Dave Patten Interview

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I’m sure you know a lot of artists who record their own material. But how many artists do you know that create their music entirely on their own from start to finish? Dave Patten is one of those rare people; he writes his own songs, produces them, plays a plethora of instruments, and synchronizes “each aspect of his tracks to the exact specifications of his creative vision.” From start to finish, there’s not one ounce of his music that he doesn’t play a role in. And here’s the kicker, he even directs movies and music videos through his own production company, South 9 Entertainment.

Dave Patten describes his music as “a pop-acoustic rock hybrid. A little bit of Maroon 5 mixed with Jason Mraz and John Mayer. I work with Meek and Wale so it applies to hip-hop as well.” It’s something “you just have to listen and see.” And I can concur with that statement because those influences can definitely be heard in his music. When you’re not being captivated by his charming good looks, you’re tapping your feet and singing along with his infectious tunes.

What’s Dave up to when he’s not working on music?
Living!!!! One of the perks of a high profile career is that it makes going out a whole lot of fun, and my crew is awesome.

Dave Patten
Dave describes himself and talks about his history.
When I was a senior in high school I put out my first album. My high school was really supportive, and I sold 1,000 of the 1,000 CDs I printed up. That was really when I knew something could come of chasing a music career. Five years later I’ve put out six albums, my most recent being “Exposure”. My music videos online have just broken 10 Million views, five of which are on MTV. Hard work pays off! But let me repeat, it’s been five years [laughs]

You just released a sixth album! That’s a point in any musician’s career that can be hard to get to. How do you feel about being able to get this far?
I love it, I love writing music and putting out albums. I have enough songs for a seventh already but I’m holding out for label reasons that I can’t really disclose, but it’s a good thing. I love putting on shows, having twitter followers and hardcore fans to talk with. It’s great that my music can reach so many people and that so many people enjoy it!

When it comes to writing, is it more natural for the lyrics or the music to come out?
Music comes first, every single time.

What kind of feedback have you been getting on “Echo”? Can you tell us about the mindset you were in when writing this song?
I wrote Echo pretty literally. At the time I was trying to date this girl that I’m just about in love with and I was scared about screwing up the first little hangout. She makes me nervous [laughs]

Dave Patten

You sing, write, produce and direct, it’s obvious you have a lot of side projects going on. How do you juggle them all and keep from burning out?
Every project (song, video) is a new project so it never gets boring, and I have fortunately been able to flip what I did in my spare time into a career, so I don’t really work a day in my life, as the saying goes.

You recently played a show in NYC. Not only that, but there were scouts from major record labels. How was that?
Awesome! I’m at the point where I don’t get nervous about anything like that, I just get excited and pumped up to kill it.

A lot of musicians nowadays aren’t turning to labels anymore and are making their music on their own which is possible with programs like Pro Tools. You’ve been doing things independently but now you’re showcasing for labels. Can you talk about the change?
I produce and engineer my music on Pro Tools, and have since I started so that won’t change. What changes is the potential reach to fans. The independent path is tough, and most “success stories” aren’t as “independent” as you’d think. There’s always VC money or some kind of financial push behind it. Labels are essentially a bank. As much as I love selling out my own shows that I put on independently, I’d love to sell out Madison Square Garden too.

Dave Patten

You obviously know the pros and cons of joining a label but you decided that if you do, it’s going to be on your terms. Will you be doing something of a 50/50 deal? And why did you choose to do things this way?
I could write a 25 page paper on what terms I’m going to be looking for. 50/50 is a vague example, as it depends on what money is being pulled. I’ll disclose all of the details on my blog when it goes through (if I’m legally allowed to), but for now, it’ll be a good one.

I hear a new album is coming out fall 2011, how is that going and what can we expect from it?
Hmmmm better check your sources. I have enough material for an album but I can’t guarantee it’ll be out this fall.

How have the live shows been going? How have fans reacted to the live music?
People love live shows, it’s a lot of fun. Crowd is singing my lyrics, dancing, having a good time. I know I’m having fun up on stage [laughs]

Dave’s last message for fans:
You guys are awesome, thank you!


Photo Credit: Dave Patten

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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (She's basically a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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