Panther Ray is the Twin Cities' new psychedelic rock hope
|Photo by Troy Williams|
GN: Any bands in the Twin Cities you've really enjoyed playing shows with?
JJ: We have an enormous amount of respect for the bands Wizards Are
Real, and Puppies and Trains. We had an opportunity to play with the Wizards in the Clown Lounge at the Turf Club a few months ago and really enjoyed it. We've also really had a good time playing with Bollywood and Umami.
GN: You mentioned that you're thinking about putting the EPs together and making each a side of an album. Do you think they work together or are they different animals in the end?
DR: That was definitely a concept in mind from the start, so it's certainly intended to be a sort-of weird double EP. If funds allowed for it, we would pursue pressing a vinyl compilation of the two, but currently we only have them available separately on CD and digitally.
JJ: I think they work well together because of how diverse the sounds
are on each release. Each release is a collection of songs that Dan and Evan have brought to the table and though the style may vary from track to track, I feel like the overall sound translates well between the two EPs.
GN: "Beasters" is sort of epic for Panther Ray. You've recorded sixteen
tracks but only a couple that clock in at over three minutes. Where do you get the inspiration for something longer like that?
JJ: If you picked one track out of our docket of songs, "Beasters" is the
one that will get all four of us talking. It was the first real song that we ever wrote together. In high school, we would get together and jam and in all honesty, just make a lot of noise. I remember Andy started playing the main riff that is now the centerpiece of the song and we all took it from there. Without exactly noticing it, we had created our first song. I feel like it is so much longer than the rest of our songs because when we were working on it, we didn't quite want it to be over.
GN: "Beasters" also sounds pretty amazing. The only information about the recording of your first EP was that it was recorded "in and around St. Paul". Do you have a secret home studio?
JJ: We converted our doomsday bunker into a makeshift studio where Dan does all of the engineering...
DR: Thanks for the kind words. Most of the recording has been done at
my house, but some of this new EP and a lot of the first one was recorded at our old practice space at City Sound.
GN: What is it that keeps a song like "Green Lake" so lightning fast and short?
JJ: I think a lot of our songs are very compact and dense because of the influence of pop music over the years. We don't go into the songwriting process with the intention of making short, concise songs. That just tends to be how the process works out.
AR: I sing and play rhythm on it, and since I'm still kind of new to that, I have a tendency to get a little nervous, so I generally end up playing it fast. I also think that the main riff sounds better played kinda quick.
GN: This isn't really a question but I want to get it in there somehow. I
love the trombone. One of the best parts of your sets is when Joey takes center stage with it. Please say this will remain a part of Panther Ray shows.
JJ: Personally, I'm flattered. I grew up playing trombone and that has
always been the creative color that I've added to our sound. While I am almost exclusively playing drums on our new material, the trombone isn't going anywhere....
Panther Ray will perform at the Triple Rock Social Club on Sunday December 30 to celebrate the release of Daily Season. Also performing will be the Lazy Kids and Holographic Sands. 18+, $6 cover.