Carnivals and Panic Attacks


Tory Daines is the former keyboardist, violinist, and vocalist for the Montclair alternative rock band, Those Mockingbirds. She left the group back in February of 2014 to focus on the musical project she’s formed, Fair Panic. I recently spoke with Tory about breaking out with her own solo act.

Let’s start with the basics. Tell me a little about your new solo project, Fair Panic.

It’s a dance project, a carnival of sounds and ideas. I’m writing the songs, and Nick Goncalves (8 Graves, Love Automatic) is creating the beats. I say beats, but really, he makes anyone with a computer look like an asshole. As for live instruments, I’m going to be working with a drummer and a few other string players. There certainly are enough strings on the tracks. I’m looking forward to it, and everyone is just as excited as I am on the concept.

How does it feel to work on your own music after being a part of Those Mockingbirds for so long?

Honestly, it’s really strange, but I’m not alone, so I still have people there to tell me if I sound stupid.

What motivated you to pursue a solo career?

I think the motivation was always there, but my confidence wasn’t. It took everything I went through to grow into a person ready to take on the world.

Which artists inspired you to pursue music?

It’s not something to pursue for me—it’s my first language, it’s who I am. I started singing as soon as I could talk and began violin at 3 because I wanted it. The artists that inspired me to keep going were people like Stevie Nicks, Eartha Kitt, Itzhak Perlman, Lead Belly, Bach, and his co-writing wife, Anna Magdalena.

Who are some of your current influences?

Foals, Supergrass, Queens of the Stone Age, and so many of the people around me in the Jersey scene; I think it’s never been a better time to look around you.

How would you describe the music you’re currently working on?

It’s indie dance. I can’t wait for everyone to hear the M. Night turn that things have taken.

What is the meaning behind the name Fair Panic?

I get a fairly good amount of panic attacks, and most the time, I hide them quite well in a flurry of makeup and hair. Essentially, it’s the same way carnival performers create their characters at a fair. So it’s me.

When can we expect to hear some of your new music?

As soon as possible, really. It’s just a matter of finding out how I want to introduce it, and sometimes that wait can get a bit unbearable. I do plan on playing these songs out as their acoustic versions, which might be a bit of a misdirection as to what the recorded sound will be.

What are you looking to accomplish in the future?

To be the soundtrack to people’s lives and experiences as much as music is a soundtrack to mine.

Any advice for aspiring musicians?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, even if that person is yourself.


Feature Photo by Catalina Fragoso

This article first appeared in Issue 05

About the Author

Loren KessellLoren Kessell is a freelance writer and barista with a passion for music. Attending her first local show at the age of 13 started her love affair with New Jersey's music scene. She hopes to expose people to all of the great music waiting to be heardView all posts by Loren Kessell →