“You feel high and drunk and exhausted, and it’s such a marathon experience that it becomes meditative for me — just me against the instruments.”Jas Patrick
I recently caught up with the incredibly talented and very down-to-earth Jas Patrick to discuss his music, professional philosophy, and what he does with his time away from music. Check out what he had to say below.
(Warning: Some readers may find the language offensive)
Thinking back to early childhood, what was your first experience with music?
Jas: I’ve always played music and musical instruments. I started playing my own drum set at four, but I’d played others as long as I could hold drumsticks. There simply always was music. My father was a musician and he’d take me to shows that he played — clubs that allowed children, beach parties, you know the drill — and I was just constantly around music.
What type of music did you hear the most growing up? Is it different from what you listen to now?
Jas: Country, rock, and rap. I don’t really listen to country anymore — well, current country anyway. I lived most of my childhood and teens in Nashville, so the kids all listened to a lot of country and I SOMEWHAT have a bit of a soft spot for a few tunes from back then; but most of the country stuff I listen to now is old stuff on my Spotify list. Here, check it out for you Spotify listeners: https://open.spotify.com/user/jaspatrick/playlist/5Lb7CRCn0U60mDIVzGAcX1
For the most part, I am really (REALLY) all over the place in what I listen to. I really love British rock — might be my favorite, honestly.
What was the first song that you ever sang?
Jas: I haven’t a clue — I was too young for me to remember now.
What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Jas: It wasn’t a decision really. I’ve just always played music and I started writing my own when I was 13. But I suppose when I was younger than 4 (when I got my first drum set) it was simply because I was good at playing drums even as a young child.
How did you become involved in the type of music you play/sing now?
Jas: It’s just good, clean, dirty old rock and roll, isn’t it? That’s what I think, at any rate! I keep getting labeled blues-rock, americana, or blues, but I think it’s rock and roll.
For those who have never seen or heard your music before, how would you describe your music for the public audience?
Jas: I call it rock, but I infuse all types of other stuff in there as well:
blues, world, psychedelia, jazz, country, Latin, electronic — you name it!
But I have a gritty, bluesy rock voice so I get called blues-rock quite a bit.
Would you rather play live performances or be in the studio?
I don’t mind playing live, and I’ve done a shitload of it. I even toured as a one-man-band. I played a Farmer Foot Drum with my feet, played guitar and sang at the same time. Go to youtube and search my name (“Jas Patrick”) and you’ll see a bunch of live videos of me playing all over the US.
I play everything on my albums (with the exception of some bass guitar and steel guitar) so the studio is HUGELY creative and immersive for me and just a real pleasure to experience. Of course, I work out of my own studio and my engineer, Brad Bass, is fucking incredible; so, studio for me isn’t necessarily what “studio” is for others. I go in at 7:30 in the morning and we don’t emerge until well after midnight. You feel high and drunk and exhausted, and it’s such a marathon experience that it becomes meditative for me — just me against the instruments. “Come here, you fucking Tuba! We’re going to make records!”
Have you ever entered any contests to enhance your musical career?
Jas: Eh, a long time ago with the occasional “win a guitar!” sort of thing; but no, nothing like “america’s got too many singers” shows or what have you…. Fuck ‘em (the shows). They completely breed the wrong idea about music as I personally feel it should be played. Those things are diva machines and for tweenies and grandmas. You wouldn’t see Queens of the Stone Age or Nirvana or The Stones or Blur or Umphrey’s McGee or Springsteen on one, you know? It’s not for me and I’m not for them. But by all means! Let them keep going! Lord, yes! Gotta make that money!
Have you been involved in any benefit performances?
Jas: Yep! Animals, women’s shelters, cancer, homeless, hungry — whatever I could, whenever I could.
What do you think your greatest accomplishment has been so far in your musical career?
Jas: You know, I’ve been heard all over the world by different people — that shit is cool. I’ve made three albums nearly by myself in terms of playing them, writing them, producing them, etc — that shit is cool. I made a killer video that I love with a crazy heavy message and insane visuals! I wrote it, directed it and edited it — that shit is cool, too.
I’m not sure. I just like pushing my own envelope outward and working to get better all the time. Typical enjoyment of the struggle of an artist, I suppose.
If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?
Jas: This question is why no one agrees on my music. My wife and I don’t agree. It’s rock and roll to me but Cthulhu-knows-what to everyone else!
What are your songs about and what general themes do they talk about?
Jas: Each song is different and I purposefully write ambiguously so that a person can hear what THEY hear in my lyrics. What they are to me is too hard to explain succinctly or even understandably simply because I don’t really know myself!
I can make some heavy philosophical shit and then find I really only dig the beat or vice versa. I spend so much time on a song to make it “perfect” when I’m recording and during that time I love it intensely. Then? When it’s been out a bit, I hate it — think it’s shit and an embarrassment. I leave it alone for a good long time and then I hear it again and think, “Bloody hell! That’s alright, innit?” (I think in chav, you know — albeit, parenthetically I’m in RP)
Why do you choose to focus on these themes?
Jas: I’m hopeful for the intellect of the listener…? I don’t know, honestly. I don’t write fluff, but I don’t always hear about anyone diving into my songs’ “meaning,” so I guess I’m just talking to myself sometimes. But the world is fast and busy — I’m not overly concerned. I’m not so up my own ass that I have to screech at people to pay attention to me, you know? If someone “hears” me, fucking great! If not…? Maybe their ass heard the beat and they shook it a bit! If I gave them ANYTHING, anything at all, I did my job.
Does anyone in particular influence you?
Jas: British rock and great musicians and thinkers of all stripes. Creators, my friend. Creators. I love them. We’re here to either make or take something — the Creators make the things we all feed from. I love Creators and makers and thinkers and doers.
What are your immediate music career goals?
Jas: Make albums until I die. Make my next album sooner rather than later.
What type of fan base do you have?
Jas: Sweet, loyal and definitely very into my tunes, but also seemingly my personality. I don’t think I have a single “fan” with whom I don’t speak to fairly regularly or I see pop up in my social media every now and again (in the sense of someone who is really into what I do — I have scores of casual listeners with whom I don’t interact much). I don’t say they’re into my personality to be arrogant or something but they SEEM tend to enjoy me telling my random-ass jokes or putting up some commentary about strange people Vicki (my wife and manager) meet in our travels. They’re very connected and we talk quite a bit. So, I honestly don’t think of them as, nor call them, “fans”. They’re just my internet homies! But seriously, they’re good people, at least to me, and I’m glad for all of them!
Music tends to appeal to everyone, young and old. Do you have any advice for the youth of today?
Can I quote Liam Gallagher?
“Stay the fuck out of my way!”
Nah, just teasing.
I don’t know, man…. The world is rapidly becoming warring factions and spouting tribal mentality constantly. I suppose I’d say:
“Get informed, get active, learn useful information, skills and protect yourself and others. And don’t buy any old shit anyone tries to sell you — think about it for a minute or two! Everyone has an agenda.”
Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?/What do you do with your time away from music?
Jas: Honestly? I’m a voice actor and I spend all my time being a voice actor these days — so, I really don’t tour much anymore. I’ll be making a new album in 2017 and I’m speaking with a record label now about possibly signing me. But, my voice acting career took off like a damn shot and I stay busy doing that constantly. I’m in the studio from 6:30 am (or earlier) till 6:00-9:30 pm six days a week! I’ll wake up and have a job waiting for me, and then I’ll have a job come in at 8:00 at night. It’s just being on call really. But it’s cool. I dig it and I’m actually quite good at it! It requires acting, characterization, production, audio engineering and it’s always different — every single job. I’m pretty much in love with voice acting, but I will always make music and albums. I just may only tour a month or two a year in future — depending on demand.
As an artist, is there anything special you hope to be able to accomplish?
Jas: Make excellent, thought-provoking, enjoyable art all my life, maybe inspire a person or three to become creative in some way, make a truly memorable piece of art, and die feeling as though I did at least one of these things.
Samantha: I want to thank Jas Patrick and Vicki Garrison for taking time out of their busy schedules to put this interview together. It is very appreciated.
For more information about Jas Patrick, check out his website.