Interview:: Patience from the Grates

I'm not sure if I can really call this an interview, but I talked with Patience about such common things as bong hits, the debacle that is the Supernova TV show and of course, pedophiles and their love for the band Smoosh. Yeah, that's what I said. This is a must read. Check out the Grates new album - Gravity Won't Get You High.

P:: Bryan Acker.
HH:: Wow. That's the first interview I've ever done where someone actually knew my name. I feel so important.

P:: Well, I'm glad. I've been practicing, so I think I might do it from now on after your reaction.
HH: You should for sure.

P:: It's always weird to have someone you don't know use your name. Like waiters or something. I mean, I used to work at Blockbuster, and had to wear a name badge with my name on it. And every so often, someone would come up and be like, "Patience". It always made me feel weird.
HH:: I can imagine. But you made me feel great, so that is a good thing. How are you doing today?

P:: Brilliant. I got to sleep in this morning. The more fun part of of our band went to see that show Supernova..ROCKSTAR or whatever. They were giving out free tickets, so you show up and yell and cheer. But they had to leave early to do all this press stuff. I slept in instead.
HH:: (laughs) I think you chose correctly.

P:: Yeah, but still, those things never happen in Australia, so even though it's lame, you go and it is great because it is so lame. You can tell your friends about it.
HH:: Speaking of Australia, you guys are heading home soon for a few shows.

P:: Tomorrow actually. It's John's birthday, so we have morning presents for him. But he's got to get up and pack his presents into his bags tomorrow morning.
HH:: It looks like you aren't planning any shows once you are there? I mean, you've been touring non-stop lately, twice through Canada that I remember. Are you finally taking some time off?

P:: No, no. Don't let us fool you. I mean we have the shows with the Artic Monkeys and then we are looking to do a big US/UK album tour, either headline or as a good support role. Hoping to play some bigger venues.
HH:: Yeah, that might be good. I mean the place you played in Vancouver was super small. I'd never even heard of it.

P:: That was such a fun show. In Gastown or whatever it's called. So fun, but man there are a lot of homeless people in that area.
HH:: Oh yeah. It's also wear hipsters go to die. But Vancouver has a terrible homeless problem.

P:: We were just in San Fran, and it was unreal. We'd never really seen homeless people like that before. Maybe when we are in LA next, we can go to Skid Row. Do a homeless tour. The Grates Homeless tour.
HH:: People might get into that.

P:: (says something to someone in the room) That's it. Get the tour manager to take us there. That's what's great about having someone on tour with us. We can just yell some shit, and they get it done. This is the first time we've had anyone on the road with us, so it is a big change.
HH:: Yeah, they have to get it done, or they have no job. So I guess I'd like to start with this. Most of the bands that come from Australia and start to make a name for themselves are really heavy rock, where as a lot of the bands here are more poppy. Is the music that different, or if not, how hard is it to get a fanbase playing with bands like the Go!Team like you did in Toronto last time around?

P:: I think it's just that Australians are rock dogs. I mean, the electro-clash scene and electro scene is huge, but Australians just love bands. I think it's because it is the working man's music. I mean you have to work hard in Australia, in Canada too. Cities are so far away, and the crowds are smaller so there are less people buying your records. It's hard to drive 10 hours from Brisbane to Sydney and then you have to fly to Perth. It's tough. I mean, people still love hip-hop like they do in the US, but deep at heart, Aussies love to see people up there with a guitar.
HH:: Well I guess that leads me to another easy question. How did you guys get signed and get fans in the US?

P:: That was all SXSW. I mean we did a few showcase shows in London first, which I guess is usually the opposite way. Most people play SXSW and then try the showcase shows, but we did some bigger cities like Toronto, LA and NY. And I guess Martin from Interscope heard us at the Aussie BBQ and liked us, and said he'd keep in touch. But then everytime we came through LA he'd come and see us. We played LA 4 times before we got signed. So Crabtree is a subsidiary of Insterscope.
HH:: Wow. Four times unsigned is more than a lot of local bands can muster. How was SXSW for you this time around?

P:: It was fantastic actually. We stayed in a hotel more in the middle, so it was a lot easier to use the toilet. You didn't have to waiut forever in line. It only sucked because you'd have to leave the venue but no sharing the toilets and no money on cabs made it great.
HH:: Two things that everyone loves. Ok. I guess I should try to ask you some question that makes it look like I did some research. So, let's talk about the writing process for you guys?

P:: It's reall yluck or chance. We will just be playing and something might come out of it. Or like John will be playing a sweet riff (to John - you hear that John, I said you had a sweet riff) and over some time we'l find some lyrics. The song Trampoline for example. Well it's a funny story that everyone in Australia knows, but maybe nobody in Canada knows. I wrote that song when I was housesitting for a friend and I looked through his onsuite into his room and I saw his bed was broken. And I remembered breaking my friend Jenny Jones' bed when I was young. But anyway, he was a hockey player and all those hockey players sleep around. So I just started thinking about him using his bed liek a trampoline and it grew from there. Or sometimes we will try something and it will be terrible, but six months later when we play it back, we are agree it's terrible, but the one little part is great. That happened in Seek Me. John's making fun of me now.
HH:: Ok, I've got to say this. Reading your myspace page, I read the "best friend's who play 30 minutes of music together."

P:: We are going to change that actually. To best friends who play 30-60 minutes of music together.
HH:: (laughs) Ok. But my point is all bands say that, but then you see them playing or hear them talking and you know they aren't best friends. After 20 minutes, already I can tell you guys get along waaaay too good.

P:: Ha ha. We carry on way too much. We always have to stop. Our tour manager said the other day it was like traveling with teenagers. Mostly we just tease each other. Like Alana accidently killed an owl when we were driving and now John never let's it go. It's funny and annoying. Especially when we are tired, because we keep teasing each other and it pisses you off, but is still fun. Mostly it's worse for people on tour with us. But when we are up at 3:30 or 4, like we were for the Vancouver show which is at 12. And then you get up the next day again. Those are the days were are overtired at the airport.
HH:: Plus you guys needs extra time to blow up the balloons.

P:: Naw. Those are easy. We are so fast at it now. Plus we can tie them up so fast. The best part about it is sucking the helium and trying to sing.
HH:: A friend of mine did that, and popped a blood vessel in his eye. So watch it.

P:: Really? That is awful. It makes me all queezy.
HH:: Yeah, not cool. He didn't do too well with the ladies after that. He looked like he got punched directly in the eye.

P:: A friend of mine did that cleaning a bong hit. It didn't do much for her look either. Well I guess her look was skanky, so maybe it did. She looked a bit more skanky.
HH:: I don't even know how to react to that. I hope she reads everything about you guys and gets all pissed off reading it.

P:: Maybe it's a good thing. Like less skany, less bong hits. It's free advice. I mean we were good friends. Both from the same island. Both kind of poor, single mom type families. I guess she just sucked bong hits and looked skanky and I didn't. Oh shit. I'm getting tapped on the shoulder. Two minutes left. So I'll answer any question.
HH:: Oh ok. I'm not sure how I can top that. So how about... what was it like working with Brian Deck?

P:: A treat. Absolutely wonderful. We actually tried to get him and his wife a room here for July 4th but they had to hang out with his family. It was like a little production family. Which is weird. We always try to do that. Like when we toured with Smoosh. Their mom became our tour mom and they became our tour little sisters. Which was really weird because a lot of pedophiles show up and just take pictures all the time.
HH:: Ah, what?

P:: Oh yeah. It's digusting. John got so protective. Like for Chloe's birthday show some dude flew from NYC just to watch and take pictures. So creepy.
HH:: AH, yeah. Big time. Well thanks for taking time to talk to us. Se eyou next time you are in Vancouver.

@ 2:53 PM, David Daniels kicked the following game:

Just because some of Smoosh's fans are over the age of 25,that makes them pedophiles? What a closed minded jerk that Patience character must be. I suppose she thinks all of the Grates' male fans want to date her?


@ 6:09 PM, Chesh kicked the following game:

My thoughts exactly, David. Well, that's modern western "culture" for you.


@ 4:27 AM, Ack kicked the following game:

In defense of Patience, she was talking about older men, not dudes who are 25. I think you have to give some leniance for someone who tours with the band and has a good relationship. I don't think she was referring to your normal mid-twenties fan.



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