Long Beach trio Tijuana Panthers float between garage, punk and surf rock.

Long Beach trio Tijuana Panthers float between garage, punk and surf rock.

So-Cal cult legends Tijuana Panthers cut their teeth playing backyard parties in the Golden State. They’re just about to drop their third album, Wayne Interest and head out on their first European tour but they still like to juggle big concert halls with playing at DIY venues. Huck spoke to Phil about influences and channelling weird vibes.

From talking to a lot of bands, it’s clear genius doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Who are the people around you, the other bands, friends, venues or even cities who have nurtured you guys and your music?
Long Beach bands like TSOL, Suburban Lawns… LA bands like X, Black Flag, the Bags, Circle Jerks, the Dickies… Orange County bands like The Crowd, the Adolescents… these are all bands we grew up listening to and going to see live and are the reason we started playing music. My Dad and my friends’ older brother in junior high turned us on to some great music, they introduced me to Ian Dury, The Dead Milkmen, Iggy Pop, The Stranglers, the list goes on.

Compete the sentence: Without the Tijuana Panthers, the world would be a much [what?] place, because…
Without Tijuana Panthers, the world would be a much harder place, because we are a bunch of softies.

What the hell is going on in the Cherry Street video?
Daniel had the idea for the video and these twins, Ashley & Megan Fenton made it happen. We love Twin Peaks and thought David Lynch would maybe enjoy it.

It’s been said that ‘the real magic of this band is in their weirdness’. Is that true? How do you feel about being introduced to the world as weirdos?
Our friend Matt Lamkin of the Soft Pack (the Muslims) wrote that and I guess he’s right. It’s not a put on like when “punk” first started and kids were trying to weird out people around them. I think it’s more of subtle thing that you don’t know until you’ve gotten to close to us, then it’s too late – for better or for worse.

What has been your biggest ‘DIY or Die’ moment as a band?
There have been a few times where Chad use to not show up to shows and Daniel had to ditch his bass and strap on a guitar and we would just plow through a dirty version of our set. We’ve been pretty much DIY or Die for the first 7 years.

Wayne Interest is out Monday, June 2 on Innovative Leisure.