Last month Joe Mount quizzed Gold Panda. He left these queries behind for touring pal Dam Mantle.

Photography by Gabriel Green

Photography by Gabriel Green


What do you think makes some people grow up somewhere, get a job there, marry there, have kids there, buy a house there, retire there, die there?

It’s comfortable. ‘Civilised’ countries breed the idea that that is what you are meant to do with yourself. It’s totally understandable that someone would want to settle with a family though – I will no doubt do that at some point. I think that living semi-nomadically is the way right now though.

I’ve always been scared of getting old, but now as I am actually getting old I’m getting excited about all the things I’m going to do like Bonsai, gardening, bird watching and blaming Alzheimer’s for putting a Chihuahua in a blender. What are you looking forward to seeing as all the exiting stuff like sex, smoking and drinking has already been experienced?

Learning to read sheet music and playing the piano or the cello properly, which I should have done when I was a kid. I wanna be in a quiet home with my wife where I can grow herbs and help my kids to play music, paint pictures and to not worry about credit cards and radiation.

Steven Segal is so fuckin’ awesome. He speaks Japanese mad well, gets mad loads of bitches, never gets beaten up in his own films and even set up an aikido school in Japan, but he comes across to the uninformed as a self-obsessed fat ex-meathead. Is there anyone you think the world should know about?

The world should know about the people that produce for RnB stars. All of them.

Sometimes I’d like to give up playing live and get a really nice job in film or computer games using my Japanese skills and still just release music, but then I realise how important playing is for my success. Is your current American tour making live shows seem attractive or wisening you up to get a proper job?

Right now I’m really happy to be releasing music and touring. If the joy runs out I want to score music for films. I will avoid getting a ‘proper’ job at all costs. The only down side of touring is not being able to make music or be with your girlfriend, as far as I can see.

Do you think humans are soldiers abandoned on earth by an alien race?

No. I don’t think we’re anywhere near as important as that. We’ll be gone in the very near future and the greenery can eat away all the concrete and the world can get on with the rest of eternity.

Coldplay turned down a million quid deal with Nike for a commercial or some shit, but they were already fuckin’ minted at that point. Would you take the million for your tune on an advert right now even if it was something that at first you’d sworn against?

I guess it depends on the context of the ad. I’d rather there was good music on ads to infiltrate our sub-conscious rather than most of the shit that we end up humming to ourselves. You could use the sound of the machinery in the sweatshops as percussion. I never watch TV so all I’d see was the records and equipment I’d buy with the money.

Linked to that, Red Bull music academy has turned out to be incredibly well informed and quite respectable, but come on, it’s Red Bull, what the fuck do they know except writing a big cheque and adding vodka?

To do something as great as what they seem to be doing you’ve got to have serious money, right? It’s not going to come from anywhere else. David Cameron isn’t gonna set up something like that.

What makes something or someone “pretentious”?


Why do you think someone would do music ‘just to get famous’? Surely if you do become a famous pop star you must be fucking talented. Consider Girls Aloud who were born from a talent show, surely if Cheryl was serious about music rather than being famous then she’d have been working hard to do it. Consider Animal Collective who are something like 8 albums in – was all their stuff before ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ shite?

Is Cheryl from Girls Aloud? You know too much, Derwin; you read FHM too much. I’m sure she worked ‘hard’ in some way. I think people who hold the aim of being famous will burn out real quick, because once they’ve achieved it they realise there isn’t anything left to aim for and that it’s totally soulless and artificial. Animal Collective don’t have that thirst for the same thing, they always made great art and were able to do that regardless of whether they were recognised on the scale they are now.

When do you think the next Bin Laden video will be released? The world seems to have forgotten about the poor bloke.

When the US Senate gets the funding.

You’re using a laptop on stage. Anyone can do that, mate. What are you doing, checking your emails? Why don’t you join a band and play guitar reciting perfectly the 8 tracks you’ve been learning and rehearsing for the past year.

Haha. brilliant question… Because I don’t make music for rock critics.

What the fuck is Dam Mantle anyway?

Nothing . Oh, and everything.

Originally published in issue 27 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. April 2011

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