Panther and the Zoo are not actually an animal band. They are in fact Graham Panther, Hayden East, John Parker and Anthonie Tonnon.
2011 was an interesting year for Graham Panther and his Zoo. Interesting in that most of the previous year had been spent filling the ranks of more famous New Zealand bands on booze-fuelled jaunts around the world. Panther, his acoustic prised from his hands, was forced to grope his way around unfamiliar buttons, knobs and pads in his role as a touring member of the Ruby Suns. Meanwhile, main zoo collaborator Hayden East worked on his falsetto and developed multiple tambourine inflicted injuries as an honourable member of Lawrence Arabia’s band the Prime Ministers.
Periodically throughout the year, dreadfully hung over and jet lagged, Panther and East made the long journey home across the Pacific to chip away at Panther and the Zoo’s long awaited debut album; left safely in a New Lynn warehouse under the watchful ears of Bob Frisbee. Friends like Goldenhorse’s Geoff Maddock and The Brunettes’ John Parker would drop by with a bag of chips and a ginger beer, before adding their own flourishes to the recordings and inspiring new ideas.
With the stark yet exciting reality of a band-just-starting-out, and a couple more groans and a few pushes, an extended labour of love produced what the band titled ‘More Fun,’ a debut album released in mid-2011.