Building blocks

They're not afraid to admit that they've been inspired by others, they don't mind being compared to other bands in the genre, but maybe that's because they know they bring something unique to the post rock party. Known for their uplifting tunes, South Carolina's PAN makes music that embodies the spirit of youth. Not ones to over complicate their role in the greater scheme and brimming with the positivity of a band burgeoning in the era of the internet, PAN create for pure and unashamed joie de vivre.

When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?

Pan began in early 2009. I say this because Nate and I (Ian) began writing instrumental music around this time. Many times we used different tunings. We first heard Fang Island in early 2008 and that’s kind of when our attitude toward music changed. Before Fang, we were listening to a lot of metalcore and grindcore, so needless to say our tastes have changed a good deal. When I grew up I was a big Blink 182 fan too. I think we are kind of like an instrumental, more distorted version of Blink 182.

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

Hearing Fang Island's music was a big moment for us.

What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?

The only trouble is that we don’t have as many members as we’d like. Eventually we’d like to have 3 guitars, strings, horns, bass, keys, and drums. As of now we are 2 guitars, bass and drums, with the occasional violin. The violin is becoming more of a mainstay now though.

What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?

We are guitarists so pretty much everything is written on the guitar. Now that we are adding more instruments to the band, I’m sure that will change.

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?

Most of our stuff is written by one member with everyone else learning the parts, but once we learn the songs, we are free to change things a little bit when we play it live. Recently though, we’ve written a few songs as a group, improvising. We plan to do that a lot more now. The songs come out feeling more natural.

Do you feel it important that an audience is able to deduct the processes and ideas behind a work purely on the basis of the music? If so, how do you make them transparent?

We just want the audience to enjoy what they are listening to; to forget everything and focus on the music.

How much, do you feel, are creative decisions shaped by cultural differences – and how much, vice versa, is the perception of sound influenced by cultural differences?

Our creative decisions are greatly influenced by cultural differences and the culture we grew up with.  However, our perception of music is less dependent on our cultures. We can appreciate rhythm and melody from any culture if it sounds good to us.

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