Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Roo Panes

Roo Panes
Photo by Alexander Rhind

After the release of his debut folk-pop album Little Giant, we spoke with English singer-songwriter Roo Panes to discuss musical adventures he had when creating the record, the influence of nature, and Shakespeare’s first play. Enjoy:

AMBY: Hey Andrew, cheers for speaking with us today. What have you been up to lately?

Roo Panes: It’s been real variety this summer. I was very busy at the beginning doing a month long solo tour around the UK which was awesome, and it’s now getting super busy again on a gigging front because I’m off on a band UK tour. Got some traveling in too which was great, and some time back in the countryside, so all in all it’s been a great summer.

AMBY: The first single that came from your album was Tiger Striped Sky. What’s the story behind the optimistic song?

Roo Panes: Well, in a sense it’s analyzing the idea of “a tiger can’t lose its stripes”. I don’t really believe that. The song looks at the idea that you can lose your stripes by changing your context and the lens you look at life through.

AMBY: Following the single’s release, you shared your debut album Little Giant! What was one of the highlights you had while recording the debut?

Roo Panes: There were so many highlights. It’s amazing to hear things come together. I think for me there’s a couple of songs that were a complete musical adventure, like “Deeper than Shallow” and “How Long”. I’d not attempted to write anything quite like them so to hear them become what I hoped was amazing.

AMBY: If you had to pick one track off that album that best summarizes what you were hoping to achieve, what track would you pick and why?

Roo Panes: That’s hard because they all have a bit of that. Little giant sums up the lyrical message of the album pretty well, which is why it’s the title track, but the sound is more defined by songs like “Ran Before the Storm” and “Deeper than Shallow”.

AMBY: Many photos on your Facebook feed are of nature. Does nature in any way have an influence on your songwriting?

Roo Panes: It’s a big influence. First of all because it gives you space to write and think, but also because you then begin to see how amazingly beautiful it is. Living in a seasonal country means that the mood is always changing, and I find that interestingly enough affects the way I write. A lot of this album was written in the winter months, so I’m pleased it’s coming out at this time. People can listen to it in its seasonal context.

AMBY: If you could be a fly on the wall at any given time or event, where would you want to be?

Roo Panes: I would love to have been at Shakespeare’s first play…just to see the reaction.

AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Roo Panes that nobody knows yet?

Roo Panes: I can do a tape recorder impression..

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Thank you Roo Panes, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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