Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Orlando’s Pangolin. Together we discussed their origin, their creative process, Dracula owing them money, what is next, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have Pangolin join them at Music Shelf. How is everyone?

Gary: Doin’ Great!

Kenneth: I’m Okay. Could be better, but hey! Whatcha gonna do?

2. Mustard has observed that humans enjoy watching the origins of their favorite artists. What is Pangolin’s origin story?

Gary: Pangolin started in Georgia in 2016 and wrote a couple of songs and then didn’t really do much of anything else because nothing exists in Georgia except trees and seafood restaurants. In 2018 I moved to Orlando where I met Kenneth at Halloween Horror Nights where we had talked about starting a band. I was talking about my passion project that I left behind in Georgia that we only got to play some great songs to a few people. Kenneth recommended keeping Pangolin going and starting something new. So with our original drummer coming down for a few shows to get things going, the blessings of the original members and a bassist in our good friend Jon Lane, we started the current iteration of Pangolin which is what you see today just with some lineup changes. Jon has since left the band but he’s still a big part of it as our very best bud and creative partner for some of the fun stuff we do outside of the music we make. Josh joined us early this year but he’s been our friend since we first started the Orlando iteration. We’re not sure where Rollie came from exactly but our last drummer was out on tour with his other band and then one day Rollie was delivered to our doorstep by a stork. So we decided to keep him. 

3. You’ve been voted best Orlando based punk band named Pangolin. Could you share more about this moment?

Kenneth: It was a huge honor and the competition was fierce. It felt like real validation for the first time, even though we really wanted to be voted “Best Orlando Based Punk Band Named Dial Drive”, but we were later informed we somehow didn’t qualify for that category. Josh: It was disappointing. But we’re happy to have the win regardless. 

4. Who (or what) influences Pangolin?

Gary: I think musically our influences are all over the place. I know Josh and myself grew up really into punk but also lots of hardcore and in my case a good bit of metal. I have a history of being in heavier bands but my heart was always in what we’re doing now. It just took a while before it felt to me the time was right. Until I got comfortable with singing and songwriting instead of just writing riffs. But I still love playing guitar and try to incorporate that into some of the guitar work on our songs. As for song subject matter, I think it shows I’m influenced by foods and stuff I like. I’m a simple guy. I just write about what I like (and the occasional existential crisis).

Kenneth: I’m influenced by my favorite bands like Motion City Soundtrack and New Found Glory, but equally or more so by things like Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Comedy Bang! Bang!

5. What is the creative process of Pangolin?

Gary: It kind of depends on the type of song we’re writing. We don’t set out to write a silly song on purpose. It kind of just comes out as “Hey here’s this dumb idea one of us had. Now what would that sound like set to music?” And then other times it’s one of us coming to the table with “Hey, I had this thing I needed to write a song about and here’s what came out.” And then we just kind of go from there and build on it together from a demo one of us created or something like that. 

6. In 2019 you released your EP “Season One.” Could you share more about this EP? Will this EP be renewed for another season?

Kenneth: Unfortunately, the EP was cancelled after one season, but it was renewed for Volume 2, and then cancelled again, but that will be followed by Chapter 3. 

Gary: It’s been an up and down relationship with the networks. That’s showbiz, baby!

7. What are some things that Pangolin would do for tacos? Does Pangolin prefer soft or crunchy tacos? Sauce of choice? Homemade or from a restaurant?

Gary: I’ve already disclosed in song what i’d be willing to do for a taco and am not willing to reiterate that here to prevent from further implicating myself in any future crimes. If anyone reading this wishes to know just listen to the song. It’s all there. But to answer your question partially: Soft, Ocean Deck Rasta Sauce, Homemade all day. 

Kenneth: I would be willing to pay some money for tacos. I used to be a crunchy guy, but I’ve Recently converted to soft. I love Tijuana Flats’ Bee Sting sauce and Buc-ee’s Sweet & Spicy Ghost Pepper sauce. I only know restaurant tacos. 

Josh: I’d get in my car, drive a quarter mile down the road and purchase said taco. Crunchy. Mild Taco Sauce because I have the taste buds of an 11 yr old. Homemade always because I can pour the most obscene amount of cheese on my tacos without judgement. 

8. Has Pangolin had the chance to perform “Songs For Dogs” in front of man’s best friend? What is everyone’s favorite breed?

Gary: My Boy Rudy is my Favorite Breed. He’s a Lab-Pit mix and he’ll be 17 in February. The first time we played that song for dogs was at the Lakeland punk rock flea market and it was an all time greatest show we’ve ever played for that reason. Since then we’ve lost count how many times we’ve been able to play that song for dogs because the punk community is so awesome, there’s usually a dog at one out of every 3 shows we play. I’m starting to wonder if people are bringing dogs to our shows for that reason. I highly doubt it. Wishful thinking. I like dogs. 

Josh: Rudy is also my favorite breed. 

Kenneth: My Dachshund, Nikki. (And Also Rudy)

Rollie: My Dog Carmen from growing up.

9. You never asked to be a werewolf or a teenager. What have you asked to be?

Gary: Loved, off work for 3 days back in august and the little shoe while playing monopoly. 

10. Has Pangolin had communication with Dracula after letting them borrow money for groceries?

Unfortunately we can’t speak on that due to pending litigation in a civil suit. 

11. Mustard wonders what caused Minty The Candy Cane to fall on the ground.

Kenneth: That’s a question for Conan’s writers. We think he’s probably just clumsy.

Gary: I like to think maybe he was reaching for something just out of reach or trying to prove himself to someone he loved in some sort of Contemporary Yuletide retelling of Icarus, flying along on his wings of wax and hubris. But yeah he is probably just clumsy. 

12. A human gets invited to see Pangolin live. What kind of show can they expect?

Gary: I would hope they’d expect a music show, otherwise our marketing needs a bit of work. But in reality, our eventual goal is to be a pop punk version of the muppet show. With as many characters and costumes and ridiculousness we can fit in. We want people to laugh with us (or at us) equally as much as they enjoy the music we’re playing.  We’re trying really hard with the resources we have, but when you’re at a show far from home and don’t know anyone there it’s hard to talk somebody into putting on a gorilla suit or taco costume and dancing around during your set, sharing a stage with a 2 foot tall talking Pangolin Mascot (Who is definitely NOT a puppet). But that’s the show we try to put on anytime we play. Buckle up folks, it’s only going to get stupider from here! But if they don’t take away anything else, or didn’t like our music, if nothing else we hope they had fun or could at least tell we were having fun doing it. 

13. What is next for Pangolin?

Gary: Good question. This year has been kind of weird for us. We’ve spent a lot of time just doing a bunch of shows and enjoying being a band after covid putting a stop on doing shows for so long. We’ve had some lineup changes to work through. But we’ve been sitting on a mess of new material we were preparing to release and then covid happened. So we pivoted. In 2020 we released a cover EP and some accompanying video stuff. Then in 2021 we created an EP and accompanying scripted live rock opera-esque show based on the universal monsters. So between those two things the new full album kind got put on the back burner. Then with the lineup changes we’re just now getting to finishing up the final versions of these songs with everybody’s changes included and getting ready for final tracking. The current state of “albums” is odd. We all love a good album but the way we ingest music is so episodic nowadays we’re figuring out how we want to release all these new songs. And making videos and stuff is a lot of fun to us so we’re figuring out how we incorporate all the dumb stuff we like to do into this as well. So to summarize, a lot. But it’s all kind of in progress. 

14. Where can readers listen to your music?

Kenneth: Readers can listen to our music on any music streaming service they like! And listeners can read our music at their nearest Borders bookstore!


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