Singled Out: Worldwide Panic's Party
LA metal band Worldwide Panic recently released their new single "Party" and to celebrate we asked vocalist/bassist Lane Steele to tell us about the track. Here is the story:
Before I start on the story behind this song I must start at the beginning. If I skip to the song it is like fast forwarding to the middle of a movie or walking in late and your dick friends wont tell you what you missed. My musical journey was a unique one. It didn't really start as a typical "oh I saw this band and I went to Guitar Center and for xmas my mom and dad bought me a guitar". No this story was not as generic and was riddled with a very murky and dark birth into the world of music.
I was a child actor, I found some success as I was in such shows as "Freaks and Geeks," "The Wonder Years" and "All That" if you don't what any of these are don't worry that just means your most likely a millennial and these things just aren't important to you and no I was not a key player in any of the for mentioned TV shows and no I don't have an IMDB. I grew up in Bellevue Washington, a suburb of Seattle in the 90's. My parents wanted me to have a musical background for what? I have no clue so on top of acting classes and martial arts they hired a man named Jan Zabel a super amazing human being to come once a week and teach me piano and music. I was absolutely awful, I never practiced but for some strange reason this man who became a close family friend persisted in telling my mother, "he is going to grow up and become a musician". This was a surprise to her and myself as I just wanted to be a comedian like Jim Carrey and be a movie star or something I didn't really even care much for music and I hated metal and hard rock.
My mom was a lush who enjoyed pills, vodka and weed.... She still does lol so not much changed there. She basically threatened to leave my father if she could not move to a warmer climate. My dad works in the family business that was based in Washington so that was a difficult order to fill but the solution was that he bought a house In LA and then he moved to a condo in Washington and my father for 2 years would commute on the weekends to and from Washington to LA. I was in my teens and was doing what most teens do by sneaking out and smoking some weed and drinking etc. My mother wasn't a fan of this even though substances were her life blood and she would much rather have the house to herself. So one morning I woke up to two 6 foot something ex marine football player type guys standing over my bed at 5am then yelled "Get up boy your going to boot camp"! They preceded to zip tie me in front of my parents and walk me out of my home into a car and then on a plane were I got dropped off in the wilderness of Idaho for 3 months. This was not a normal boot camp this was an "Emotional growth wilderness program". In addition the laws in Idaho at the time n "reering" children were loose. You were not allowed to "hit" a child but you were able to "restrain" a child. One moment you see five grown men tackle a kid just for saying "f***" and then ten minutes later you would be in a group therapy situation based mostly around Christian ideology (which is fine) but also used other brain washing methods. I was beat by consolers.. Many times it went past the point of restraining and went to a grown man punching a 16 year old kid in the mouth. At the conclusion of this nightmare of boot camp they suggest to parents that they send their kids to a boarding school that's under the same principals and company so that they can further brainwash your kids and f*** with their heads. I was sent to one of these schools... They made a movie about it.. Everyone was to wear the same clothes, no music, no tv, one phone call home per week and the brainwashing stuff was out of control. They would make us do the craziest role-playing stuff under the guise of therapy that was just unspeakable. I was no longer beat by the people in charge I was beat by the other kids as well as witness acts of rape and heard and saw things that I can not un-hear or un-see. After only a few days of being at this place I was told to go to the main office my parents were on the phone. I got on the phone to hear my mother crying uncontrollably. She said "Jan (my music teacher) had been murdered". I was torn apart by this not only was it one of the first deaths of a person I knew but a mentor and father figure and a man who believed in my skill and ability to entertain. I then had all this pent up aggression and mixed emotions. I went to the piano they had in the main house and tried to play a song he taught me only for some bully to yell "Shut up new kid" 5 seconds into it. So playing Piano was out lol... I then went to the computers that were supposed to be used only for "school" work and printed lyrics to Hard Rock and Metal songs that I knew by heart. At this point before being sent away I was starting to get into the meat and potatoes of the genre so I got Rob Zombie's Dragula, Ozzy's "No More Tears", Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and a few others you get the point. If I was caught with these lyrics and misusing the computer there would have been hell to pay. So I hid them and I would stay up super late and go to the bathroom and turn the shower on at like 3 am and I would remember these songs by heart and sing them softly to myself. After a while I remembered the lyrics by heart. I even started writing my own and would go to the shower in the middle of the night and put on a one-man show. This release was the rush and release I have been craving. This "sanctuary" of playing these songs was the only thing that kept me sane through out the 9 months I was there. From that point on I knew I wanted to become a musician.
It didn't take long for the word to get out about all the abuse that was going on at this place. I kept telling my parents but they didn't believe me until it hit the news. They came and got me out of there the next day. Still a grown man I have nightmares at least once a month I am whatever age I am at that moment and I am stuck at that place forever... We moved to Orange County California where I hit the ground running and made our garage the local "Jam Spot". It wasn't long till a friend of mine who was a bassist came to me and said, "Hey I know your looking for a band I met these guys at they are looking for a singer do you wanna go with me and Jam with them?" I of course said yes and a few days later we went to meet these guys. I walk into this jam room and these guys were 35 and up and that's being kind and I am only 17 at the time. They were doing coke, gas mask bongs, knife hits, freeze a tokes and more. If you don't know what any of these things are its called the internet. Look it up. I thought these guys were the coolest guys ever and we started jamming. That band would in fact be called Worldwide Panic.... Yes It started in 2001 in San Clemente California and I was in fact 17. The music was maybe an above average garage band sound and well not much has changed.. KIDDING! Just making sure your still paying attention. The members did not want to make a demo or have a "Myspace" yes I said "Myspace". They wanted to basically go to the jam room on a Wednesday night and do drugs, drink, play metal and get away from their girlfriends and wife's. I knew I wanted more. I caught the bug so I went to Musicians Institute in Hollywood right out of high school and pursued a professional music career.
Hollywood is a f***ed up place and living there is even more f***ed up. There are temptations around every corner and I wanted to live this tortured artist bullsh*t life so for the better part of 10 years I drank, smoked and snorted my way through life. I had some success in music but not enough to pay the bills and my addiction was getting way out of hand. I wasn't a good person and I couldn't even look into a mirror I would always have the lights turned off in the bathroom. I terrified myself... I found myself constantly in trouble and I ended up on the floor of a rehab bathroom convulsing and sweating and crying for a week. I knew I could no longer sustain living the way I have been or I was going to die or go to jail. I sent a text to everyone I played music with and said, "Thanks for the ride I am done and going off into the sunset to do something else". I was in treatment centers and sober livings for two years. All the while I was writing music here and there just to pass the time. I decided, "Why not give this music thing one last shot now that I am clear minded and sober". I didn't want to continue playing the "brutal" type metal I had been for years and wanted a fresh start with music that was more catchy and fun to play and hey, I already had a kick ass band name so Worldwide Panic was reborn! So I am officially in my first band ever. I think that's pretty cool if ya ask me.
A lot of time went into finding the line up and pre production of the songs and I think everything fell into place quite nicely. "Party" is our newest single and it chronicles everything that I mentioned above. I felt that wearing my heart on my sleeve on this song and having complete transparency was the best way to tell my story in a way that is still entertaining and also could potentially help others make better life choices. The track was self produced, but Aaron Nordstrom from Gemini Syndrome a close and dear friend of mine help to produce some of the vocals. It was amazing to learn from him and its always fun to play music with your friends. The track was mixed by Mike Plotnikoff (In Flames, Warbringer, Fear Factory, Mudvayne, Van Halen, Aerosmith, KISS, and many others) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Slayer, Pantera, Korn, Deftones, Nirvana, etc). I feel that people are really going to dig this track. It is not some down tempo boring "woe as me" recovery song that's not at all what I was going for. It is however a high energy, catchy and in your face tune that will have you singing along and toe tapping in no time. Hope you guys enjoy, "Party"! Also catch us on the road with Flaw and Smile Empty Soul this fall!
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and see the tour dates right here!
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