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Data Panik

Data Panik

Data Panik is the new band of ex-bis kids Manda, Steven and John. Along with two new members to fill out the sound they’ve been gigging frequently round Glasgow and beyond over the last few months showing off their fantastic new electropop tunes which take all the best bits of bis and add some extra ROCK to drive away the ghosts of Kandy Pop. Their recent self-released 7″ shows Data Panik haven’t lost the DIY principles that made bis so influential and they’re obviously determined to continue doing things their way.

With their appearance at Audioscope 2005 almost on hand we caught up with a very busy Manda by email.

Why did bis split up? Why did you choose now to form a new project?

We reached a 3rd album with Bis and we feel we took the band as far as we could. The name Bis was stopping any progress that any good record could have had. We had such a reputation from Kandy Pop and the first album that no one would judge our later albums properly. Not that other people’s opinions should end a band, but we just thought it was fairer to put Bis to rest and respect the history we’d had with Bis.

How are things different than when you were bis? Do you feel under less pressure?

It’s certainly less pressure as we don’t have anyone telling us what to do in any shape or form. Like the early Bis days it’s back to the band as the driving force and if we fail it’s only our own fault. It’s back to being fun and this time we want to appreciate every moment of it.

How did you feel about making the top 20 scottish bands of all time? Do you feel like a very ‘scottish’ band?

That was a fantastic result. I don’t really know what you mean by ‘feeling like a Scottish band’, but yes we all are Scottish and very proud of it. To be so successful around the world and particularly in Japan, it’s great to say
you’re from a country as small as Scotland.

What have been the best and worst gigs you’ve played so far?

Best – Tokyo, Japan. 3 sold out nights at On-Air East. Nights I will never forget!
Worst – Providence, USA. Not advertised in the slightest and 4 people showed up.

You’re playing the Audioscope festival this year and you’ve done other charity shows. Do you pick charity events carefully and do you see them as a short term cash injection or a potential long-term awareness-raising exercise?

It’s very flattering to be asked to do charity gigs and it’s lovely to think that your band can help worthy causes. However, if they’re outside your hometown it can be a problem if you don’t get payment to make them possible. We’ll always to what we possibly can to help out, and if we ever can’t it’s just due to the expense of travel and accommodation for 5 people and equipment. I think it’s great to use your position to help others if possible.

Do you all have day jobs?

We all have homes and eat regularly, so yup afraid so. It can be hard to arrange tours etc but so far so good.

Do you have any creepy stalkers/obsessive fans?

We’ve had a pretty obsessive fan who got Bis tattoos and bought 250 of one 7″ to wallpaper their flat. He also flew to Australia to follow us around! He’s really nice though so not creepy!

You’ve borrowed some members of Multiplies for gigs. Which bands would you like to be borrowed by?

We’ve only borrowed one member (Stuart) and he’s now (along with Graham, an old friend) an important part and member of Data Panik. I would like to be borrowed by Polysics (amazing band from Tokyo) or Le Tigre.

What have you been listening to lately?

Polysics, Sleater-Kinney, Futureheads, Clor.

What do you think of the state of pop music at the moment?

Not much has changed. It still shows that most girls have to do a strip show to get on the telly with a song, and it’s tolerated by most men.

Do you think you’ll ever get back to writing zines?

I’d really love to. I’m sadly just stupidly busy all the time. have always had it in my head that I’ll do one again as I do want to.

What was your personal highlight/achievement as bis?

Getting on TOTP twice, being big in Japan, getting to tour the world several times, and having our own Baby-G watch out in Japan.

What did you learn today?

I am just wasting my time?

Data Panik website