Q&A with Patrick Galactic
By Matt Ashworth
Earlier this year, Abe Beeson wrote about two songs from Patrick Galactic in our #PromoteThis series and called the Tacoma singer/songwriter “a musician to watch.” I did just that, first checking out more of his solo stuff, then by revisiting his work with Death By Stars and finally by inviting him to open our yearly Metalween night. I also had a chance to meet Pat and find out more about him.
NadaMucho.com: Hey man, how’s it going?
Patrick Galactic: It’s busy, which is good. The last thing anyone around me wants is for me to be still. That’s when the crazy comes.
NM: Fair enough. What do you do when you’re not making music?
PG: I listen to a ton of music. I’m addicted to the Bandcamp app on my phone. I co-host Grit Rock and True Fidelity, two internet radio shows broadcast on NWCZRadio.com in Tacoma. I read about random shit on Wikipedia (recent topics include Nikola Tesla, Clara Rockmore, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and David Lynch). I Netflix. I yell at my cats. I apologize to my cats. That kind of stuff.
NM: We gotta ask… what happened with Death By Stars? “Creative differences?”
PG: We just didn’t want the same things anymore. It was hard to accept; we all poured everything we had into DBS for four years. I have nothing but love for Cherry Danger and Juan El Revelator and I’m very proud of what we did. There were no problems creatively, though. At the end of the day, we wrote some great stuff that I hope will be remembered.
NM: Can you catch us up on a bit of history too? What were you up to before DBS? Are you a Tacoma native?
PG: I am a Tacoman. I love the community here. It’s big enough to have its own newspaper (at least for now) and small enough to where you feel like you know everyone.
I’ve played music for 20 years. I’ve been gigging in bands since I was 15. Rock’n’roll has been my guiding light since the first time I saw The Monkees on Nickelodeon in ’85 or ’86. I was at Pearl Jam’s “Drop in the Park” show in Magnuson as a 12-year old with my Dad. I haven’t ever wanted to do anything else.
NM: After the band split it didn’t take you long to post some solo songs on bandcamp and start playing shows. I assume these were in progress already?
PG: I played quite a few solo acoustic shows in between DBS gigs over the years. It was kind of my “vacation gig,” just for fun. But I wrote a ton of stuff during that time that we didn’t or couldn’t use in DBS so it was a natural direction for me to go. I recorded “Dumb Luck” and “Don’t Make Me” in a couple days just after the band split. I’ve got a bunch of tracks in the can and more in the works so it’s going to be a steady drip of new songs for the foreseeable future.
NM: The mix of electronic sounds with rock instruments and songwriting was a big part of what worked about Death By Stars. Are you excited to get back to an acoustic and let the songs speak for themselves? Or are you working on a new band?
PG: Definitely no new band but I’d love to do some collaboration. I’m very fortunate to be friends with a lot of Seattle and Tacoma’s best musicians and hope to collaborate with as many of them as possible. I’ve already worked with Brenden Smith from Clearly Beloved; he wrote some beautiful viola parts for my tracks.
As far as sounds, I’ve always been drawn to vocal-driven music with a strong pop sensibility. Whether it’s electro-rock with tons of textures like Death By Stars or me alone onstage with an acoustic, that’s what I’m going to write. And either way, it’s going to be in a minor key, highly melodic and dark.
NM: Are you working on a proper album? An EP?
PG: Yes but it won’t be out for a while. Since I’m still sorting out the musical direction, recording is mostly for experimental purposes right now. I’m writing and playing out a lot. I’ve got a bunch of shows booked. It’s taken a while to get comfortable on stage doing what I’m doing now.
NM: Cool. You have a couple of Seattle shows in December too right?
PG: Yeah I’ll be joined by Brad Yaeger, Mark Gilday Jr. and Old Radio at The High Dive this Tuesday, December 16 for Sad Bastard Tuesday. It’s a singer-songwriter kind of event, it should be great. Brad and I are currently competing to see who’s songs are most depressing. I’m a big fan of his, we’re both going to raise the stakes and play our little black hearts out.
And yes, I’ll be hosting the High Dive’s New Year’s Eve Bash. I’m so excited. Ever So Android, Vibragun, C-Leb and the Kettle Black, and Dirty Dirty will be playing. We’ve got a lot of stuff in the works to make it a really special occasion. I’ll be shooting the shit with the crowd, performing and maybe even joining a few of the bands on stage. It’s definitely a “one time only” kind of thing.
NM: We’re hearing more and more coming out of Tacoma. What’s going on down there?
PG: Tacoma is a really diverse city, musically. We’re known for strong metal and punk scenes but there’s so much more than that going on. Coma Figura is a great bedroom pop band that’s got a new album coming out soon. The Fame Riot are a young electro-pop band that I’ve known and respected for a long time. Umber Sleeping is T-Town royalty, an explosion of synth-y psychedelic dream-pop. They just reunited after a long break. Swoon Records is a Tacoma label that’s released a lot of great records by bands in the area like The Wheelies, People Under the Sun, The Nightgowns, Makeup Monsters and many others. NWCZ Radio broadcasts from Tacoma, shows like Grit Rock and True Fidelity have done a ton to expose the world to the city’s past and present bands. There are a lot of people working hard to facilitate the scene down here.