Fresh to the Squad: Dan Keller, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad’s newest marksman
This past spring, Rochester, NY’s Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, one of reggae’s revolutionaries, gained a new guitarist, Dan Keller, who has added both rhythm and lead guitar work, as well as added lead and harmony vocals to the band. Dan’s style is easy, never flashy, and that’s sort of like his personality. Good natured and happy to be part of one of the U.S.’s biggest touring reggae acts, Dan sat down at a sunny pier in Boston, MA, just before the band’s boat cruise performance, to talk about joining Giant Panda.
Where are you from originally?
Buffalo, NY. Born and Raised. Well, North Tonawanda, NY, but you know, no one knows where that is.
How’d you get into music?
My mother showed me a couple chords on the guitar, a couple chords on the piano. Then, I went through the whole music in school, bands and stuff, and never stopped.
Was your mom a musician?
Not really. She just knew some chords to some real easy songs, and showed me those. I’ll admit that was the spark. It got me into it initially. She put an instrument in my hands.
Did you play guitar in school band?
I played sax all throughout school. Alto sax.
When did you take guitar on as your main instrument?
I started playing guitar around the same time [as saxophone], a little after, and started taking it serious in bands around 16 years old.
Do you still live in Buffalo?
I’ve lived in Rochester for the last three years.
What brought you there?
A band. I joined a reggae band called Sleeping Giant. I was driving so much that I decided to move there.
And they broke up?
Yeah, probably three months after I moved to Rochester, done-zo. They were together a long time, but that ended after a couple of months.