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article imageInterview: Patrick Dennis talks about his new record Special

By Adrian Peel     May 5, 2015 in Music
Despite being a mainstay on the Californian music scene for years - and playing in a number of different bands - indie rocker Patrick Dennis has only just got around to making his first solo album. He told Digital Journal all about it.
Patrick Dennis' debut is called Fürst in the Dirt, a solid first offering recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, and on the day we spoke, the former member of Wirepony and Truckee Brothers - a huge fan of the late Joe Strummer - was getting ready to shoot a video for the second single entitled "The Last Drop."
The record is out next month and I assumed most of Patrick's time was being taken up with preparing for the launch. "Preparing for the release and preparing for the tour," he informs me. "A little bit of all that to get us ready; band rehearsals and booking dates and things like that - just gearing up for it."
On the subject of the title, the artist, a clearly very creative mind, states, "Obviously it's a play on words... 'Fürst' is German for 'prince' and I kept hearing that Oscar Wilde quote that 'we're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.'
"Then oddly enough, the first family memory I have is of my great-grandfather, Prince, sitting on a bed playing cowboy songs to me and so it kind of ties a lot of it together. It's this idea of being in the dirt, being beaten down and things being tough, but still having a sense of hope about life in general, about people in general."
How many years did the project take to bring to fruition?
"Well in truth, even though I didn't realise it, it was about five years in-the-making. I didn't know whether I'd make another record after I'd left the bands I'd been in and really fell into it accidentally. I met a couple of guys when I moved to Nashville for a little while and we became drinking buddies.
"Then I realised they made some of my favourite records and we started making some music. After a few false starts, we had an album. It was a really good creative experience. The experience of working with these guys rekindled that feeling I had when I was a kid; when I started making music in a band and the first time I recorded.
"It inspired me to the point where I was running home every night and writing new songs and coming back in the next morning and saying, 'Hey, I've got this song!'"
The album, produced by Adam Landry and Justin Collins (collectively known as Cosmic Thug), consists of 11 tracks and I asked the long-time resident of Los Angeles, who actually grew up in San Diego, to tell me a bit about the first single, released in late March, "Kissing the Beast."
"It's a punk rock song that I had in my back pocket and I had a blast doing it - recording it was amazing. It was Justin Collins who ended up writing the lyric with me. I had this song but I didn't know exactly what I was going to say and he had an idea and we started writing it together.
"We went and opened a bottle of tequila and half an hour later came out with it and recorded the vocals all live. The lyric gave off the energy that I felt for the song, which is this battle to make choices and make them right, to stay passionate and stay alive without getting dragged under. Probably not the most erudite description..."
Finally, which of the album's other tracks should we particularly look out for?
"I'd say for me personally, 'The Last Drop,' that we're going to do the video for today, is one I really, really love. I wrote it against an Indian violin melody, which you wouldn't think so when you hear it. It was inspired again by passion and discovery and things we feel as human beings that are just part of rolling through life."
Fürst in the Dirt is out on June 19th.
For more information on Patrick Dennis, visit his official website.
More about patrick dennis, Rock music, California, furst in the dirt, Oscar wilde
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