Listening to Hot Panda’s music is quite a radical experience. Their last album Go Outside is a collection of quirky, eclectic songs and sonically, a spirited triumph. Excited to see what the band has been up to, AMBY spoke with Hot Panda’s Chris Connelly about pants splitting on stage, Iron Man 4, and no need for a high E string.
AMBY: Hello Hot Panda! Thanks for having a chat with AMBY, what have you been up to lately?
Hot Panda: I’ve been working on my first short film. It’s a comedy called “Panama”, about two back up dancers from the Van Halen Video for Panama meeting up later in life. We’ve also been busy writing lots of new songs. We’re hoping to start working on a new record sometime in the next couple of months.
AMBY: How would you describe Hot Panda’s sound to those unfamiliar with your music?
Hot Panda: I like to say that we’re Art Pop played with Punk Rock spirit. Or “Post Awesome”.
AMBY: How is the material for the next record coming along?
Hot Panda: It’s tough to say. We’ve got about 10-15 new songs already, there’s some psychedelic, house sounding jams. There’s also some of the loudest, heaviest stuff we’ve ever done. We like to just write as much as we can with no restrictions then shape the record later. Even though there’s talk of not doing a next fully length and instead maybe putting out 3 EP’s, each a couple months apart.
AMBY: One in the Head, One in the Chest is a wicked song. What is the story behind it?
Hot Panda: Thanks! It’s a pretty aggressive song I guess. I watched this cool band called “Moon Duo” play at this German festival we were at and it inspired to write that main riff. I guess the songs about how we, western culture, like to think that we’re very tolerant and progressive, which is kind of hypocritical because we kind of built our way of life by killing lots people that didn’t look and think like us.
AMBY: Does coming from Vancouver, British Columbia have an influence on your music? And if yes, how so?
Hot Panda: Hmmm. I’m not sure how Vancouver has influenced our music. It probably has, I’m just not sure how. I guess there a lot more good shows to see here, more so than where I’m from (Edmonton). Seeing more good bands more frequently definitely inspires you to do better work yourself.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?
Hot Panda: When we playing a show in Brighton I split my pants on stage that was pretty embarrassing. I wasn’t sure if you could see the rip from the audience, so I basically just stood still for the rest of the show. We were playing a later show a couple hours later and I didn’t have time to back to the hotel and change so I had to run into an H&M or something and just buy new pants. That sucked.
AMBY: If you could hang out with any of your influences for a day, who would you choose?
Hot Panda: Maybe Bob Dylan? It would be neet to be around someone who’s so iconic. Also, I hear he’s a great drinker!
AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?
Hot Panda: Pulp- Different Class. The Strokes- Is This it? The Beatles- White Album
AMBY: Where did the name Hot Panda come from?
Hot Panda: A joke. A fictional dish that was served at a sketchy chinese restaurant close to our old jam space.
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
Hot Panda: We’re going to be doing a lot more video work. Combining music and video. Also we’re going back to Europe in the fall, that’s always exciting AND I’m also getting married in August, so I’m super excited for that!
AMBY: What would a movie based on the band be called?
Hot Panda: Iron Man 4.
AMBY: And last but never least, what’s something about Hot Panda that nobody knows?
Hot Panda: I don’t use the high E string on my guitar for Hot Panda. I do when I play in any other circumstance, but not with Hot Panda. I’m not even sure why, just a superstition I guess.
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