Discreet? No. Uncommon and outspoken? Yes. Honing their skills in Oregon since 2001, funk-electro outfit Panther is taking their raucous stage presence to the mild mannered venues of Europe. Led by the inspired guise of Charlie Salas-Humara the duo seek to change, divide and improve on their freshman effort Secret Lawns and conquer new fans on 14kt God.
The music from Secret Lawns had a more experimental feel to it, as if you were playing around with sounds trying to find your voice. Did you make a conscious effort to direct the music in a more linear, focused structure on 14kt God?
Yeah, 14kt God was influenced by Cuban music -- the music I heard in my house growing up -- that and no wave, kind of a meld between the two. We have a new one coming out, its super different, sure to alienate any past fans we may have had.
You have teamed up with Joe Kelly on drums on this album. How has the new collaborative Panther been working?
It rules! It’s so much fun working with another person and we are looking for a third member.
Your live shows have quite a reputation for their spontaneity and your kinetic stage persona. Has the new lineup and more structured songwriting changed that at all?
No, we are still f***d up live. I play more guitar though, so less dancing. It’s more focused now, again, sure to alienate. People are still reviewing us as an electro band in the states. WTF!
You will be touring in Europe extensively. How has the international response been? Any stop on the tour you are looking forward to?
It has been incredible here. People are so amazing. They are really digging it and we never worry about people not showing up. Its different here, they really suss out the music and are not getting their culture from p4rk alone, you know?
Yeah, we just did “Metal Machine Music.” We wanted to cover that newish Beyonce song, but the lyrics bummed me out. This anti-feminist b******t."If you like it you should put a ring on it.” Come on ladies, you don’t need that s**t!
We saw the video of you “floor dancing.” Can we expect that dance form to sweep the country and end up on Dancing With The Stars and in the next Madonna video?
To quote heavy metal parking lot "Madonna, she’s a d**k.” No, it was a joke. I was really high when I did that. I am too old now to do that dancing. My bones ache. (Click here “Floor Dancing”)
What’s on your hi-fi at the moment?
Oh s**t, ok, been listening to Goblin, Ennio Morricone (Dario Argento horror box set) Osana, Badfinger, Alexander Spence, Grateful Dead, African Scream Contest. I have been really into Ethiopian music from the 70’s as well as a lot of classics. Badfinger is so great and underrated. I will always like the Grateful Dead. It’s hard to like a lot of the new stuff, not a lot of soul to it. Everyone makes the same record two and three times. We definitely don’t and we are chastised for it. Music is art for f**k sake!!!
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