By Alex HudsonSince forming in 2006, Hot Panda have becoming one of Edmonton's favourite bands, signing to Mint Records and releasing two LPs. With their latest, How Come I'm Dead?, having come out on Tuesday (October 12), the pop rockers are getting ready to pack their bags and relocate to Vancouver.
"Some people in the band, as soon as we're done this tour, are going to go right back to Vancouver," frontman Chris Connelly tells Exclaim! "And then a couple others of us are going to go in the new year, in spring. But the plan is to go to Vancouver."
While Vancouver is a bigger city with more music and media opportunities, Connelly says that the move isn't career-related. "I want to go somewhere different, challenge myself to be somewhere new," he explains. "And Vancouver is kind of close still, it's got better weather, it's in Canada so you don't need to worry about working visas, so it just seemed like a good idea. And Mint's there too, our record label, which is kind of cool. It makes stuff easier being there."
The members of Hot Panda aren't strangers to Vancouver. How Come I'm Dead? was recorded in Vancouver with producers John Collins and Dave Carswell at JC/DC Studios. "I think that, recording at JC/DC, right downtown, there was a sense of stuff happening all around you, all the time. It was easy to step out and grab a coffee or take a walk," Connelly notes. "I think there was a good energy around making it there."
Before moving to Vancouver, Hot Panda will wrap up their cross-Canada tour, which will last them until late October. After that, the plan is to tour the West coast in December, playing Vancouver and Victoria before heading down into the U.S.
Amidst the craziness of touring and moving cities, Hot Panda have taken the time to launch a remix contest for the new single "Mindlessnesslessness." You can download the original track here and pick up the stems for free right here. Send your remix to firstname.lastname@example.org before November 12 and you will win a Hot Panda prize pack, including a vinyl record, T-shirt and hot sauce. The winning entry will appear on an upcoming Mint Records compilation.
10/15 Rimouski, QC - Le Campus 10/16 Fredericton, NB - The Capital 10/17 Charlottetown, PE - Bubba's 10/18 Moncton, NB - The Paramount 10/19 Sydney, NS - Governor's Pub 10/20 Brooklyn, NY - Trash Bar 10/22 Halifax, NS – Halifax Pop Explosion