We recently sat down in Leeds with Patent Pending frontman Joe Ragosta to chat about different types of support tours, winning over new fans, the zombie apocalypse and what to expect from the band’s upcoming album…
Hello Joe! How are you?
Good man, thanks! How are you?
Great! So how is everything in the world of Patent Pending right now?
Amazing! Patent Pending is going great. Unfortunately on this tour Anthony can’t make it, because we only found out about this tour three weeks ago. Anthony couldn’t get out of his commitments and Rob couldn’t get out of his stuff, so we have my brother Robert playing guitar, and we have Gav from Boy Jumps Ship playing drums. But everything is awesome. We’re happy to be on the road, we didn’t expect to be out here so soon.
You’re on the road with Waterparks, how’s that going?
Well 50% of the shows have been cancelled. We’ve done one show so far in Birmingham. It went really well, their fans are mixing really well with ours, it’s going great. Dublin was covered in snow – the snowpocalypse, so that show has been moved. Tonight looks like it’s going to be insane.
Of course. You guys always do really well in Leeds anyway! Would you even take a tour if it wasn’t coming here?
Absolutely not! Yorkshire, man! I love this place!
Would it be fair so say that the Waterparks crowd isn’t your usual fanbase?
It’s weird because to me all this stuff is the same type of music. We came over with Bowling For Soup, we’re similar to Bowling For Soup. The bands we bring out are similar to us, Waterparks are similar to them, to me it’s all similar but some people are like ‘That’s a completely different style of music!’
From the previous times I’ve seen you play, I’d say you usually have a slightly older audience than what is here tonight…
Yeah, there were a lot of young kids at the Birmingham show. It’s very funny for me to watch kids see a band like us for the first time. We’ll stage dive and they’re just not ready for that. It’s been so cool though, and everyone has been so nice and wildly receptive so far.
Cool. Do how do these types of support show compare to when you play with the likes of Bowling For Soup or Zebrahead where you’ve already got a lot of mutual fans in the crowd?
These ones are cool. Zebrahead and Bowling For Soup fans probably have an idea of who we are first. The Waterparks fans have no idea who we are, so to me there’s an exciting thing of walking out onstage and having to convince almost a thousand people that we’re something that they will like. It’s a challenge. They might hate you when you walk out and still hate you when you’re done, but the hope is that if they hate you at first then by the end they’re into it. We’re doing an extended set on this tour because as of right now we’re not going to be back until we’ve finished another album, so we’re doing a longer set so that our fans can get the chance to see us before we go away for a bit.
So, an new album. What can we expect from that?
You can expect it to rock! I think this time I want to take my time a little bit more, I feel like I’ve got a lot to say, and I want to make sure that it rocks! I want to try and find a new way to do that because I think that rock music in England does very well, but globally rock music is on a downward spiral. It’s not respected as much right now. I think with some of the stuff that our president has done, and some people in other countries have done, people are pissed off. I think the world needs to rock again. I want to find a new and creative way to rock!
Does that mean we can expect a couple of more political songs from you?
I don’t know, but I can tell you that I’ve written some. I’ve started to process and demoed a couple of songs, but no one has heard them yet. Some of them are angry, some are happy. I think it’s going to be something that true Patent Pending fans are going to be excited to see. It’s a bit more rock, a bit more like what we do live than on the last couple of albums.
How important do you think it is for people such as yourself who have the privilege of a platform infront of hundreds, often thousands of people to use your voice to influence positive change?
It’s a weird one for us. I mean, I’ll say whatever the fuck I want, but I know some people go to a rock show to get away from politics. In our country you can’t turn on the TV or radio without hearing about this fucking dickhead that’s our President, and I know that if I was paying I was going out to a show I’d want to leave that at home for a minute. I’m trying to learn that my gift in life is to make people have fun. Maybe there’s a fun way to do politics. Maybe there isn’t, maybe we’ll just make a rock record. All I know is that I’m going to write way more songs for this album than I have in the past and try to make it the best twelve or fourteen songs that I possibly.
I asked you this question at The Key Club last year, but it’s always good to keep it fresh – as a band that’s on tour a lot you get to see loads of great bands that we might not know about. Who should we be checking out?
Neverthere. That is my brother’s band. They started releasing music recently, they’ve been sitting on it for a year. It’s damn good, there’s a song out called Labs which I highly recommend everyone listens to. It’s a great song. They’re a great band.
A silly question to wrap things up – you wake up tomorrow in a zombie apocalypse. What is your weapon of choice and why?
My weapon would be an iPad. I can use it to get information, give information and also use it to throw. It’s like a giant throwing star. I’m not sure how the WiFi would be during a zombie apocalypse, but I’m sticking with it.
Excellent! Finally, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Stay alert with Patent Pending online in next few months. Be on the look out. I think it’s going to be a really cool two years ahead for Patent Pending!