Enigmatic star Jax Panik is causing quite a stir in the SA music scene and with the release of an album entitled ‘I am Jax Panik’ they have catapulted back into the limelight proving a creative force to be reckoned with. But who or what is Jax Panik? Chia Kougianos finds out in this exclusive…
What was your first venture into the SA music scene like and where did you perform your first gig?
When I was in high school I played in a punk band called 22 Stars. We performed every second weekend in these horrible, dingy clubs and bars. At age 17 you think that’s the coolest thing in the world. If I remember correctly, our first gig was at a house party – in front of about 15 people. Ha!
Favourite performance to date?
Well, I haven’t yet played a proper gig with Jax Panik. Around the first album we did a few interesting video performances and arty happenings. The best one would have to be at the 2009 Loerie Awards, where a mock band performed a medley of Jax Panik songs in front of 3000 drunk ad executives. It was mental! JP is still a virtual / concept band of sorts, so expect the unexpected around this album…
What was your inspiration behind the album?
Life in general. Wow, what a challenging undertaking! The average person has no idea what goes in to making a song, or a whole album for that matter. Yikes! It takes months of hard work. I produce a lot of the music, I write the lyrics, I perform on most of the tracks, I oversee the mixing and the mastering… It really is an endless process, but ultimately rewarding. This whole album, in a way, grew out of the frustration of making the damn thing – if that makes any sense…
Where can we look forward to seeing you perform next over Nov/Dec?
Synergy, 26 November, Cape Town. And then the whole Sonic Summer festival with Locnville, Die Antwoord, and Goldfish – 11, 15, and 18 December.
Favourite local artists?
It would have to be Die Heuwels Fantasties
Who would you love to do a collab with in future?
Jack Parow. But that’s actually already in the pipeline…
Where will we find you on weekends?
Braaiing a chop with my dad, chilling out, sleeping, reading, jogging.
Wardobe inspiration for gigs?
Around the first album we had this ‘anything goes’ mentality – spandex, random masks, etc. On I AM JAX PANIK, we’re sticking to fashionable, black and white clothing, and a specific mask design that echoes the skeleton-like logo on the album’s cover. This time around the visual identity has been way more considered – there’s method in the madness this time around!
Who is Jax Panik behind the scenes and why all the mystery?
Jax Panik IS the mask! This is a huge leap forward in the story of Jax Panik. Jax Panik is not one person; he is rather one mask with many voices. We have so many great contributors on this album – vocalists, musicians, producers, songwriters – it just made sense to further develop Jax Panik as a hybrid identity, rather than limit him to being me with some sort of disguise. This also allows for a very involved fan-experience. On Facebook and our blog, people are able to generate their own Jax Panik content, by using and abusing the black and white dress code and accompanying mask associated with this album. Join the JP tribe today and come see what all the fuss is about: www.facebook.com/jaxpanik1 or www.jaxpanik.com