Photo credit: Derrick Santini
Former Missouri boys turned New York rock and roll outfit White Rabbits return to the Midwest in a few days with a stop in Minneapolis on Monday. The band has experienced a crazy year composed of releasing the third full-length album (Milk Famous), touring, reverting back to the original five-member band status, consequentially changing the process of the live show, and touring again. Joining White Rabbits to make your Monday bright is local act The Farewell Circuit; we highly suggest attending this show.
MFR spoke with Stephen Patterson about life on the road and the dynamic of the band nine years and three albums later. Check it out.
You and the rest of the band will be in Minneapolis on October 15 at the Triple Rock. I know you have spent a bit of time here in the past— is there anything about our city that really stands out to you? Fun memories?
(laughs) I remember the first time we went to Minneapolis we did a session at The Current and we had never done anything like that before. I don’t know if you have ever been to that studio, but it is beautiful. I think that was on our first tour, with Fort Nightly. We had never done anything like that before—recording on the radio—so that was really exciting.
And I love Prince, so..
I always enjoyed being in Minneapolis. I think we’ve actually played more clubs in Minneapolis than we have in New York.
The band has gone through some changes recently— what are you most excited and/or nervous about with this new tour?
This tour in particular is very weird for us. We are going out as a five piece for the first time in this band’s history. That’s not a big deal to the majority of people, but it’s a big deal for us. You kind of get used to always being [on] a crowded stage and there is a sound to us as a six piece. I don’t think we ever liked the way we sounded as a six piece recording in the studio, so I don’t think our recordings have ever reflected that we are a six piece band. For no reason other than we just never thought that it sounded good. Sometimes when you are in a room and there are six guys playing it sounds…loud. But then when you are not playing those instruments and in the room with people listening to the recording it is not fun to listen to. I don’t know. So we decided to strip things back just a hair. We’re still doing two drummers and all that but Matt [Clark] is going to be playing bass on a lot of songs; actually we are all switching up on bass. Also, our drummer, who played with us since 2006 (I believe), is having a kid this month. He has lived in Chicago the past couple years and he is starting a family and that has made it kind of hard to be in a band; especially one based in New York. So we have been playing with this guy named Dave and it’s going great; we’ll be going out with him on drums. We have parted ways with the bassist who has been with us for the tours on this record [Milk Famous]. I’m not really sure how we are going to pull it off yet. It’s going to be a lot of moving around on stage and handing off guitars and stuff.
I’m really excited about it actually; I think it’s the best the band has ever sounded. You can hear what is going on a bit more.
What do you currently travel in?
What is road life like with that many guys in the van?
We lived together for a couple years in Columbia, and we lived together for two years in New York so we are just kind of used to being around each other in that way; close quarters. I feel like we got a lot of that stuff out of our system early on. It definitely gets..old. There is a point on every single tour where we all are fighting. It’s really not as bad as it might seem. We’ve had the six piece band and then we’ll go out with two other guys— it’s not that bad. I like touring, traveling. The long hours are just for doing whatever you want to do.
I miss driving. That is one thing I miss from living in the Midwest and then being in New York. That was a huge part of my musical life— driving around and listening to music. I don’t really have that anymore, except when touring.
Is there a tour spot you have always wanted to go that you have not hit yet?
Well we all really want to go to Mexico. We’ve wanted to go to Mexico forever. So much so that we recorded a Spanish version of a song on this record [“I’m Not Me”/”Yo Soy No”] to try to get to Mexico. It hasn’t worked yet. We all would love to go to Hawaii. I don’t know how that works though.
You likely do not get much for free time on the road— what is your idea of the “perfect day off” while on tour?
The perfect day off is arriving in the city that you will be playing in the following day. You don’t have to worry about driving the next day. Going to see a movie is always the best thing to do on the road. Spend the night having a family meal.
You and Greg met back a record store— what would the shock level have been like if someone told you then that White Rabbits would grow from that experience and stand as it does today?
I have been thinking about that a lot lately. Yeah, I would really shocked. It’s weird because a lot of time has passed, we are in our ninth year of existing as a band and that is fucking insane. You just go from one thing to the next and it is part of getting older. You kind of view things as “this is what is happening to me” and you don’t have a choice or something. Then, you look back and realize that all of the things that have happened are choices that have been made. Here you are and this is what you decided to do with your life. It is weird getting to this point where you are like “all right, now we are doing this.” I never would have expected that then. I was like twenty (21?).
As mentioned, White Rabbits is in its ninth year of existence. With all the changes that have been made what do you see going forward? No end in sight or take it day by day?
…it’s been a weird year. For everybody. All my friends too. It’s weird losing a member for sure. That is something that is kind of hard to deal with and figure out how to make it feel like you got something again and not like you are trying to recreate something. I think this band is in a transitional period but it’s a good thing. I think around seven years you get an itch and you try something new. I don’t see there being an end. I’m not stopping, for sure. I’m to the point where I wouldn’t tell you the same thing that I have always said which is, yes, we are going to go on and make the next record. I think we’ll make another record but I have no idea now what it will sound like. I thought I did about four months ago or whenever Milk Famous came out. But now I actually have no idea, which is good.
Interview by Laura Yurich
w/The Farewell Circuit
Monday, October 15 2012
730pm // 18+ // $14
Triple Rock Social Club
Posted 7 months ago