Interview with Patrick of Pestilence
Some may not know that Pestilence is my favorite Death Metal band and that Testimony of the Ancients is my favorite Death metal album, but hey, now you do! I felt when it came out it was way ahead of its time and I still think this up to this day (along with Spheres of course). Like Chuck S., Trey A., and a few others out there, Patrick is a one of a kind guitarist and musician that has always pleased these Metal ears. One day as I was trolling around fb looking for Patricks page, I finallly found it and decided to send him a request for an interview just to see if he would respond. To my surprise he responded and was really cool about it and we did the interview through messenger. I hope you enjoy my little chat. Peace!!
Interview and live pictures by Michael Coles â€“ Photographs taken at Maryland Death Fest The Outcast: First things first, I am sorry to hear about the cancellation of the recent tours in the USA. I have NEVER, ever thought of you being a racist and never will. The fact this was blown out of proportion by those jerks, along with other drama they have created for other bands is really sad. Your thoughts?
Patrick: I blocked this guy from a band and his friend decided to fabricate a story about me and send it to â€śmetal sucks.â€ť Very simple. So they used the story, but it backlashed because all my supporters burned them down. But, it could be anything. There was also one of their sponsored tours happening at that same time peroid so who knows?
The Outcast: Is Maryland for next year cancelled as well? You couldn't get different promoters for the USA tour, or have they ruined your name by their ignorance?
Patrick: Things are still open, but there is a chance that there will no longer be Pestilence in the States. With the current political situation where everyone is scared to take an opinion other than the liberal one is pretty scary. And it seems like the negative thing will not be forgotten soon. Promotors are scared, venues are scared. It is sad. Metal once used to be a rebellious movement, but nowâ€¦.. To be clear one more time, we are not racist, fascist, or sexist. Itâ€™s ridiculous that I even have to discuss this.
The Outcast: Are you a political person? Are you involved politically speaking with any party in your country? How do politics differ there from the US?
Patrick: I'm not a political person nor is Pestilence. We are here to entertain. The political structure here differs a lot from the US one, but again, I have no interest in talking about this because I do not care.
The Outcast: I personally do not recall when humans became so uptight about everything, and like you said, especially in the Metal world. But I feel it is getting worse and it has gotten out of hand. And like you said, it seems like everyone gets offended about anything and everything these days. What do you think or feel changed in the world for so many "snowflakes" to start sprouting out?
Patrick: This has been going on in the US for a longer period of time. Social unrest has become a tool for these distortions in life.
The Outcast: Enough on that crap..... Why was the new album streamed for so long prior to its release? Were you not afraid due to how long it was out on line that people would pass it up when it actually came out?
Patrick: Simple, it got leaked, as usual. Not all critics can be trusted with the promo material, so we figured just to stream it ourselves. Itâ€™s just another sign of the times where the music industry can not do anything about it. Internet ruined alot of things really.
The Outcast: I agree, along with marriages and so many other relationships (social media). What can you tell me about the new album? Is it connected in any way from any previous albums?
Patrick: Well, the connection is me. I write all the music and ever since resurrection macabe, also the lyrics. So obviously there is that connection. My playing, composing, defines Pestilence. The guys that execute with me my music is what defines an album. So with every line up change, Pestilence will sound different. Hopefully this line up will stay because I think itâ€™s the best format to date.
The Outcast: Well, best of luck keeping them around!! Maybe not so much the first two albums, or maybe I am wrong, but it seems like with Testimony on up, every album has a story, a concept. Am I off thinking this?
Patrick: Well, I like to pick a topic and then go more in depth with it, so yeah. But not really a chronological concept of songs though. But more the style and feel of an album has to be complimented with the lyrics so that everything fits.
The Outcast: What do you think of the albums final work? I know you had issues with the first one. What exactly was the story with this?
Patrick: I think you are referring to the artwork?
The Outcast: Yes.
Patrick: Well the first cover was not original and pieces were taken from existing artwork. Pestilence is an original band and I will not have any plagiarism ruin my album. So we had another guy work on it with a different approach and it turned out for the better.
The Outcast: With Testimony on up you have had The Sphere on every album. Is there a special and significant meaning behind this sphere, or is it just something you want Pestilence to be known for like Eddie with Maiden, Vic with Megadeth, or Trey and Morbid A. with his alphabetical ordered albums?
Patrick: We needed a very strong symbol that represents us and the sphere is just an awesome concept. A circle that has no beginning and no end. An everlasting cycle of exisistence.
The Outcast: Thatâ€™s cool. I always wondered about it when I was younger. What happened with Patrick U.? I was saddened he was not on the new album. Like Danny C. and Eric C. from Autopsy (among others), I just felt the two of you were a great duo!! Any chance he will be back in the future?
Patrick: Donâ€™t get me wrong, I love Patrick and we worked really well together, but he was getting tired of all the touring and just couldnâ€™t handle the stress of recording and the constant bullshit within the metal community. For composing songs it was not a problem since I write all the music anyways. But in Calin Paraschiv, I have a very good replacement. And live Calin has a great stage personality. Off stage as well by the way.
The Outcast: Well thatâ€™s great man, Iâ€™m glad it wasnâ€™t for other reasons. I hope I get to witness Calin play live one of these days!! Now it is time to look back a bit. With no disrespect to you or anyone, I felt like M.M. was total Possessed worship. Am I wrong in thinking this? I felt that it wasn't until Consuming where Pestilence, and you as a musician, started creating your own sound.
Patrick: Possessed, Slayer and a few more. I was absorbing everything I liked and wasnâ€™t too concerned about creating my own style. Testimony was the real start of this. I stopped listeing to metal just because I wanted to be as original as possible knowing I am like a sponge when it comes to listening to metal.
The Outcast: That was my next question actually. You mentioned in a recent interview that you do not listen to death metal because you do not want to be influenced by any other death metal bands. So nothing at all? Not even the old school stuff?
Patrick: Call me weird but thatâ€™s true. I have periods in time where I do not listen to any music at all. Sometimes when something pops up on Youtube I might check it out, but it seems like a lot of the music just sounds the same and itâ€™s not worth my time. Sure, sometimes I listen to old Carnivore, Ripping Corpse or old Possessed. But I do want to keep up with whats happening. Does that make any sense?
The Outcast: Yes. I really can not get into new music at all. Iâ€™m the same way keeping it old school. Iâ€™m kind of closed minded checking out new music in gneral to be honest. What was everyone's mindset after M.M.? Were you all like; "Ok, its time to get brutal!!" What influenced you all back then to go more brutal and follow the Death Metal Path?
Patrick: I think it was Leprosy from Death that triggered me to come up with an answer to that album. I always wanted to measure myself with leading bands at that time and so Consuming was born. Martin during the first recordings sang like he did on M.M., so I sat down with him to change that. After a big fight, he finally got it and the typical Martin vocals were born. He is still using this style to date.
The Outcast: I have seen Consuming re-released with the album cover you originally wanted. Do you still get angry at the fact R/C changed your album cover on the debut? I'm not going to lie brother, I prefer the one R/C used because I feel it just sticks out more!! Some may call it cheezy, as you may as well, but that album cover will never leave the fans minds!! It's epic!! When I walked into my favorite metal store in TX and bought that album when it came out, I fell in love!! Your thoughts?
Patrick: It all boils down to integrity of the band. Artistic freedom. This was taken away from us and itâ€™s just plain wrong. The fact you like it so much is conditioned. You got used to it that it becomes a reality and thatâ€™s that.
The Outcast: I can see that and I agree with that. It happened to Autopsy even with Severed. It does suck when bands do not get to choose what they originally wanted, but I still love that cover regardless. Why didn't you do the vocals for Pestilence from the start of the band? After Martin was no longer in Pestilence, what made you decide to take up the vocal duties instead of getting another vocalist? I'm not going to lie, before Testimony came out, I was nervous I wasn't going to like the change. I was dead wrong!! Not only did you deliver vocally, Testimony is my favorite Death Metal album of all time. I felt it was way ahead of its time in every way, technically, musically, etc
Patrick: Thanks. Well, knowing the Pestilence history, I was the original singer on the first demo. I sounded like Jeff Becerra. But I really wanted to just play the guitar although I liked the way Chuck handled his guitar and vocal duties. I like to experiment with my voice a lot and try to make it fit with all the Pestilence albums, which I donâ€™t really get credit for but thatâ€™s ok. Most DM singers stick to 1 style and I think thatâ€™s limiting oneself. I know it is a risk, but I like that.
The Outcast: How long does it take for you to compose a Pestilence song?
Patrick: That really depends on the time pressure, cosmic flow, and clear mind. But most of the time to complete an album it takes me about one year.
The Outcast: R/C, Mascot, Candlelight, Mascot, and now Hammerheart...... Why so many label changes? Are you happy with Hammerheart thus far?
Patrick: I like change. It gives me more opportunity and focus. I like to keep things fresh and thus far Hammerheart is doing a great job.
The Outcast: I heard Doctrine was out of print now, is this true? Do you ever see previous albums re-released at all?
Patrick: I really donâ€™t know nor do I have influence over this. The various record labels have different policies about what to do with the material. I like Doctrine a lot and would love to see it re-released too!
The Outcast: Several years passed between Spheres and Resurrection Macabre. The lyrics on R.M. are pretty bleak. Do the songs Horror Detox and Hate Suicide have personal meaning? Did you go through a lot of trials during this time period of absence?
Patrick: No, of course not. My personal journey has nothing to do with Pestilence nor is it a reflection. I always try to be original. I pick a theme and stick with that for the whole album so itâ€™s as transparant as possible for the listener. Those particular songs have to do with Daesh (IS).
The Outcast: I see. So on to a not so serious topic, how has working out helped you out in your life? I noticed that you look healthier than you have ever looked before!! Were there reasons for this change in life style?
Patrick: When I found out I was diabetic type 1, I knew I had to change my lifestyle. I was ruining myself with alcohol and bad food choices. After a car crash it finally opened my eyes. I had to change my direction and focus. Working out helped me so much with my respect for my body and my self respect. Time is slipping away and now I want to live life to the fullest. The idea that drinking alcohol and the metal lifestyle cannot be separated is not my reality anymore. I get on stage sober and I feel better than ever.
The Outcast: Well good for you!! Life is too short to drink it away for sure!! Do you take any supplements? What is a Mameli work out routine like?
Patrick: The usual, I would say. Protein supplements, liver support, all the extra vitamins, fish oils and clean superfoods. I do not eat any fast food or anything similar, although on the road it can be difficult at times. But I have my girl by my side, and she takes really good care of me.
The Outcast: I also noticed you got married!! Congrats!! Is your wife your work out partner as well? Any kids in the future?
Patrick: Well, we are engaged to be married, but I call her my wife already because of our commitment to each other. We take it very seriously. Yes, we work out together most of the time. She has great fitness skills aswell, next to being an awesome cook and having a great personality. We focus on each other and on my 2 sons and her daughter. So no plans for more kids. Iâ€™m almost 51 anyways. Too old fort hat shit lol.
The Outcast: Ahh... I had no idea you had kids. Well then yes, you are too old!! Hahaha!! Do you listen to music while you work out? If so, who and what style? I usually listen to catchy Death Metal when I am at the gym.
Patrick: Nope, I like to focus on my muscle groups and not the music. I want to be there fully focused and conscious. I feel it distracts me from my exercises. But hey, we are all different.
The Outcast: Tell me about Doctrine. It stands out from the rest of the Pestilence discography, lyrically and even with the one word song titles.
Patrick: It stands out, like Spheres stands out. Fretless bass guitar by J.P. Everything I create comes out natural and is a snapshot for that particular moment in time. At that time this was what was on my mind.
The Outcast: Do you believe in God or in Satan as actual beings? Why or why not?
Patrick: Although I do get it why people fabricate these types of belief systems, I do not believe myself. I understand that there is a need for these systems because of people wanting to have these to ease their minds. Same with the concept of time. We need to put stuff in time frames in order to grasp the reality of it.
The Outcast: Did you grow up in a religious home at all? If so, how did that mold your thought process?
Patrick: Yes, and all it lead me to was trying to rebel from it and start a DM band lol. But really, religion is power over people and the root of a lot of wars. So Iâ€™m not a big fan.
The Outcast: Well brother, thank you for the time and pleasure, so here is my last question for the interview. What do you hope to find after your life has ceased?
Patrick: Good question. I will do my best to find the love of my life again and again. We are such a good match that I donâ€™t want this to ever end. I hate getting older and I will gym myself young until I die.