5 writers, 5 questions, 1 band, hand-picked by MWA. Welcome to FIVE x FIVE. This week: Lo-Fi Punk rockers Flesh Panthers.
Flesh Panthers write fuzzy, raucous songs about poppers, leather, and general recklessness; And they almost always clock in under 3 minutes. It’s sloppy, loud, and trashy in all the right ways. Singer/Guitarist Ryan Zombotron was kind enough to answer a few of our questions while waiting for the bus, on this day when we celebrate independence and freedom. Nothing feels more American to me than loud fucked up garage punk. With that being said, celebrate “Real America” with this very special 4th of July FIVE x FIVE.
Where’d the name Flesh Panthers come from? | Alyssa Lee
It came from a dream I had. At the time we were gonna go with sweet taste (a reference to the Velvet Underground song “Waiting For The man”). Then I had a dream where someone asked me if I was human or just another flesh panther. It was better so it stuck. Now I’m kinda sick of hearing it, but other people seem to like it.
What was the experience like working on and cutting your debut 7″? Can we expect further vinyl releases? | Patrick David
Yes, we’re working on recordings for what will be our first LP. Doing the first 7″, for me, was just like losing my virginty. I just wanted to get it out of the way. We did not spend much time writing or recording it. We wrote all the songs at our practice space and I just wrote the lyrics as jibberish that eventually found it’s way into words. I wanted to make a record that people in this town would like. So when I was thinking of how it should sound, maybe I got some ideas off of bands like Heavy Times and Twin Peaks. Maybe, maybe not. It’s deffinitly a lil sweeter than some of our other stuff. I rember that we all got really fucked up in the studio. I would have made some changes in the mix if I hadn’t been so high. There’s some other influences in there like The Clash and Nirvana and other stuff like doo-wop and girl group stuff. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I think it’s just trash.
In the last few years, you’ve released music with several different independent labels. Do you see a benefit to working with a handful of labels versus working exclusively with one? | Eric Slager
It depends. It’s hard out there and a band needs to go after what’s best for them. In our case the first two tape labels we used dissolved, so going with Dumpster Tapes was a given, and they have been great to work with. Basically, we have worked with whoever wants to work with us. Tall Pat approached us about doing a 7″. No, scratch that, we had to bug him about it. He took a chance with us. I appreciate that he did. But that was our only effort to do a vinyl. And I just knew real bands have 7″s so we needed to make one and then go on a tour.
You play a ton around Chicago and just finished a 2 or 3 week tour with The Morons, what was one of your favorite recent shows and why? | Dan Jarvis
My favorite show recently was at Animal Kingdom with Preists and Blizzard Babies. That night all our gear was shorting out and the band was getting shocked whenever we touch the mics, our guitars, everything from all the spilled beer on the basement floor. we had to turn the amps off with our shoes. I think things like that are super funny.
Besides yourselves, who are some of your favorite Chicago bands right now? | Dan Jarvis
Mama, Uh Bones, Gross Pointe, The Morons, Negative Scanner, Clampa, Twin Peax, Hollow Mountain, Ono, Thunders, The Yolks, Mac Blackout Band, The Jollys, The Wet, Strange Faces, Luke Tokyo Drifter, American Breakfast , mtvGhosts, Haki , The Bingers, Gravity Waves, Jolly Korea , Mr, M’am, The Uglies, The Peekaboos, White Mystery, Bad Dreams, and there are so many more.
Flesh Panthers just released a new 7″ via Tall Pat Records as well as their latest Self-Titled Cassette via Dumpster Tapes. They’ll also be part of an amazing Midwest Action sponsored show at Township on July 21st. They’ll be playing alongside the Mac Blackout Band (record release show), All Blood, & Pizza Time. Stay tuned to the site for more info on that incredible show and RSVP to it on Facebook here.