The Montreal-based band Patrick Watson is building some serious steam in the music industry.
The four-piece is touring relentlessly and their new record, Adventures in Your Own Backyard, is garnering attention not only in Canada but also in the United States and Europe. Needless to say, things are pretty peachy in the world of Patrick Watson. BeatRoute had the opportunity to chat with the eponymous frontman from the comfort of an animation studio in Montreal.
“We’re knee deep in a wet stop-motion animation jungle. It’s like a Jim Henson porno in space!” says Watson in a giddy voice seconds after picking up the phone. In his spare time, Watson enjoys finding projects where he can explore other musical platforms. He is currently working on the score for a French-Canadian film called Cauchmar.
When he isn’t scoring animated space pornos, Watson performs around the world bringing awe-inspiring musical displays to all those who are wise enough to attend a show.
“The most important thing is the presence of being on stage. At festivals you work a lot harder, the bigger the stage, the harder you work as a frontman. Everything becomes exaggerated a bit more in order to have the same effect.” Watson explains.
It is obvious that live performances reign supreme for Patrick Watson. “You get this little tingly feeling in your stomach when something is really special, you know? And that’s a combination of not just how you’re playing, but the mood of the audience, the timing of the show. It’s kind of something you can’t control,” says Watson. “You can go onstage and hope for that little tingle to happen, but I think on really special nights there’s something that tingles at the bottom of your belly and you know that something magical is happening.”
Adventures in Your Own Backyard diverts from the band’s three previous albums that are known for their experimental sound and noise interludes that sometimes last up to eight minutes. This album is more refined and simple, yet still channels the loud, dreamy qualities that the band is recognized for.
“The tone of the record came from a trip we did through Utah in the desert. This crazy guy came up to us one day and he asked: ‘Are you guys aliens?!’ I told him, ‘No,’” Watson says, imitating a loud Southern accent. “He was really serious too; I couldn’t believe what was coming out of this guy’s mouth, it was like a Cohen Brothers moment.”
“Then the man says: ‘You guys are the avatars of humanity! Just ask your instruments for the song, just ask the piano– Give me the song I need!’” says Watson in the same Southern accent. “Then the guy jetted off into a Jeep and we got back into our van and put on Ennio Morricone while we drove through the desert. I think that day kind of stuck in our heads. That’s where that country-western, big-trumpet aspect of the record came from.”
Though things are going extremely well for the band there is still one problem that resonates throughout their career, that is, the band name itself.
“The one thing I’ve noticed that I think is really starting to hurt us now is that people who like bands that are sort of similar to us get scared away and think our band is a singer-songwriter thing,” Watson explains. “Of all the time in our whole career it’s hurting us now the most. The name Patrick Watson, it just sounds like he’s going to be singing some folk song. People have a misconception and it steers them away.”
You can check out Patrick Watson on November 15th at The Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts.
By Natalie Bridgewater