Interview by Tarja Virmakari
PAN ROCKS is the brainchild of heavy metal drummer turned internationally recognized steelpannist, Tracy Thornton. The idea is to have as many steelpannists as possible on stage performing Rock music. Since the first PAN ROCKS concert in 2013, Tracy has put on PAN ROCKS themed concerts with University, High School and Community steel bands throughout the continental US, as well as performed in Hawaii, Trinidad & Tobago, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Mexico, Canada and throughout Europe. He has performed on stage with Greg Bissonette (Ringo Star, David Lee Roth), John Blackwell (Prince and Justin Timberlake), Ndugu Chancler (Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock) Stephen Perkin’s (Jane’s Addiction, Porno For Pyros) and he was chosen to put together a 75+ piece steel band to perform a showcase concert at PASIC 2015 in San Antonio, TX.
This past summer PAN ROCKS took the next step in getting the steelpan instrument to the masses and went into Ocean Studios Burbank in Los Angeles, CA, recording 5 songs for the “Project LA” sessions, with Producer Matt Starr (Mr Big, Ace Frehley) and 30 steel pannists from around the world, along side Billy Sheehan (Mr Big), Tracii Guns (LA Guns), Bruce Kulick (KISS) and Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction). One of the recorded songs was the Jane’s Addiction song “Been Caught Stealing”, which received over 90,000 views and 800+ shares in one week. Furthermore, the groundbreaking “Project LA” was recorded in 360 video and a documentary will be released in the near future of this first-of-its-kind recording session.
Last Saturday, November 11th, Metal Shock Finland‘s Tarja Virmakari had a very interesting chat both with the PAN ROCKS mastermind, Tracy Thornton, and the drummer/producer Matt Starr, talking in detail about this unique project, PAN ROCKS, and the details around it. Join the conversation below:
See the main interview tobics here:
(O:25) Two drummers, from different backgrounds, now working together for this amazing project PAN ROCKS…
(2:30) Tracy talks about his first two loves, Rock Music and Steelpan.
(3:58) This past summer PAN ROCKS entered the Ocean Studios Burbank in Los Angeles for the “Project LA” sessions and yielded 5 songs, all produced my Matt.
(12:00) One of the recorded videos was the Jane’s Addiction song “Been Caught Stealing”.
(12:37) Jane’s Addiction posted the video on their Facebook page. The post received over 90,000 views and 800+ shares in one week.
(14:55) The groundbreaking project was recorded in 360° video and a documentary will be released in the near future.
(16:50) PAN ROCKS’ soul and purpose.
(20:10) What will happen next with PAN ROCKS?
(24:35) Besides PAN ROCKS Matt and Tracy told about their other engagements.
The first 4 “Project LA Sessions” videos can be watched here:
“Detroit Rock City”
“Been Caught Stealing”
“Pan Rocks” soul purpose is to get people excited about the steelpan art form, while at the same time, show the world the possibilities, the capabilities and diversity this amazing gift to the world from Trinidad & Tobago has by introducing it into uncharted territories and musical genres such as Rock, Punk and Heavy Metal!