INTERVIEW: PAT BROWN (FORMERLY IN SING IT LOUD)
When the former pop- rock band Sing It Loud moved their separate ways in fall of 2010, Pat Brown (lead singer) didn’t let that stop him from chasing his dreams. He has since started a new project under the name of Good Problems and has released an EP entitled “I’m Changing My World,” and you can look for another new EP by him this year. He recently started DJing and Tour Managing with his friend Mod Sun, working as a drum tech for bands, and is a producer / engineer at Blooming Sounds Studios.
Tell us a little about yourself. What have you been up to since the Sing It Loud days?
My name is Pat Brown. I am a singer / songwriter and I also DJ and perform with Mod Sun.
You are in many different areas of the music industry; Singer/Songwriter, Tour Manager & DJ, and a Producer/Engineer. How do they all compare to each other? Do you bounce ideas from one area to another?
They all complement each other very well. You learn so much about song writing, touring, DJing, performing, the business side of things. It's really cool, and I've learned so much in the last year.
Do you have a favorite area you like working in in the music industry?
Songwriting and performing with Mod Sun are definitely my favorite things I'm doing right now. I love writing music on my acoustic guitar and I love performing. Especially hip hop. Hip hop is crazy to me. It's so hype and so new for me, I love it.
You have a new EP coming out at the end of the summer, is there any central theme to this album? Where'd you get the inspiration from for this new album?
Yes, there is going to be a new EP from me out. I'm so excited for it! It's going to be very happy and very pop. Acoustic oriented. A lot of the songs I've been recording for it are happy love songs. It's weird; my life is a lot different now than it was a year ago when I was writing Good Problems stuff. I was going through all of these trials and tribulations and criticism and kind of threw it right back into my music. Now, I'm happy, I'm comfortable, and I have a lot of happy relatable things to sing about.
Until the release of your EP, your releasing free covers songs every Monday. How’d you think of this idea? What are your all-time favorite cover songs (by you and other artists)?
We opened for Hoodie Allen in Iowa City 2 weeks ago and I was driving the van back to Minneapolis listening to Taking Back Sunday and I was like "dude, I should start releasing full albums for free covering songs by my favorite artists" and that's how the idea began. Then I decided to do it every Monday and do songs on the radio that everyone knows. I think that my favorite cover ever is on the Foo Fighters Live DVD when they cover "Rock and Roll" by Led Zeppelin with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones.
How did you know you wanted to be a musician?
It's in my blood. My whole Mom's side is full of musicians. I was taking beginners music lessons at age 3 and piano lessons at age 5. Music is the only thing I've ever known. I have never had a real job, not since the day I graduated high school. It's kinda like I sold my soul to the devil or something, I just made an agreement with myself that I would never do anything but music no matter what, I refuse to do anything else.
What bands/artists do you look to for inspiration?
Foo Fighters, Bjork, The Beatles, Bon Iver, Taking Back Sunday, Kanye West. Those are my favorite artists.
Who do you think changed the music industry? Why?
There are a lot of bands that changed the music industry as far as genres go. Bands that defined an era. The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, just to name a few. As far individuals go, there are people who changed the way music was consumed. Sean Parker, Steve Jobs, ect.
You’ve been making music for quite a while now, what inspires and motivates you to still pursue a career in music?
I see all of these people who are so unhappy and uninterested with what they are doing. Music has taken care of me my whole life so I don't have to worry about those kinds of things. That's what inspires me to pursue a career in music.
What would your dream tour lineup be?
It would be a festival that had all my favorite bands on it. Foo Fighters, Bon Iver, Kanye West, Bjork, Rolling Stones, Taking Back Sunday, Blink 182. I mean come on, that would be awesome!
Has there been a specific night a show really sticks out in your memory?
Actually just this last week. We sold out the Aqua night club in Minneapolis. The first sell out show we've had and everyone was so wild while we were playing. It was so much fun. One of those nights where you just step back and think "Damn, this is REALLY what I'm doing right now!!!!!" It was very exciting.
Now, more than ever, music is ever-changing. What do you think is one genre of music that you hope will never go out of style?
Rock n Roll. I'm such a rock guy even though it may not showcase in my music or Mod Sun's. I'm all about computerized music as well but I do think that good old rock n roll is getting lost in this growth of electronic music.
What’s the biggest surprise about working in this field? Was it what you thought it would be like?
How much goes on behind the scenes. It would blow peoples minds. All the conversations about what's next, statistics, numbers, money, all of that. Especially with tour managing Mod Sun. People have no idea how much pre work goes into a tour or into even just 1 show. It's so calculated and takes so much time to get it right.
What’s the best and worst part about working in the music industry?
The best is easily the connections you make with people. My best friends are people who I've met on my never ending touring journey. The worst part about it (and I think this goes the same for any industry) is when you have a conversation that you don't want to have with somebody. That's always the worst. But you learn quickly that if you need to tell someone something they don't want to hear, it's best to be open, honest, and up front with it as soon as possible and you get better at it every time.
What albums are currently on heavy rotation?
Well we're about to go on the entire Vans Warped Tour this summer so I've been getting myself pumped up by listening to my favorite bands on the tour this year. New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday, G Eazy, Yellowcard. All of their albums.
Lastly, what are your goals for working in the music industry?
My only goal has been to be self-sufficient through music. I still have a long ways to go and so much to learn but so far so good :)