Pandas in Japan release EP: Interview

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Saskatoon psych quartet drop six-song EP

Pandas in Japan, a Saskatoon psych-rock four-piece, have recently released a six song EP.

pandas in japan ep

However, according to guitarist and vocalist Jonathan Walker, the EP needed a little extra support from some local friends in the music scene.

“Our good friends Matt Folkerson and Billy Tataryn from Castle River, otherwise remembered as Father Figures, have really been one of the main reasons that made us work our asses off,” says Walker. “Billy made a bet with us that we wouldn’t have the EP released in May as we said we would, but having released it May 31st, we showed that punk ass who’s boss hog around here.”

Combining slithery psych guitar lines with surf-like grooves and some seriously ‘verbed-out vocals, Pandas in Japan combine several different genres into one sound without committing too heavily to any one specific tangent – a sentiment echoed by Walker.

“The overall sound we wanted to achieve was an exploration of what it means to be in a band with a bunch of close friends who all came from various musical backgrounds,” says Walker. “We have been heavily influenced by our memories from the 1990’s, a time where music was evolving into something catastrophically immense and diverse. We all really enjoy grunge, noisy clean-cut pop songs with a twist of lemon.

“Dylan’s hooky “Brit-pop” bass lines really hold us all together, whilst Jon’s mysterious abortion guitar chords gave it a funky, refreshing wall of sound that kicks down your door and sets your swimming pools on fire. We are most definitely planning on recording more and playing a ton of shows around Saskatoon.”

Despite the EP being their first release, Walker says that the recording is likely only a marker in time, and that the band have a far greater plan in mind for their changing sound – especially with a potential tour of Canada in the works.

“Lately we’ve been morphing our sound and the band as a whole,” says Walker. “We are going to evolve into a more spatial, dance-y electronic group that will shake your hips, rattle your brains and conduct a symphony in heart. We’ve done the whole punk-rock surf sound but now we want to take that with us but embed it into a more feel-good, ‘this is the greatest night of our lives’ kind of music. After releasing the EP, we’ve already begun hitting the studios and are shaping up to be something completely different and new.