by Keavin Wiggins
This time we venture to Canada and check
in with Pangea, a promising group offer up a cool melodic rock sound and
is ready to take the world by storm. We recently had the opportunity to
speak with Pangea’s drummer Courtney Weidelich to get a feel for what the
band is all about. The interview is below.
RNW: The standard opening question,
how did the band come together? And where has the journey taken you
Courtney: We story of Pangea is a bit of a long one. Pangea originally
started as just 3 members. Taylor Knox (guitar) Aaron Carothers (bass)
and Chris McLeod (drums). They started as just the 3 of them playing
instrumental songs. After a while of that, Pangea decided that they
wanted to add a singer. Introducing Mark Corporon. Pangea remained
this way for about a year. Pangea decided then that good friend Courtney
Weidelich would be added as a percussionist. After a while of this
drummer Chris McLeod decided that Pangea wasn’t the thing he wanted to
be doing at this point in
time. He stepped away from his drumming
duties and Courtney took his spot...to form Pangea (the supergroup) the
way it is today.
RNW: Where did the name come Pangea
Courtney: The word Pangea is the
name of the super continent back millions of years ago before they spit
up and formed the world we know it now. Basically we just thought
that it was a cool name.
RNW: Where would you place your
sound in the musical spectrum? In other words, how do you describe yourselves
to those haven’t heard you?
Courtney: well...we don’t really
like to say that we are this kind of band or that kind of band cause i
don’t think that any band likes to be branded. but since you asked
I guess we are an Alternative funk rock band.
RNW: If you only had one chance to win
a fan over with one song. Which song would you use, that you think best
represents what you are all about?
Courtney: I think right now that
our song In The Light would be the song for us. I think that that
song is going to do things for us....once we find the right person to play
RNW: I only have the three 30
seconds on your site to go by, but you guys seem to cover a lot of different
bases with your music but it still seems to fall into the same general
direction. Who are some of your biggest influences?
Courtney: the 4 of us can agree
on a couple of bands. 311, incubus, Dave Matthews Band, Red Hot Chili
Peppers just to name a few...but we all have our own tastes....and they
are really ranging....from blink 182, to the Beatles, to Bob Marley to
Led Zeppelin we all have different tastes and I think it really helps make
our sound the way it is.
RNW: You wouldn’t know it from listening
to the music, but you guys are pretty young. How long have you playing
Courtney: yeah. your right we are
pretty young...I (Courtney) am 21 and the oldest member of Pangea.
Aaron is 20, Mark is 19, and Taylor is 18. but we have been playing
music and playing our instruments for a long time...me personally I have
been playing the drums for about 11 years now.
RNW: What first inspired you to become
Courtney: I think just seeing and
hearing all the amazing music out there and just wanting to be just like
those rock stars...
What is your songwriting process like? Does one person come up with the
songs and the rest of the band add their parts to it or is it a full group
Courtney: well...most of our songs
are a group effort. Usually someone will come to practice with a
new riff or an idea or something....very rarely does someone come to practice
with a totally finished song...but it does happen from time to time.
RNW: Any plans in the works to release
a CD or at least an EP?
Courtney: actually....we have 2
full albums out...."A Suitable Escape" and "Peace and Sounds"....and just
this summer we released an 8 song EP Entitled "Between the Lines"...and
it is our best stuff yet. you can get it at our shows or by emailing
us at firstname.lastname@example.org
RNW: You have a pretty polished sound
on the clips I heard, how different is your live sound from your studio
Courtney: obviously live it isn’t
quite as heavy as in the studio...but that’s just cause you cant have 6
guitarists on stage with you....but I would say that we sound very close
to our studio sound....Mark plays guitar in some songs as well as singing
so that really helps fill out our live sound.
RNW: You guys are from Ontario, What’s
the music scene like there?
Courtney: We are from Aurora Ontario
just north of the big T. Dot, and the scene is pretty good. except
it is really tough, especially for a band that is a as young as us.
most of the bars in Toronto wont let you play unless you can guarantee
X number of dollars at the door or at the bar....so sometimes its tough
for a band like us...cause friends don’t always want to go down to the
city on a weeknight.....but there are lots of places to play....so it is
RNW: Do you think that the bands that
have broken internationally from Canada over the past few years represent
the Canadian rock scene as a whole?
Courtney: yeah I do. I think
bands like Sum 41, Nickelback, Our Lady Peace, and the Barenaked Ladies
show that there is a lot of different stuff going on here
RNW: Going beyond the Canadian scene, what do you think of the current
state of rock? Any bands that do it for you?
Courtney: Personally i think that
rock on a whole isn’t really moving anywhere right now. and i think
that too many of the bands out there are just too negative all the time.
a lot of swearing, and stuff like that. I think there needs to be
some more positive messages out there. 311 are one of those bands....not
huge, but they have been around for a long long time....they are recording
their 7th album right now....and they are a really positive
RNW: What would be your dream tour,
the band you would most like to go out on the road with?
Courtney: Personally, for me, a
Pangea, 311, Incubus tour would be amazing!...but the answer to that question
would get a different answer from every member of Pangea.
RNW: What do you think is the biggest
obstacle for new bands there days to making it in this crazy business?
Courtney: I think the hardest obstacle
is that a lot of clubs make it hard for bands and are out there just to
make money and not to promote local talent. Unless you can pack out
the place they wont let you play. so its a bit of an obstacle because
you end up playing in front of the same people all the time cause the clubs
don’t promote for you.
RNW: You’ve been together a pretty short
time but so far what has been your proudest moment as a band?
Courtney: Well we have actually
been together as the 4 we are now for almost 2 years now...our proudest
moments have been winning some battles of the bands in Toronto, and our
biggest moment was making it to the 4th and final round of the CNE Rising
Star Talent Competition. We were the first band to make it to the
finals in 5 or 6 years...so that was something...we didn’t end up winning....but
it was great.
RNW: On the other side of the coin,
what has been worst experience?
Courtney: Worst experiences have
been being asked to play at shows by other bands and not having anyone
there to play for...just girlfriends and the other bands....stuff like
RNW: Has the Internet helped you reach new fans? Do you think
like some that the net will eventually open up the music business or will
the major labels still dominate things?
Courtney: yes...I definitely think
that the Internet is going to help bands. right now though it is
hurting bigger bands but helping small bands. For us it helps cause
it exposes us to lots more people...but on the other hand bands have to
make money some how....and selling their albums is the main way.
I think that the Major labels are never going to go away...they are
going to be the ones doing the controlling of the online stuff....
RNW: What’s next for Pangea?
Courtney: Next for Pangea is more
recording with a friend of ours...re-recording some songs and making a
real fully blown album. and playing as many shows as we possibly
RNW: Where do you hope to be five years
Courtney: five years is a long time
for anything, bands, relationships, whatever. Right now we aren’t
really looking that far ahead....we are just looking at what’s goin on
right now, this week, this month.
RNW: Finally, what do you want people
to take away from your music?
Courtney: just to have fun and enjoy
and be positive.
Courtney concludes… “ thanks a lot for
all of this.... be sure to visit our website at www.pangeaplace.com”
now that you know a little about Pangea it is time to go to their website
and learn more, listen to some of their songs, buy their CD, check for
concert dates and just generally find out why they are cool!
of a great unsigned artist or band? Let us know.