interview by Michael McCarthy
Recently Century Media Records sent me Otherwise’s new record, Peace At All Costs. As I listened to it, loving every minute of it, I could not figure out just what genre or sub-genre of metal they were. I remember going to bed thinking I’d just call them post nu metal in my review. But then I decided not to because at this point I think any association with nu metal is bad for the new bands. Simply put, nu metal described the majority of metal that came out several years ago now and the characteristics of that breed’s style are not present in Otherwise’s music. Not at all. So, I finally figured I’d just call them metal. Keep it nice and simply. Then I found out that I could interview frontman Adrian Patrick and I was relieved. Instead of writing a review where I struggled to compare them to other artists and various genres, I could simply ask Adrian himself what the band considers themselves to be. And it turns out it’s not even metal!
If you haven’t picked up Otherwise’s new album, Peace At All Costs, then I highly recommend that you do. It’s chock full o’ killer songs with catchy hooks pouring out of their sonorous, energetic guitars every minute or two. If not more often. (This is infectious and posiitive stuff.) Trust me, whether you like metal, hard rock, alternative or whatever. If you just plain love rock ‘n’ roll, that’s the spirit that embodies Peace At All Costs in my eyes. Now, onto the interview where we discuss the album, the band’s writing process and many other things.
How does the songwriting process go in your band? (Who writes the music? Who writes the lyrics?”)
– I would say the majority of the musical ideas begin with either my brother Ryan or myself, with most of those coming from him. Corky plays a big role in the development of tunes & then Vassillios & Andy will add the finishing touches. The bulk of the instrumental compositions are written by the band with my brother leading them; I write 99.9% of the lyrics.
How difficult was it to write the songs on Peace At All Costs?
– I suppose that the songs were 50/50, as far as how difficult they were to create. Some came together very quickly while others were demoed out half a dozen times; depends on the song. But the overall process for the album was extremely fun & easy!
One of the things that really stands out with this album is how positive the lyrics are. I must admit I haven’t heard your whole catalogue, so I am wondering if this is something new, if this album is deliberately more positive than your previous records?
– In a way, yes it is. But we’ve always tried to imbue a sense of hope with our message of Light Through Darkness. As a band & as individuals, we have been though some serious tragedies; we want our listeners to know that they are not alone in their struggles, that someone, somewhere in the world, knows what they may be going through.
Not only are the songs on Peace At All Costs very positive, I found them very inspiring, very motivational. After listening to it for the first time I began rewriting my latest screenplay, Broken Up, about a hair band god whose band officially breaks up and then his life at home proves much more difficult than his life on the road. Anyway, your album didn’t inspire the subject matter for the script — I’d already had the concept — but it definitely motivated me to get started on the rewrite I’m doing, so thanks for that. Getting to my question, I was wondering if you made it a point to make this album not just positive but motivational/inspirational?
– That is very cool to hear, your script concept sounds like a very interesting story! Well again, our goal is to inspire anyone & everyone who is open to our movement. If people feel better after listening to our music, then that means we made the world a better place, even if only minutely & temporarily… it means we made some kind of difference & that is our mission objective.
Who or what inspires and motivates you?
– Life… and our family.
One of your new songs is called “Demon Fighter.” If you don’t mind my asking, what sort of demons do you personally have to fight?
– Everyone has some sort of personal demons, whether they admit it or not. In the band, we’ve all individually struggled with either addictions or personality disorders. Personally, I’ve grown up with a very negative self-image, for whatever reason. My parents support me wholeheartedly in everything I do & even when I am successful at things, sometimes it’s still not enough to satisfy my own soul. A lot of anger is born out of that kind of mind state. But I guess it is a double-edged sword, because it never allows me to become complacent… for so long, my demons have been the ones stoking my fire. It’s time to give my Better Angels a shot at the job.
What are your plans to tour for Peace At All Costs?
– We have a national headline run beginning September 11 in Phoenix; we’re taking out Islander & our label-mates Like A Storm. It’s a great package of the new school in Rock n Roll!
How many interviews are you doing on the average day lately? And what’s the strangest question someone has asked you?
– I do a handful a week, be it phoners or written ones (like this). Thankfully, I haven’t been asked anything too weird… YET 😉
In all of the e-mails from your publicist regarding the new album they don’t show the album cover. Rather, they show a cover that appears to be from a “Darker Side of The Moon” single. Have they finally unveiled the actual album cover yet? And have you (the band) and the label been deliberately holding off on revealing the cover?
– No, we haven’t done that deliberately. But I can tell you that the image is very gritty & true-to-life; it is an extremely genuine representation of the band & Peace At All Costs.
You’ve toured with quite a few bands that people would call nu metal. What genre do you consider your music to be?
– We are by NO means a metal band. We consider ourselves to be the Nu School in Hard Alternative Rock.
Do people label you nu metal? If so, is that something that doesn’t phase you or do you take it as an insult? (I think I’d probably be insulted, given how shitty so many nu metal bands are.)
– We don’t usually take it as an insult, but unfortunately in the Nu Metal & Active Rock genres, there are, with out a doubt, a lot of mediocre acts. We just hope to distinguish ourselves from the pack, through our performances & our personal beliefs. Some critics may not think we sound different as a band; but we KNOW we are different as people.
Your band is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. What’s the musical climate like there? What sort of music are the younger guys playing?
– At one point in the Vegas valley there was a plethora of heavier bands running through the local circuit. I couldn’t even tell you what the younger cats sound like now, we’ve been on the road so long.
How popular are you in Vegas? Do they treat you like you’re their hometown band? If not, who do they give that role to then?
– Yes, we get a lot of love from the denizens of Sin City. It is, of course, our favorite village to play in! The people of this place have stuck with us through thick & thin, they believed in us from day one. We are lucky to have the support system that we do, out here in our little Devil’s Town.
Is it true that you had amassed a fan base before Otherwise even existed, from going on the road with other bands and singing duets with them? Speaking of which, who were you the most comfortable singing with?
– I’ve actually only done one duet & OTHERWISE was indeed in existence. The song is called “The Promise” & you can find it on In This Moment’s third album, “A Star-Crossed Wasteland.” I was very fortunate to get that opportunity, as a lot of the fans I garnered from that experience have become loyal Wise Ones.
And, now, a few random questions from our questions bank:
Have you been asked to do a musical? Would you consider doing one?
– Not yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I would love to play Bane in the Batman musical!
Who’s your all-time favorite music producer?
– After working with him, I’ve got to go with David Bottrill. It was an absolute pleasure being in the studio with him & I truly hope we can do it again in the future!
Name five of your favorite movies, books, albums or TV shows.
– My all-time favorite book is The Death & Life of Bobby Z by Don Winslow; my favorite tv show is probably Californication with David Duchovny; as far as movies go, there are too many to mention, but I am very partial to Boondock Saints. My brother & I are half Irish & would love to rid this world of evil men.