Stardate: Summer 1993, the height of the grunge movement, the dawn of a nameless, faceless, corporate, "alternative revolution", and the final twitches and death rattles of the bloated carcass that was 80's "hair metal" had made absolute, utter chaos of the Philadelphia music scene. Every band had a plan, and everybody knew some cousin of an uncle of a babysitter whose brother was the assistant ...to the assistant of a lower level A&R guy at Geffen records.
Bands were morphing from silky shirted power ballad peddlers to goateed, flannel wearing, drop d-tuned, grunge poets, seemingly overnight. You could go see a band called "Adjective, Girls name" one week, and the next week the same four guys would be called Mudball or something like that.
It was in the middle of all this, that two refugees from a dying scene that they were never tall enough, thin enough, pale enough, or cool enough for to begin with, would plant the seeds for a timeless, unrelenting, rock and roll juggernaut...
THE OUTLAW PANDAS!!!!!!
After watching a rousing, yet somewhat pedestrian set by some generic rock band, at a local rock establishment, a young AJ Zonin asks " What did ya think of those guys?" T. Patrick Burns answers with something like " Well, they wanted to be Hanoi Rocks, they could have been Cheap Trick, but they just wound up sounding like a bad Cinderella!"
Zonin hands Burns an ad for a new band he's forming and says " I wanna work with you" and just like that an adventure begins.
They decided to craft their own sound, heavily influenced by the past , present, and what they thought would be the future of rock and roll. They were done with "hair metal", but still wanted a crunchy, heavy guitar sound more TNT and White Lion then NIN and White Zombie. They didn't want "go alternative", but they wanted witty sarcastic, sometimes heart breaking lyrics more Paul Westerberg than Eddie Vedder, able to be delivered with the elegance of Robin Zander or the venom of Johnny Lydon.
Mixed with subject matter that was pure Motown, "boy meets girl", "boy loses girl", "boy subsequently hates girl", etc.
What they got was timeless, genre-less, undeniably catchy rock and roll, part metal, part punk, part power pop and yet none of the above!
I'm not gonna say they were revolutionary or ahead of their time, but when The Outlaw Pandas started there was no Bowling for Soup, no Blink 182, no Green Day, everything was grunge and no one had the balls to have fun!!!
Fast forward to 2011, after many ups, downs, bass players, drummers, years and nearly a decade hiatus, The Outlaw Pandas are back, and sounding better than ever.
These things are certain, we're not gonna be famous, we're not gonna change the world, but our mission statement remains...
"All for fun, all for love, all for one!!!!!!"
T. Patrick Burns