Vibe Fusion: Polaroid Panda

Whenever I attend a show and listen to any band, naturally I know what genre I am expecting to hear. It should be common sense right? Usually, but not this time. Polaroid Panda is odd, but unique when it comes to their flavor profile of music. Their style can’t be placed in a box or category. They do not fit into only one music genre. During my first experience with Polaroid Panda, I kept constantly debating with myself on how to describe the type of music I was listening to. Is it pop rock mixed with mild reggae? Are they R&B flavored rock? Do they identify as strictly hard pop rock? I honestly don’t know. All I know for sure is Polaroid Panda has a distinct sound that beckons people to engage with their specific style of music.

The set variation of Polaroid Panda is a good balance of cover songs and originals. When executing covers, they make sure their individualized sound is attached to it. In comparison to main stream music, their original songs feel like a breath of fresh air. The cohesive interactions with each other on stage was impressive to watch. Each member of this band offers something special to the performance as a whole and it shows. Through proudly showcasing passionate vocals combined with instrumental vibe fusion meshed with super clean drum cut offs, this up and coming band is boldly making a name for itself.

Polaroid Panda consists of: 
Kila Wofford (KW) - Lead Singer
Erin Detherage (ED) - Guitarist
Dylan Cecil (DC) - Drums
Corey Flowers (CF) - Bass. 

During the interview, the band and I gathered around a dingy couch in the garage like reliving an episode of That ’70s Show. It was nice getting to hang out with them and have a laid back conversation. Sit back, relax and enjoy the vibes of Polaroid Panda.

1.) How did the formation of Polaroid Panda come together and has being in a band always been a goal for your life?
DC: "When did me and you first [meet] up together?"
KW: "I'm sure that was 2018."
DC: "Probably just a couple of years. We had a guy we wrote a song or two with and then he didn't work out on guitar. We searched and searched for probably about a couple of months and got a hit on Erin from the Facebook ad. It only works once."
KW: "Corey popped up off of Craigslist."
CF: "Yeah, Craigslist. I went to a Craigslist ad, I guess from Erin."
ED: "Which is great because I only found weirdos like 90% of the time on Craigslist, so Corey fit into the 10%."
CF: "I've [been here] since about May of this last year. Around that time."
KW: "It's about to be your year anniversary. I've always wanted to do music for sure since I came out of the womb."
DC: "Well it takes a while to practice your instruments, so you gotta start young ya know?"
CF: "Yeah, it was off and on for me. I went through phases where I was really into music and then life happens."
ED: "I was really glad to have found [this band] because I have [kind of] done a little bit of everything. I've done cover bands. I've played in original projects, but this is one of the only bands where we all get together and collaborate to actually put together our own original music. Everybody's input is taken [into consideration] and to me that has been really cool. You can't put a price on that. To actually create a song from the inception of it is really cool."

2.) What do you hope audiences will receive from listening to your music?
KW: "A vibe. Like it's just 'A VIBE.' You can't even put a label on it. It's just like, 'Damn! That was an experience!'"
DC: "Arousal. A half chub."
ED: "That's another thing. People ask me, 'What kind of music do you guys play?' It's like, 'I really don't know.' "
DC: "A lot."
ED: "That's what's cool. I don't really know how to put a label on it."
CF: "It's a mix. We're just a mixed genre."
ED: "Maybe there's a sub-genre out there? Because everybody sub-genre's everything."
KW: "Fusion of everything."
CF: "You just created a new genre."
KW: "You heard first guys!"
ED: "We play 'alternative arousal.'"
CF: "That's going to be our genre."

3.) Describe the thought process in developing your band name.
KW: "So, Pandas are extremely peaceful [to the point of avoiding] each other so they don't have conflicts. I just love how peaceful they are. They just want to have fun and they're so freaking cute. A panda is mostly white with a little bit of black. Right? This band is mostly white with a little bit of black. So, it just fits. You would think we are polar opposites, but it's like yin and yang. We just mesh. We work. We balance each other out. Also, I just think polaroid [pictures] are cool."
CF: "Pandas can also pee on their front legs."

4.) Last I heard, your band was about to go to a recording studio. Can you elaborate more about that?
DC: "My boy's name is John Wayne Pharr. He has a studio actually in Springdale, Arkansas. It's a place where they mainly bring in teenagers, but there's a lot of people that are just out of high school [or in their] 20's. It's a small studio space and he teaches classes [on] how to set up a small studio, run mic cords, balance everything out, and record [instruments and vocals]. He helped us out a lot because I already knew him from past experiences. He was pretty easy to get in touch with and was down to help us out. We got a couple songs recorded."
ED: "Speaking of that. [John Wayne Pharr] recorded all of us, [but] we're still working on some of the tweaking."
DC: "The issue was [with] the drums. We had trouble [recording] the drums. It's hard. You have to really put a lot into it and if you try and record all the other instruments, you can't really mix it right or make it sound the way the song needs to sound. We [decided] to go to someone who can really [record] the drums in detail, isolate everything and balance it out so nothing sounds weird. [The person we are going to] can fix it all."
ED: "Kila did some production stuff with Full Sail University and she makes her shit sound really good."
KW: "I would like to thank my Mom."

5.) What advice would you give to people who are just starting out creating their art.
KW: "Keep going."
DC: "Push it."
KW: "Keep going because I almost gave up and it was the week [Dylan] freaking called me. I was ready to move and try it somewhere else, [but] he called me. I [thought] 'Well that's my sign.' Keep going."
CF: "I almost gave up until I decided to look out too, but I was about to play with somebody. He was giving me the 'run around' and I [thought] 'Nah. I'll just play around with myself with my own guitar.' I just kept going and I love playing with these guys. They're so good."
DC: "Start out with everyone on the same page [and that] everybody understands what it is. We all understand what we've been talking about. [Our concept is] 'Bring what you have.' You know what I mean? We all understand that. I feel more uncomfortable playing some genres than others. You know what I mean? So we all kind of understand that. We push ourselves to play with the band."
CF: "The thing about us is what [Dylan said]: 'We're all on the same page.' We all have the same goal and the same drive. It makes it easy to play with each other. It really does."
ED: "The one thing I always tell people is being in a band is like being in a relationship, [but] it's a lot more fucking complicated. It's because there's more than one person involved. Whenever you actually find chemistry with people that are on the same page and as well as understanding of everything else, that's really rare. Everybody romanticizes being in a band. They really do.  People don't realize the work that goes into it and the sacrifice [along with] everything else. That's what's really cool. Again, this is the first band I've ever been in where everybody gets it and everybody is on the same page."

To keep up with Polaroid Panda, look them up on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: polaroidpanda1.

Polaroid Panda’s next show will be January 23 @ Six Twelve Coffee House & Bar.

Video Link on Instagram:
12/22/20 @ Six Twelve Coffee House & Bar - Polaroid Panda

Keep the vibes flowing and don’t forget to take time to drain your brain. Art is always worth creating. Remember: life is what you make it and never stop striving for happiness within it.

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