Patrick Orr (Crave On) Talks With Us About the Creative Process, Mainstream Music, and the Simulation Theory
Patrick Orr is a multi-instrumentalist and leader of the band, Crave On. We went deep.
Jesse: First off, what inspired your song, Indian War Whoop? I've listened to it about twenty times and just can't seem to get enough of it.
Patrick: That was just one of the tunes on the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music that we really enjoyed. We were really into the Hoyt Ming & Pep Steppers version so I just decided to rip it up with the drum machine.
Jesse: Well, y'all did an incredible job. It's a magnificent cover. Now, could you take us through the creative process of a successful recording session?
Patrick: Hold on, one second.
Jesse: No problem, I've got all day. I'm actually beach side just enjoying a cold beer at the moment.
Patrick: [Laughs] nice! Glad you liked the recording. We recorded everything ourselves at our home studio. Basically we just put the microphone in front of the speakers, and by speakers I mean amplifiers, and then just rip on a song until we feel good about it. I think everything was done in five takes or less with no overdubs on any of the songs. We wanted the raw live sound for these recordings to match the spirit of the original recordings from the 1920's.
Jesse: Well, I think you nailed it. So, how long have you been making music and why did you get into it in the first place?
Patrick: Thanks! In Nashville (where I grew up) most people play music. I started playing different instruments when I was 10, started writing and recording stuff around seven years ago, and then got addicted to it.
Jesse: Sounds familiar. And what artists have had the biggest impact on your music.
Patrick: [Laughs] Well, Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground, and CAN/krautrock stuff are the classics I like the most but I also really like the music of 2016/2017 like Frankie Cosmos, Kendrick Lamar, Car Seat Headrest, the Alice Coltrane reissue, Julia Holter, Mac DeMarco, etc. Oh, and also Nick Cave, and Leonard Cohen.
Jesse: How did Crave On come into existence?
Patrick: Kate and I were living up in Olympia, Washington and I decided to soak up the Pacific Northwest vibes and record some music in our apartment. I recorded it Todd Rundgren style i.e. one dude layering all the instruments one at a time. I threw the record on bandcamp after we moved to Nashville and then started playing the songs live with some local homies. That was two years ago and in that time we've morphed through a lot of changes.
Jesse: What's the current lineup?
Patrick: Kate on the violin, Bryan on the bass guitar, and myself on the guitar, vocals, drum machine, and synth.
Jesse: So, Kate is your girlfriend and a member of your band?
Patrick, Yup, Exactly.
Jesse: Wow, good for y'all. I really hope you guys make it. So, what's it like making music with your significant other? Do you ever have any creative disagreements?
Patrick: Thanks! It's really great because we both like to play music a lot so we are always hanging out and shredding away on our instruments. We really don't have creative disagreements because we're always striving for the musical space where everyone is happy and winning.
Jesse: Sounds like y'all have got it made. Awesome. So what do you do outside of music?
Patrick: For my job I Uber and Lyft and pretty much my only other activities besides music are reading books and watching movies.
Jesse: Very cool. So, what are some of your favorite books and movies?
Patrick: Some of my favorite writers are Karl Ove Knausgaard, James Joyce, Philip K Dick, and Thomas Pynchon. Some of my favorite movies are Dark Crystal, Hedwig & The Angry Inch, Sans Soleil, Lola by RW Fassbinder, Wings of Dersire, and Crumb.
Jesse: I hate to admit it but I've not watched any of those movies and am familiar with only one of those authors. Looks like I've got a lot of reading and and movie watching to do.
Patrick: [Laughs] there's so much stuff out there! But, definitely watch Dark Crystal.
Jesse: I will check it out. If your taste in movies and books is as good as it is in music, I doubt I will be disappointed. So, are you working on any new material or projects?
Patrick: [Laughs] thanks! I'm working on new songs and hoping to have another new album completed before the end of the year, but we'll see!
Jesse: Awesome, now to wind things down, what is your take on contemporary mainstream music? I'm talking from mainstream Nashville country to the Biebs. Rant, rave, whatever, what's your honest opinion?
Patrick: Honestly, I can't really hate too hard. I'm not really into Bieber or modern pop country, and also just choose not to listen to it... I think it's a really good time for music so I just try to find and focus on the good stuff. There's always been bad stuff so I don't see that as a problem in 2017.
Jesse: So you're a glass half full kind of guy.
Patrick: [Laughs] yeah for the most part but I honestly think the world of music is in a healthy place now so I would even say the glass is at least 60% full.
Jesse: I agree, by the grace of technology it seems as if we're entering into another golden age of music. And now, for the last question of the evening, and it's going to be a weirdly deep one. Do you think we're living in a simulation? Is life but a dream?
Patrick: [Laughs] I love that question so much but I would tend to say no.
Patrick: Well it's impossible to tell or say whether or not we are, so since it's unsayable and unknowable then I consider it a question we'll never have an answer to. But, on the other hand, since everything and everybody we know will someday just dissolve into stardust then our world is like a dream in a way. A dream dissolves when you wake up and in the same way everything we know will melt away so it's true what Shakespeare said, "we are such stuff as dreams are made on." I love the idea of "life is but a dream" but I don't consider it as a potential fact of approaching usefulness if that makes any sense.
Jesse: Absolutely beautiful, Patrick. A true philosopher. Let's end on that. I don't know how we could top that. It's been a pleasure chatting with you. Take care and please keep making beautiful music!
Patrick: Awesome! Thank you, Jesse! And thanks for listening to the music!
Jesse: I'm about to give Indian War Whoop another listen. Peace.
Follow Patrick and his band Crave On on Facebook.