An Interview With Michelle Cable — Founder Of Panache and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Manager

Words by W.B.T.G. Slinger and Michelle Cable.

Michelle Cable is the manager and booking agent for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, and founder of Panache, an independent music booking and management agency. She has been described by Stu as his ‘guardian angel’, without whom the band may not even exist. We decided to reach out to learn more about her relationship with the band, and her part in where they are today — Michelle graciously took time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions below:

close up monochrome portrait photo of Michelle Cable, the composition and lighting emphasise her prominent facial features, strong expression and long dark hair Michelle Cable photo by Ebru Yildiz via Panache website.

Wyatt B.T.G. Slinger:
You started Panache 25 years ago as a hand-made local music zine in North California. Since then it has moved between coasts, and grown through event promotion into booking and artist management internationally. Is there a singular foundation to Panache, or is it more a series of reinventions?

Michelle Cable:
Hi! The singular foundation is that I've always stayed true to my independent ethos and made sure I love my work. It's important to me to work with artists that inspire me every day. As things have evolved, I have reinvented Panache.
Still, the intention has always been the same: to help artists develop their art into sustainable, healthy, long-lasting careers without compromising their beliefs or ethos.
But yes, I've gone from a zine, to event promotion, to booking tours, festivals, being a global delegate on panels across the world, and now artist management and most recently record label management with Mac's Record Label and p(doom) Records.

So you have a lot of varied experience in many forms of artist representation, and unique relationships with many artists. Are you able to sum up what you and Panache currently do with King Gizzard?

I have been working with Gizz since 2013 in various capacities. I am now their worldwide manager and also act as their booking agent in territories like North and South America and a few other areas of the world.
As their manager, I oversee all parts of the band's career, which entails working closely with them on albums, official bootlegger releases, working with their label managers and global distribution teams, all their publicists, other territory booking agents, photographers, videographers, documentarians, live touring crew, merch companies/designers, accounting teams, and oversee the creation/distribution of any films they produce. I'm generally working on anything the band is creating alongside them.
I'd say they keep me fairly busy, hahaha.

How and when did you find out about the band? Is it true you offered to book them in the US seeing them perform in Australia?

Yes, I first saw them in Brisbane at the music conference Bigsound in 2013, when I was traveling in Australia and New Zealand as a delegate speaking on panels. I was blown away by their set, and my friend put me in touch with them. Soon after, they asked me to bring them to the USA.
I lived in Brooklyn then, and they ended up coming to the States, starting their tour at Levitation in Austin in May 2014 and ending their tour by living in NY for over a month.
It was there that I booked them ten shows in a month including six nights at Baby's All Right, and even a gig in the Far Rockaways.
I attended all of them, and it was legendary :)

How into the jam band scene are you? Their 2023 Residency tour seemed to be a conscious step in that direction at all levels of the band.

I can definitely appreciate the culture behind the jam band scene.
Since Gizz has such a dynamic repertoire of songs, it was easy to book them for 3-4 nights in one city where they might play to the same audiences every night. Plus, getting to hang with your band/crew in one city for several nights really created a more chill atmosphere to touring as opposed to being constantly on the go, on the bus right after the gig, and on to the next city. This develops more of a ‘destination’ vibe as a fan may only have to travel once to see four performances.

Over the years Panache has held many roster-specific events, and several of your other artists like Tim Presley/White Fence, Osees, Mac Demarco, and SPELLLING have all shared stages with King Gizzard beyond these events. Can you elaborate on your approach to building a 'family' with Panache?

I've always celebrated working with artists who have a real independent DIY ethos which has led to many of my artists having similar outlooks on their career approach. I have always loved having diverse line-ups on the shows I've curated, which has led to a lot of the artists from my roster sharing bills.
My artists are like family to me, so it's always been really nice to introduce other artists I work with to each other, and see how the connections might thrive or grow.

Thank you Michelle for your time and cooperation. In addition to the Panache website, you can find details of her many projects and causes on Instagram (@panachelady).

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