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Panther and The Zoo

Panther and The Zoo

Monday 9th August, 2010 1:18PM

Been around since?
In some form or other for a year or two, but in earnest since August last year.

Current line up?
Graham Panther, Hayden East, Tim Neale, plus guests.

Musical history?
Tim and I played together in our first band, Phony bone. Tim now also plays guitar for Auckland’s Brand New Math. Hayden plays everything, and has toured with the Brunettes among others.

What are you listening to at the moment?

A repeat cycle of Big Star’s ‘Third’. Completely strange, collapsing country music way before Wilco. That and the first Mint Chicks album, because it’s the only cd that somehow continues to survive my car’s floor-based filing system, and because it’s fantastic.

What is your writing/recording process?
So far I’d describe it as serendipitous. Take the title track on our EP, Think about it not exploding. The American folk trio Polka dot dot dot were staying on our couches, and I played them the song. We managed to squeeze in a very brief recording session with two of them, Onyx and Colleen, before they caught their flight back home, along with Auckland-based singer Caitlin Smith. It was a lot of fun, highly unlikely, and I love how the song has turned out nothing like I would have recorded it otherwise.

You got an EP coming out/slash just released – tell us about this?
It’s called Think about it not exploding. Our first EP. (Or ‘EEP!’, depending on how excited one is about one’s first release.) The record is about the joys and pitfalls of thinking too much – so, my life basically.

We recorded with Bob Frisbee at his studio in New Lynn, which was a perfect match. There’s a lot of warmth in the recording and instrumentation, enhanced by the analogue mix. I’m really, really happy with how it all sounds.

Are you signed to a record label or self releasing?
This one is self-released. We got distribution through Border Music who have been very supportive, so there wasn’t a pressing need to approach any labels. We’re certainly open to label involvement for future releases though, maybe when the world economy stops imploding. Come on now, think about it not imploding, everyone.

Where can people get their hands on the EP?
All good record stores, or at the release show. It will be available online soon enough, but the limited edition EP art by Auckland’s Henrietta Harris is pretty awesome.

Have you had a release party yet?
It’s this Friday, Feb 20 at Whammy Bar with Dictaphone Blues and Brand New Math.

If you could share the stage with anyone (person or band) who would it be?
Dave Dobbyn, just singing that one song he sang for Th’ Dudes. Oh and maybe Loyal while he was at it, but only if he was wearing the jersey from the video.

When are you playing next?
After the release show, we’re headed to Wellington at the beginning of April, and plans for a proper tour in July.

The state of music in NZ is…?

A mixed bag, like everywhere else. The stuff that is good right now is really good, I think.

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