Trash Pandas: A Little Punk, A Little Alt, A Little Rock
Trash Pandas seem to be playing every venue in the Green Bay area, gaining traction and steam with radio play on 105.7 WAPL Homebrewed Radio, Code Zero Radio, and other smaller stations. These past two years have seen a pandemic and a record; they’re already playing the Chicago and Milwaukee areas.
Recently I was able to have a chat with the band before their Lyric Room show with Death The Kid and Radio For Pets on February 20.
WHAT MAKES THEM STAY RELEVANT?
Right off the bat, the general consensus is the band has their own sound that offers something for everybody. Drummer Wayne Wickman says, “We have a sound that is unique. We’re a little punk, a little alt, a little rock,” words complemented by singer Lacey Kroll: “We have a lighter side and a heavier side. I write lyrics that resonate with people, because outside of this I’m just an everyday person. I go to work, pay my bills, do the same things everyone else does.”
To Lacey’s point, as listeners we find ourselves engaged in music that has relatable meaning, and that’s one thing this band does exceptionally well. Their listeners are loyal, they speak the language of the Panda, they rock out, and they sing along. As I witnessed at The Lyric Room, their fans also hold a drink in one hand, a phone in the other, and use social media to go live to promote the band as they play. It’s a perfect circle of promotion, and it’s paying off for them.
Social media has been huge for Trash Pandas. Lacey has around 2,500 friends on Facebook, and that’s just one of the methods used to get a show. Wickman agrees. “That’s just how it is. That is how you get your stuff heard. As of right now we don’t have a website. It’s all on Facebook.” That’s a genuine testament to how powerful social media can be for the local scene, bands, and venues.
Along with the music, the age range in this band is also a factor. Guitarist Curtis Dahlen is the youngest member at a mere 20, while Wickman is 55. Despite the age range, this band proves it doesn’t matter when it comes to writing good hooks.
Wickman notes, “I think right now it’s really fun because we are starting to peak. Now we see the same people at our shows, and these people know the words to the songs.” The proof is in the pudding when it comes to how talented and attractive this band is.
THE BEST THING ABOUT THE GREEN BAY MUSIC SCENE
Like many bands, Trash Pandas took to the music when the world shut down during the pandemic. They didn’t let the time go to waste; instead, they recorded an album, kept using social media, kept pushing content, and kept sharing their message. And that has come in handy to solidify them as one of the area’s premier bands.
Everyone in the band agrees there are many venues that want live music, especially original music. Getting the fans out is the real challenge. This band takes on that challenge with a fun and easy-going attitude. With a smile on his face, Dahlen says, “All the bands and musicians are really supportive of one another.”
Capping off the night, Kroll says it best: “I think people around here are pretty loyal to the scene once they get into it. There’s people I just met on Facebook who say, ‘Hey, you’re doing a show tonight? We’ll come check out!’ And then I see them at another show, and another show. People around here, when they do actually come out, are really supportive and behind what you’re doing.”
Follow Trash Pandas on Facebook. Better yet go to a show and support them, buy some merch, and learn the language of the Panda!
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