nick will come in with a riff and we'll just jam around it for a bit and it'll be done. We don't think too much. We will in future, but not yet.
Eddy: We can't stop writing songs, it's concerning. Nick will bring some riff or lyric idea to rehearsals, and we'll jam and flesh it out. Our songwriting is rather natural; we don't set out with intentions for a song we just improv and play it until it feels good!
As a band what do you believe is your greatest achievement to date and why? Nick: I'd say in our very short career so far the greatest thing we've done is play an absolutely smashing headline set at Glasgow's King Tut's, which was a total bucket list moment and totally solidified the fact that I had finally found my place musically with two people who have become my closest friends. Nathan: Headlining at King Tut's was incredible. We played well, had the biggest audience we'd ever had, the sound guy made us sound great. Felt like we were a real band for the first time. Eddy: Headlining King Tut's was a truly spectacular experience, but our recent Inverness gig was rather special to me. I got to take the boys back to my hometown and perform in a tiny, sweaty room with loads of my pals! Little teenage me would have been proud!
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
Nick: I met Steve Cradock from Ocean Colour Scene and it was pretty cool, but I was more nervous than awestruck due to the fact that I was working as a photographer at his very small and intimate gig at Glasgow's Maggie Mays and I had just seen him the month before playing the guitar as part of Paul Weller's back up band. It was pretty surreal. He was actually super nice! I've also walked by James Allen from Glasvegas a few times in the East End of Glasgow where we all live currently - I believe his mum still lives there - but I've never had the courage to actually speak to him. Nathan: Nick and I saw Idles live at the end of last year. Their energy was insane. Inspiring.
Eddy: I got the chance to meet and interview the two lovely gents from Slaves at Liverpool Sound City a few years ago. They were so down to earth and funny and having an absolute blast, and took the time to talk to the weird little fella with the microphone. I had just seen them lay absolute waste to the stage, so it was rather inspiring all together!
What do you enjoy most about touring? Nick: We've yet to get out on tour unfortunately but I'm sure Eddy's grade A banter will be the high and low points of any tour. Nathan: Getting time off work.
Eddy: Getting out of your own city and seeing a little more of the world; meeting people and having new adventures!
If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect? Nick: Dancing, dancing and more dancing - Eddy's moves are a sight to behold! We give our all in every show we play, we never hold back and we just want to have fun. It's something you just have to see. Nathan: 3 weird looking guys playing the same note over and over whilst running around shouting about Brexit.
Eddy: COMEDY! DRAMA! SUSPENSE! DANCING! NOISE! SWEAT!
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why? Nick: I'd love to go out and play with Heavy Lungs. I saw them support Idles last year and they just blew me away and I feel like it would be a great show. Nathan: Fontaines D.C. just released their debut album and it's brilliant, would love to see them play live. They seem like nice chaps too. Eddy: Idles! Mainly because they're an astronomical inspiration, but also because I haven't seen them live yet and this would be a two birds/one stone situation!
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
Nick: I'd probably go for a curveball here and say, Butch Vig. He's a bit of a production icon for me and has produced lots of records that I love as well as kicking ass in Garbage so I'd have so many questions about production that I'd want to bore him with. Nathan: Childish Gambino, I wanna be him, probably just talk about Spider-Man.
Eddy: Jack Black, because he is THE GREATEST! We would eat snacks and discuss all the fabulous nonsense in the world!
What is next for yourselves? Nick: EP, tour and then hopefully an album. Nathan: Record an EP! More gigs! Breakup! Eddy: More loud noises, more hot gigs, more coffee!
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Nick: It's a Christmas film as much as Liam Gallagher is a singer.
Nathan: I don't know what that means.
Eddy: It is one of the finest Christmas Films!
Website - www.pandacar.co.uk
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pandacarband/