Louder with Joe and Anthony of Patent Pending
It's been a year of attaining new heights for Long Island quintet Patent Pending- a new single, a slot playing their first ever Reading & Leeds Festival, and preparations for their first album in three years underway behind the scenes. We caught up with vocalist Joe and drummer Anthony to discuss all of the above, as well as their gas-related woes, and the intricate details of tour life with one Mariah Carey...
You’ve recently released your new single ‘Punk Rock Songs’- how have you found the response to that release so far?
Joe: The response has been unbelievable, it’s exactly the kind of response we were hoping for! People have really attached to it and identified with it, and the people who are really involved in music and our Second Family are really gravitating to it. It’s been very satisfying as an artist with that particular song. It’s all happening!
The connection that track in particular creates with people, and the nostalgic edge to it- is that something you were conscious of wanting to explore?
Joe: I realised in an interview a couple of days ago just how many songs we have where I try to do that- there’s ‘Brighter’, ‘Riot Hearts Rebellion’, ‘Love Can Save Us All’, ‘Second Family’, and like six other ones- and now I think I’ve finally learnt, as a songwriter, how to express exactly what I meant. So I’m really proud of every line in the song, I think I’m finally able to show people the nostalgia or pain or struggle or hopelessness of [being in the band], but also the small pearl of joy in it all- for what it’s supposed to do, I don’t think any of the lyrics could change.
Anthony: I think the term is ‘you nailed it’! It’s a construction term.
Joe: Do you have any construction experience?
Anthony: I dabble!
Joe: What’s your favourite type of site to work on?
Anthony: Mostly productive
Joe: Cool, cool answer!
You guys don’t need me do you?
Joe: I could interview Anthony for days about all sorts!
Anthony: Joe has a list of questions he’s been trying to ask me for decades- this will never end!
More recently, your records have taken on a poppier, more dance-orientated vibe- was that a conscious decision or did that develop organically through the recording process?
Joe: We’ve been in this band for way more than half of our lives at this point, and we grew up in this band, and as you grow up- a lot of people don’t listen to the same music they did 10 years ago, they don’t wear the same clothes they did 10 years ago, or really do anything they did 10 years ago, because people change. I’m trying to figure out rock music, because I’ve gotten so bored with rock music, I think it’s inexcusable how watered-down and shitty it is [now]- and I’m talking to us first, and then every other band that exists, you all suck, and we suck! There hasn’t been a new headliner at Download Fest in, what, 20 years? Of course, Slipknot are one of the greatest bands of all time, Metallica [too], Guns N Roses, you can’t beat these bands, but somebody fucking has to! Because every band that exists now is a cheap imitation of a bigger band. When we started out we were essentially a Green Day, Blink 182, New Found Glory cover band, so if we don’t define ourselves with something new, then we’re doing nothing- [the fans] already have New Found Glory, and because of the internet, they don’t need us! [NFG frontman] Jordan Pundik is going to sing that song so much better than me every time; Billie-Joe [Armstrong] is going to rip through… everything, better than anyone, so if I as a writer and us as a band don’t bring something new to the table, then there is literally no fucking point to us! That’s what I’ve been getting into a lot of arguments with bands about, where they’re like ‘that’s crazy, you’re selling out!’! That’s not selling out, that’s doing something new and something different and something weird. What I will say is that our new songs are going to rock much more than our last ones have, however, they won’t come out until they sound like something new that doesn’t exist already. The closest thing to a ‘new’ band, I think, in the last 20 years, is twenty one pilots- they are headlining Reading & Leeds this weekend! Until something new happens- I’d love it if Slipknot headlined forever, but let’s get another band in front of Slipknot that doesn’t sound like any other band that’s playing that weekend. That’s my goal- and it’s wildly ambitious! I was a little kid, and I remember the first time I heard Rage Against the Machine, what that felt like- I don’t get that feeling any more, from non-pop artists.
Stories from being on the road feature heavily in the lyrics of ‘Punk Rock Songs’- do you have a favourite touring memory (for better or worse!)?
Anthony: To pull from ‘Punk Rock Songs’, there was one time that we were driving and we ran out of gas, and our sound guy/ friend, Gabe, had those Heely shoes [on]. So he heelied like two miles with a gas can to get us gas, and then heelied back so that we’d have enough gas to get to the gas station! That’s the first one that came to mind!
Joe: We have so many stories, we could do this forever, but our stand-out for me was when we used to tour in a van- we used to have a very disgusting van, now we have a very disgusting bus! [The van] was just covered in so much trash- clothes, sweaty t-shirts, empty water bottles, all that kind of stuff. [Dominic Maresco of the Supervillains] hated that our van was so messy, and he was like ‘Hey man, I have to do an interview on the phone, is it okay if I jump in your van real quick?’, and we were like ‘Yeah, no problem!’. So he goes into the van, we think nothing of it, he locks the door, and leaves. We were leaving the show that night, hours later, and we were like ‘Hey man, it was great hanging with you,’ – it was the beginning of the tour – ‘if you need anything, call us, and if we need anything [then vice versa]. So we drive for like 2 and a half hours, we get to the gas station- and there’s a lock on our gas tank! So we call the Supervillains, because clearly this was Dom, and he was like ‘If you fuckers clean the van, the key is somewhere in the van!’. He hid the key in the van-
Anthony: So we couldn’t get gas until we cleaned the van!
Joe: That was one of the best tour pranks ever, because it was constructive!
Anthony: I do like a productive site!
Joe: You do! That was one of the best bits I ever saw on tour.
Now that there are a couple of you with families and kids, does that change your views on touring? Do you have a sense of camaraderie now there are a few of you away from your families?
Anthony: I think that sense of camaraderie has always been there, but it is different now. I’m new to having a baby-baby – I have a four-year-old from my wife’s previous relationship – so the newborn experience is new to me. And kids do change all the time, but newborn babies change so dramatically every single day- my wife just sent me a video of the baby laughing hysterically for the first time and I’m missing it. But you have that sense that you’re doing something you love to support the ones you love, and it is tough, but we’re still here!
Joe: I have always never wanted to leave my house! I don’t like going to the grocery store- if it wasn’t for this band I’d weigh 600 pounds and I’d just never leave my couch! So I’ve never really wanted to be away for a long time. Three or four years before my kid was born, I wanted to start touring smarter, because we never even used to book the tours, we’d just go and rock up at pizza places and as if we could play there or something stupid like that! But now you can do a lot from your house because of the internet, and then when you get out to play the shows, they’re that much more special. But also, I’m heavily involved in country music back in the States, and they only play on the weekend, which is brilliant, because every show, everyone is fired up! They just got paid, they’re looking to drink, they don’t have to go home early or get babysitters and stuff, so it’s so much fun! So for me, if we could only tour in England on the weekends, that would be so much better! We were talking about this in Glasgow the other day- the show was mayhem, but it was a Monday, and we were saying ‘could you imagine how crazy this would be if it was on a Saturday?!’. Now, I think that every moment away is precious, so if you’re not doing something fantastic and something that you truly have to do, there’s no reason to go. That being said, I’m away more than ever now!
You are also playing Reading & Leeds Festival this coming weekend- how are you feeling about it?
Joe: So pumped! Come start a mosh pit during our show! When I was a little kid, I used to watch Reading & Leeds – that where I saw Rage [Against the Machine] – I was way too young to be watching it, but my sister was watching, because it’s a very popular festival worldwide, so I saw the Rage set and the Foo Fighters set, and I just thought ‘I want to do that!’.
If you could break into one celebrity’s house and steal one thing, who would it be and what would you take?
Joe: I know what the answer is to this question, or what it should be for most people- the answer has to be Maria Carey’s house, and I’ll tell you why. I think Maria Carey has earned every single thing that she has, and has the right to do whatever she wants, so when she tours, she literally doesn’t walk until she gets to stage, so she has people carry her everywhere! She lays on a chaise-longue, and people carry her. This woman, when she tours, has a mandatory note in her rider that they have to re-create her living room- which, if you tour that much and are that popular and are going to make that many people that much money, fine, do whatever you want! But it can’t be off-brand: it can’t just be A white couch, it has to be that EXACT white couch that she has in her house, it has to be THE carpet- the only exception is it doesn’t have to be walls, it can be white curtains. So, my thing is, if that’s what she’s like on the road, her house has got to have some posh-ass shit that I want to see! And then I’ll take something, because there’s got to be a lot of stuff in there that’s worth a lot of money! So I think my answer is Mariah Carey, just to see the pure insanity of what’s in her home!
Anthony: I was going to break into Will Smith’s house and steal something from the Men in Black set!
Joe: That’s dope as hell!
'Dope as hell' is a pretty good catch-all for Patent Pending as a whole, as their sold out, raucous, infinitely sweaty show proved mere hours later! And with ferocious Reading & Leeds sets now also under their belt, the future is looking even brighter for this charismatic five-piece.
'Punk Rock Songs', Patent Pending's latest single, is out now via Rude Records.
Check out the video for the band's latest single, 'Punk Rock Songs', below: