By: Lorelei Kenny
Ontario-based based Solo Singer-songwriter Pat Maloney is coming east to launch his newest album RIGHTHERE, and will be hitting up university campuses and local pubs all over the Maritimes. While on PEI he will take the stage at Baba’s Lounge on October 18, Gahan House on October 19th and UPEI on October 20th. (all shows begin at 8:00pm) Last year he won the Canadian Organization of Campus Activities’ (COCA) “Singer-Songwriter of the Year” and has played with tons of sweet bands and musicians like Great Lake Swimmers and Arkells. His vocals are rich and his lyrics are truthful. Pat is also known be quite the comedian!
The Cadre corresponded with Pat over email to get a feel for his music and to take the opportunity to get an inside look at what the independent musician life is all about.
TC: How do you see yourself as an artist? Do you focus more on the lyrics or the music when you write? What instruments do you play?
PM: I’m a solo singer-songwriter, a modern folk artist. I always start with the lyrics. I’m a bit of a genre-hopper, and I appreciate all kinds of different music. I play the acoustic guitar to back myself up only because that’s the instrument I happen to own. But I’m a drummer through and through. The point of all this is to get my thoughts and feelings on paper. I find it hard to express myself in everyday life, so I feel compelled to get my ideas heard through my songs.
TC: Tell me about your newest album RIGHTHERE, how is different from previous albums? How has your music changed over time?
PM: The album is titled “RIGHTHERE”, like Right Here mashed together. I thought it was clever, like, I’m here, I’m there, I’m everywhere. But it’s easily misread as it turns out…Oops. To answer your question though, it’s my first full-on acoustic album. I added a ton of instrumentation to my two previous albums. Even though all the added instrumentation is a lot of fun, I’ve always performed solo live, so on this recording I wanted to show my true colours for the first time. I don’t claim to be a real guitar player. I’m a drummer. Doing the stripped-down thing feels risky, but I feel like it is time to make myself uncomfortable, and push myself in a truly solo direction.
TC: Do you have a formal music education? When did you choose music as your full-time career?
PM: I played piano and sang in choirs as a young dude. In high school, I started playing drums, and gave up on most “formalities”. I have a diploma in Music Industry Arts, a combination of recording arts and music business. This will sound a little clandestine, but I’ve always known I would be playing music for a living. It’s what I know best, and I just love it too much for it to be relegated to a hobby.
TC: What is a typical day/week look like for you?
PM: I work 100% independently. I hire the odd publicist to help get the word out, but the bookings and management are all me. I spend all day coordinating tours and promoting shows. That sums up Monday – Thursday, 9-5. Evenings are spent writing and rehearsing. By Thursday night I’m out of town. Then I like to say “I drive for a living and sing for free.” I travel to wonderful and awful places and play music for people who sometimes appreciate it. Every once in awhile, I take myself to magical places like PEI and try to find a moment to feel inspired and take photos of red sand.
TC: Have you been or performed on PEI before? If yes, what made you want to come back? If you haven’t, what are you most excited to see or do when you arrive?
PM: Oh yeah! I love it here. I come to PEI twice a year. I have a few buds here that are the coolest, and not just because of the charming accent. Islanders have a very slick way of being, and yea I’m very much looking forward to the seafood.
TC: Who are some of your favorite composers, musicians, songwriters, and bands from the past and present?
PM: I’ve been listening to anything from Secret City or Constellation Records for far too long. I guess I just adore Montreal. My music doesn’t sound anything like that, but that seems to be the stuff I enjoy hearing. Also Jimi Hendrix for life. Oh, and on occasion I listen to The Beastie Boys.
TC: If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive who would it be?
PM: I want to write a song about planet earth with Vandana Shiva.
TC: What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career in music?
PM: Quit your job and never look back. Stomach the poverty for a couple years and you’ll feel like the most powerful human being who ever lived.
TC: Where can people find you on social media and where can they buy your albums?
PM: All my music is on iTunes so you can grab it there! You can follow me and keep up to date on:
TC: Anything else to add?
PM: Come to my show at UPEI Oct 20th! I’m on with local legend Tian Wigmore and it’s going to be a heck of a time.