Q&A with the White Panda
Electronic mashup duo chats with MOVE before its show at The Blue Note.
When: 9:30 p.m., Thursday
Where: The Blue Note
Childhood friends Tom Evans and Dan Griffith started making mashup songs in college. Their similar paths caused them to collaborate and form the group, the White Panda. Since then, they’ve had 27 singles grab the number one spot on Hype Machine. They’ve also toured with artists such as Mac Miller, Wale and Mike Posner, among others.
With the White Panda’s Columbia concert slated for Thursday, MOVE talked with Evans about collaborating, mashing up songs and his latest album:
[MOVE]: How did the White Panda come together? I know you guys were childhood friends, but you guys were at separate coasts at the time of your collaboration.
[Tom Evans]: We both started creating sample-based music independent of one another. Dan and I were posting some of our favorite work on social media and realized that we were pursuing similar endeavors. Ultimately we decided to start using each other as sounding boards and release all our work under one name: the White Panda.
[M]: How did you come up with the name “the White Panda"? Also, what's with the masks?
[TE]: The name itself is a product of a text message spitballing session way back in 2009. We were firing all sorts of horrible ideas back and forth. The White Panda came out of nowhere and was easily the most catchy idea we'd had. We like for our shows to be spectacles of both sound and sight. In really embracing our names, we felt that panda-esque costumes would bring more character to the show.
[M]: Why are mashups your choice of music? The dubstep scene is rising, so it's interesting to see the White Panda take a different direction the EDM scene.
[TE]: Mashups are how we got started, and our fanbase was built around their popularity. (It is) true that there is a lot of demand for dubstep music currently, but that doesn't necessarily diminish the demand for other genres, mashups included.
[M]: What is your favorite mashup and why? Why not release original tracks instead?
[TE]: It's tough to pick a favorite after four years, but probably "What You Know About Little Secrets" since it was our first release and the track that put us on the map. Original releases are a whole different animal, but don't be surprised if you see something in that realm from us in the near future.
[M]: Your fourth full-length album, Bearly Legal, was dropped over the summer. What was it like working on that and how have people reacted to your newest work?
[TE]: It has been our most popular album to date, both in feedback and in numbers. It was a lot of work making it. Over the years, we've become increasingly critical of our own work, and producing an hour-long mix up to our current standards is no easy task.
[M]: You've played at big music festivals such as Electric Zoo and Lollapalooza. How do those festivals differ from regular concerts?
[TE]: The festivals always have awesome atmospheres. Everybody there is so amped to be there, and it shows in their energy at the show. The stages are huge. The crowds are huge. We love playing them.