What do you get when you mix
pop, metal, punk, and a female voice that is soft and sweet, yet hard enough to kick some butt?
Sacramento’s very own Panik! With dark, fun, yet twisted music by Brandon on guitar and
Brian on bass, and the seductive voice of vocalist Dana, Panik, formed in 2001, brings you into
their world of “Psycho-pop” on their debut album
How did you
come up with the name Panik?
Brandon: When we decided to change our
name, we all offered a bunch of suggestions. Some were pretty good, some pretty horrible. Panik was
the one we were able to agree on. We spelled it with a “K” so we
wouldn’t be confused with any other bands that decide to name themselves Panic.
Who formed the
Brandon: That would be me. After an extended musical hiatus, I
decided I wanted to play again. I was going to listen to my heart and follow it. I fortunately found
the right people to bring it to life.
What made you
start a band?
Brandon: I had been in other bands that had received some
minor success, but they weren’t quite what I wanted. Playing music has always been a
passion of mine. Eventually, I developed the same passion for writing music. I wanted to create an
outlet for these songs, and see how it would catch
How would you describe your
Brandon: It’s like a chocolate-covered espresso bean
- sweet on the outside, bitter on the inside, and it packs a
What is the recording process
Dana: It is rewarding and stressful at the same time.
It’s an awesome experience, but you need to have a lot of patience and get along well with
Brandon: Always be ready for anything to go wrong, because it will.
Some of the greatest outcomes are the result of accidents, so don’t be discouraged. It
gets tiring playing the same thing over and over, but the end result makes it all worthwhile.
Recording is a lot of hard work, and is very expensive. When all is said and done, though,
it’s a lot of fun.
What is the writing
Brandon: For me, it starts with a simple melody that
somehow gets in my head. Then I’ll write the music, some words, and take it to practice. I
usually don’t share it until I have the basic skeleton completed. Then I’ll play
it for everyone and let them add their own flavor. Sometimes, I might come up with a little music at
practice, and Dana will start in singing whatever comes to her at that moment, and it eventually
evolves into a song. It’s really a magical
What inspired you to write the songs on your
Brandon: The creative process is an unexplainable thing. I
never know what will come into my head, it just happens. Most of the songs do have a personal side.
“Then I Found You” I wrote for Dana. It was never meant to be a band song. We
tried it out, and it turned into something pretty
Whom would you compare your music
Brandon: Such a simple question, but nearly impossible to answer!
We fit somewhere between Celine Dion and Kittie. Let’s see . . . Dana often gets compared to
Pat Benatar and Gwen Stefani, so add some loud guitars and meat and see what you come up
What made you want to be
Brian: The fame and fortune, of course! Actually, the
elementary school program was interesting and fun, and my sister seemed to be enjoying
Brandon: I have always loved music and watching people perform. For me, it
started when I was in third grade and I got my hands on one of my sister’s KISS albums.
That pretty much did it for me.
Dana: I would sing into my hairbrush when I was
five years old, and never stopped!
Who are your
Brandon: Everything I see and hear influences me in
some way, whether I want it to or not.
Brian: I vary all over the place. Phil
Lesh, The Meters, Peanut, and RUSH are some of my biggest influences.
me, it’s Celine Dion and Steve Perry.
was your first concert?
Brandon: Mine was Def Leppard in 1984. The
drummer still had two arms.
Brian: The Outlaws in 1982, soon followed by RUSH -
oh my God!
Dana: The first concert I ever went to . . . don’t laugh . . .
it was Tiffany.
What was your first gig
Brandon: Chaos. Scary. Unprepared. It’s the mistakes in
life that we learn from, whether in music, your job, school, whatever. I actually still get
butterflies before a gig.
How would you
describe your stage show?
Dana: Brandon and I set the stage to be very
energetic. We are passionate about being musicians and having people really enjoy what we are doing.
We even dress glitzy to add some spunk.
Brandon: Dana is the cute one,
I’m the psycho, and Brian is the cool, laid-back one. We are currently in-between
Have you met any local
Brandon: We have played with several. There is a lot of good
music being made here and it’s too bad that it’s undetected by the masses. Check
out cabands.com to see what you’re
Dana, what is it like being a female
It’s very challenging because a huge majority
of the bands on the local scene have male singers. I’m always competing to
If you could work with anyone or any
band, who would it be?
Brandon: The following are musical geniuses,
love them or hate them: Gene Simmons, Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor, Perry Farrell, Flea, Jim
Morrison, the list goes on. Not that I would like working with them, but just talking to them would
The truly creative artists, going all the way back to Mozart,
are a bit off-kilter. I find that intriguing. Think about it, Prince changes his name to a symbol,
Michael Jackson . . . well . . . let’s just say
he’s a little
off-kilter. Look at other art forms as well. Van Gogh sliced off his ear. Great artist, but a little
Do you have any advice for
Brian: Start early in school and learn to read
music. Try out different instruments.
Brandon: Turn the radio off.
Don’t let it or MTV dictate what is cool. If you do, you are exposing yourself to only
about one percent of the music out there. Go to an internet site like PureVolume.com and see what
else is out there. Open your ears and your mind. Practice your instrument, and don’t be
afraid to learn different styles. You just might develop a liking for something, and you can use
that to create something totally unique.
your goals as a band?
Dana: My goal is to keep the music alive, and get
more exposure so maybe one day we can go on tour and share our love of music with
Brandon: For me, it is to continue making music as long as we can.
I’m not really after world domination, but hey, if it happens, it happens.
For more information on Panik, check out
www. panikband. com
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.