Everybody Panic open up about their band name, selling their souls, and having a Yeti for a bass player.
I knew I was in trouble when I realized the contact person I was texting for my interview with Everybody Panic was standing next to me talking to the concertgoers outside the venue. Yes, Provo, the guitar player, was standing next to me talking to me while texting me about meeting for our interview. I should have known that a guy with 19-year-old dreadlocks down to his knees was going to be boatloads of crazy fun to interview, and I was right. Ty Gay – yes, that is his name, he asserts that his name made him tough – Provo, and their Yeti bass player, Pat, invited myself and my cameraman, Jay, into their bus to have a sit-down. The guys had just got done with their set to a sold-out crowd, and still were very much full of energy and eager to share the innermost guts of their band, Everybody Panic.
I had been dying to know the origin of the band’s name, so I inquired. The question brought about loud laughter from the guys, and Provo explained, “So, when we started this band it was just Ty and myself. The name originated from the movie “Semi Pro” where the bear gets out. I was yelling “Everybody Panic!” all the time anyways, and then it just clicked. That’s why we have the bear on the band shirts we sell, that’s Precious.” I also asked if they had ever been called anything other than the name they go by now, and they admitted they have been mistaken for other bands such as Panic at the Disco and Widespread Panic. They also have just recently had their name changed on Venue Marquees to “Panic Everybody” and “Everyone Panic,” but when you’re a band this good, does it really matter what you are called, really?
The conversation shifted to the timeline of the band, and the current lineup. The guys contest the rumors that they were an overnight success. Ty asserts, “People forget that we have been playing in bars since we were like 13, so we are definitely not an overnight success.” “Just add water,” Provo chimed in. “We started this current project in like 2012, him and me,” Provo states, pointing at Ty. “And wrote our first song and were signed shortly after.” Ty adds, “There are no overnight successes, it takes years and years of building that up.” Provo explained that in his opinion the only people who are actually overnight successes are those on reality shows like “The Voice” and “American Idol.” The guys assured me that they would not be appearing on any show like that any time soon. I informed them of the rumor that in order to be on a show like that a person must sell their soul to the devil. Ty laughed at the thought and then said angrily, “I’ve been trying to sell my soul for years! I’ve made the little star, lighted the candles, and he has never appeared! I have had to do it all on my own!” Provo veered the subject away from soul sacrificing by talking about the current tour, and their tour mates, Powerman 5000 and Hed PE. “I’ve been a fan of both those bands for years, so yeah I’ve wanted to do this since I was a little kid.” The guys said one of their favorite parts of this tour is playing to new people that have never heard of them. Ty mentioned he can see it on the faces of the people in the crowd when they realize that Everybody Panic is a kick-ass band, and a new fan is born.
The silent member of the group, the bass player Pat, decided to finally speak up after I asked him if he ever spoke “I am the Yeti. They call me that for two reasons, one is because of this,” he said thoughtfully while stroking a very impressive unruly beard, “and the second reason is I am an introvert/extrovert. I am elusive like the Yeti.” He also admits he likes to go wander around when the tour takes them to a new town. Pat proclaims that he goes out sightseeing while the rest of the band stays on the bus. This is his first big tour, so he is still in sightseeing mode, while his bandmates would rather stay on the bus and have Pat send them pictures of the cool things he sees.
I inquired about their last album, Attack, that was released in October, and was awarded with a fun story about where it was recorded. According to the guys, the studio in Seattle where they spent over two weeks recording, was haunted. Provo admitted that on more than one occasion the band went looking for ghosts, but unfortunately never had any luck. Ty even went as far as sleeping in the room that the studio owners stated was the most haunted, “I’m telling you, I’ve been trying to find the Devil to cut this deal. He is avoiding me; he wants no part of it.” The other guys in the band voiced their theories of why the Devil may be avoiding Ty, “Maybe it’s because Ty IS the Devil,” stated Pat. “You can’t sell your soul to yourself, Bro,” he pointedly explained to Ty. Ty laughed a frightfully maniacal laugh and I quickly asked my next question about when their new album will be out. “We are well into writing the new album. We just wrote a killer song just before we left on this tour,” Provo added.
It was getting to be time to wrap up and I wanted to make sure I gave the guys a chance to tell their fans anything that they had been wanting their faithful followers to know. “You guys are awesome,” stated Pat. “Yeah, we wouldn’t be where we are now without all of you. Keep doing what you are doing!” Provo added, “We have the greatest fans!” He pointed at a crock pot on a counter near Pat and explained, “That is full of macaroni and cheese with bacon. A fan brought us that to eat today. That is how awesome our fans are.” Ty added that he felt that their fans connect with their music on a more personal level it seems because the band embraces issues that may seem taboo to other bands. Topics like mental health Issues, and things that are very personal to the individual members of the band. Ty also said he was grateful to the fans for showing acceptance and unity within their fan base.
There you have it, how can you not want to run out and buy one of their albums immediately, I mean really! These Seattle/Oklahoma City dudes are the real deal. The foursome combine musical talent, high energy, and blatant disregard for anything PC, to create something extremely entertaining and classy. Classy? Did I say classy? I meant badass in a metal music way. The guys are still on tour with Powerman 5000 and Hed PE, so get on out there and catch a show, buy some merch, bring them some macaroni and cheese…no matter what you do, just get Everybody Panic into your life as soon as possible.