This summer, the sweet synth-pop sounds of Peter Kirk and company, otherwise known as Panama Wedding, whose EP Parallel Play was released in June, were on regular rotation in my neck of the woods. I wanted to know more about Panama Wedding. Naturally, I wanted you to know more as well, beloved readers, and Peter Kirk was gracious enough to answer some questions just for us!
Eo8: Your first career was in finance, and music was your hobby; what made you decide to pursue music full-time?
PW: I’ve always had a love for writing and recording since I was a young kid. When I got out of college and began working a day-job to pay the bills, I simply became bored with going to bars or just going home after work and watching TV. I wanted to pursue something more meaningful. At that point in time, a friend of mine was renting a recording studio space in midtown to start his own audio engineering business and wanted a partner to help float the rent. I jumped at the opportunity. Every night after work around 7pm I would just go to the studio and focus on music. It was a slow and gradual process over a few years, but I eventually got quite good at not only writing, but producing and recording as well. When I finally released ‘All of the People’ in the summer of 2013, I had several major label offers.
Eo8: How did you decide on the name Panama Wedding?
PW: ‘Panama Wedding’ is actually the name of a song I wrote when I was releasing music under my own name. The song, loosely based on real life, deals with someone leaving NYC to return to Panama to get married. There came a time when I wanted to release music under a fresh and new moniker that more closely represented the type of music I was interested in. Without putting much thinking into it, the name ‘Panama Wedding’ felt like a natural fit. I’m happy with it.
Eo8: Your EP Parallel Play came out in June, are there plans to release an LP in the near future?
PW: Yes. The recording of it is almost done. Hopefully looking forward to an early 2015 release!
Eo8: What/who is the inspiration for your song “Uma”?
PW: Uma sort of happened by accident. I was working on another song and began singing through a harmonizer. ‘Uma’ just sounded really interesting. The rest of the song came together over a few months; I write very slow. Some songs take years.
Eo8: Which band(s) has/have influenced your sound the most?
PW: So many to list. It’s a really hard question to answer. And while it may sound a bit cliché, if I had to pick one it would be The Beatles. When I discovered The Beatles when I was in 5th grade, it dramatically changed my life. Through them I learned the importance of amazing songwriting. Everything else follows from there.
Eo8: Do you have a specific creative or success-oriented goal in mind for your music?
PW: Honestly, being able to make music that I care about for a living is the single greatest achievement I can imagine. So really just to be able to continue doing that without having to do something I hate to pay the bills is my #1 goal. The rest is just gravy.
Eo8: Have you been able to explore the places you’ve been on your tour so far? Any favorites?
PW: I love L.A. Anytime I get to go out there I have a great time. Nashville was awesome too! Not just saying that. Such an important place for American music. I’m hoping that when we return we will be able to spend a bit more time there.
Eo8: Any exciting PW news I can share with my readers?
Get rested to stay up late or set your DVRs, y’all! Panama Wedding will be performing on JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE September 10th (tomorrow night!!!!), which airs at 11:35pm ET/10:35pm CT on ABC.