Some interviews are so good, you want to do them twice... well, that and when the transcription service drops the call. All fun aside, talking to Otherwise front man Adrian Patrick is like sitting back with an old friend with a cold beverage and just catching up on what is going on around you. The leader of the 'Wise Guys loves what he does, who he does it with, and where he does it... and it shows - whether it’s in the videos or a live performance. If you haven't seen the latter for yourself, you are missing out. If you have seen it, you know exactly how fun this conversation was...
Toddstar: Hey, what's going on, Adrian?
Adrian: Not a whole lot. I'm getting some lunch in, going to get a little workout and then, hopefully, a sound check here in Columbus.
Toddstar: You guys are playing LC Pavilion tonight with Seether.
Adrian: Yeah, we're excited, man. We're a direct support for them. It should be a really good show.
Toddstar: Awesome. How'd last night's show, the first night of the tour, how'd that go over up in Hagerstown?
Adrian: Oh, it was killer. It was packed, man, in spite of all the crazy bullshit that was happening in Baltimore, just down the street. The place was packed, man. It was awesome.
Toddstar: Awesome. You're still promoting Peace At All Costs. How's the material still going over with the fans?
Adrian: I have yet to hear anybody say anything detrimental about the second album. Every band is terrified of the dreaded sophomore funk. I think that what we did with Peace At All Costs, we took enough of the strengths and the familiar songs combined from True Love Never Dies and we evolved those sounds and we built on those strengths. We also diversified enough to where it showed growth. I think we have a good balance of new and old on Peace At All Costs and we were able to explore some different grounds without alienating our core fans. We're very proud of the album and the entire collection of songs as a whole.
Toddstar: The album's about six months old. You guys have a couple singles out, the latest being "Coming For The Throne," you guys have a cool video out for that one. Does that song still feel as good as it did when you guys wrote it? Are these songs still in your gut the way they were when they came out or are you guys getting an itch for something new?
Adrian: We're always itching to do the next big thing, the next best thing, but every night when we play a song, especially a track like "Coming For The Throne" that means so much to us on a spiritual level, and a professional level, to see the audiences connect with that song and, of course, singing back to us. Songs like that, it keeps them visceral for us, and it keeps that fire hot in our belly. I can't really put into words the feeling it is to hear your song on the radio and then to play a show at a venue you've never been to before and have a full house sing back the words to you, Todd. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it's nothing short of magical.
Toddstar: Very cool. Let's talk about the title Peace At All Costs; you've had that one for a while because it's tattooed on your neck. What was it about that phrase that you guys said, "This is an album title. This is where we're at right now."
Adrian: It's something our grandmother used to say, it was her mantra when the Irish side of our family would get drunk and beat the shit out of each other in a tiny, little shack off the coast of Ireland. Our pacifist, religious grandmother would say that mantra over and over and repeat it, "Peace at all costs. Peace at all costs. Please stop the fighting." Being as religious as she was and as peace-loving as she was, she didn't see the double entendre of that. To us, it's a veiled threat, it's like, "Give us peace or we're going to take it from you." 'True love never dies', that was a tattoo that our cousin, Ivan Patrick, had on his neck. I've had 'peace at all costs' tattooed across my own throat for almost as long as he had his tattoo. It only made sense for us in the progression of this band and the story of what we've been through, and what we stand for, it was a moment in time when we had to be completely honest and transparent. We went through all the steps, we had an artist draw up all these cool, fantastical images, we were still going to call the album, Peace At All Costs, but none of the images really sat right. Our Mom one day was like, "Why don't you just put the picture of the tattoo on the album? That's as real as it gets. That's as honest as you can be." We did and, again, it's a very visual image and when you see it on a shelf, it stands out from other albums. It also, in a roundabout way, pays homage to Sublime. Bradley had the tattoo of the band name on his back. It just really tied everything together for us as to where we were as a band, where we're at as people, as professionals. We got done with the first touring cycle and we had more anger, and more frustration, and more fire after really learning how the music industry works. We put all that feeling, all that energy, all that intensity into this album. I think it shows, it speaks for itself.
Toddstar: It's definitely one of the best rock albums to come out in a long time. From opening note to closing note, it gives you that good rock feeling. You're not singing about all the troubled shit in the world, you're just out there preaching what you know, and it comes across. Your passion comes across, from the picture on the front to the music. Do you know any other way than to let your passion in?
Adrian: No. Not really, man. I wish that maybe if I did know a different way to say, maybe perhaps I'd be more financially successful and have more peace of mind. I don't know. My brother and I have gypsy blood running through our veins from our father and his father before him, there's always been a wild streak. There's always been a struggle of light and dark and good and evil within the same person. I think that's the only way we know how to be. It's very primal and, like you said, our passion is what drives us. We don't place importance on, as much as we probably should, on things like money and possessions, and social standing, and all that stuff. We just want to rock, man. We just want to light fires in people's souls. That's it.
Toddstar: It's obvious. We mentioned "Coming For The Throne" earlier, again, killer video. It opens up where you're backstage and its “Rock and roll brothers on three.” The cool part about that, we talked about this the other day, was couple of rock and roll brothers that you and I have in common, Minty and Kevin, being in that opening shot. It's cool to see a band, you're the lead singer, but the whole band saying, "We're rock and roll brothers, but we're in this together.” It's not just the band, it's the photographers, the press, the club owners, and we’re all rock and roll brothers." How do you guys take that and convey that to other people? Again, you and I know Kevin, but not everybody does. How do your convince other people that they're really part of your journey too?
Adrian: You know, Todd, that's one day at a time, man, one heart and one soul at a time. We're trying to open the world's eyes to rock and roll again, good, earnest rock and roll, the stuff of fire, the stuff of legend. That's what we want to go down as and we'll give our lives to do that. The only way we know how to convince people of that is by playing every show like it's our last because, as we all know, tomorrow is not guaranteed to anybody. Every time we step on a stage, we've been through enough death and tragedy in this life to know that it might be the last time we do. We leave everything up there. Whether you like our band or not, you come to one of our live shows, you will see that we give it all. We are true to our message of life by music. We play hard and we party hard and we work hard and we live hard. We walk hard. That's the only way to be for us. Hopefully, that passion and that flame, that fire will be infectious to a lot of people.
Toddstar: In three weeks, you get to do something that we're all looking forward to, and that's walking hard at Flint, Michigan at The Machine Shop (http://www.themachineshop.info/). What is it about The Machine Shop, brother, what is it?
Adrian: I don't know, man. It's this little pocket of molten lava, bro. It's an amazing little place. You come in there, Kevin feeds you and gives you all the booze you want and then he also delivers by bringing in this amazing crowd. Every time we play there, the place is damn near sold out. Whether we're direct support for somebody or we're headline, which we've done both at The Machine Shop. It's incredible, man, it's a legendary venue. It's one of the few venues outside of LA or New York that you hear of as a musician. "Man, you guys need to play The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan." "Machine Shop, okay." Then you get there and it's totally not what you expect, then it completely destroys and exceeds all of your expectations. The people in Flint, Michigan are probably, if not our best, at least one of the top three best markets we have on the touring circuit in the United States. We can't wait to come back there dude. It's always like home away from home when we come back.
Toddstar: I agree. It's one of my favorite venues; especially a venue suited for a group like Otherwise. Puts you up close and personal with the crowd that loves you guys.
Adrian: The way it's designed, the stage layout, you feel like you're right there in the middle of it with everybody. We try to bring that same ethos to all of our shows, but The Machine Shop is so acute, it's so adept at focusing that intensity and making everybody feel like they're a part of the show. Like you said, we can't wait to get back there in three weeks to see everybody and have some drinks. It's one of the few venues on tour that we usually end up getting obliterated at. [laughter from both of us]
Toddstar: Very cool. During that show, we're all going to hear probably the breakout tune for you guys, "Soldiers." Last time we spoke, you told me a little bit about it, let's expand on that. Tell me a little bit about the heart and soul behind "Soldiers" for you guys.
Adrian: That song was written as a personal anthem for us to not give up on ourselves. In the summer of 2011, we came very close to hanging it up. It was poetic justice that that song ended up becoming the song that broke us out, that led to us making musical history by having it become the first song by an unsigned band to go number one on satellite radio which, to me, satellite radio's the future of radio. That subsequently led to our record deal, achieving that glass ring, one of the American dreams, find a record deal. My brother and I did that as first generation Americans, sons of immigrants. That's a huge accomplishment. That song is a testament to the power of perseverance, again, not giving up on yourself and believing in your fight, your own cause. My brother and I are living examples of not quitting and giving yourself credit and being strong for yourself in the face of great adversity. We continue to do that as we grow and as we march forward facing the giant evil, twisted beast that is the music industry. We refuse to give up. They're going to have to tie the microphone to my dead hands, my cold, dead hands. You know what I'm saying, Todd? [laughter from both Adrian and Todd] Everybody should take one small lesson from us and see that not giving up on yourself can get you closer to your dream.
Toddstar: You're living proof of that, there's no doubt about it. From a young kid who released Some Kind Of Alchemy and now you're on Century, you're on your second huge album, and you have videos flying off the shelf. You've got top twenty-five singles.
Adrian: Yeah, it's pretty wild.
Toddstar: When you were back releasing those independent albums, and again, I personally love Some Kind of Alchemy.
Adrian: Thank you, man. Thanks for actually doing your homework, that's awesome.
Toddstar: I've owned that CD for years.
Adrian: Wow, that's so cool, man.
Toddstar: Back then, did you ever imagine you'd be where you aretoday?
Adrian: When we were coming up in the Las Vegas music scene, my brother and I always felt that we were different. Yeah, maybe our critics could say that we don't sound any different than other bands in our genre, but we definitely feel different as people. We come from a very unique background; we come from a very unique city. Las Vegas is unlike any other place on earth and we grew up there. We've experienced more crazy shit than most people can imagine in their lives. When we were cutting our teeth and then chugging out in the trenches out in Vegas, we always felt like we were different. This was always the end game, signing a record deal, getting on tour, getting on the radio. Now that we're here, now it's like, now we've really got to figure out what we're going to do with it. That's the tricky part. Getting here, that's not even half the battle, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Once you get in the big league, now it's up to us to figure out how to make the most of it and how to utilize this platform that we've been given to its greatest potential. We're still trying to figure that out. We're in the process of learning right now. You know what I mean, Todd?
Toddstar: Oh, definitely. You guys are a band of brothers referred to as “The Wise Guys.” You've been at this nine, almost ten years, as Otherwise, plus anything done previous to that. Moving back over those nine plus years, what were the things you're still so proud of?
Adrian: I'm really proud of the fact that, despite certain family members, even some close friends being concerned for us and saying, "It might be about time that you really think about hanging up this band thing," and then dealing with, my brother and I have had so many different guys, unfortunately, we're not like U-2, we'd love to be like U-2 and have the same lineup since we were kids all the way up through Grammys and all the stuff, but that wasn't in the cards for us. We've had six, half a dozen, maybe ten guys at every position in the band. What I'm most proud of is, despite all of that tumultuous beginning, putting a rock and roll band together and keeping it together is one of the most difficult endeavors I think any young man can attempt. We did it and we did it because my brother and I stick together. I'm very proud of our family. I know that our family and our values that we've been taught by our Mom and Dad, it's a little different. It's a little unlike most people's families. Our girlfriends will say that about us, our best friends will say that, even guys in our crew, they're amazed by how my brother and I and our Mom and Dad, how we support each other. I think that's what I'm most proud of.
Toddstar: I don't even know how to say it, it's so humbling. It shows what kind of guy you really are dealing at the heart. It's not about the gold records, the top ten albums, it's not about any of that, it's about the family, and the struggle, and the survival. Shit, there's nothing more to say really. You put it into perspective the best way possible. Let me say, I cannot wait, brother, to lift a glass, or a bottle, or a can or something with you in three weeks. Thank you for everything you've done over the last nine years, the great music you've produced, the return to rock that you've really given us all hope for. We look forward to seeing...
Adrian: It means a lot, Todd. Thanks. That's a compliment of the highest order, appreciate that.
Toddstar: Again, May 21st at The Machine Shop, Flint, Michigan, we're going to see Otherwise destroy that stage one more time.
Adrian: Oh, yeah. Hopefully, many more times after that as well.
Toddstar: Definitely. Cool, brother. Safe travels, good show tonight at LC Pavilion. We'll see you in a couple of weeks.
Adrian: Thank you, Todd. Let us know when that thing is going to come out, man. We're looking forward to reading it.
Toddstar: I'll send you links.
Adrian: Awesome, man. Thank you so much, Todd.
Toddstar: Thanks, brother.