Interview: Jas Patrick

jas patrick1“Inky Ovine” is the unique and unusual title of the new release by indie artist Jas Patrick, which has been in the making for several years. His rock, bluesy style originates in Nashville, however he claims to be influenced by Brit Rock.

Patrick plays all the instruments on the album, except bass guitar, having learned to play drums at age 4. He is fiercely dedicated to being a DIY artist, and although his release is an EP, Patrick is looking forward to completing a full length album in the very near future. 
Louder Than War was able to ask Jas some questions….and received some of the most creative answers ever…
Louder Than War: Your release has a very unusual name, “Inky Ovine”, where did you get it from and what does it mean?
Patrick: Thank you!  As an unusual person, I take that as the utmost compliment!
It’s simply a cheeky way of saying “black sheep”.
Do you have a favorite artist?
Patrick: I have loads. My table wine playlist on Spotify has nearly 500 songs therein–I’m really all over the place; but I’ve found that my somewhat preferred genre, if you can call it that, is British rock.  And I mean, all of it!  60’s through now.  And “rock” is used loosely.
Of course we have our classics, but I dig the new wave stuff and the punk stuff and the britpop stuff and the northern soul stuff and the shoegaze stuff and all the bits in between.  They have a melodic sense (melodicism?) that I love and it does seem to be something in the water or the fog or what have you.

I’m desperate to get over there and bottle whatever it is they ingest.  Black pudding..?  As long as it isn’t haggis.

British rock fandom aside, I’m also a fan of jazz (early up to wartime–Louis/Satch, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Benny and so on), 90’s american rock, 70’s groove/southern rock such as Little Feat and the Allman’s and soul stuff.  If I’m being honest, I’d also include video game music, soundtracks and electronic stuff such as Michiru Yamane, Toshiyuki Honda and Aphex Twin. 

I understand you will be touring, where can we find you?
Patrick: Hopefully, all over the damn place!  We’re building regionally out from Nashville; but those circles are ever broadening!  Just tell your friends about me, if you enjoy the tunes, Dear Readers…  We need your help! 
What do you feel best describes your music?
Patrick: The first word that comes to mind is “eclectic” but that’s crap–it doesn’t describe anything at all!  Interestingly, from the critiques I’ve received to date from “actual” critics to cats of the street is that the only real defining characteristic to my music is me; as in (I THINK they mean, anyway) my voice.
I can live with that and I suppose I agree.
If I had my druthers, the thing that would best describe my music is simply rock and roll with some intelligence and/or a message or not…  Whatev’s.
You say the beat rocks you?  Fine!  Rock out and go with the gods, my child!
Lyrics remind you of..?
Read deeply and go with thy inner flow, Kundun!
It’s all really up to the listener.
I swear that’s not a copout!  I don’t write “Jack and Diane” because I enjoy some ambiguity in my tunes.
Who the bloody hell was the walrus?!!!
Who cares?
It’s not about being “right”.
It’s about FEELING right.  I know, I know…  Crap.
What is the message that you are trying to get out there within your
Patrick: When I make an album, it’s usually somewhat of a theme–even if it’s hackneyed and haphazard to all but me.  The theme of “Inky Ovine” and the eventual album “Self Help” is under the umbrella of the eventual album’s idea:  self help.
Looking at the self.
The completely screwed up, worrisome, undeniably broken self.
Look at the cover for cthulhu’s sakes!
That’s not a healthy little planet, I tell you!
But it’s a little planet that’s looking inward and TRYING, damnitall!  We’re all looking or mayhap we’re not–I simply can’t speak for the hordes of internet denizens.
As I said previously, I’m about rock and roll; but I’m also about more than telling some poor lady she’s nothing more than a dog of the hound class.
Old Lennon and I would probably hate one another; but we share the same nose and similar ideas in what a song can do or “should” be.
At the end of the day, I’m only writing what I hear.
I genuinely surprised at others’ interpretations–and always pleased!
I do very much love having my thought process challenged.
My video for “Harpy” is an excellent example.
I had a very definitive idea of what the “message” was and I literally heard a different view from every single person asked!
I understand that you have been on the road since you were 18, what
do you enjoy most about performing live?
Patrick: This is somewhat of a misnomer.  I went on my first pro tour when I was 18.  I haven’t been schlepping up and down the countryside for a decade and more!  I just want to make sure that’s clear so as to not anger the internet gods…Performing live for me is rather a mixed bag.  When I was first starting out as a pro musician, I was a drummer.  I played other people’s music.  Sit down, rock out, piss off.  Done.  Finished.
Now?  I’m playing my own music.
Whole different set of kittens.
They’re both awesome.
They both have their perks.
They both have their downsides.  I prefer what I do now; but some of the carefree aspects of being a hired gun can be missed at times.
Regardless, the artist in me realizes that I want to make art and turn people on–therefore, I do what I do now.
Simple answer?
Patrick: It’s pretty hot shit to play to people and have them dance and sing and hoist a cup.
But it’s better when you wrote the soundtrack.
If you could play anywhere in the world where would you choose?
Patrick: UK.
When do you plan on releasing a full length album?
Patrick: As soon as humanly possible.When you wake up in the morning and have your coffee or whatever it
is you have, what then motivates you?  No coffee–sheesh!  I’d run through a wall!  No, I’m a downer type person–though, I don’t do them.  I’m off cigs for three years now and I can barely hold a conversation without frightening the listener.  I’m naturally “up”.
To the question!
What motivates me?  The fact that it doesn’t seem “worth it” if you’re not creating.  Now, before you get up in arms, understand!  “Creating” is broadly defined.  If you’re creating for yourself or your family or you’re fulfilled then you’re “creating” and therefore, be well and have a coke and a smile.
One can replace “create” with whatever one chooses; but one MUST do something.  I go without listening to my music for long periods of time.  I’ll go back occasionally and listen and think “Wow!  A lot better than I thought!”
You see, I mostly think harshly of myself and I’m always striving to “do better”.  I suppose there’s some sort of inner judge telling my I’m shit and I have to improve.
A very well respected drummer in town (Nashville) told me that for one to go onstage in the first place, one had to be at least halfway damaged.  I think I agree in some respect as I do work towards getting some sort of recognition.  But the real recognition is in my head and the bastard wont give me a break; so, I keep going.
The long and short?
I suppose it’s some sort of fucked up positive/negative reinforcement thing.
But I also can’t help myself.
I sit down and I grab a guitar and start creating.
Some people grab cheetos, I grab a guitar.As you can see, I obviously have to “say” something–verbose, me!
What do you like best about being an independent artist?
Patrick: I don’t have to sing something I didn’t write.  I don’t have to dress a certain way.  “Demographic” rarely gets said to me in any capacity.  “Trending” is for politicians.  I don’t have to dance.  (ha!  that last one was meta)
Eh, I’m not a pop artist and never will be.  I make rock and roll and I write what I want.  What’s not to like?
You can find out more about Jas Patrick on his website.  Patrick is also on Facebook and he Tweets as @jaspatrickmusic.
All words by Eileen Shapiro. More of Eileen’s writing can be found in her author’s archive.

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