INTERVIEW: Patent Pending

We met up with Joe Ragosta (vocalist) of the American pop punk band, Patent Pending at their SOLD OUT show at The Garage in London.

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You’re currently on your first ever headline tour around the UK with Lacey and People On Vacation. How’s it been so far?

Dude it’s been a dream come true. It’s been fucking nuts, yeah its been incredible, all the shows are close to if not sold out and all of the venues are upgraded and it’s a crazy thing to see after being in this band for 13 years for things to finally start working. It’s really nuts, its really cool.

You recently played at Hit The Deck Festival, how was that?

Hit The Deck was cool, it’s a lot different to American festivals that we’re used to and we played Download last year and that was kinda like a gigantic American festival. This one was weird because it was indoors and it was spread across town, which is odd. It was cool though, we got to play on a pirate ship in Bristol and then in Nottingham we played The Forum and we weren’t expecting too many people to show up but both shows were fricking insane! It was really cool.

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Did you prefer Bristol or Nottingham?

That’s unfair because one was on a pirate ship and the other was awesome, they were both just fantastic shows! I think every show we’ve played on this tour I’ve been like “That was the best show!” and every night gets better than the one before it, its been crazy.

Did you have time to checkout any bands at HTD festival?

Yeah I saw Kids In Glass Houses, they were great. I never really heard them before. I got to see Brand New, they were great, actually our tour manager, Dave had never seen them before and then he saw them and he’s in love (laughs). He hasn’t stopped singing it, we’ve been listening to it all tour. But you know, Brand New is from where we’re from so it’s really cool to see that and we have a friend who plays drums in Saves The Day now so it was cool to see him do that.

So, you’re from New York. What is the best and worst thing about living there?

Urm… the best thing about living in New York, apart from family and things like that is the food and the worst part is the extreme cold. I like cold but I love extreme heat, its my favourite.

patent-pending-brighter-album-cover‘Brighter’ is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon & Spotify.

You released your latest album in October 2013, are there any plans for future releases?

We’re about to release this incredibly weird and ambitious ‘Hey Mario’ video thing for one of our songs and it could make the album or it could just go unnoticed. We’ll see what happens! The ‘Hey Mario’ thing is gonna be a handful, its not just a music video, there’s a lot that goes with it. I think in a couple of weeks everyone is gonna know what we’re talking about finally and they can understand why we all had moustaches for so long because we dressed up like Mario and Luigi, but we’ll see, it’s bizarre.

The band has been going since 2001. You must have learnt a lot of lessons along the way, can you share any of them with us?

Yeah, so I’ve learnt a lot of lessons and I could spend the next 8 days telling you about them, but I think the most important lesson is if you’re doing music or doing anything you have to love what you’re doing because if it’s gonna be worth doing its going to be difficult at first. So, if you don’t love what you’re doing, you don’t love the people you’re doing it with, it’s not gonna work and that is a stone cold fact. So, that is the most valuable lesson I could probably pass onto anyone actually.

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If your band had a motto what would it be?

It could always be worse! (laughs) I guess our motto accidentally is ‘Never say die’, cause we’re too dumb to quit. So, when terrible terrible things happen we always somehow accidentally find ourselves looking at the positive of this terrible situation, so if we had a band motto I guess it would be ‘We’re broke again’.

What is the 1st CD you ever bought?

The first CD I ever bought was Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer. No, ninja turtles had an album a long time ago and I was a baby, like ninja turtles the tv show, they had an album and a tour called ‘Coming Out of Their Shells’, it was a long time ago, it was awesome. That was the first tape I ever had, oh no, The Beach Boys, it was awesome. One of those is true! (laughs).

What kind of music do you usually listen to and are there any bands you’d recommend?

Dude I listen to everything, like literally everything! If you hear a pop song on the radio and go who listens to this? I probably listen to it. But the bands I’d recommend right now would be this band Lacey who’s actually on this tour, they’re incredible, so so good! And I’d recommend my brothers band This Good Robot, they’re like a more dramatic version of us, if that makes any sense. Like they’re just as energetic and crazy but its more dramatic and its very theatrical, its really cool.

Describe your music in 3 words.

Lets fucking party!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Urm… the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten. It would probably be, Warped Tour in America is very different to Warped Tour over here. WT in America is kinda dangerous if you’re in a van and not a bus, its just because when you get to the mid west and there’s 10 days in a row with 105 degree weather and you’re out from 6am until midnight working, sweating, going nuts, playing shows and all that stuff.

So, it is the most physically demanding tour on planet Earth as far as I’m concerned and when I got home I was so hungry and I just hadn’t eaten real food in so long, I got home and I had a bowl of ravioli with bread sticks and mozzarella sticks and steak in it cause its all that was there and I just put it in a bowl, mushed it up and ate it.

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At the same time I was also taking bites out of a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch. Do you have that here? Do you know what that is? It’s a cereal, its like frosties, I had a bowl of that with chocolate pudding pie in it with milk and sprinkles and whipped cream and I stirred it all together and I ate out of both bowls kind of at the same time. It was the most disgusting thing ever, but it was so good! It was delicious, but I felt terrible after it.

Name one thing that really gets on your nerves and drives you crazy.

Urm… I decided the thing that makes me angry the most is having one wet sock, like if you step in a puddle with one shoe and its like the beginning of the day and you have the wet sock for the rest of the day, so you have one soaking wet foot and one dry foot all day, that is the worst!

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

My iPad. I mean other than people and my dogs, my iPad. I love it so much, its got TV on it all of my favourite shows and I love it! I’m very rarely away from it.

As a child, what did you wish to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be an entertainer of some sort, I just didn’t know if it was a professional wrestler, a comedian, a professional athlete or an actor or something. It changed like everyday according to what was on TV that day.

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Do you believe in ghosts?

This is a tricky one, I’ve been thinking about this actually a lot lately, because yeah I think that that type of thing exists, but I don’t think that they’re just ghosts that just want to punch you in the face. Ask me that one in a year, I need to formulate a better understanding of the whole thing. I’ve had weird experiences, but I don’t know yet how to explain them. Nothing weird that’s worth reporting.

If you could time travel to one era, where would you go and what would you do?

I’d go to the  80’s and I would invent the iPod, not so I could be rich, just so I could be the guy that did it. You know what, that’s not fair, maybe I’d go to Steve Jobs house and be like, you should do this but now, instead of later. It’s cause it was such a weird time and there was a lot of neon and everything was really cheeky and weird too. Oh, and I’d go to the 20’s cause I like swing music.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Burritos! Well, American ones, its weird here you guys like different things. I like kebabs, no I don’t, I like hamburgers and taccos. Hmm… It would have be my wife’s taco night, that would be the only thing I’d eat for the rest of my life. When she makes tacos it’s the best!

What have you got planned for the rest of 2014?

This ‘Hey Mario’ thing is going to be a really weird thing. I’m sorry I can’t explain it but when this comes out, it will kind of dictate the rest of the year for us.

It started as a 3 minute music video and its now a 48 minute thing, so I don’t know. Oh and my wifes having a baby! So im gonna become a dad, so its actually a very big year coming up, its gonna be really crazy.

Where do you see yourselves in 5 years time?

I hope that we’re still coming to England and playing rock shows and I hope they keep getting bigger and if they don’t that’s great because right now its awesome and we’ll do this as long as we’re happy doing it and that’s just the way we are, and my kid will be five, oh my god, that’s scary! Oh no.

Anything else to say to wrap things up?

If this comes out and there are still tour dates, you should come! If there aren’t any, you missed it and if you did come thank you! and we’ll be back sometime in the fall.

Interview by Kaori Manz.

— LIVE DATES —

 29th April – Waterfront, Norwich

30th April – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth