On the cusp of the release of their self-titled debut EP, Gemma Cockrell spoke with Charlie Andrew (vocals), David Hughes (lead guitar), Oscar Cameron (guitar), Harry Bloor (bass) and Lorenzo Nery (drums), who make up the Stockport-based band The Panamas.
How would you describe the overall sound of the EP?
DAVID HUGHES: I think the sound of the EP came from the situation we were in. We recorded it in April, and it was the first week we’d been able to spend with each other for a long time, so the songs for the EP were designed to be songs that were played when the world reopens and everyone’s back together. And in the time that we had been apart, we’d all listened to a lot of new and different music, so we weren’t short of influences. I think overall, the EP sounds like a lot of North West artists, combined with some 70s and 90s influences.
Are there any recurring lyrical themes or ideas on the EP?
CHARLIE ANDREWS: I suppose the concept of the EP was for the songs to all sound very different, but also obviously sound like the same band, which I felt we did well. The artwork for the EP is called Between Grief And Nothing, which is also the title of the second song on the EP. It’s a quote from a film called Breathless, which is what we named the first song on the EP. It’s one of the first films to use jump cuts between shots, and we have a jump cut in between the two songs to commemorate this.
We decided to release Rita of Cascia first because after a long drought of not writing any songs, it was the first one which opened the floodgates to writing more
What was the inspiration behind the EP’s lead single Rita of Cascia?
CA: We decided to release Rita of Cascia first because after a long drought of not writing any songs, it was the first one which opened the floodgates to writing more, which then became the EP. It’s about getting back into dating life after a relationship, having the idea that it would be easy and soon finding out that is not the case. It talks about the situations that led to this realisation. Rita of Cascia is the patron saint of dreams, which is why we are complaining to her after the dream didn’t go the way we wanted it to.
What is your favourite song from the EP and why?
CA: If I’m being honest, I love all of them equally. They’re all quite different, which makes it hard to pick a favourite. If I had to choose, I would probably say Between Grief And Nothing, due to the fact that as I was showing the boys the song, they all started playing along after the first verse and the parts never changed. It was done in about five minutes and it felt really good. It’s probably our most chilled out song that we have released, so it’s a nice change of pace.
We’re pretty proud to say we’re still composed of the same members we were almost 10 years ago
How did the band form, where did you all meet?
OSCAR CAMERON: We actually started playing together in about Year Six at school, basically as long as any of us have been playing instruments. In Year Seven, we met Lorenzo and we’ve all been playing and writing stuff together since then. We’re pretty proud to say we’re still composed of the same members we were almost 10 years ago and reckon we’ve really developed our writing and performing processes, and hope this is reflected on our EP.
Do you feel like your hometown of Stockport has influenced your sound at all?
OC: When we were growing up, Stockport didn’t have quite a lot to it, to be honest, but as we’ve grown as a band Stockport seems to have kind of blossomed around us. Our first gigs were at a music venue dedicated to young bands, Seven Miles Out, which definitely gave us the platform we needed at the time to play to groups of our mates and eventually anyone that had heard of us. As time went on, we started to realise that Stockport was developing into a buzzing hive of new music. We started meeting other bands who we shared practice rooms with, which no doubt had an influence on the kind of music we wanted to put out. Seeing other great bands hailing from Stockport go on to release great tunes is really encouraging as well, as it serves as a reminder that we can do it too. That’s why it definitely feels right to return to Stockport for our EP Launch gig on 6th August, kind of back to where it all started!
What should fans expect from your EP launch gig?
LORENZO NERY: Sheer energy, excitement, and enthusiasm. This past year, we’ve been writing new songs with fresh riffs and funky beats whilst putting our own spin on each one. However, due to social distancing, we’ve been missing the thrill of walking out on to stage and playing our hearts out. So, expect us to put on a show that’ll make you forget lockdown ever happened.
The remainder of 2021 looks to be a very busy period for us
What does the future hold for The Panamas?
HARRY BLOOR: The remainder of 2021 looks to be a very busy period for us. As well as our EP launch gig at Dr Feelsgood in Stockport, we have some exciting plans in our diary for gigs in other cities across the country in the following months.
Featured image courtesy of Sam Magill. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article images courtesy of @thepanamas via instagram.com. No changes were made to these images.
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