Hey there S.i.A.!

Today I have the pleasure of treating you all to to an interview with Jarrah from Sydney, Australia based band Panama! The band is composed of Jarrah McCleary (lead vocals, keys, guitar), Tom Marland (keys, guitar), and Tim Commandeur (drums). Panama plays at Moe’s on Friday, Aug. 8 on their first ever U.S. tour! They released their debut EP, Always, in the U.S. this spring. I was scheduled to have about 20 minutes for the conversation but we got so into it I was lucky enough to get about 45 minutes! Here’s my conversation with Jarrah from Panama.

Please Enjoy!

Hello? Jarrah?

Whoa, hello?

Hey, can you hear me?

Yeah, yeah I can mate. I’m kind of, uhm… I’ll be in a car en route to the show but that’s ok.

Oh, no worries, all good, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t being too loud. What show are you heading to?

Ahh, we’re playing tonight at Baby’s All Right.

Oh? Is that in your hometown or are you in the U.S. already?

Oh I’m in the U.S., I’m in New York. I’m in Brooklyn I think.

Brooklyn, very nice, my roommate is up from Buffalo.

Ohh nice! We’re playing Buffalo tomorrow night actually.

Awesome, where in Buffalo are you playing?

That’s actually a good question, It’s somewhere on our Instagram or our Facebook.  I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head. I just got up an hour ago or so *laughs*

Oh good, god, I had a couple of questions written out and I was worried I was calling you at 4 in the morning back while you were in Syndey and I felt so bad.

Ohh man, *laughs* no, that would be a much different vibe. Oh man, no, I’ve been here for a couple of days now. I flew in, let’s see… two days ago?

Oh good, now I don’t feel like an ass. One second, I guess I can ask you half of this question. Are you a night owl?

Uhmm, actually, no, no, no not really. I am actually a person who get’s up really early in the morning. Usually about 6 o’clock? Has a work day like everyone else, 9-5pm. Except my workday more involves writing music.

Yeah, I used to be a night owl but I am kind of turning into a bit more of a day person since I started classes in school.

Yea! Well my girlfriend is a primary school teacher and I get up and revolve my hours around her work hours which is really good actually.

That’s a question I was going to ask, are you married? Just a girlfriend?

Uhh.. yeah not married, yet. But I’ve had a girlfriend for about 4 1/2 years.

Ohh very nice, do you have any pets?

Oh yeah, oh yeah, I love dogs. I am a dog lover. I had a couple of dogs when I was a boy. But living in Sydney I haven’t had a chance to have a dog. Just because the, uhm, it’s probably like New York. We don’t have a lot of space for living.

Yeah, I feel you. I had two mastiff puppies but they got too big for apartment living. They live with family.

Yeah, my sister’s had a couple of pets, uhm, but after she moved to one of her new places the dogs have been inherited by the folks. I think uhh, yeah, Dogs are definitely the best animal to have for the family.

Switching up to a different gear, just so I don’t take up all of your time, so you’re playing Denver on the Eighth?

Uhh, yeah, yeah actually that’s right Lucas. Sorry, I’ve got a car full of band mates, couldn’t hear you, *laughs* lot of equipment in the car. No trailer. We were just trying to hold off on getting a trailer till we were out of the city. Traffic is a nightmare.

Oh you don’t need to convince me. East Coast traffic sucks.

AUGH, tell me about it. Last night was ridiculous. We did a show, aww, what was it… the uhm, Neon Gold showcase?


I think the venue was called, uhm… What was the venue called Matt? *Matt: Westway?* Westway, yeah. I am pretty sure that was in Manhattan and going through the tunnel was a nightmare, I mean forget about it you know?

Anyways, moving along. How many times have you been here to Denver?

Ahh, this will be our first time.

I believe you released an EP last spring?

Hmm, yeah we put it out in November last year in Australia. I don’t think it was released till about march this year here in the U.S.? It actually kind of timed out well because we were at SXSW.

Oh cool! I really want to go to SXSW.

Ohh you gotta do it, it’s great.

Awww, I bet. I can’t go though until I get a kidney transplant. But I really do want to go.

*Hahahaha!* Wait, is that true?

*Haha* Yeah, no *haha* I’m not f***ing with you. I really do-


Yeah, my kidneys failed and I need a kidney, eventually.

Aww, that’s horrible…
Right? I suppose so. That’s why you had an issue getting a hold of me yesterday. I was a bit incapacitated.
Aww, I am sorry to hear that Lucas.
Ahh thank you. No worries, it’s just a thing. Just another part of my day. It’s slowly getting better, or easier I should say.
Yeah, I’ve been on the transplant list for a while so I should be able to get a new one in the next two years. After that I should be able to return to moderately normal life.Aww man that sucks, especially to have to happen to such a young man… I meean, yeah that’s really bad and my thoughts are with you mate.

*Hah* Don’t even worry about it! Let’s move onto some more fun stuff yeah?

Yeah, yeah, alright. *laughs*

Here’s a good one, how would you describe flying across the world to perform a tour in a foreign country?

*Laughs* That’s a new one. Uhmm… Deflative?

Deflative! That’s a good word. I haven’t heard that one before.

Yeah, it really is. I don’t know if that is a word but I’d use that word.

I don’t think it even matters, it makes sense so I’d use it.

Right? Also uhm, well not exhaustive but… uhhh, total defeat?

*Both laughing*

Brought to my knees. Uhm, and then waking up today I’d say sanity prevailing.
Sanity prevailing?
Yeah, sanity prevailing. Like when you don’t have any sanity left. Not having any sleep you start to go mad. You start to lose your sanity. Then when you wake up the next day, or the next to days you go ohh I finally feel somewhat normal again.
Wow, yeah, how long is the flight here? Do you go straight from Sydney to..?
Yeah, we fly from Sydney to Los Angeles which is about as far as the plane can go before it needs to refuel. I think it’s one of the longest flights in the world.Is is something crazy like 22 hours?I think in total once we got to New York it was something like that yeah.

Wow that sounds terrible.

Yeah the worst part is getting off in LAX.

I hate LAX.

Yeah, you have to get off the plane, go through customs, load everything up and wait an hour, then get on the next plane for another 5 hours.

I bet that part is exhausting.

Yeah by that time you’re like please just let me be there. Let’s just be in New York.

I try to just sleep through the flights.

Yeah, well what I think we did was end up sleeping from Los Angeles to New York. It was funny because once we got there and got off the plane we got drenched by these almost monsoonal rain storms, really just crazy.

Man I bet, raining sideways. OK now onto the real questions. Is Australia really the scary land of killer animals everyone says it is and if so how are you still alive?

*Haha* Yeah no, it definitely is, definitely is a land of deadly animals. So much so that I am afraid to go bush walking in my own country because I am worried abut being bitten by snakes. I’m actually afraid of snakes.

Oh you have… whatever-snake-o-phobia?

Ahh, yeah, I forget the name too but I don’t get to go out bush walking much because one, I’m afraid of snakes and two, my girlfriend is afraid of birds.

*Laughs* Birds? She’s afraid of birds? What an odd phobia.

I know! It’s crazy.

I would think she would be scared of the spiders down there which is what I hear the horror stories about.

Yeah, well those too, especially in Sydney which is where, well, we’ve got Funnel Web Spiders which are the most dangerous spiders in the world.

Oh yea, the most toxic spiders out there right?

Yeah and they’re really aggressive as well.

Oh man now you’re giving me the chills.

*Laughs* Yea, sorry about that mate. Well hey listen We’ve got another interview we need to do.

Oh yeah, of course. We’ve been talking forever. Please do, one last question, do you have anything else you’d like to say?

Hmm, no not really. We’ll be down in Denver in about two weeks I think? It’d be great to see people out there.

Yeah at Moe’s I believe.

Yeah, yeah sounds right.

Awesome, well thanks a bunch Jarrah, good luck at your next show! Catch you later.