On a late summer night in Boulder, Colorado at the infamous Fox Theatre, The Pier caught up with dub greats “Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad” to find out how they got their name and what’s in store for the future. Enjoy!
The Pier: Alright guys, first things first. How in the world did you guys come up with that name?
Panda: It’s kind of a long story, but we used to be called “Bomb Squad” and there were a lot of bands by that name so we wanted a name to represent our musical styles and it was taken from the book by “Tom Robbins” Titled “Another Road Side Attraction” and there was this crazy band that traverses up and down the 101 in California that causes a bunch of ruckus called “Giant Panda Gypsy Blues Band” and it kind of reminded us of the band that we would want to be. We are more of a guerilla dub squad because we would go anywhere, set up anywhere and play longer than anybody else and we do a lot of improvisation and its all guerilla.
The Pier: You guys have toured with The Beautiful Girls, John Browns Body, Steel Pulse and G.Love. Have you guys thought about collaborating with any of those artists?
Panda: Actually when we did a tour with G.Love, and after most of the shows, we would go back to the tour bus and do some jamming and talked about some day doing a collaboration with acoustic stuff. We find ourselves collaborating with all of the bands you named on stage. We have had at least one member of each of those bands come out and jam with us during our sets.
The Pier: You guys just launched a website “livepanda.com” which features live recordings of you guys and your live shows. What inspired this and do you plan on featuring other artists on your site?
Panda: It’s totally open to interpretation and the idea came from the fact that we are a live band that plays a different set every night and the songs always sound a little bit different. We have all learned by being in a band that music is its own energy and its own life form and it comes together as chemistry when we all play together. Livepanda.com is our meeting grounds. That’s where we can meet up with the fans, and who knows, if we happen to come across a live set from a band that we really like and decide that people should hear it and know that it is coming from us, we would absolutely be willing to do that.
The Pier: “Live Up II” Is a great follow up to “Live Up” which was featured on iTunes and made it all the way to number two on the iTunes reggae charts. Have you seen the same success with “Live Up II”?
Panda: This time for “Live Up II” we have not put it on iTunes. It was released on “Live Panda” and we printed 500 copies, limited edition, so we did not really put ourselves in place to let the same thing happen with this live album.
The Pier: Is there a chance that you guys will be doing a European tour if not a world tour in the near future?
Panda: All we need is for someone to book us and buy our plane tickets (laughs). We do see that in the future for sure.