Q&A with Josh Pannepacker of Cheerleader

Philadelphia-based Indie Haze Pop group Cheerleader are kicking off a run of tour dates alongside Paperwhite on May 1st. With their most recent (and debut) album, The Sunshine of Your Youth out now, their upcoming performances are not to miss. We talked with keyboardist/guitarist Josh Pannepacker about the band's short run of upcoming East Coast dates, hopes for a U.S. tour later this year and much more!

Interview by Shannon Shumaker

Can you tell us a little bit about Cheerleader for anyone who may not be familiar?

Cheerleader is a 5 Piece Indie Haze Pop band from Philadelphia, PA.  Joe Haller and Chris Duran started the group as a recording project in Chris' mom's basement up in Conneticut in 2012.  The guys moved to Philly in 2013 after getting some praise from demos they did from NME and Nylon.  They were looking to take Cheerleader from a project to a full band and had some auditions.  Once Paul, Carl, and myself (Josh) laid our puppy dog eyes on them they were like you guys are cute...you're in.  Let's be a band together and talk about girls and pizza!
 

You’re just getting ready to hit the road with Paperwhite in May. What are you most excited about on these upcoming tour dates?

Besides getting to travel the country and meeting some new and exciting people on the road, we hope to make friends with Ben and Katie from Paperwhite.  Katie's voice...wow!  There's nothing like hitting it off with other groups that you're touring with, because most of the time you guys don't know each other prior to meeting at the first show.  Going in and being like "Hey, we're going to be a family for a week or two months, let's be friends and share great experiences!" can really boost the energy of the shows and everyone's personal well being when it works out that way.
 

If someone is seeing you for the first time on these upcoming shows, what would you like them to take away from your live performance?

We hope they are left tickled with our sounds of sincerity and want to come say hi to us or see us play a show again.
 

The Sunshine of Your Youth dropped last year - now that you’ve had nearly a year to play it out on the road, do you have any favorite songs to play live?

I personally like playing Tomorrow Always Knows from our On Your Side EP.  It has a lot of energy! Speaking for the 5 of us I know we are all really excited to be debuting some new songs we will have coming up for LP 2. We love the old songs but have been playing them for 2-3 years now.  These new ones feel really fresh for us and are creating huge smiles on our faces.  You'll see.
 

It being your debut album, did you have any major goals in mind when creating The Sunshine of Your Youth?

I think we really wanted to capture a sonic element that could translate a lo-fi and hi-fi feel with the songs... having the studio feel blend in with the recording in my bedroom feel.  Tracks like Perfect Vision and Dreamer may have been the best representation for what we were going for with TSOYY.
 

How would you like to affect listeners with the album, or your music in general?

It would be great if they felt like dancing and/or chilling out at the same time.  Just being totally comfortable and enjoying the sounds that we love playing.
 

The Escape Tour with Paperwhite just hits the East Coast - do you have any plans to head out west later this summer or in 2016?

 We are in the talks of doing a full US tour later this year.  We definitely plan to be on the road!
 

Do you have any other big plans for this year that you’re able to share? Can listeners expect any new music?

We have new music written that we think our people are going to really love.  2 Songs have been recorded already and we have about another 12 that we will be looking to take to the studio by the end of summer / beginning of fall. It will be really pleasing for the ears.
 

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

If anyone found a Guess jacket with Scooby Snacks and a bunch of killer albums in NYC please put them to good use. 

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