First up, how did Panama form and what has kept you together?
Panama actually formed after I wrote and recorded an EP during the summer in Los Angeles.
Panama is a pretty cool name, was it inspired by the hat, the country, the canal or something different entirely? What where the other names you toyed with?
Thanks! It took me months to find a name that suited the sound of our music. I think it’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to do strangely enough. When I write songs I tend to think of visual images and I think Panama balances the visual with the aural.
Say somebody stumbles across you guys rocking out in your live set. How are they going to describe Panama’s sound to their mates. What other comments might they make?
Well we’re kind of disco, kind of house and a little bit tropical here and there. We also have saxophone, which fondly reminds me of sax house music of the late ‘80s.
Music commentators have described you guys sound as “If Peter Gabriel had a love child with Cut Copy and took a lot of MDMA”. How do you feel about that description?
I was a little taken back when I first read it but I do like Peter Gabriel and Cut Copy so I’m cool with it. As long as the MDMA is the proper stuff than that’s fine. Haha.
How would you describe your sound personally?
Which bands have had the biggest influence on your sound?
Many, many bands and I can thank spotify for it. I keep pressing the related artists button and going to the next string of artists. It’s a real treasure trove of inspiration!
How do you compose your new songs? Do you rely on the same method, or do you mix it up?
I used to write and record on Protools and use a variety of different software plugins and some hardware. Recently I’ve changed that process to working in both Pro tools and Ableton. I’ll record in protools and then manipulate the audio in Ableton. I also have been building up a collection of analogue synths in my tiny studio, my bank account is crying.
You’re latest single ‘It’s Not Over’ hit #1 on hype machine and has recorded over 200,000 views on YouTube. Did you expect this?
When I first saw the video I was very impressed so I can’t say I’m surprised it’s been doing so well. I think it’s up over 230k views now I kind of feel like Walt’s son in ‘Breaking bad’ watching the numbers go up on the computer screen in season one. Haha.
And what was it like to have so much success?
Given you’re rise in popularity, what is the weirdest things fans have done to you guys?
I don’t know about fans but Reece our Saxophone player can do some pretty crazy things. Ha.
Have you seen anybody with ‘It’s Not Over’ tattoos yet?
No not yet, I think that would be kind of scary. That sort of commitment would be overwhelming for me.
You just released a brand new EP late 2012 named after the lead single ‘Its Not Over’. Does the EP have a common theme, or is each song inspired by separate events?
I wrote the EP over a two-year period so I would say each song has its own identity however the songs do have a common textural back-bone to them musically.
What is your favourite track off the EP?
As recorded piece of work my favourite track is ‘It’s not over’.
You have some touring with label mates Mitzi lined up to support the EP, playing Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Is there a show that you guys are especially keen for?
Yes we’re looking forward to playing in Perth as that’s where Cam and I are from. We’re playing the Perth festival alongside Flight Facilities and Mitzi so it’s going to be an epic night.
What does the rest of 2013 hold for Panama, world domination, chilling out, or somewhere inbetween?
Hopefully a bit of both would be awesome.
Thurs, 14 Feb – MELBOURNE
The Ripe 1st Birthday @ Workers Club w/ City Calm Down, Collarbones + more
Fri, 15 Feb – ADELAIDE
Cats @ Rocket Bar w/ special guests
Sat, 16 Feb – PERTH
Perth Festival w/ Flight Facilities, Mitzi, Scenic + FCDJs
Fri, 22 Feb – SYDNEY
O-Fest @ UTS w/ Midnight Juggernauts, New Navy, Hermitude + more