Panic State – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
PS: In terms of style, if we were to settle onto a particular genre it would be Indie/Pop Rock. We’ve drifted around a few genres since our beginnings but we think we’ve settled nicely into the Indie/Pop Rock scene. In terms of actual performance, we go for loud and energetic songs with strong instrumentals, and try to throw in catchy hooks and some relatable themes and lyrics to get the listeners on side. Our main aim is to make sure that our audience is having fun, and we put that at the heart of our shows, our image and the music we write. We’re not too focused on coming across as ‘edgy’ or ‘cool’, we just want both us and our listeners to be having a good time.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
PS: Scott (guitar) and Daniel (drums) were at school together and played in a school band, but kept things going together when they left for uni. They met Tom (vocals/bass) at a uni party, got chatting about musical interests and showed Tom their demo album. He loved it and was keen to get involved, single handedly raising the average blood alcohol level of the band. We started rehearsing together and writing a few things, and everything kicked off from there, doing regular shows around London, working with our manager, Ville, and he gave us the tools to record some great songs.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
PS: Our biggest early influence was probably Muse, we all loved their music and their live shows as well, so we drew a lot of inspiration from them. We each try and bring in some of our own influences to our songs and our shows. Tom really admires Freddie Mercury as a frontman, with that self-confident demeanour and ability to control a crowd with such ease. Scott is constantly playing Santana licks so we assume he likes him, and Daniel is fairly ambivalent, but said Dave Grohl is ‘pretty cool’.
It’s difficult to think of non-musical influences, we’re not really a band that writes massively political or philosophical songs – we write mainly on experiences really. Tom got a lot of inspiration from a trip to New Zealand, the way of life out there and the sense of escapism, so I suppose that counts. He also loves Archimedes, in that he likes to run naked through the streets and defend Syracuse from the Romans.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
PS: I think any band dreams of big things, like winning awards, getting to number one in the charts or headlining festivals, but we’re not setting that as the be all and end all of our career. We just want people to enjoy our music, and if that gets us somewhere that would be amazing!
Effectively, we want everything that John Cena has – he can keep the jean shorts, though.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
PS: We all pitch in to the songwriting process. Normally, Scott or Tom will come up with a riff or a hook and then develop this with Daniel to define a structure and groove for the song. The main hook often ends up as the base of the chorus, and we construct a verse around that. We work out the intricacies of the song in a live context to help give it a style that is more genuine to our line up and instrumentation.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
PS: In recent times, we’ve aimed to promote ourselves and our shows incorporating our personality and humour. We’ve leaned heavily into modern meme culture to create a unique social media experience for our followers. We look to separate ourselves from the ‘moody’ rock band aesthetic, instead choosing to mix bright colours with light hearted content. Like ninety percent of mens’ tinder profiles, our focus is definitely ‘fun’, and we try and promote that wherever we can.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
PS: The growth of the internet and the rise of torrents and illegal downloads over the past two and a half decades has undoubtedly damaged the music industry, but it has also forced it to adapt, resulting in the emergence of streaming platforms such as Spotify. While there is no doubt that recorded music is a much less lucrative source of revenue for artists than it used to be, these streaming platforms have definitely democratised the industry to an extent, allowing smaller artists, such as ourselves, to share music directly with our fanbase and get paid for it, without the need for large investments by big record labels.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Daniel – Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus. If we could make a song that was this catchy and cheesy yet so successful, we would write one every week!
Tom – I think everyone dreams of writing their favourite song, which for me is Knights of Cydonia by Muse, but if I had to pick one particular song I think it would be something like Seven Nation Army, where it’s a really simple song in essence but it’s something everyone knows and loves around the world, and properly gets a crowd on their feet
Scott – I Think I’m In Love With The Girl Who Works On Checkout Six In Decathlon by Brett Domino. We think our song names are too short so we have a lot of envy for Brett Domino.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Daniel – When you find a shirt you like but it doesn’t come in pink
Tom – Not getting enough ketchup when you order food.
Scott – Hangnails that peel all the way down your arm
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Scott – supporting the Hoosiers at the O2 Academy Islington was insane, it was definitely our biggest gig, playing in a filled 1000 capacity venue and alongside a really well known artist, especially one that had a song on FIFA, was an incredible experience – thankfully we played really well! – Tom – when our music first got played on BBC radio, that was a really special moment. To hear a song we’d written get aired to the public by such an iconic institution of music was awesome, and really felt like a major milestone in our development as a band.
Daniel – getting our new song, Turn Around, to 10,000 streams on Spotify was a huge moment. Pretty much everything else we had didn’t get near to half of that, so when it broke through the 5k barrier it was massive, but the momentum continued and to get our song played 10,000 times by people from all around the globe is really special
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
We’ve got some songs recorded and pretty much ready to go, so we’re just in the process of deciding when it’s best to release them. During lockdown we’ve been able to do some writing as well, we’ve all had the capability to record some stuff in, and Daniel mixes them together and creates some really good demos for our ideas, so we’re hoping to get those recorded once the world calms down a bit. We’ve also been doing some ‘quarantine covers’ of some cheesy pop songs that we love, so things like Miley Cyrus and Dadi Freyr. We’ll be throwing some more up soon, covering Girls Aloud and Avril Lavigne, so keep an eye out for that!
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
Our music, including our brand new single ‘Turn Around’ is available on all major streaming services, our favourite is spotify! We also have some plans in the next few weeks to release some merch so keep an eye out on instagram to hear more @panicstateband!
Panic State links:
Band location – London England
Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Reverbnation –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Google Play
Check our page for Panic State