Grin and Bear It

04.04.2011

MUSIC

Between the scorched sizzle of neck-wrecking trance beats, Essex, England’s Gold Panda allows acoustic guitar and delicate clatters of percussion to build a Four Tet–style pastoral tenderness on his debut, Lucky Shiner (Ghostly). Romantic and focused, the record displays a tight, savvy ear for bedroom editing; never overindulgent, the artist crafts his deep-breath pieces with precision and wisely refrains from letting elements—even the most wickedly righteous of grooves—plod on too long. Here, completing our breezy questionnaire, the musician plans a party with the Bee Gees and cracks a few jokes.

Life + TImes: What’s the first album you ever bought?
Gold Panda
: I think it was The Best of Pavarotti.

L+T: What can you recall of your earliest musical memory?
GP
: Pretending I was a villain tying a damsel to a railway track and then rescuing said distressed damsel to the theme of the “William Tell Overture.”

L+T: What music do you first remember meaning something significant in your life?
GP
: I don’t really remember much of first memories and childhood and stuff; it wasn’t particularly exciting. I didn’t enjoy it much—but through no fault of my parents. I liked car hubcaps and to name all the cars by just looking at those.

L+T: What is the most beautiful sound you can think of?
GP
: The sound of rain on the roof of my parents’ conservatory or the kettle boiling.

L+T: What movie always makes you cry?
GP
: This Movie Was Made to Make You Cry starring Weepy Pete. It’s a classic.

L+T: What’s something people might not know about the album Lucky Shiner?
GP
: There is a tape phase loop by [Simian Mobile Disco’s] James Shaw and I between “Before We Talked” and “Marriage”.

L+T: Your album shows a great ear for editing. How do you know when a song is done and there’s nothing more you can do to it?
GP
: Because when something is wrong, you get bored of it and it never gets used. I don’t really know when something is unfinished or finished. I just give up making it and it sounds unfinished, and then a few days later I play it back and think, “Oh yeah, that is okay actually.”

L+T: In the movie of your life, who plays you?
GP
: Me. Err. Because y’know. Oh, or Stan Laurel.

L+T: Complete the following sentence: “Being from Essex means I can always…”
GP
: Buy a pimped-out Vaxhaull and not feel bad about it.

L+T: It’s a rock & roll dinner party. You can invite three rock stars, alive or dead. Who do you invite?
GP
: The Bee Gees, including the dead one still in dead form.

L+T: What song do you wish you’d written?
GP
: “Staying Alive.”

L+T: What’s the last lie you told?
GP
: Probably this entire interview. (Gold Panda)