The pop-punk scene in the UK is on the verge of exploding with the like of Neck Deep due to play main stage at Reading and Leeds this year, and bands such as ROAM and As It Is on the verge of going over with UK crowds. But this scene would never been able to grow without the bands that had gone before it guys like Zebrahead and Motion City Soundtrack, and then the subject of this interview, the one and only Patent Pending.
Playing the Desperados Stage at this years Slam Dunk festival, we caught up with front-man Joe Ragosta following the bands final performance at the festival in front of a huge and pumped crowd, and talked about the bands UK presence, plans for the future and video game based drug addiction.
[To our Photographer, who has to be somewhere else]
Get out of here you crazy kid! Look at this kid!
This is your third time in the UK, in just over a year? What keeps bringing you back?
Because I love it here, and you guys are crazy. The people here are so great to us, why wouldn’t we come here all the time?
You only first hit these shores in 2012, has it been a bit of a whirlwind? Are you more popular over here?
We’re way more popular over here, so much more popular over here. People just seem to give music a shot, they listen to the songs, listen to the band and then make their decision. It’s not based on what the band look like, or what their dressed as it’s really cool here.
Day three of the festival, have you enjoyed it? Have the crowds been good.
The crowds for these last three shows have been so unbelievably insane, I can’t express it. It’s like they have no personal respect for their well being, they run around and just mosh.
The circle pit you had going today!
That was amazing! I had a great time, the kids have been great and it’s getting me excited to come back in November.
Your back in November then?
We’re going to do a big tour in November, it’s going to be awesome.
Do you get time to catch many bands at festivals like this?
Dude, our whole stage is all my favourite bands! Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger, Millencolin and Zebrahead it’s just so awesome. On top of that there are all these other great stages, with other great bands. I saw You Me At Six for the first time, their really good, who knew? Wonder Years and Fireworks are here, Set It Off and Survay Says, it’s amazing.
There are a couple of bands on their last tours Fireworks and A Loss For Words are both going.
Yeah that stinks, I’m sad to see both of them go. They are just so good, and it’s awesome to see them here on last time.
In the early days you put out a lot of E.Ps as opposed to albums, was that just how it worked out, or is that how you wanted to play it?
This year (last twelve months) we did a Mario E.P, we did a Christmas E.P that we didn’t get done in time so that’ll come out later this year and we’re doing another E.P called ‘Armageddon’ that’s coming out on July 31st. So I think the idea of an E.P is to just get music out. We love making music, we love when people have it, we could sit on it for a year and finish an album but lets just get it out there.
In this day and age people do want music quicker, and they don’t want to wait for an album. As soon as you release an album, their asking when the next one is coming out anyway, so I suppose it works out better?
It’s exciting, but a lot of people are upset about it “kids just want to rush blah blah blah.” To me it’s exiting because it pushes you, “the kids want new music now” then lets find new sound, lets find new songs, lets work on it, you know! I think it’s a cool time to be a musician in that way.
You released the ‘Mario and the Brickbreakers E.P’ last year, how did you reach the decision to do that album? Obviously you’d done ‘Hey Mario’ prior to that.
Dude, it’s so stupid. We had this ‘Hey Mario’ song off the album ‘Brighter’ that wanted to be single, so we did a lyric video that, it went viral for it so they were like “let make a music video for it.” So when it came to making the video, what’s it going to be about? So my Brother came up with this idea, make it a documentary about a band called Mario and the Brickbreakers. We shot five terrabytes of footage over eight months.
I actually watched it last night.
It’s so stupid, no? And funny! I’m, not trying to put words in your mouth, but to me it’s the funniest thing ever. Everyone should love this. But it’s the idea that this band exists, they’ve had a career that’s lasted thirty years, so we had to make a greatest hits album, so we made a greatest hits album that’s all joke songs, and it was in the charts here it was nuts.
Does the Brickbreakers mockumentary take any inspiration from ‘true’ events in Patent Pending’s story? Your from Hoboken, Marc (Kantor) does the music management thing.
We realised afterwards that some of it echoes us, were in a band and most bands kind of start with the same story. Starts from nothing, one guys in charge of the business, one guys and idiot etc. All of the crazy stuff with the drugs – the mushrooms, the flowers and the stars and Mario being an intolerable ass-hole non of that’s true. It’s just a funny story that kind of echoes what we do.
Did you have to approach Nintendo?
We tried, and we got put on hold for an hour, so we called back on another phone and was like “Hey, we’ve been on hold for any hour” so they were like “okay please hold.” They put us on hold for three hours. We finally get through to a secretary and we are like “we just want to get rights for these songs, can we do this to use Mario” and they are like “we will never give you the right.” They didn’t say not to do it, just that they would never give us the rights so we did it and they haven’t said anything.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Being a good guy, who can make excellent marinara sauce.
Dream dinner guest (dead or alive)?
Like not my wife? It’s my wife!
If you could only play one venue for the rest of your career where would it be?
That’s an unfair question, but it would be in England though.
Favourite swear word?
What was the last song that really made you stop and listen?
Shit, I have this I brought it recently and I can’t remember. I don’t have any music on my phone right now, damn it! The band Swimmers has song, and I don’t know the name of it because it was live but I know it’s about a cartoon on Nickelodeon, and I know it’s coming out on the new album! That was not a lot of information, and it’s not a very good answer because I don’t know the name of the song. Okay, I’ve got one ‘Bleak December’ by Set It Off.
What did you have for breakfast?
Today? I had a protein bar because I couldn’t find food.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
What album are you embarrassed to own?
Original Patent Pending albums.
Patent Pending will be back in the UK in November, possibly with Zebrahead who have just announced a November tour, but whoever it is with catch them out because you are guaranteed a damn good show. Also check out the bands album ‘Brighter’ and the E.P ‘Mario and the Brickbreakers: Greatest Hits’ for some pop-punk goodness.