Edward Burnett talks to American band Pant about their origins as a band, playing music live and even how to smoke meat.
RNRR: Hi guys! Welcome to Spotlight, would you like to introduce the band and it’s members to our readers who may be unfamiliar with your work?
PANT: Hey! We’re Pant. We’re a rock and roll band from New York and we have Morgan Davis on guitar and vocals, Frank Bubbico on Bass and lead vocals, Maddy Edwards on drums, and Lucien Shelly on guitar and vocals.
RNRR: A pleasure to meet you all! How long have you been a band? Tell us a little more about how you formed as a group?
PANT: So Morgan and I went to high school together and we both started pant in 2017. We’ve had other members in the past, but we met frank in 2018 after I (Lucien) put up an audition ad in our local guitar store, Division Street Guitars. Through Frank we met Maddy in 2021. So Pant has been around since 2017, but it was really just a silly high school band. In the past two years is when we got serious
RNRR: You recently put out your fist LP ‘Diner Pets’. Talk me through this collection of songs. How much time and effort did it take to mastermind those together?
PANT: No two songs on the album are the same. We all come up with song and we all have our different styles and tastes and approaches to writing. There are songs like ‘Everyday’ and ‘Nothing Set in Stone’ which are very classic rock inspired. Then there’s songs like ‘How Many Days’ and ‘Kumquat Lady’ which have a much more pop feel. Then we have the blind squid/ you’ll find combo. We wanted to lean into the Psychadelic and jam band kinda sound. And of course the classic acoustic stuff with ‘A Suite No Less Divine’ and ‘White Skies’ which is a really cool one because it is the accompaniment song to ‘Black Smoke’, so the album is bookended by the two songs. The album is not a conceptual album. But the order is important. There’s a story or some sort of narrative of themes you can pull out from the order it’s in.
RNRR: Do you feel that you’ve been on a journey as a band since your creation in 2017? Is this LP a testament to that path or does it represent more what you always aimed to achieve?
PANT: So when pant first started, Pant wasn’t more than a high school band that would occasionally play a show. We had no real dreams or plan worth talking about. Then the pandemic happened and we were all brought home and we decided to get back to work on the band and from that our EP, ‘Let it Ring’, was made. The EP is really more of a demo. 5 songs very much based in a hard rock style. So you listen to the EP and you listen to ‘Diner Pets’ and you can hear that it is a testament to what we can do. The songs are much more thought out, meaningful, and crafted as compared to last year. The path has not been straight, but it’s moving forward now and ‘Diner Pets’ is a huge stepping stone for us. We sense that people want something with sincerity and is genuine, And so we made this album and that’s what Pant has always been about so in that sense, it’s a recognition of a long standing aim.
RNRR: Where do you see the band going this year? Where would you guys like to be as a group by December? Any more new music? Or a full focus on the live gigs?
PANT: The focus on this summer is gigging. We got a festival, some New York shows, and some bar gigs coming up. We’ve been talking about the idea of submitting to labels, seeing what could happen. By December for sure we want to be getting ready to go back into the studio. Morgan and Frank recently got some synthesizers so we’re definitely going to explore that path. We all have some song ideas, so now we gotta get together, flush em out, and make it all happen.
RNRR: Tell me more about the festival. What’s is called, where is it based and how did you get involved?
PANT: It’s called the Greenport Skate Park Sound and Skate Festival. It’s all the way out in Long Island. Basically is a whole day festival at this skate park and it raises funds for the park’s revitalization project. There’s vendors, music, games. It’s supposed to draw a couple thousand people. We got involved because East End Music Alliance reached out to us because one of the acts dropped out. Really was just luck. We’re not from the town, but we’re always happy to support communities whether our own or not.
RNRR: Have you performed at many festivals before? How does a festival compare to a gig for you or recording in the studio? Is there a scenario you prefer and why?
PANT: Well this is gonna be our first festival, so we’ll find out what it’s like and there’s different gigs in and of themselves. The city gigs are shorter and sweeter, but we don’t get the time to experiment and break through musically as we would at a bar gig. Bar gigs are usually two to three hours long, so we have more time to fill with jams, covers, and all that. But it’s exhausting to play for that long and be high energy. The studio is fun because we often like to goof around and have fun and be ourselves while we’re tracking and overdubbing. That’s why on ‘Miss Molly’ you hear audio of us acting silly. We get to express ourselves best there.
RNRR: So in every environment you find the positives, which is great for making music. Moving away from the songs though, so you guys have any major hobbies that you get up to when you’re not making music? Either as a group or individually?
PANT: In general, we’re all pretty focused on music. But we do other things . Lucien is getting his BA/MA in History at City College of New York and works at Division Street Guitars. Frank goes to SUNY Geneseo and is on the track team, doing middle distance and short distance running. Maddy does art in her free time and works with dogs. Morgan went to Berklee school of music for a couple years, but now just focuses on music/ guitar and cooking. He’s a master behind a BBQ pit. Morgan and Lucien spent the quarantine learning how to smoke meat.
RNRR: How does one smoke meat? Any tips for the readers now that the hot weather is ramping up?
PANT: [Morgan]: It’s kinda of like you are cooking meat or poultry or what have you in an oven but instead of normal constant heat it uses smoke from a controlled fire with a flavored wood/ pellet to give it a deep smokey flavor and keep it super tender and juicy. My best tips would be 1: to stay confident. No need to be constantly checking on the meat, just gotta follow the directions and trust the process. 2: Be very patient. A good piece of BBQ takes a lot of time. So take the day off, grab a case or three of your favorite beer, and invite all your friends over for a good time. It’s always fun to smoke stuff but I think the real payoff is sharing it with loves ones.
RNRR: Is there anything you’d like to try as a band musically that you currently regard as out there? Do you see yourselves experimenting lyrically or thematically anytime soon?
PANT: We’ll find out what we do haha. We have some ideas about doing a combination Americana/ Psychadelic album. But it’s all about what we come together and make as a band. When you work in a group creatively, whatever original idea you have always gets changed around which is a great thing. Everyone always brings something to the table that makes it new and unique. ‘Diner Pets’ dealt a lot with existentialism, love, self actualization, and some drugs and politics. Maybe we’ll lean more into one of those themes next time around, who knows. Nothing is off the table though.
RNRR: Now finally, the most important question which we ask all our guests on Spotlight. You are heading to a desert island for the rest of your days and are only allowed to take one album with you for the rest of time. What album are each of you choosing and, most importantly, why?
PANT: [Lucien]: I would take ‘Music from the Big Pink’ by The Band. Nowhere else have I heard music like this. It’s boozy Bible music and it’s enchanting. It’s my favorite album and one of the most important albums ever made. [Morgan]: ‘The Royal Scam’ by Steely Dan: Its the apex of steely dans rock arrangements. There’s zero skips just one perfect jam after another with some of the most legendary studio work to this day. Its timeless. [Maddy]: My answer is ‘Cheap Thrills’, because Janis Joplin’s voice and the Holding Company’s musical talent is the best thing my ears have heard and will never grow tired on me. [Frank]: My favorite album is ‘Odyssey and Oracle’. It’s a great display of vocal harmony and unique instrumentation that feels more like a sequel to ‘Sgt. Peppers’ and ‘Pet Sounds’ than any other album of its time.
RNRR: Some interesting picks there! Thank you for being such great guests and all that remains is for me to wish you all the very best for the remainder of 2022!
If you would like to learn more about Pant, you can find the links to all of their socials below via the icons: