Panda Bear (musician)
Panda Bear at the Bowery Ballroom in New York, 2007
|Birth name||Noah Benjamin Lennox|
July 17, 1978 |
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
|Genres||Experimental, psychedelic pop, electronic, dub, ambient|
|Instruments||Vocals, drums, sampler, synthesizer, guitar, piano|
|Labels||Paw Tracks, FatCat Records, Domino Records, Catsup Plate, St. Ives, UAAR, Soccer Star|
|Associated acts||Animal Collective, Jane, John Maus, Daft Punk|
Noah Benjamin Lennox (born July 17, 1978 in Baltimore, Maryland) also known as Panda Bear, is an experimental musician and a founding member of Animal Collective, currently based in Lisbon, Portugal.
Early life 
Lennox grew up in the Roland Park section of Baltimore, Maryland, and attended high school at Kimberton Waldorf School in Chester County, Pennsylvania. As a child and teenager, he played sports, mainly soccer and basketball. He also studied piano until he was eight, then cello, and later on he sang tenor in his high school chamber choir.
Though he and his family have never been very religious, Lennox briefly attended Boston University where he majored in Religion because of his interest "in the concept of God". While a student at the University, Lennox starred in three student short films: Fish Sticks and Fecal Matters, both directed by Andrew Drazek; and Appy Halloween, directed by Black Nasty.
Musical career 
Animal Collective 
As a teen, Lennox began listening to electronic music styles such as house and techno and artists such as Aphex Twin, all of which became a major influence on his later work. He recorded and performed music—solo and with friends. Lennox started using the name "Panda Bear" because he drew pictures of pandas for the artwork of his recordings.
Lennox had been friends with Deakin (Josh Dibb) since the second grade. Deakin introduced Lennox to his high school friends Avey Tare (Dave Portner) and Geologist (Brian Weitz). For years, the four of them swapped homemade recordings, shared musical ideas and performed in different group configurations. Lennox, along with Deakin moved to New York in 2000. The band then became more collaborative in nature and they finally settled on the name "Animal Collective". Lennox and Avey Tare are the only members who have contributed to all of the band's releases.
Since the 2007 releases of Panda Bear's Person Pitch and Animal Collective's Strawberry Jam, he has focused more on using samplers and other electronics in their shows. He has named Black Dice as a major influence stating "Black Dice took us on our first tour and I feel like the wisest things I’ve learned about being in a band I learned by watching them." and that he looks to Black Dice "as a model for a band. [...] I feel like as a band, I can't speak for the other guys [of Animal Collective], but certainly for myself, like I modelled the way I approach to everything with the band watching the way Black Dice did it." In addition to singing, Lennox played drums and occasionally guitar in Animal Collective's live performances. He cites Stewart Copeland as the biggest influence on his drumming style.
Solo work 
Lennox's debut album Panda Bear was released in 1999 on Soccer Star Records. After focusing more on touring and recording with Animal Collective, he released the follow-up Young Prayer in 2004 and the highly acclaimed third solo album Person Pitch in 2007. Of his songwriting style, Lennox says "I get impatient writing songs, I can't spend more than a couple of hours before I get frustrated. So I got to kind of spit it out real fast. My favorite songs are the ones where I worked really really fast on, when it comes all out in like two hours or something."
Lennox's fourth album Tomboy was due to be released "near the end of 2010". He started performing material from Tomboy on December 5, 2008 at a show with No Age in Miami, FL. During a brief European tour in January 2010, he played three shows consisting almost entirely of new material. On March 7, 2010, a tour setlist with titles for ten of the new songs was posted on Panda Bear's MySpace blog. Panda Bear has also played Primavera Sound Festival in 2010. The single "Tomboy" and the b-side "Slow Motion" were released in July 2010. It was announced in August that singles "You Can Count on Me" and "Alsatian Darn" would be released via Domino on September 28. The limited 500 copies of "You Can Count On Me" sold out in less than a day. The single "Last Night at the Jetty" was released December 2010. The single "Surfer's Hymn" was released March 28, 2011. Panda Bear's fourth album "Tomboy" was released April 12, 2011 on his own label, Paw Tracks.
His song "Comfy In Nautica" appears in ABC's 2010 global warming movie Earth 2100
Lennox was chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that he planned to curate in December 2011 in Minehead, England. However, Lennox was unable to play when the event was rescheduled to March 2012.
Outside musical collaborations 
Lennox also plays in the band Jane and Together with DJ Scott Mou. He has also performed on tracks with Atlas Sound (Bradford Cox of Deerhunter), Ducktails (Matt Mondanile of Real Estate) and electronic musician Zomby.
Personal life 
In 2004, Lennox moved from New York to Lisbon, Portugal. He first visited the city for a vacation following a long Animal Collective tour in 2003. Lennox says about Lisbon: "Since I got off the airplane here [for the first time] I had a good feeling about this place." It was while on vacation that he met his wife, the fashion designer Fernanda Pereira. After visiting each other in Lisbon and New York, Lennox decided to move to Europe because he also felt "connected to the European way of life“, considering himself as a "slow moving kind of person“ and Lisbon as a "slow moving kind of place“. Lennox and Pereira are married and have a daughter, Nadja, and a son, as of June 2010. In 2007, he and Pereira collaborated on a line of sweatshirts called 2nd Things.
Musical equipment 
Solo discography 
- Panda Bear (1998, Soccer Star)
- Young Prayer (September 28, 2004, Paw Tracks)
- Person Pitch (March 20, 2007, Paw Tracks)
- Tomboy (April 12, 2011, Paw Tracks) (UK #62, US #29)
- "I'm Not/Comfy in Nautica" (September 22, 2005, UUAR)
- "Bro's" (December 4, 2006, Fat Cat Records)
- "Carrots" (January 23, 2007, Paw Tracks)
- "Take Pills" (June 19, 2007, Paw Tracks)
- "Tomboy" (July 13, 2010, Paw Tracks)
- "You Can Count on Me" (October 19, 2010, Domino)
- "Last Night at the Jetty" (December 13, 2010, FatCat Records)
- "Surfer's Hymn" (March 28, 2011, Kompakt)
- "Boneless" (remix of Notwist song "Boneless") on "Boneless" 7"
- "As Young As Yesterday" (remix of Korallreven song "As Young As Yesterday") on "As Young As Yesterday" 12" (2011)
- One untitled track on Visionaire 53 - Sound (December 1, 2007, Visionaire Publishing, LLC)
- "Anna" on the album East of Eden by Taken by Trees (September 7, 2009)
- "Walkabout" on the album Logos by Atlas Sound (October 20, 2009)
- "Stick to My Side" on the album Black Noise by Pantha du Prince (February 9, 2010)
- "Killin' the Vibe" (bonus track) on the album "Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics" by Ducktails (January 18, 2011)
- "Atiba Song" composed music for a skateboarding montage directed by Atiba Jefferson and Ty Evans. The track was initially created by Atiba, then finished by Panda Bear.
- "The Preakness" on the cassette tape Keep + Animal Collective (March 2011, Keep)
- "Things Fall Apart" on the album Dedication by Zomby (July 11, 2011)
- "Pyjama" on the album Tracer by Teengirl Fantasy (August 21, 2012)
- "Doin' It Right" on the album Random Access Memories by Daft Punk (May 17, 2013)
Discography with Jane 
- Paradise, (2002, self-released)
- COcOnuts (2002, self-released, Psych-O-Path Records)
- Berserker (2005, Paw Tracks)
Discography with Animal Collective 
- Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished (2000) - Animal
- Danse Manatee (2001) - Catsup Plate
- Hollinndagain (2002, 2006) - St. Ives, Paw Tracks
- Campfire Songs (March, 2003) - Catsup Plate
- Here Comes the Indian (June 17, 2003) - Paw Tracks
- Sung Tongs (May 3, 2004) - FatCat Records
- Feels (October 18, 2005) - FatCat
- Strawberry Jam (September 10, 2007) - Domino Records - (US #72)
- Merriweather Post Pavilion (January 12, 2009) - Domino Records - (US #13, UK #26)
- ODDSAC (August 10, 2010) - Plexifilm
- Centipede Hz (September 4, 2012) - Domino Records
- Happy Birthday Panda Bear - YouTube video
- Interview, The Milk Factory, March 2005.
- Interview, Má Fama radio, January 8, 2007
- Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam, PBS 106.7FM, 2007
- Coyle, Jake. "Animal Collective Sings Alien Pop Tunes", The Washington Post, 2007-10-12.
- Interview with Panda Bear, The Milk Factory, April 2005
- Magic's Saga Animal Collective Part 5/5, February 5th, 2009
- [ Panda Bear|Tomboy]. Gorilla vs Bear. January 28, 2010.
- [ Ramin Ton: "Panda Bear live @ HAU2 January 15th"] January 17th, 2010
- [ PARIS LONDON DUBLIN - Panda Bear's MySpace Blog].
- ATP curated by Jeff Mangum
- Kelly, Jennifer. "Good Times, Other Realities: A Conversation with Panda Bear", PopMatters, March 26, 2007
- Panda Bear and his wife have second child, new born son arrives in world. June 9, 2010
- 2ndthings @ Blogspot
- Lennox, Noah "Pitchfork: Guest Lists: Panda Bear", Pitchfork, February 15, 2007, accessed March 22, 2011.
- Panda Bear on Myspace
- Interview on Onhiat.us
- Ola's Kool Kitchen on Radio 23 Panda Bear Live Primavera 2010