Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
|Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad|
|Origin||Rochester, New York, United States|
|Genres||Reggae, Roots Reggae, Americana|
|Years active||Since 2004|
|Labels||Rootfire Cooperative, Easy Star Records, Controlled Substance Sound Labs|
|Associated acts||Thunderbody, The Cabin Killers, Funknut|
|Past members||Matthew O'Brian
The band's first album Slow Down was released in 2006, soon after they recorded a live acoustic session at the Moboogie loft in Denver. Their third studio album In These Times peaked at #5 on the Billboard Reggae Album chart. The band's next studio album Steady hit #1 on the Billboard Reggae Album chart on October 9, 2014. Their subsequent album Make it Better was released on September 16, 2016 and debuted at the #1 spot on Billboard and iTunes reggae charts.
Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad was formed in 2004 when childhood friends Chris O'Brian, James Searl, and Matt O'Brian teamed up with local Rochester guitar player Dylan Savage and started playing shows in Ithaca, New York. Prior to 2004 the guys had been playing music together for several years in their home town of Rochester, New York. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad based their name on the fictional "Giant Panda Gypsy Blues Band" from Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins. The band has been noted for their live shows, which are often recorded by concert tapers and posted on Etree and the Internet Archive.
In 2009 the band released a live recordings album titled Live Up!!. The album features 11 tracks that were record during their 2008 and 2009 national tours.
Founding member Matt O'Brian and keyboard player Rachel Orke left the band in 2010. The band also released Live Up!! Volume II featuring 10 live recordings from the band's Southeast USA tour. The band also played at the 2010 All Good Music Festival gaining further notoriety in the jam band circuit.
In 2011 the band added guitarist Dan Keller from North Tonawanda, New York on lead guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals, and harmony. On July 23, 2011 the band played the Gathering of The Vibes music festival in Bridgeport, Connecticut. They also returned to the All Good Music Festival for the 2nd consecutive year.
The band released Country on January 31, 2012, on the California-based record label Controlled Substance Sound Labs. With this release, the quintet has charted new territory and put together a lyrically driven roots Americana-music album.
On April 10, 2012, the band released a full electric album, In These Times, also on the Controlled Substance Sound Labs label. The psychedelic roots sound is more familiar to fans who were familiar with the band through concerts and live recordings.
The band continued to make waves in the jam band circuit with a performances at the The Peach Music Festival (a music festival started by The Allman Brothers Band) on August 17, 2013 and they are slated to perform again at the 6th annual Peach Music Festival August 10-13, 2017.
Musical Style and Influences
The band has many different musical influences. Some of them include Phish, Sublime, John Brown's Body, The Wailers, Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear, Lee 'Scratch Perry', Bob Marley and The Grateful Dead.
- Slow Down (2006)
- Country (2012)
- In These Times (2012)
- Steady (2014)
- Bright Days (2015)
- Make It Better (2016)
- Live Up! (2009)
- Live Up!! Volume II (2010)
- Brodeur, Melissa. "The Hot Spot: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad". Gide Magazine.
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad at The Festy".
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad - Billboard Chart History".
- Curtis, Tyler. "Interview: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad". BandsThatJam.
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Interview". The Waiting Room.
- Slow Down.
- Stergion, Peter. "Show Review: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad in Buffalo 2010". Bands That Jam. Archived from the original on February 9, 2012.
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Live at Mountain Jam, Hunter Mountain Ski Resort on 2008-05-30". Live Music Archive.
- "New Album: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad "Live UP"".
- PJ. "Interview w/ Matthew O'Brian formerly of Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad".
- "LIVE UP!! Volume II".
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Live at All Good Music Festival - Marvin's Mountaintop (Grassroots Stage) on 2010-07-09".
- "Fresh To The Squad - Dan Keller, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad's Newest Marksman".
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Live at Gathering of the Vibes on 2011-07-23".
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Live at All Good Music Festival on 2011-07-15".
- Miers, Jeff. "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad: Country".
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad on NPR All Things Considered". NPRWATC.
- "GPGDS on NPR "All Things Considered"".
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Set To Release New Album "Steady"". Cosmic Vibes Live.
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Live at Peach Music Festival on 2013-08-17". Live Music Archive.
- "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad to release Bright Days, May 18th". Grateful Web.
- Schwind, Gary. "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad goes country with 'Bright Days'". AXS.
- BurnSilver, Glenn. "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad: Steady". Relix Magazine.