Panda Bear Tells Us What He's Been Listening To, Confirms New Animal Collective Material
Musicians are undoubtedly influenced by the music they listen to. An artist's musical selections can sometimes even foretell what a next album might sound like. So if you've ever wondered what the artists who grace your stereo are getting funky to, here's your chance to find out. Every week, I'll ask traveling musicians -- as well as a few locals -- the fated question: What are you listening to right now?
Panda Bear at the Granada Theater last night.
When people talk about Noah Lennox, known solitarily as Panda Bear or as one of the founding members of of Animal Collective, mystery and grandeur tend to dominate the conversation.
Air leaves the room at the thought of "You Can Count On Me" reverberating through a silenced venue. Eyes widen when he takes the stage. But beyond indie mythology, Lennox is pretty a normal dude who is as nice as he is adorable.
With Panda Bear in town last night at the Granada Theater, we got the chance to talk a little music with Lennox before his set. His main point: Having the solo entity on top of Animal Collective is just a way for him to explore new creative things; he loves electronics just as much as he loves drums and guitar, and he likes exploring them all to find out what's "just different" about each.
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He dropped some news, too: Animal Collective spent the first part of this year writing songs together; according to Lennox, they should be in the recording studio soon.
Lastly, we asked him what music he's been jamming to of late on his computer. Yes, his computer: The Lisbon-based musician doesn't have a home stereo and believes car rides are for good conversation as opposed to music. He was happy to oblige.
Currently jamming: Iceage, a noise/punk band out of Denmark
"They kind of encompass a lot of different styles, but they're pretty aggressive sounding. Yeah, aggressive is how I would put it."
Draws inspiration from: his wife, his six-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son back in Lisbon, Portugal.
"That may seem like an obvious answer, but [my family life] consumes so much of my time and what I think about that I can't help that it comes out in the creative process ... It gets harder and harder to leave home, especially the first couple days of a tour. It feels like you're tearing yourself off and stressing yourself out, but it also makes it feel so much better when you come home."
Where the two roads meet: No one knows, but somewhere that possibly has less consistent rhythm and more noise
"It's like taste buds; when you're younger you may not like certain things like asparagus or something, but when you get older you do a full 180. I feel like there's been a lot of that in my life as far as music goes -- things that didn't really resonate with me in the past and other things that used to mean a lot to me that don't really now. It's a constantly evolving process. The things I've been thinking about lately are really disjointed. I'm really into inconsistency -- especially inconsistent rhythms. I feel like there is so much music that is kind of like a metronome and constantly the same. I'm trying to make it so my music isn't really transcribed to that."
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