John Boegehold – Pattern-Seeking Animals

John Boegehold – Pattern-Seeking Animals

Not only is John Boegehold of Pattern-Seeking Animals one of the more prolific artists working in any genre today, he is one of the warmest, most gregarious persons you could hope to meet. The following is an edited (no, really) version of our conversation.

Spooky Action At A Distance is a physics concept I’d venture to say not a lot of people are familiar with. How did you come upon the concept?

I’ve always been interested in a wide range of subjects, and physics and quantum mechanics and quantum entanglement is always one that I’ve been interested in, but I’ve never quite fully understood and I keep researching. I think eventually I’ll have that lightbulb moment, like of course! This is what it all means. But I don’t know if my brain works like that, I haven’t been able to. However, I was watching this YouTube channel, a German physicist by the name of Sabine Hossenfelder, and every week she will do a video going into some realm of physics or astronomy or other types of science in an easier to understand strangely scientific way. And she was doing one episode about quantum entanglement, which again I am trying my hardest to understand with no luck, and she mentioned that Albert Einstein in correspondence to another scientist in the 30s or 40s when discussing it, had some problems with it. And he described it in the original German as “spooky action at a distance”. I had this long list of possible album names and song names and stuff, and everything I’d been looking at for the last week trying to come up with an album name for this one.  I was going nowhere, and the minute this title hit, I just thought, “Oh, this is perfect! It’ll be great.” And then I just immediately went with it. None of the album songs are based on or have anything to do with it. The songs are already done and in the can. By that time, I had to come up with an album title, but the album cover artist Thomas Ewerhard who I’ve worked with for years, he’s the scientist. I gave him the concept of it. I just gave him a couple of notes, and he came up with just the perfect cover. So, it all worked out.

Pattern-Seeking Animals

The lyrical content of the new album seems somehow broader than usual, what with Norse kings, alien invasions and pregnant teens. Where do you go for inspiration?

It’s all based like a short story, right? Like an author of fiction would approach things. I don’t write from my own personal experience like a lot of people do. Partially because I just think my life is so boring. Why would anyone want to hear about it? Every once in a while, I’ll come up with a line or something for a song which has something to do with my life, but not to do with a song – just because it’s a cool line. So essentially, I will just make up a concept for a song like, you know, walking the dog today a coyote started chasing us or whatever. Just something  like that and start writing from the concept. Like a short story there needs to be some conflict to be resolved or something like that. So, I’m trying to write a short story. Of course, like a million other writers, I keep a journal on my computer, my phone. Every time I hear a line, or think of a line or an idea, I enter it for later. I have hundreds of pages of stuff. So, when I start looking for lyrics, I’ll start going through those two and a lot of concepts. Like, here’s aliens come down and invade a guy who’s on LSD. And then I’ll start basing the lyrics – mostly imagery – on that concept. It’s rare that anyone ever listens to it and knows exactly what I’m talking about.

What I appreciate about it is that nothing is direct. There’s always space to read between the lines with whatever you’re writing. So, I think that allows the listener to personalize the song.

Yeah, that’s good to hear. That’s where I try and ride that fine line between lyrics which need absolutely nothing you can tell about, which is a lot of progressive music. You can go back to the original Yes stuff: “Sun tower, asking/Cover, lover/Moon cast.” It just works. It sounds cool. And I always loved it.

And another side is really like country or a lot of pop stuff where every line has to mean something. I was writing country for a short time, like 20 years ago in Nashville. And the publisher said, “Look, I love your lyrics but we have to do this as country. Every line, you got to look at it and know exactly what I mean.” You’re telling a story, which I completely understand. I always kind of straddle that ledge between meaning nothing and everything.

I’d venture to guess that you do a lot of eclectic reading. What types of books do you enjoy and how do they make their way into song?

I read a lot of history books. I read all sorts of fiction and nonfiction stuff. Its hard to say there’s any one type. Take the science for example. There a song on the new album called He Once Was. I just finished a book called The Facemaker by Lindsey Fitzharris. She writes medical historical nonfiction. This one is about a plastic surgeon that after WWI came up with a unique way to approach plastic surgery on soldiers who have come back from the war with major facial wounds where part of their head was blown off or whatever. In the past, how they would deal with that before, they would literally just make up masks that would fit right over the part that was damaged. But this guy came up with inventive ways to advance the science of plastic surgery. And there was a vignette in the book about one of the soldiers telling about his entry into the war and when he came back, and dealing with it. And for some reason I thought it might be interesting to come up with a concept, a soldier in WWI who starts off as a conscientious objector but is eventually guilted or forced to go into war by another counselor. He goes to the war and comes back with bad mental and physical disabilities, as so many did. And this is just about a guy who meets this guy in town and he tells his whole story. No one else is ever going to listen to that song and think , “Oh, it’s about a guy who’s a soldier in WWI”. If its vague enough, that’s a perfect example of a lot of ways to come up with stuff. It’s not necessarily I’m taking the story from the book. But something will prompt in my head an idea that might think, oh, that might be kind of a good way to approach a song or a lyric from this viewpoint. So that happens all the time. And whether it’s a book or just a conversation, I hear something on the internet, I write all this stuff down. Most of it I never even look at again or use, but I usually can come up with something. The first song on the album, The Man Made Of Stone. There was a series on Netflix called The Last Kingdom. Its about a medieval kingdom in England, in the northern part of England in the seven hundreds, and it’s based on real kings. Of course, at that time, all the different factions were fighting and you would have the Danes come down and there’s wars. And from there I thought, man made of stone is a Danish king who’s about to be killed because he’s losing the battle. He’s just wondering, is it all worth it?  What we’ve gone through to do all this? I don’t know if you’d ever figure it out from the song, but that’s where that came from.

Well, I’m going to answer your question – NO. And that’s what I appreciate about it. There’s just enough space. You get the general idea about a Norse king in battle and its not looking good for him. But for you to fill in the details that I as the listener would not know about, that’s good. You create that space as a writer that keeps the thread of the story, but allows the reader in to do his own interpretation. I think you master that.

Oh, thanks. It can be difficult because with a song, if you’re writing a song or poetry its one thing. If it’s in a song, the other thing you have to consider as well is how are those words going to sound with a melody? Are they going to be awkward, are they going to sing well? Which is always the main focus. A singer has to be able to sing them and sound like they flow correctly and they work well. The words and syllables, everything works well with the meter of the song. So that’s always another trick, but that’s my viewpoint. That’s how I write it these days.

Dave MerosTed contributed a song to the last P-SA album. Are there any tracks on the new album written by or co-written with someone else?

Co-written with an explanation. Diane [Boothby], I was in a band with a long time ago, also with Dave Meros. And there were a couple songs that I had written with her back in the day, which I was never really happy with, they never kind of worked out. For this album – I think all writers do this – they go back to their earlier stuff they weren’t quite happy with and think I can make this better, I can make this work. A few of the songs I looked at this time and thought, “Well, of course, this is what I should have done”. And for the most part they’re very rewritten. Some of those are the basic melody and lyrics and maybe a little bit of the chord structure is the same, but essentially, they’ve been rebuilt for Pattern-Seeking Animals. Diane’s listened to it, she’s in Colorado. She also sings a lot of backing vocals on this album, but she didn’t do any work on these songs in the present form of the songs. So, you’ll see her on three songs as a co-writer, but other than that, its just me for better or worse.

I’m thinking that’s for better, not worse. That’s my take on it.

I was going to say with Ted, Ted’s a great writer. He’s written some killer songs and I keep getting him to try. I said, “Please, write some songs because I love your writing.” I want to do it, and he’s one of those guys who writes from personal experience. If he’s happy and things are going well in his life, he just doesn’t write. Years ago, he’d write great if he was going through a divorce or someone’s dying or something. I bugged him about it almost weekly, “Please, please write some stuff. I love your writing.”

So, let’s get to the sound of the album. I hear a lot more acoustic guitar and mandolin this time around, as well as flute, strings and sitar. Were you consciously attempting different sounds, or did the songs grow organically?

John BoegeholdI’m always looking for different sounds to use. There’s no mandolin but there’s charango and ronrocco. I also play mandolin and have in the past on albums. I used charango and ronrocco on the last album as well to an extent. The reason I like those is because they’re so different. When you’re playing, you automatically come up with different parts. And its also nylon strings rather than steel strings on a mandolin. The nylon strings sit in the track a different way and it’s a different sound, even though it kind of sounds like a mandolin. So, I think I use those on four or five of the songs. Yeah, the electric sitar, I played that on a few tunes. But as far as the instrumentation, one thing I’ve been trying to do, I think the tendency when you’re writing a lot of times to get the energy up, you’ll have like big rock power chords and riffs and stuff like that with a guitar. But when you think about it and you go back, one of the greatest and most powerful groups was Yes. If you listen to those albums, Fragile and Close To The Edge, Steve Howe isn’t playing any power chords. Its all parts, and all the driving of the song comes from Chris Squire and Bill Bruford, and then later Alan White in the rhythm section. So, I tried to avoid a lot of power chord type of stuff. Because if Jimmy and Dave are playing and get that energy up there, you can do different things. So, the guitar parts are almost orchestrated. And Ted plays some killer rhythm parts – clean, distorted, all that stuff – and solos, so yeah, I tried to stay away from that a little bit. So that’s where you can hear more of the charango and ronrocco and autoharp and acoustic guitars and twelve strings and all that kind of stuff.

What music were you listening to growing up as a kid?

Growing up as a kid, we’re talking single digit numbers, eight or nine, I was listening to pop. At the time, I came around a couple years too late to get the Beatles thing. Because when they appeared on Ed Sullivan, I think I was just about to turn seven. I remember other kids talking about it, but it didn’t make any impact on me whatsoever. I liked the songs because I was listening to the radio, all pop stuff, but it’d be the Beatles, Sonny and Cher, Paul Revere and the Raiders, whatever was out there. And then a couple years later, you know, there’s an old saying, When the student is ready, the master appears. The minute the Monkees hit must have been very well coordinated with my brain just opening up to that whole end of the music thing, and I was completely at that moment – I thought I want to do music. I want to write music. I don’t know what its going to be, I want to be in a band and I want to do all this stuff. I listened to all just pop stuff, because they had some of the greatest pop songs ever.

They were very subversive in what they did, in my opinion.

Yeah, and I think they got a lot of grief because they don’t play their own instruments, even though they all did. Maybe not on the records like the Wrecking Crew had played but they did that for everyone back then. Have you listened to those early Byrds records and it’s not even them playing! It’s the Wrecking Crew, or whatever studio musicians. But then I started listening to stuff like Elton John and Chicago. And when I was in tenth grade I had an art class, so I guess this is 1971. And it was a deal with three different grades, 10th, 11th and 12th grade, so I was kind of sticking in the back because I was with the little kids. When we were working on art and he wasn’t teaching they would let us bring in albums to play. One kid brought in In The Court of the Crimson King, which I had never heard to that point. I started listening and it was mind blown!  It was so cool. And the next day the kid brought it again and I listened. He was in 12th grade, so it’s like, am I gonna approach this guy really embarrassed? I don’t know, he’s this older kid. And I said, “Hey, what’s this? What is this?” And he said, “Oh, you like this? If you like this, you got to listen to Yes, Genesis, ELP.” So immediately I went out and bought everything I could and heard everything I could on the prog end of it. Went to all the concerts so I was hooked at that point. All that time though, I never lost my love of pop music and other types of music. To this day it was current pop and to this day I’m probably the only person I know within 40 years of my age who does, but I keep up on everything. I know the current groups, whether its pop or K-pop or J-pop or any of that stuff. I just listen to music all the time. But the main influences when I was a teenager, which is where I think most influences take hold, were mostly prog, of course with the Who and the Stones thrown in. But prog was the real passion.

Ted in particular seems to have grown a lot on this album. His guitar playing is next level. Even his vocal timbre seems different, and it feels like he is using more of his upper register. Even the synth tones have a different feel from what’s gone before.

Ted is an interesting guy, because a lot of singers you hear start in their twenties and go to their sixties and pretty much sound the same. Ted just continually gets better and he tries new things in his voice and tries different timbres. I tell the story that I was listening to Progzilla a couple years ago. Because I listen to it a lot, I came in the middle of a song. It was really cool. I’m wondering who this is, the vocalist is really good. Of course, the song ended and they said that was from the first Enchant album. And I thought that was Ted? He was good but his voice has changed and evolved so much over the years. Jon Anderson, you could hear him from fifty years ago an he‘s gonna sound like Jon Anderson. Or Peter Gabriel sounds like Peter Gabriel. Ted just keeps evolving and changing and getting better.

I agree with you, because I remember that first Enchant album coming out. I was there on day one, and who Ted was then versus who Ted is now – he’s another person. I don’t think a lot of singers could pull off what he’s done.

Ted LeonardI agree. He’s kind of unique in that way. And then as far as guitar playing, he’s really blossomed as a guitar player with all these albums. In the past, he was in Spock’s and Enchant, and he was always the second guitar player. The rhythm parts, lead occasionally. And when you’re in a band with those guys, with Doug [Ott] and then Alan [Morse], those guys are massive great players. Ted was a singer who also played some guitar. And that’s one reason he really liked Pattern-Seeking Animals because he can really let loose and he plays all the solos. Some parts I write, but for the most part it’ll be, never solos.  It’s just, “Here’s 16 bars, G minor, GO!” He always comes up with the exact right thing. As far as the synth sounds, that’s a conscious effort only in that I listened to a lot of contemporary pop music. And pop music is where all the cutting-edge production is sonically. Synthesizer sounds, all that kind of stuff and approaches and effects, that’s where it all is. It used to be you used to go to prog for that forty years ago. But pop, because it is so quickly evolving, there’s all these different things that come up. When I listen to it, I’ll hear a synth sound, and I have to figure out where it came from or how to do that. Part of it between albums is the fact that I am trying something different, trying something new. But also because I try not to duplicate what we’ve done with sounds. In some songs, obviously your stock – piano, B3, mellotron, those are all standard. But outside of that I always try to go with something  that is unique and sounds like a texture behind everything else that’s happening.  Or a line where you might hear something playing a melody or a harmony part, and you can’t tell if it’s a synth or a guitar, or what’s doing it. I’m a fan of that kind of stuff, where it supports the music, but its not obvious. That’s part of it with the sounds, just trying new textures and new techniques. And also, where we recorded, that helped a lot, because we used a different engineer and studio this time.

How did the studio affect the sound?

For example, for the first three albums we worked with Rich Mouser at the Mouse House, who I had worked with forever on a bunch of stuff. And engineers have their ways of recording things and mixing certain effects. Rich has a real specific drum sound which is great. It’s easy and it’s a great sound, and we went with someone else only because at the time Rich wasn’t available last year when I wanted to start recording. I’d been thinking that I wanted to shake thinks up a bit for this album, just not get into a rut even though its as good as it was. Its like the old golden handcuffs thing. So, when he said that, I thought, I’m gonna go with someone else. And we used this guy named Frank Rosato at Woodcliff Studio, who I have known forever. He lives 10 minutes from me. He’s great. So just starting at the very beginning, when the drums were recorded, they were recorded in a very different way. So right there, you got something different. Then as people add their parts remotely, as an engineer you’re going to approach them in different ways. Rich might do the bass one way and Frank might put a totally different compressor or EQ on it. Also, from my end I just tried to do things differently. We approached the vocals differently on this album. They’re more upfront than in the past, and I used a few outside singers for backing vocals, which I think contributes to the sound.

Definitely. Again, so much of it sounds different from what you’ve done on the previous three albums. So, I think you’ve scored on that point. And you’ve definitely achieved a different sounding record than what you’ve done before.

Okay, that’s good to hear, because its gets so you have no objectivity left. Also, the other trick is putting out albums so close to each other. I didn’t want something to sound like, “Oh, this is the fourth album. It just sounds like the same sessions for the third album, and he just had more and put out a fourth album.” I didn’t want to make it sound like it was just a continuation. But I do that for all the albums, so that was part of it too.

Moving on, Window to the World has a reggae backbeat and He Once Was features a phenomenal sax solo. Are there additional musical expressions from other times or places that you’d like to explore?

I don’t have anything specific. It’s like, if you’re writing a blues song, for example, it kind of has to have these chord changes. It’s the same. It’s great, but you have a lot of limitations; if you’re writing in country, or if you’re writing in pop there’s all these limitations. Prog, or whatever you call our music, there aren’t any. And because I’ve listened to so many different types of music, I don’t have what I want to try, but as I’m writing a stye will pop up. And I never had the thought, well, you can’t use a zydeco band sound, you can’t do a klezmer band sound in the song. That never pops up. If it works in the song, I’m gonna go for it. And there’s no rhyme or reason that it’ll just pop up. I’ll just start playing something and think, “Oh, this sounds like a minuet from France in 1790.” Whatever. If it sounds good, it goes in the song.

How is the P-SA dynamic different from Spocks Beard, and how do you decide which songs are appropriate for one band and not the other? What was it about Bulletproof that you wanted a do over?

The difference is there’s a division between Spock’s and Pattern-Seeking Animals, because I stopped working with them after the last album. So, it’s not a question. There is no overlap. So I was never in a position that I had to think, “This would be a good song for them, or this would be a good song for me, or for Pattern-Seeking Animals.” There’s never that conflict there in Spock’s. The conflict was always I was an outside writer. I wasn’t part of the band. And you had, depending on what era of the band, you’d have three or four other songwriters in there.  And I write tons of stuff. I would show up for the beginning of those sessions and have an hour worth of material, and everyone else would, so things just wouldn’t get recorded. I started getting frustrated about getting songs since I had a lot of material. So, I eventually started adding to the Animals. But as soon as I first started Pattern-Seeking Animals, that’s where 100% of my creative output goes. Bulletproof was on the last Spock’s, 2018. Bulletproof was a song, of all the songs I’ve written, I probably wrote besides for me or them a couple hundred songs in the last twenty years, I think maybe. And that was always one of my favorite songs, top five, just for various reasons. The Spock’s version, I wasn’t happy with the way it turned out. I didn’t have as much control in the end product as I wanted to, and then it ended up on the bonus disc because there were so many people. No one could agree what was going to go on the main disc and what was going to be the bonus disc. They just sent it to the record company and said, you decide. And, of course, they happen to have the record, and they listen to it once, and eenie, meenie, miney, mo, and Bulletproof ended up on the bonus disc as did a couple other songs which I thought should have been on the main one, but that’s a whole other discussion. Because I liked it so much, I was thinking I want to do this one day more in a way I wanted to hear it. And this album just seemed right to do it. But all the time thinking, if I do this, and it doesn’t come out right, it’s not going on the album. Because I really wanted a version which I can totally be 100% behind. And it turned out great, so it had to go on the album. But if it had been on the main Spock’s album and not the bonus, I never would have done it again. Because bonus discs are like the ghetto. People might listen to them once and then never again. I don’t like them. If it’s a separate disc, fine, but when they tack them on to the end of a CD or an album, it ruins the whole flow. So that’s my reason for that one.

Jimmy KeeganWhy did you choose to work with Leonard, Meros and Keegan as a separate band? Was there a comfort level there you didn’t find with other musicians?

Probably a couple reasons. When I started Pattern-Seeking Animals, it started more as a recording project. And Jimmy, Jimmy’s just one of my favorite drummers. It’s a comfort level, sure. He’s great, and we quickly added in Dave and Ted. Dave, I’ve known almost forty years. Except for one exception, for a couple gigs, he’s the only bass player I’ve ever worked with. I think a couple times I’ve been in situations where someone else played something I wrote, but Dave is the best. And Ted, of course, enough said about him – he’s the greatest.

And I’ll tell you, the older you get, the number one reason is compatibility. I don’t want any fights; I don’t want any resentment or build-up or BS politics. And the four of us get along, and its very easy-going. That’s the main reason.

What precipitated the decision to include bonus tracks from last year’s Progstock performance? I was there and honestly, I would have loved to hear the entire set released as a live album.

The reason for that was we got the audio tracks for the live album. At the time we were thinking maybe put it out as a DVD, because we also had the video. We were going to release a couple of the videos after the album was released where we had the videos for some of these songs. But I talked with the record company, and they thought it’s not really time for you guys for a live album yet, we don’t know if the market’s there. And I really wanted to include some of the audio tracks on the bonus disc, so I picked one from each album and mixed those. In fact, Rich Mouser mixed those. The other reason was just expense. To put out a DVD, it’s tremendously expensive to do all the video editing, the audio editing. At this point it doesn’t make sense. That gig, they ended it early, and there were a couple songs we didn’t do, which in any proper live album…because it ended at like 4 in the morning.* There were a couple songs for the finale that should have been on there, and since we didn’t have that, I thought we’ll make it work somewhere down the road. And we had the opportunity on this album.

*Interviewer’s note: Due to technical delays, the show did not begin till 12:30 am and was cut short by the police at around 2am

What inspired you to start writing in the first place?

Yeah, it’s pretty straight ahead. I moved to LA from Detroit in 1980 and started in a band as a bass player. I did the typical thing in my early twenties trying to be a rock star. I’ve been in a couple bands. In fact, Dave Meros was in one of those bands at the same time. We couldn’t find a guitar player so I decided to play a little guitar until we got one. We tried four or five years trying to get something happening. The older I got, I started thinking, I’m an okay bass player and in LA there’s a zillion great ones. I don’t see my future as being an instrumentalist, so I made a conscious choice to start writing. Lyrics first, and then music. At the time I’d only played bass and a little bit of guitar, so I decided to teach myself guitar and more keyboards and started writing from there. It was just out of wanting to be able to expand and not be locked into one instrument forever, when I wasn’t that good in the first place. Who knows where that would have led? So, I just started writing. At the time I was writing pop stuff and then kind of prog-ish stuff, although at that point prog was kind of dead and buried, almost. In the late eighties and early nineties there was not much happening. That’s how it started and I keep doing it because I really like it. I got into some film and TV stuff and kept advancing from there.

Have you ever written a song and wondered “How am I going to top that?” Conversely, have you ever written a song and thought, “What was I thinking?”

For the “what was I thinking” part, not so much immediately. You’re in the process of writing a song, and if things don’t work, you get rid of them, so you end up with something you really like. Whether or not other people like it, that’s a whole other issue. If it doesn’t get to that point, it never becomes a song, so I can’t finish it and go, “What was this?”. That doesn’t happen, because I would have jettisoned the song before that ever happened. But there I times when I listen to stuff I’ve done in the past, like ten years ago, and I’ll just hear randomly, and I’ll think, “Oooh, I could have done this a little better. Or I could have done this a little differently.” But I think through the lens of time a lot of that stuff is easier to decide. There are still things I hear and I kick myself because I missed a really good lyrical opportunity. There’s one on one of the Spock’s Beard records that haunts me to this day. I chose a certain word, but there’s another word that would have been so much better. Who knows the reason back then? I think most writers will tell you that – they’ll look back and kind of cringe.

As far as topping myself, no, not at all. I just figure whatever I’m working on at the time is the best thing I’m working on. It’s my favorite because I’m really excited about it. I might finish a song and go, that’s really good. But it doesn’t in any way stop me from writing again thinking I hope I can top that. Songs are so different, and its not really a question of topping it. It just doesn’t occur to me like that.

Pattern-Seeking Animals – Spooky Action At A Distance

What does success as a band look like to you?

It’s funny you ask. If it was thirty or forty years ago, it would have been a record deal, financially successful, touring, love, selling a zillion records. Now, that’s not going to happen. The music industry is a lot screwier these days. To me, the success is having someone let us keep recording. I’m in a really great creative position in that there is no input from the record company. Zero. I hand them a record and they put it out. There’s no someone trying to judge or trying to change things. Artistically, it’s kind of the perfect situation. The budgets aren’t really high and occasionally I go out of pocket a little bit, but I don’t really care about that, because artistically there is no one monkeying with the final product. I know other bands and other set ups it’s very different. If you’re doing a pop or a rock thing, big record companies are going, “I don’t hear a hit on this. You need to come up with another song. The fans are not going to like this. We can’t release this.” That kind of stuff. Or changing it. This song needs to be shorter, or this song needs to be longer. Zero. I’ve only had one comment from anyone at the record label, and that was on the second album. Tom is the owner of the record label. He heard one of the earlier songs, Normally we don’t send him stuff. We just send him the final record. But he said, “Yeah, send me a few things.” So, he listened to one of the songs and said, “You know there’s a part in there that sounds like ABBA.” And I said, “Well, I’m not sure how you meant it, but I take that as a supreme compliment.” That was the only thing I heard from him. He laughed at that. So, artistically, I can’t ask for more. I’d like the album to sell a zillion copies and people get into it. From an artistic level, at this age, that’s not really on my radar.

Would you ever consider touring with P-SA?

No, no. I’ve never liked playing live first of all. I would do it in the past back in the day, just because you had to. And it could be, not even touring, just gigs here and there. I can’t even picture doing that at my age. Just physically, because I’m not used to it. I never liked it, Plus, realistically, I’m not a good enough player. I play enough of the instruments to write with, basic keyboards, basic guitar, stuff like that. But I’m nowhere near the caliber of the other guys, like Dave, Ted and Jimmy, and the other guys, Dennis and Walter, who do it live. It’s just not my thing. I was gonna say, I can’t play a lot of the parts that I wrote. Let’s put it like that. I can get it right in the studio through sequencing and midi and all that, I’m really good at that stuff. But actually pulling it off live, not gonna happen.

Where do you want to go next?

We turned this album in April of this year, so there’s six months between then and the release date for various reasons. Sometimes it’s just the manufacturing, but this time it was just the record company and their schedule. The minute I turned this album in I started writing for the next album. I’m already on to number five. I’m halfway into it, writing for the next one. I’m trying to do drum tracks in the next couple months. I don’t look very far off into the distance, because I have something to work on now. As far as it goes, okay, I have album number five and we’ll see if they let us put it out, if we still have a record deal, we’ll see if the world doesn’t collapse. I just keep writing because I like doing it so much. I write pretty much every day.

Thanks for your time and I wish you continued success with the new album. It was a pleasure speaking with you.

You can read John Giordano’s review of Pattern-Seeking Animals’ new album Spooky Action At A Distance HERE.

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