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Interview: Panic State
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Scott and Daniel both started playing their instruments to avoid having to sing in front of their class instead. Had that
not happened, both of them would probably still be haunted by our vocal performance, vowing to never sing or touch
a musical instrument ever again.
Tom has quite a musical family, most people play an instrument of some sort. He began piano lessons when he was
six, then at secondary school he picked up guitar and taught himself how to play. If he hadn’t done anything with
music, he’d probably be sitting at home, wallowing in a pit of self-pity, maybe working in a pub to pay off the tabs he
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Tom - I wish I was one of those people that say they read and it influences our music, but I’m not massively well read.
Pretty much anything to do with football takes up a chunk of my spare time - I guess the blood flow from Spurs-
related stress increases creativity?
Scott - Scott reads a lot of history books and has been trying to get a lute solo in one of our songs for years now. So
far we’ve kept him at bay but he turned up to our last recording session in a full suit of plate armour, so it looks like
things are getting pretty dire.
Daniel - Daniel likes to escape his drums and studio by mountain climbing. It’s the only place he knows he’ll be safe
from the temptation of trying to record something only to consistently disappoint himself
How long has your band been around?
We formed properly at the end of 2017. Scott and Daniel were at school together and played in a school band, but
kept things going together when they left for uni. They met Tom at a uni party, and got chatting about musical
interests, showed Tom their demo album, and he loved it and was keen to get involved. 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.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re mainly based in London, that’s where we do most of our shows - it’s a really diverse city with an infinite amount
of style and talent, and to be a part of that is awesome. In one show, you can have three or four acts on and each of
them will bring something different to the table, so a single show can kind of cater for everyone’s needs.
Tom grew up in Essex and his first experience of the music industry was there with iconic venues like ‘The Square’ in
Harlow, so there’s a huge connection there for us too. We’ve gained some popularity in Essex too, being featured by
Ollie Winniberg on BBC Introducing, so we think we have a little bit of a following there.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
We spent probably a month when we were about 14 going through countless possible names, some of which were
really awful! But we were really into Muse at the time and we took inspiration from a couple of song titles - Panic
Station and Liquid State, and we decided that out of all the other options we had, this one was the ‘least bad’.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Best - We once got the opportunity to support The Hoosiers at the O2 Academy Islington. It was our first ‘big’ gig, with
around a thousand people in the audience. It was great fun to support a band that we had all known from when we
were younger (mostly from their placement on FIFA 08), and to down a few drinks with them after the gig! We actually
got an encore for this one but we weren’t allowed to play it due to time constraints.
Worst - Our worst gig has to be one from a few years ago. We played at a small Central London venue that was
effectively a hallway in a basement. The three of us could barely all fit on the stage at the same time, there were
about seven people in the audience and the acoustics of the room sounded like we were playing in a broom
cupboard, or at least that’s what we were told. Unfortunately there were no monitors and the amps were set up at the
front of the stage so we couldn't actually hear anything. To top it all off, Scott was stuck behind a pillar for the entire
set, and at the end we got £13 to split between the three of us. We could almost afford the trip home, but unfortunately no dinner for us!
Personally for Tom, one of his most questionable gigs was a festival performance - he was really unwell and had a
variety of medication in his system to try and counteract it, so he went on stage not knowing where he was and
started the wrong song..
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven’t already?
We absolutely love The Monarch in Camden! It’s a great venue that’s always busy and one of the few in London that
hasn’t been taken over by promoters that try to charge £24.99 (+ £4.99 shipping) on the door and offer you 0.01% of
the money if you bring everyone and their mum to the gig.
In terms of a venue we want to play in the future, O2 Academy Brixton would be a dream.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Thirsty Merc, De Staat, Brett Domino, The Hoosiers, Billie Eilish, Bill Wurtz, with Gordon Ramsay as our compere.
We’d try to get Chris Eubank working the bar at the venue, and the ghost Ludwig van Beethoven as the sound
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Write, rehearse and gig as much as possible! As well as this, having a good bond with your band members is so
important so make sure to spend time together and talk outside of music and you’ll be surprised how tight you
become as a band! Scott and Daniel have been friends for so long that they can play in perfect sync without even
hearing each other. They also often finish each other's sentences
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Learn how to use social media in our own way sooner, and utilise some of our past free time better. In recent times
we’ve also tried to add more of our own personality into everything we do as a band and have fun with it, which has
been working so well so I’d tell us to start doing that sooner too.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think all of our songs mean a lot to us in terms of moulding our identity, but I’d have to say our new single Turn
Around. It’s the first song we’ve written where we didn’t think about how the song would be perceived, we wrote it and
recorded it with the sole intention of having fun and enjoying it and I think it’s turned out to be one of the best things
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Our favourite song to play is a track called The Rampage. It’s 3 minutes of pure energy and never fails to pick up a
crowd regardless of how our set is going! It’s essentially just one big riff at 185bpm that’s so fun to play but it’s never
been something we’ve thought about recording so you have to come to a show to see it!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
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.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Believing in yourself, taking the plunge, becoming free of your problems, not be oppressed, fucking bitches
We want to encourage people to have fun. There’s so much alternative music out there that focuses on depressing
themes, and while there’s definitely a place for that, it’s just not what we’re going for. We want to bring a bit of fun and
positivity to our listeners.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We go on a youtube channel called Street Beefs and have it out in a cage. Then we make up, talk everything through
and think about what to do.
Scott brings the orange slices, Daniel brings the Deep Heat and Tom brings the butter (don’t ask).
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that’s coming up?
We’ve got some new music that’s just about ready to release, and we’ve been writing some new stuff as well that
we’re really excited about. We’ve focussed a lot on our social media with the covers, but we’ve also got some cool
ideas of videos that we can upload and release soon, so keep an eye out for those!
We’ve also branched out into the world of merchandise, which we’ll properly unveil on our social media in a couple of
weeks - we’ll have the standard bits like phone cases and t shirts and the like, but we’ve gone a bit left field with
some items; Panic State bath mats and shower curtains, toothbrushes and maybe even a ladle. We wanted to have
Our music, including our brand new single ‘Turn Around’ is available on all major streaming services, our favourite is
spotify! Keep an eye out for all of that over on our instagram @panicstateband !!