Pop Punk and Mental Health Come Together in Panic Problem's Debut Album-'Just Calm Down'
Panic Problem is a new pop punk band from Baltimore, MD that aims to bring awareness to mental health issues through music with their debut release “Just Calm Down.”
The new record brings forth the band’s love of 1990’s-era pop punk with its fast-moving, catchy songs, chockfull of singalong choruses while filling the listener with lyrical content that speaks to singer/guitarist Neal Page’s own struggles with mental health issues.
“Well two things really brought this all together,” explains Page. “First, I absolutely love 90’s-era pop punk, like the early Green Day stuff, The Gamits, Lagwagon, etc. and I’ve always wanted to have a band like that. The energy, the positivity, the singalongs … there’s really nothing like it. The other part is the mental health awareness. I have battled with anxiety disorder my whole life and was finally diagnosed 8 years ago. There is a shame culture around mental health and that puts people who need help in some precarious positions. It can be to talk about it, admit there is a problem, seek treatment vs self-medicate and on and on and on. I figured if I could start a band playing music I love while talking about things like mental illness, it just might help someone else deal with it, or at the very least know they’re not alone. I called up my buddy Tom and told him the idea, and he was all in right from the start!”
The album was recorded at Little Eden Studio in Asbury Park, New Jersey by Pete Steinkopf, guitarist for Bouncing Souls.
“It was kind of a no-brainer to record with Pete,” says Tom Gilhuley, drummer of Panic Problem. “I met Pete many moons ago on tour with my old band, The Smooths. It just so happened that my friends in Flak Jacket were recording with him last year, so I drove up to Jersey to join their session. Pete and I reconnected, and after telling him about the new band, he offered to record us. Neal and Jeff had zero reservations about having Pete handle our debut record. We’re all big fans of the Souls. Needless to say, we had a blast and are super stoked for people to hear it!”
The album features 11 tracks that tell personal tales of anxiety, stress, love, loss, work rage and Page’s unabashed fondness of the East Coast. As Page admits, “Sure, the vibe may be familiar, but that’s kind of the point. We’re not writing the new American songbook here, we’re writing and playing positive, energetic pop-punk songs that will help people get out of their emotional shells, chant, sing, freak out, whatever. Yes, I write about mental health and my own struggles, but I keep it light when it comes to the music. We don’t want to write 10-minute sad bastard songs about depression. We want to write 2-3-minute rippers that get people stoked!”
Panic Problem’s new album is available on all streaming platforms right now and vinyl is available at their shows and online merch store.
Link to new release ‘Just Calm Down’ : https://panicproblembmore.bandcamp.com/releases?fbclid=IwAR1ycR2NCvLiqaors1UZm8ylyY0UQsf21ZI4rsTXqcXE84FrCdKMutrUkhg
About Panic Problem
Panic Problem is Neal Page on vocals and guitar, Tom Gilhuley on vocals and drums and Jeff Brigman on bass and backup vocals. The band was originally formed in 2018 by Page, Gilhuley and Sue Werner on bass in Baltimore, Maryland. Werner was soon replaced by Brigman as Werner’s calendar was quickly filled up due to the success of her other band, War on Women (Bridge 9 Records).
The three-piece quickly gained notice in the Baltimore scene amongst punk rock fans after their debut show with Smoking Popes and The Ataris in 2019. From there it was more shows, the new record and a look to the future with continued club shows, festival dates and new releases.
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