In November of last year an album was released filled with political hip hop and smooth jazz and soul driven tones. The artist, engineer and producer, Pataphysics, writes on his Bandcamp page that the album was recorded on the land of the Wurundjeri people in Australia. I contacted Pat to learn more about that statement, about this latest album of his, flow vs. content and his work with the refugee community in Melbourne.
For those not familiar with your work, who is Pataphysics?
I write lyrics, produce music, play trumpet as well, record, and mix a bunch.
How did you get into making music?
I always loved music, I used to rap in primary school, just making up lyrics about anything. Got more focused in high school.
You recently published a new album, Tip of the Spear (Nov. 2017). How was the process behind making that album?
On this record I try do dig deeper, engaging with content I had not previously wrote about. A lot of the songs and ideas presented on this record took a while to develop and articulate. I wrote a lot of songs and music until I achieved the sound/vision I had in my mind.
What are some of the greater developments since your debut album, Subversive (2012)?
I have enjoyed performing live and touring. Released an EP, then working on the new album while taking time to write and collaborate on other projects.
Has social consciousness or political messages always been a part of your music making or has it evolved gradually?
Ever since I started performing I enjoyed exploring these ideas. As I have grown as a person and thinker so has my content.
“If you are saying important things but have no flow, the listener might not feel it. I feel it’s like a poisoned tipped arrow. If one doesn’t get you, the other will.”
How important is it for you to write lyrics with the right political words versus less important words but that flow better for the rhythm of the song?
They are just as equal in my mind. Both need to be 100. If you are saying important things but have no flow, the listener might not feel it. I feel it’s like a poisoned tipped arrow. If one doesn’t get you, the other will.
You are the Music and Arts coordinator of R.I.S.E. (Refugees, Survivors, and Ex Detainees). Can you tell us more about that project and how you got to be a part of that?
R.I.S.E is the only organisation of its type run by refugees in this country. It does amazing work in the community. I often would work and mentor emerging artists in an informal capacity, when R.I.S.E began they asked me to help out and I was more than happy to help.
It is stated on your Bandcamp page that the album is recorded on the land of the Wurundjeri people. Can you tell us more about that?
They are the traditional owners of Narrm (Melbourne). The people who were here before invasion. Australia is one of the only countries that doesn’t have a treaty with its first nation peoples.
Refugees and the movement of people seems to be a topic you touch upon in more than one song. How important is the that issue for you? Is it close to you where you live?
In Australia we lock refugees indefinitely in “detention centres” prisons. This is against International conventions we have signed.
Who are your favorite political musicians out there, current or old?
Public Enemy were a HUGE influence on me. Chuck D is such an amazing human. Also love Rage against the Machine. These days ‘Bambu de Pistola’ is one of my favourites.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Bunch of live shows, finally getting out of the studio more now that the album is finished and out. But I am also writing more music, working on new material and producing for a number of artists in Melbourne.
Thank you so much for participating and for the work and music you make. Anything else you would like to shout from the rooftops?
If you wanna hear my album and my other music it’s available on spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5nIM4nB0A65tmrwoG1GH3w
Cover photo by Paul H.
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