Local band up for WAMI award

Emilie Hedeimann

Johnny Schroeber, guitarist, trombonist, singer and songwriter for Pam the Bear, answered questions about the local band that plays ska mixed with a “horn-driven rock.” Questions by Emilie Heidemann, campus connections editor. A-T: What inspired your band to call yourselves Pam the Bear? Johnny: When recording the first album there was no band, it was Nic (our drummer) and I working together on the songs and we called in some talented friends to come in and lay down most of the horn parts. We knew we had to have a name for the band once the album was done, so I kept a list of a few potential names. I really wanted to be called Panda Bear, because they’re my favorite animal, but that was already taken… I said Pam the Bear as a joke, because it sounds like Panda Bear and it stuck. A-T: Do you have any upcoming albums, future events/performances coming up? Johnny: Our next album is in the process of being written, but with eight busy members it is difficult to find time to get together, but keep an eye for it! We already have a couple new tunes we’re playing at shows. If you’d like to hear those songs our next show will be June 18th at the Shortbranch Saloon in Neenah where we’ll be playing alongside our friends from the deliciously funky group: Wisgo. Everyone should also be marking their calendars for the Oshkosh Main Street Music Fest the last weekend of July. PtB will be making a couple appearances, but even if you miss us you’ll be listening to some other awesome local bands. A-T: What have you accomplished as a group thus far? Johnny: We’ve accomplished a lot, our first show was less than a year ago and it’s been an exciting year. We’ve gone from having to pay a noise complaint ticket after our first show dubbed “Pam the Party”- a house party, to playing many shows for a lot of awesome people at some great venues. We’re very excited to share that we have been honored with a nomination for New Artist of the year by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI). A-T: What inspired your group to become a band in the first place? Johnny: I grew up listening to and going to ska shows in the area and because of this, like I said, I’ve wanted to be in a band with horn players. I remember biking to the annual Skappleton festival to see bands like Mustard Plug, Something to Do, and Car Full of Midgets when I was 13 and having a blast, the music was fun and watching people dance along to it made me want to be a part of it. Going to shows like that is what inspired me to start Pam the Bear. A-T: Speak about your performance last Friday. How do you feel it went? Johnny: It was great! The audience was receptive, I thought the band as a whole sounded good, The Varsity Club is a great place to play at; it’s big so we can be a little louder than we might be elsewhere and we (almost) actually fit on their stage!