Cierra Realer: The name of the group “The White Panda”, is very unique. How did you all decide that would be the group name?
The White Panda (Dan): We actually decided on the name quite casually. It was a text message conversation between the two of us and I thought the name was catchy and easy to remember. People don’t seem to have any problems with pandas either (laughs), so it seemed kind of cool and fun at the time.
CR: Who or what are your major musical influences?
TWP (Tom): A direct influence on us was Girl Talk. His early albums really inspired us to create sample inspired mixes and songs. Daft Punk was the first dance group I really enjoyed listening to. A lot of our inspiration stems from dance producers.
CR: What inspires your sound and mash-ups, and has that changed since you both started The White Panda?
TWP (Dan): We get inspiration from everywhere. For instance, “Tipsy in the Sun” was created when we were in Dartmouth. It was February, and I had never been so cold and miserable in my life, being a Cali native. I made the song dreaming of warm weather. To keep it brief, we are always on the lookout for new ideas, and concepts and inspiration comes from all sources.
CR: Where did you guys grow up? And did where your from have any effect on the music you create?
TWP (Dan): We grew up in a small town called Los Altos, which is about 40 minutes south of San Francisco. I don’t think our hometown particularly brought out this style of music in us; it was more the college experiences we were having that brought it out. We were starting to go to lots of parties and be in clubs and bars, and developed a liking towards dance/party type music.
CR: How did the both of you meet?
TWP (Dan): We became friends in elementary school, and were taught by the same piano teacher for nearly a decade. So through the piano studio and schooling (elementary through high school) we became good friends.
CR: At what age did you all decide that music was definitely something you were going to pursue?
TWP (Tom): We had done music throughout most of our lives, but only decided to fully pursue it once we graduated from college in 2010. White Panda had begun to pick up some steam, we signed on to a booking agency, and at that point we decided that this was the moment where there was no turning back.
CR: Outside of music, what is something else that you guys can see yourself pursuing? And how do you plan on extending your brand?
TWP: I (Dan) love the music industry, so at some point I’d like to pursue another line of work on the more behind the scenes side of music. Whether it’s managing an artist, or being on the A&R side of things I think that would be fun. From a branding standpoint, we still have much to develop there, but we both realize how marketable the panda can be.
CR: There are a lot of young people who want to get involved in the music business, but do not know how to get started. What advice would you give a young aspiring artist?
TWP (Tom): I would say to try to develop an identity for yourself. What is your sound and what are you trying to create? Who are you appealing your music to? Once that is achieved, don’t be afraid to send your music out to everybody. You never know what is possible until you put your music out there for people to hear.
CR: Can the both of you tell us something that’s strange, or weird about each of you that you would want your fans to know?
TWP (Dan):I can burp louder and longer than anyone I’ve ever met, and people say that about me when they hear it for the first time.
TWP (Tom): To be honest, I can’t even think of any right now (laughs).
CR: Are you both single (LOL)?
TWP (Dan): I am not, but Tom is, so ladies hit the man up.
CR: In 5 years, where would you like to see the group? And also, how do you plan to try to stay relevant in the music industry?
TWP (Dan): I’d like to see us doing more performances internationally. I love to travel and think there are some unexplored territories where our music could do well in.
TWP (Tom): From a music standpoint, it’d be great to come up with some original content and collaborating with other artists. To stay relevant, we want to keep evolving our live performance, and also stay ahead of the curve in terms of hot, fresh sounds. Again, our own material would help us stay relevant as well.
Check out The White Panda’s tour schedule to see if they’ll be rocking a show near you. Follow them on Twitter @thewhitebanda and their website. Make sure you download their latest album “Bearly Legal” for free over at their website.