After hitting the top 20 on contemporary hit radio stations, Winnipeg’s Panicland is sharing the spotlight.
Panicland demonstrates their generosity to newer bands in Winnipeg by inviting them to play on stage and be involved with them in their show.
“We wanted to find a lot of bands sort of similar to us. Maybe like where we were two or three years ago and bands in high school,” Braedon Basseo, singer and songwriter for Panicland, says.
“Put them on the show, get them as involved as possible in the promo aspect of the show and just really make it a super inclusive event for all the bands.”
For their show at the West End Cultural Centre on March 24, Basseo says the bands they’re playing with make up their “most stacked line-up yet.” They’ll be joined by pop-rock band Encore.
Basseo says Panicland’s motivations for their pop music style evolved over time.
“We’ve been in development a long time, and we really wanted to rebel against this image that we got … I don’t really know how else to describe it other than ‘boy band-y image,’” Basseo says.
Basseo demonstrates his devotion to the music by trying to write at least one song per day and has demoed 53 versions of their newest single, “Bad Word.” With all this musical output, he admits the band has been impatient at times.
“When you’re 14, 15, 16, you want to just start, you know what I mean? You don’t want to wait. You don’t want to allow time for development. You just want to put stuff out.”
However, he admits that patience pays off in the end.
“You want to wait until you have the right song, because you can only make a first impression once,” Basseo, who is now 22, says.
Panicland has used unusual tactics to get where they want to be. They’ve snuck in to Grammy and Juno parties while wearing costumes and ended up meeting some big names there, for example.
They are also known for proactive strategies when it comes to direct-to-fan marketing. They do poster design, show planning and radio reach-outs themselves, so they can have more contact with their fans.
Panicland is extremely devoted to being independent artists, but that commitment came from necessity.
“I think at first it was because we didn’t really have another choice, you know what I mean? Because when you’re a young band, no one wants anything to do with you,” Basseo says. “You just have to take matters into your own hands. So that’s what we did, and then we realised we like it.”
Along the way, Basseo has gained some insight into the modern music arena.
“I find people aren’t responsive to the record label machine any more. People don’t necessarily listen to the radio and read magazines and watch MTV,” he says. “They have the ability to think more for themselves now with social media.”
Discover more of Panicland at panicland.net.
Published in Volume 71, Number 25 of The Uniter (March 23, 2017)