When Philly experimental rock duo Pattern is Movement went into the studio to record its first album in five years, the pressure was on. Keyboardist-singer Andrew Thiboldeaux and drummer Chris Ward wanted to make sure whatever they did held up to their revered past work. And Ward, who worked on the record as a performer and in post-production, came up with an innovative method to test the music out. On Tuesday the 30th, PiM is throwing what they’re calling an album screening at PhilaMOCA for Cinedelphia’s Tuesday Tune-Out. Basically, the free event will be an album listening party – the guys aren’t actually performing live – where the public can hear PiM’s as-yet untitled new album for the first time, with visuals care of P.T. Anderson’s dark western There Will Be Blood. After the album plays, Thiboldeaux, Ward and producer Dave Downham will take part in a Q&A moderated by Weathervane Music‘s Peter English – to get details. Last week I caught up with Ward over Google Chat – he was on the tail end of his tour drumming for Strand of Oaks and opening for Phosphorescent. Find out more in our interview below, and see what’s in store / hear some brand new Pattern music in this event trailer.
Now that we got your attention with that C and C Music Factory attention grabbing headline, sorry to say that this C+C Music Factory won’t be at Johnny Brenda’s this Sunday, February 26th. The two “C’s” we’re talking about Corey Duncan of the band Oh! Pears and Chris Ward (Pattern Is Movement) who are returning back to their homes here in Philly after being out on tour for six weeks in Europe. To celebrate their return they are throwing a welcome home dance party at Johnny Brenda’s next Sunday night at 8 pm. There is no cover for the event. Go here for more information. And welcome home, guys!
The Key: Pattern Is Movement has been in a pretty serious hibernation since September 2010—just over a year. What led to that decision?
Chris Ward: Well, we had never taken time off. The band had been full-time since 2005. We were either on the road playing shows or conceiving something—conceiving a tour, conceiving a record—since 2005. It was like that for five years. We realized that we had never stayed at home and made a record. We’ve always gone somewhere. We’ve either gone to San Francisco, or we tracked our last record in Charlotte, North Carolina. But it was like, “We’re going to stay home, we’re going to take our time, and we’re going to track this record by ourselves. We’re not going to rush it.” It’s just, let’s make a record without tons of shows and stuff like that.
TK: So the band didn’t actually take any time off? You’ve just been working the whole time?
CW: Oh yeah. I never actually looked at it that way. It definitely wasn’t a hiatus. During that time, we were making a record. On tumblr I posted videos of being in the studio and tracking the record. And on our Facebook I mentioned it and stuff.
TK: According to the band’s tumblr, you finished recording the album in mid-March, then starting mixing in late May, and finished mixing in mid-June—which was the last update on the website.
CW: Yup. We mixed it in like the middle of the summer. I’m actually one of the engineers on the record, the other engineer is David Downham. We were mixing it together and there were some elements that weren’t working for me. The thing that came up the most was the bass. I thought the bass could use some work. So we took some time to talk about bass sounds and then we found this software program called Trilian that actually samples bass guitars and synthesizers. We started writing the bass lines with that and it’s transformed the record.
TK: It sounds like you’ve been giving yourselves plenty of time to work things out.
CW: That’s essentially what we wanted this process to be. Let’s figure out what we want this record to be, rather than rushing it to the label, or rushing it to the people. Let’s just take some time, because every record we’ve ever done has been like, “We’ve got to finish it by this date because we want to go back out on the road. We’ve got to do this, we’ve got to do that.” Which is great, but we’ve never taken any time to make a record and let it, for lack of a better word, marinate. Just sit for a while. And that’s what happened. We took our time over the summer. Andrew and I are saying we’re about 90% there. Now we just need to finish the bass tracking and then kind of tweak the songs and we’re done. That’s it. I mean, the songs are done. It’s really just the bass guitar.
Over at the Kung Fu Necktie website, the listing for October 30th states that Tera Melos will be performing with Hermit Thrushes, Banned Books, and a “SPECIAL GUEST BAND.” Well, Pattern Is Movement drummer Chris Ward—who is also the Venue Manager at Johnny Brenda‘s (which recently celebrated its five-year anniversary)—just dropped us a line to let us know that the special guest band is, in fact, Pattern Is Movement. The local duo has been keeping a low profile lately while working on its new album (which, according to Chris, is almost finished). Get a sneak preview of the band’s latest batch of songs this Sunday night when Pattern Is Movement performs with Tera Melos, Hermit Thrushes, and Banned Books at 8 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $10.