I had the pleasure of sitting down with Joe & Anthony from Patent Pending, in what was a fun and longer than expected interview as we dwindled more in depth with random conversations. So, here are the key points we covered, with the most down to Earth band I have had the privilege to get to know over the years.
A hand full of albums and a ton of EP’s, and you finally made it, you’ve released a Greatest Hits album… sort of?
Joe: We did it! Can we just talk about how funny that is by the way? That title? [Patent Pending: Other Peoples Greatest Hits]
Enlighten us with what made you decide to do an album of other peoples ‘Greatest Hits’?
Anthony: I think covers are always fun, because building your own song is different from reworking a song that is already written.
J: We grew up listening to all that pop punk stuff, and really loved the cover albums by New Found Glory [From Your Screen To Your Stereo] and Less Than Jake [Greased]. When I was young I didn’t even know you were allowed to do that! I was a theatre kid when I was young, I knew all the Grease soundtrack so to hear it punk I was like “What is this?! How do I do this?” so it’s something we’ve always done, and always put in our shows, and it just makes perfect sense that we would do this. People says they’re shocked we did this and I’m thinking “How are you shocked? You know our band”. Anyway I love cover songs, and all the songs mean something to us except we didn’t know the Little Mix song? We had another song which wasn’t sitting well… It was Avril Lavigne [Skater Boi], it just didn’t go great. Boy Jumps Ship suggested I listen to Little Mix [Shout Out To My Ex], and I am obsessed with that song. So IMMEDIATELY that become the last song chosen for the record.
I’m guessing that was the most unexpected song that went on the record?
J: As far as most unexpected goes, yes…
A: Ricky Martin [Livin La Vida Loca]? That was pretty unexpected?
J: (Laughs) Livin La… Alright, so there was a couple of songs we started and didn’t finish. We did The Beatles [Hard Days Night], which we didn’t finish because it wasn’t respectful enough,they’re too good. We didn’t do a good enough cover to justify it making the record. We tried others, and they just didn’t click, we started with 173 choices by the way and the hardest part was whittling down choices.
A: Turns out there’s a lot of #1 singles in the world?
J: How are you supposed to listen to Beyoncé [Single Ladies] and be like “we’re not doing this”? I agonized over this for a full 2 days, but have you heard it? There is no music, just noises. Her voice alone makes you believe there is more going on she’s that damn good.
It’s been a year since last playing in the UK, how does it feel to be welcomed back by the Second Family?
A: It feels great, coming to the UK it’s like playing our hometown (New York) just different people. I love it. It’s amazing to come to somewhere after a year, across the big pond, and still have people that care and want to hear and hang out.
For someone who hasn’t experienced a Patent Pending show before, how would you explain it to them because personally it feels like a roller coaster of energy and fun times, mixed with emotional moments?
J: We’re only doing sad songs tonight. It’s going to be an hour and a half of crying, it’s going to be a mess. (Laughs) No, it is a roller coaster and I’ve been saying this recently when people ask why our music always sounds so different? It’s because this band is our life, and your life is not the same every day. There are fun days, sad days, happy days, silly days, angry days, stuff like that. So if the band is your life it will come out in your songs, and this is what happened here. So Patent Pending shows, the idea is that it’s all fun, but sometimes we are very serious about that.
What is your favourite song to play live?
A: We’re Freakin’ Out for selfish reasons, I love the drums in that song. Also Second Family because in a non-cheesy way you can feel the connection of the people in the room. That’s kind of awesome.
J: Okay, so I can say that it changes every night, but this one part in Let Go where it goes “Fuck you, fuck me” and then the whole crowd goes “FUCK YOU!”… I think that is funny every damn time. It is always not NOT funny.
Who has been your favourite band to tour with?
J: Dammit man, that stuffs really hard, but I got to answer it though because I don’t like things going unanswered
A: No comment
J: Okay, so here’s the deal… We’re the kind of band that is very adaptable. We met a lot of bands that weren’t. We’re not one of those bands that are difficult and we try not to be one of those bands. We get along with everyone, there has only been one time that I can think of and honestly, I do not remember their name but they were not nice Very rude, rude to our fans, the other bands fans, and I don’t like them. I truly do not remember their name, but they were dicks. Everyone else we have had such a wonderful experience with and most of them we keep in touch with on a daily basis. We love Boy Jumps Ship, we love Sweet Little Machines and we have just started touring with them. Lacey, The Bottom Line, Bowling For Soup, Catch 22… but I don’t know if there’s one… Whose the most fun? I think we’ve had the most fun days with Bowling For Soup.
A: I think some of my fondest memories have been with BFS, in the time we started touring with them here in the UK we grew.
The first time I seen you was on that BFS tour, and here we are now.
A: Never forget your first bro.
J: Then like, Set It Off, we are life long bros with those guys.
I am jealous of the Simple Plan & Set It Off shows you’re playing in US.
J: Come to the Las Vegas show and you can win all your money back and cover the expenses, that’s how Vegas works! Anyway, so here’s the answer to the question, ready? We’ve had the most fun on tour with Bowling For Soup. I do not know who my favourite one is, because it’s a serious tie? So here’s a way to break this tie… Simple Plan. We’ve never toured with them before, we spent one day on Warped Tour with them and did one date last month with them from which they invited us to tour with them in the Summer. The NICEST people, platinum record selling stars! They don’t even have to talk to us, but they went out of their way and were so kind inviting us on tour. So I’m going to say them for my answer, check back with me after and I can guarantee you I will stick by that answer.”
What is your direction for future albums, do you think you will go back to a straight-up pop punk record?
J: It’s a wildly difficult thing to say because you could say our next album is super heavy, but until you phone it in that can all change. I don’t like bands that are like “We’re going to sound like this” that’s bullshit. You want the honest truth about our albums? So, [Second Family] is a cohesive album, it makes sense together which is fun, it’s great and I love it. Again [Brighter] I have the same views, whereas [Riot Hearts Rebellion] has good songs, but the songs do not feel like an album but more like a collection of songs. So I will say that the next album I want to make sure we spend enough time to make it feel like an album and it’s not saying every songs going to sound the same, that would be lying and a very bad idea, but I want to make sure they flow well together.
I have some individual questions for each of you, [I managed to catch the rest of the band outside of the interviewing stage] Joe, originally the guitarist, and taken your brothers place, how did that feel?
J: We added a second guitarist and he was embarrassed of how good I am, so I had to stop playing guitar… Okay, I’m a terrible guitarist. I just like being on stage, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I like the attention. I’d love to bring him on tour with us and his band This Good Robot, but who’s going to look after the kids?! Michael has so many kids, and looks after mine while I’m on tour! I love him.
Anthony, you along with Joe are the only original Patent Pending members, how has it felt to see the band blossom into what it has become?
A: It’s been an interesting time for sure, we’ve been through so much, me and Joe specifically in the band and personal lives we have all the emotions, how does it feel now to be a part of it? It feels completely normal, it’s part of life like a brother I got at a time in life it’s just there now.
Do you feel the pressure from early Patent Pending to now where you have more responsibilities involving the member in control of all the samples being played at the right times?
A: I actually like that, I wish I was able to play it all but I don’t have enough hands?
J: Anthony has this new joke which I think is very funny, you should know this, Anthony’s quit the band like 4 times, and it’s never permanent, it’s always funny. His NEW joke is amazing, where he says “I’m not quitting, AND good luck replacing me” because all the track labels are titled incorrectly, so only he knows what they are.
Corey, we share some common things, both left handed bassists, both gamers. Imagine the scene from Scott Pilgrim Movie where they have that epic bass battle. If we had a bass-off, what would be your finisher move?
Corey: Wow, that movie is so good, I would say any song by Iron Maiden, for a big finisher.
Okay well I would end on a Final Fantasy victory theme.
J: [Whistles] That’s how you lost Corey.
Rob, reference from the track Classic You, you’re referred to as the “guy who looks like Billie Joe”… If you woke up one day as Billie Joe what would you’re first thought be?
Rob: I’d probably just hope that I had his talent!
Unfortunately Mark isn’t here so maybe you could answer this question. Due to the high demand of Patent Pending and being the tour manager of Zebrahead, does Mark have a home?
J: He has a home yes, a mailing address, a bed, a TV the size of the wall in his bedroom. What’s amazing is when he comes home for a week, he adds something to it like he lives there, like he bought this gigantic TV 2 years ago and probably only watched it 20 times, you open his door and it barely clears the television, it’s huge. So yeah he has a home. Mark is the most loyal, and friend driven person I have met, that he is kind of at home wherever he is, which is a beautiful thing. But his friends from home, I’ve never seen a group of people stay that close for that long, so whenever he is in his home area, he is with ALL of his friends at the same time”
What would be your dream show?
J: I would love to do a full production Broadway punk rock show, as our show. So a show, while we are playing the music.
A: Mine is… difficult. There’s so many bands, like were you can tour with them one day and then you’re like “Okay we’ve done that”… a tour, I guess… I’d like to watch Green Day every night, that would be great.
J: Opening for us or headlining?
A: “Maybe 1 of 5!”
Last question, where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
A: Celebrating the 5 year anniversary of you asking that question?
J: There it is, and we’re done. Okay, so in 5 years, we just want to make sure we’re happy so as long as this band keeps making us happy, that’s what we will be doing. But I imagine myself being very happy in 5 years.
A: 5 years from now I imagine we will still be doing what we love doing, and I believe that will be Patent Pending.”
J: I agree with that. WAIT, I take that back, 5 years from now, 3 of 5 on the Green Day package!
Well thank you for your time guys, as always giving all the time you can.
J: It’s been an absolute pleasure!
It has been an honor to spend 30 minutes interviewing a band I can genuinely call the most down to Earth people, and I look forward to their future returns to the UK. Check out Patent Pending‘s latest album Other Peoples Greatest Hits which is available everywhere which is released 26th May.