Otherwise’s Adrian Patrick: We ‘Felt Like Our Backs Were Against the Wall’ With Redemptive ‘Sleeping Lions’ Album [Interview]
The ten-year mark can be a big time for bands and having surpassed that mark in 2016, Otherwise are in a state of transition and growth, setting up their future with one of their strongest albums to date. We recently spoke with Otherwise frontman Adrian Patrick, who took a break from daddy duty to delve deep on the band's new album, Sleeping Lions.
Patrick calls Sleeping Lions a redemption album that borrows quite a bit from their own journeys over the last couple of years. He also discusses the addition of the band's two newest members, the stories behind some of the new album's key tracks, getting a chance to write and work with both Korn's Jonathan Davis and Sevendust's Clint Lowery and their fall touring with Red and 10 Years. Plus, the Las Vegas-based Patrick, who contributed a football column to Loudwire a few years back, shared his thoughts on the future arrival of the Raiders to his hometown. Check out the chat below.
Hey Adrian, good to talk again.
Thank you buddy, dirty diapers over here. Elbow deep in.
Oh no! Thanks for taking the time. Loving what I'm hearing from Sleeping Lions, great record with the potential to go deep.
Thank you, that means a lot coming from you. Loudwire, you guys have given us a platform on several occasions. Dude that's cool, I’ve got to tell you how grateful we are for that.
Did you have an idea of what you wanted to do going into this album or did it just kind of come together working with the guys?
Yeah, I just have to say it was a bit nebulous. My brother and I didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know who was coming down the pipe you know. We've been through so much both personally and professionally. Our new guys, Tony [Carboney] and Brian [Medeiros] really stepped up to the plate and helped us to kind of remember why we love rock and roll.
Our producer, Bob Marlette, he said to me that he wanted to make a record that was ambitious and that was different from all the other rock records he's been doing for the past 20 years. I'm paraphrasing him but that was right out of the horse's mouth, you know. If you listen to the album in hindsight, you'll know it's kind of a story of redemption. It's the subject matter of the songs and that's kind of where our mindset was. My brother and I felt like our backs were up against the wall. We didn't know if we were still going to have a record deal. We didn't know if we were going to tour again. We didn't really know anything man but we knew that we still have a lot to say. And thankfully we were given another opportunity to get our message out there man, and just try to spread this notion that there’s always hope no matter how bleak it gets, how dismal it may seem. There’s always hope. I'll tell you what man, the redemption too is really good, especially within the state` of experiences as we are right now.
You mentioned in there Tony and Brian coming into the band since the last album. What have they brought to the band and the process of putting this album together.
Tony's first show was in December of 2014 and then he’s been with us for several years. Tony is a multi-instrumentalist and he's amazing across the board. He plays guitar, piano, he plays the flute, for God's sake, and he's good at all of them you know. He can play drums, he can play the violin.
Brian, he was actually in the running for the drummer spot back in 2010. When I was touring with him in In This Moment on Mayhem Festival, I was singing the duet with Maria [Brink] called "The Promise." But Brian, he was a young kid at the time -- only 18 or 19, I think.
The biggest contribution besides the amazing talent, artistry and creativity they bring -- it's just that they just have really good attitudes. They are just, at their cores, they are good dudes, you know. They don't have huge egos, they’re not a--holes. [laughs] You know my brother and I have enough a--hole amongst us for everybody in the band. We don't need four a--holes in a band. These two guys, they really reminded us again why we love to rock and roll.
They are kind of that grinder personally and professionally like us. They instilled in us this fervor and this vigor of wanting to do what we do. I think it translates a lot into the music and this album and what I've noticed, especially on this headlining tour we did this past summer the Close to the Gods Tour 2017, is that people are taking note of it.
Longtime fans are going, 'That’s the best show I've ever seen you guys do. You guys look like you’re having so much fun and I can feel it.' It's been positive across the board. We were hearing people saying, 'You guys are a new band! What's going on!' Well, we just actually enjoy being onstage and touring with our bandmates and enjoy being on the road with them. We like their company, they're actually -- we can actually call them friends. It’s a long time since I think my brother and I could call our bandmates friends.
Right on. You mentioned the love of getting out there and playing live. This album is crackling with energy. It feels like the live show was definitely a factor in putting this material together.
Yeah, absolutely we always want to be able to duplicate on stage what we do in the studio. And you know a big question for us as well was how do we go forward as a four-piece? We've historically been a five-piece band. My brother always writes the guitar parts for every song, so how can we do that and still convey that same energy?
Again it just comes down to the guys you are onstage with. They make it so much more enjoyable that you just keep writing. But with the fans, I’m talking about like longtime fan, like people have seen us even before we were signed, we're getting a lot of 'I'm just blown away by the intensity, the passion, the fervor.'
It's very evident that we’re enjoying ourselves onstage, especially with these new songs. We were like blown away by how they've been received. It's always scary things playing a song nobody's ever heard of or heard before, but then by the end of the song halfway through the second chorus they're singing the words already.
We witnessed that night after night after night this past summer. I just can't wait for this album to come out so people actually can still be familiar and they'll know the tunes. Again, you’ve given the albums kudos and that's pretty much what we’ve gotten across the board from all the early reviews. This is a really solid piece of work we’ve put out, and thankfully, it’s really translating live.
Getting into the album here a little bit. "Angry Heart" seems to be taking off. I saw your quote that "Anger is a gift if utilized properly." If you want to expand on that and discuss the origins of the track.
It's our first single, it's the album opener. It was inspired by an interview that I saw the that was done by the MMA fighter Cris Cyborg, she's the women’s bantamweight UFC champion currently, I think. For a long time, she was that fighter in the women's division that nobody wanted to fight because she was unknown, she wasn’t a household name, but she was just as good if not better than all of these big name fighters, and she finally got a shot.
She proved herself and she won the belt and in this interview, I was flying coast-to-coast from New York to LA and I’m watching the in-flight entertainment, and she says basically if you know me, I’m a very good person, I'm a very nice person outside of the ring. I don't know why I fight with such an angry heart.
And that really just resonated with me because that’s how my brother I feel every time you step on a stage. No only are we big fans of MMA and combat sports, we partake and enjoy and do it recreationally and that is part of that same ethos in our performances, and it’s a great way to set the stage for the record.
Especially where we're at right now mentally, we want to come out swinging you know. Again, like you said, this anger is a gift if you use it right. So for a long time my brother and I were consumed by it. We kind of emulate ourselves with our own fire and burn bridges left and right and because we're consumed with you rising against this machine, whatever that machine might be.
For a long time we wanted to prove all of the naysayers and the non-believers, you want to prove them wrong. You want to f--kin' shove it in their face, get it on the air and be like, 'No, we ARE a good man, we are cool, we are just good and blah f--k you.' But now our mindset has changed to where it’s that we want to continue to prove it to all the people who have believed in us since day one. We want to prove those people right, and we just like how hard that anger is. This theory, maybe you get from our Irish ancestors, but we want to focus it and use it for something positive instead of letting it just go unchecked and unbridled.
I know you've shot a video for "Angry Heart" as well but I haven't seen it yet at this point... [Editor's Note: Loudwire will exclusively premiere the video this Friday (Sept. 22)]
It’s about to be released. We actually just sent in and we get the first edit back this weekend. We just sent them some notes some minor edits here and there.
Again, for us, it is very true to life. My wife played by my co-star, she's the female lead in the in the video and without giving away too much you know it's very true to life and it's turned out really good. I was actually surprised by how cool it is but I also feel really exposed.
There's some part that isn't acting. It's like it’s real life and it's a great analogy of the director’s vision. Mike Watts, he used the storyline of the lyrics of the song and he created this analogy of the struggle between family life and how this is a calling to rock and roll. They did a really good job of executing it and putting it down on film and I'm excited. Everybody thinks it's really cool, so I’m like let's just give you a couple a little tweaks here and there and let’s go with that.
I have to ask you about this. You had a chance to write with Jonathan Davis of Korn on the title track ...
Yes, you are correct sir. We were blessed to be able to. The stars aligned where he was at a studio in Bakersfield and we were two hours away in L.A., and our schedules were open. He expressed interest and of course we were like, 'Hell yeah.' Tony, our bass player, is a multi-instrumentalist and he was playing this riff on the guitar, and it’s just cool man. It's aggressive, it's in your face, it's really interesting. It kind of made me think of Rage Against the Machine a little bit, you know. And we took it to Jonathan and he helped me out with some melodies and these lyrics just jumped right out of me. We're very excited about that song because it's unique. It's a unique, aggressive, melodic hard alternative rock song.
I'm very proud of it -- same with "Angry Heart" -- especially the lyrical content and subject matter. When you hear a heavy riff, you're thinking here we go, there's another meathead acting butt rock bang for all those other guys who want to beat each other up in the mosh pit, but it's really like very spiritual and poetic and I'm very proud of it.
Listening in, there's a little "no, no, no" delivery that feels very Jonathan-like in there. It feels like there's some of his mark in there.
It was great, it was awesome because working with him and his engineer, his engineer was like, 'Dude you kinda sound like Jonathan. Your voice, you both have very unique voices.' And we kind of liked some melodies that he gave us. My voice suits that very well you know.
That’s perfect. And also you had a chance to work with Clint Lowery on "Weapons."
"Angry Heart" is our fight song and if "Sleeping Lions" is our protest song, "Weapons" is a song that's basically social commentary. We were in New York City in Manhattan and one of the major shootings had just happened. That shooting was kind of what we used as the impetus to create that song, that as humans we are weapons of either destruction or creation. Political beliefs notwithstanding, a gun is an inanimate object. It doesn't become deadly until it’s in the hands of a human being. That's kind of what we viewed in that song for the lyrical content.
Before we end, I want to ask about the upcoming tour with RED and 10 Years. That’s a great package for you guys. If you want to talk a little about the two bands you’re going to go on tour with.
Dude, I'm so stoked about this tour because we’re really good friends with the guys in 10 Years but we've also toured with both 10 Years and RED in the past separately and both of those tours were very successful. The guys in RED are super cool and both bands are artistic bands. They're just more middle slightly left of center in the active rock box, and they're highly creative and also have a spiritual side to what they're saying.
For us to be included in that kind of company, it’s kind of like finding where you want to be at and it feels really good. Some of the rooms that are listed on the tour manifesto they're really they’re top notch rooms and we feel lucky enough to step onstage in them.
I was just told yesterday from management that the pre-sales are really strong already for this run. So all three bands, we’re all going to have new albums out I think within a month of each other and all during that run so it’ll be a good thing for rock and roll fans throughout North America.
I looked at your pledge campaign and one thing kind of stood out to me there was bar hopping in Las Vegas with the band. I know you're Vegas boys. Can you talk a little about maybe what a night out might entail in terms of bar hopping in Vegas for you guys?
Oh man, we're born and raised out there me and my brother. It's our village. Just because we're lucky enough to grow up in such a unique place we know all of our good friends are people who get s--t done out there. We know all of the cool spots that the locals go to that are outside of the touristy things. It's really up to the Pledge campaigners on what they want to do. Do they want to go do a pub type crawl where we can go and visit our favorite bartenders and do something like that? Or do they want to do something a little more "rock star" and go to some of the night clubs. We can get them to where they won't have to wait in line, there's no cover charge. It's the VIP treatment so to speak.
I'm excited about that because it'll be a good showcase for our hometown because we're so proud of being from there. I hate to sound like a whiney little brat but our friends in Imagine Dragons and some of the other guys like The Killers, Neon Trees, the more poppy sounding bands are what people think of when they think of Vegas. There's also this other side to Vegas that my brother and I know very well that might be a little more gritty or more visceral -- a little more, I don’t know, rock and roll.
I know your love for football from your weekly picks blog that you used to do each week for us. I have to ask about your Las Vegas Raiders that are coming to town.
[laughs] Dude, I'll be very frank with you, Chad. I'm a little nervous, dude. I've always repped Vegas but you know, maybe not that team. I don’t know man. It's gonna be real interesting. Vegas is a kind of strange and I know that the Raider nation is a fanbase that is very strange, so I don’t know what to expect. I'm hoping. I know it's gonna make for some great parties for damn sure. And plus, the Raiders have a pretty solid roster, right?
With the birth of my two boys in the past few years I haven't been able to follow as closely as I once did. But, from what I've read it sounds like the team itself is pretty stacked. I'm just curious to see the community, how they'll handle and embrace the Raider Nation and vice versa. So yeah, I'm excited about it. I'm a little nervous about it, but hey, that's what the best things are in life, right?
Our thanks to Otherwise's Adrian Patrick for the interview. The band's new album, 'Sleeping Lions,' will be released this Friday (Sept. 22), and you'll also be able to catch the exclusive premiere of the "Angry Heart" video here at Loudwire the same day. You can pre-order the disc via their Pledge Music page or iTunes and Amazon and keep an eye out for the band on tour with RED and 10 Years at these locations.
Otherwise, "Angry Heart"