Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pattern is Movement interview and NYC ticket giveaway!

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Chris Ward (pictured left), the drummer of Pattern Is Movement. The talented Philadelphia duo is currently taking a much-needed break from three years of nearly constant touring and they are spending their summer in their home town recording their next album, hopefully coming out early next year. This time, they're doing it a little bit differently - instead of lead singer Andrew Thiboldeaux (pictured below) writing the music and then them shaping the songs together, Andrew is already recording most of his parts first and then Chris will be putting down the drums afterward so that he has more than just a shell of the music to inspire his drumming. "During our live show, my drumming is in direct response to his playing, so we felt like we should keep that energy for the record. So instead of mapping out my drums exactly, let's just take some of the emotion that is created by his parts and let's see what I do with it."

Pattern Is Movement has evolved a great deal over the years. They started out as a 5-piece and now there are only two of them. Their sound has also evolved from angular "math rock" to more melodic, emotional rock (that still contains fairly complex rhythms). "When we started the band, we were in our early 20s... and I think we were all into music that was challenging, so we liked the whole notion of 'math rock'... I think, as a young musician, there's just a desire to kind of show off what you can do. But then I think we started wondering if it could deliver an emotional drive. So now we're more worried about delivering that emotional drive, rather than showing off... I don't want to put up any more walls, I want people to see what we're saying. I think that's what make a good song, or a good album, is when you don't put up a lot of walls to protect yourself, you just kind of give them your emotion, give them your heart."

The first time I discovered Pattern Is Movement was when they were on tour with St. Vincent (that's what these photos are from), which I thought was a pretty genius combination. Apparently Pattern Is Movement also toured with her a while back as her original back up band (they played as Pattern and then they backed her up). "Andrew and Annie have such a musical connection. They both seem to want to show beauty but they're ok with the darker side of beauty. And I think that's what breaks [Annie] away from the major label stuff... There's a darkness to Annie's music. There's an underbelly. And that's the same thing with Andrew. He's all about kind of lush, gorgeous melodies, but he's also about kind of the tension that surround those beautiful melodies... And I think that's what they're both geniuses at: exploiting the tension inherent in all senses of beauty. My drumming in some ways is in direct relation to that. My patterns naturally create some tension rhythmically against the beauty."

For those of you in the NYC area, there's still a chance to see them this summer, even though they're taking time off. They will be performing two concert cruises (with optional open bar) on Friday, July 16th (I'm hoping they'll cover "I'm on a Boat" but I didn't think to ask Chris if they would). And we're GIVING AWAY A PAIR OF TICKETS to the 7pm show. To enter, please email us with the sibject line "I'm on a boat!" in the subject line and your full name in the body by 11:59pm on Tuesday, July 6th. The winner will be announced on Wednesday. After they're done recording, Chris is hoping they can tour Europe, and they've also had offers in Asia and Israel, so definitely hit up their few remaining US shows if you can because they may not be around for a while.

Jenny Ono [mp3] - ( Amazon / iTunes )

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