Up-and-coming country artist Patrick Wilson chats to RSOM about moving to Melbourne, performing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and the launch of his new single Nobody.
J: Hey Patrick, welcome to RSOM! If you don’t mind, I’ll just get you to start the interview off by giving me a bit about your background?
P: “I am 24 years old, and originally from the Victorian town of Geelong. I’m an alt-country, singer-songwriter, and I am now based in Melbourne. Prior to pursuing music, I was working as a butcher, and I absolutely hated it. Now I’m playing music, and I love it. I teach music at a few primary schools in Melbourne, and it’s a real honour getting to impart some of my knowledge. I know I still look up to music teachers/mentors that I’ve had in the past.”
J: You’ve been playing music around the Geelong and Melbourne regions for quite some time now. How did your journey as a musician begin?
P: “When I was about 12, I saw my cousin playing drums in a band and I knew I wanted to do that. As reluctant as my parents were, they bought me a drum kit and my love for music grew from there. I left high school to study a diploma of music, and by that stage I had picked up the guitar and had started writing my own songs. I started playing around Geelong and was trying to juggle working and performing, until I decided to seriously pursue it. I quit my job and moved to Melbourne, and I haven’t looked back.”
J: What drew you to the country music scene?
P: “I really loved singing and playing country songs. It was great when I first started learning the guitar, because all I needed to learn was 3 chords and then could sing most Johnny Cash songs. I attended the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 201,3 and that cemented my passion for country music. I have really loved being apart of the country music scene in Melbourne.”
J: Where in your music career did you begin to write your own music?
P: “I started writing songs about a year after I picked up the guitar, most of them were very simple 3 chord songs but I got a lot of my lyrical content from friends and family and I found it was a great outlet. It was a different creative expression to drums, I felt like I connected with people more and I wanted to keep improving. I built on my skills and repertoire through getting out there, playing open mic nights and networking with other musicians was great for gaining more confidence and knowledge to help improve.”
J: Do you have a particular method or process you use when songwriting?
P: “I don’t have one method that I always use, it changes depending how I’m feeling really but I like to start with either a melody or a particular mood I want to capture with the music first and then put words to it. Other days I may be feeling particularly passionate about a subject and will scribble something down but the music or melody never comes. I have a few note books of lyrics that I haven’t put any music to but I do pick little parts or rhymes occasionally that I like and use them so it’s good to always have that when I hit a block I can’t get past. “
J: Are there any themes you tend to find yourself writing about often?
P: “I often write about heartbreak or love, because it’s something all people can connect with on some level. You also you can’t have a country song without heartbreak.”
J: Looking at your new single, Nobody, what was the writing and recording process for this?
P: “At the time I was listening to a lot of Van Morrison and Roy Orbison, so they really influenced the sound I was wanting to go for. It was great arranging the tracks and writing the horn parts to really try and capture that 70s sound. It was a task I set myself- to see whether I could write and record something that had that sound that I was absolutely mad for. I feel like I achieved that.”
J: Who are the musicians that you look up to and take inspiration from?
P: “There are so many, and I find news artist who I look up to every day. One artist who has always been an influence to me would be Paul Kelly. His lyrics are so personal. He can make you laugh, cry and give you cooking tips. He is constantly working with new musicians, which I think is what keeps his sound so fresh, but at the same time It’s timeless.”
J: How does your mindset as an artist change when creating music as a solo artist, in comparison to when you’re with your band?
P: “Well all the songs I write, I write them on guitar or piano. I then think that if they can stand on their own with just me, then adding a band should be easy. When the band has their input it’s great, because you get to bounce ideas off other people, and work out ways to enhance the song and fill in gaps.”
J: What was it like performing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, considering Tamworth is the home of country music in Australia?
P: “The playing side was great fun, the people up there just love country music and are so supportive of the musicians there. But, having to battle unbearable heat during the day and fix up our campsite after it blew away at night proved to be very challenging for the two weeks we were there. I suppose that’s character building.”
J: Your upcoming EP is entitled Anywhere with a Rooftop, are you able to give RSOM an insight into the concept behind the EP?
P: “There isn’t really concept behind the EP. It’s a collection of songs I’ve written over the past two to three years. That’s why there is a broad range of genres on the record, each song comes from a different point in my life. It’s nice to get them out there finally to show the world.”
J: Aside from the single launch, what are your hopes with the release of the EP?
P: “Next year I’m planning to pack up everything, live out of a van and travel around Australia playing shows. I’m glad I’ve got this EP to take with me everywhere, and I’m excited to see where my travels take me and what adventures will come my way.”
Written by Jordyn Hoekstra.