I had the pleasure of interviewing guitarist/vocalist Dan Keller, of the national recording band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, a few days after their show in Buffalo, NY on December 22nd, 2012 at the Tralf downtown.
Dan and I covered past GPGDS accomplishments, future conquests, and how the band fought the good fight for support in their local region. Special thanks to Curt of HerbivorePR for coordinating the interview. Check out the exclusive dialogue below.
Lowe: First things first, I have to ask, where and how did you guys get your name? Is there any special meaning behind it, or was it just a random group consensus? (Laughs)
Dan Keller (GPGDS): Well, once we realized that “Barenaked Ladies” was already taken, we each discovered very distinctive birthmarks on our bodies that we had never seen before. Individually, those birthmarks made up G.P.G.D.S. The rest is a mystery to us all.
Lowe: So, I understand you guys are from Rochester, NY; relatively close to Buffalo. How did my hometown treat you on December 22, 2012 at the Tralf?
Dan Keller (GPGDS): Most of the band are from Rochester, but I actually grew up in Buffalo. It’s always a treat to play for so many of my friends and family. Having been a part of the Buffalo music scene before moving to Rochester, I absolutely love playing in my hometown. Our last show at the Tralf couldn’t have been better! Our friends Funktional Flow brought the heat indeed, as well as our musical brother Roger Kuhn. There was certainly a special vibe in the air.
Lowe: What musical artists have influenced (past/present) the GPGDS sound?
Dan Keller (GPGDS): Roots reggae has heavily influenced us. Artists such as Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, and of course Bob Marley. However, there are a lot of other groups and genres that we grew up listening to that it’s a bit of a melting pot of sound.
Lowe: My first time seeing GPGDS live was on 12.22.12, so as a new fan I’m only hip to the most recent album you guys released back in April of this year entitled In These Times. Where would you advise new listeners to start, in regards to your discography, to become properly knowledgeable and acclimated to all things GPGDS?
Dan Keller (GPGDS): In These Times is a good place to start. Check out the free 17 song sampler on our website- it contains tracks from all of our studio albums, some live cuts, and extras. http://giantpandadub.com
Lowe: Where is one of your favorite places to travel for performances and why?
Dan Keller (GPGDS): Colorado! Their music scene is top notch and people are just itching for live music. Not to mention, it is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country to travel across. Our experiences in Colorado have always been incredible. Shout out to our brother Joel Scanlon!
Lowe: What’s next on the agenda for GPGDS?
Dan Keller (GPGDS): We’ve been recording in the studio and plan to release two new albums in 2013. We’re coming back to Buffalo on January 16, opening for Umphrey’s McGee at Town Ballroom.
Lowe: It’s so heartwarming and inspirational to see people from this region actually making noise and doing well in the entertainment industry as we are overlooked. Any words of wisdom for aspiring independent artists in the Western New York area?
Dan Keller (GPGDS): Never stop doing what feels right to you and always be a good person. If you’re true to your own mantra, the right opportunities will present themselves to you when you need them.
Stream In These Times for free exclusively on Flagrantcity.com.
For more from GPGDS: http://giantpandadub.com | http://Facebook.com/giantpandadub
Rhonda J. Lowe ©