Pat Gerasia is the drummer of Red Sun Rising and he joins the show this week to talk about pursuing your dream and not having a backup plan. Pat started drumming at an early age and never looked back, which led him to live on both coasts until finally joining up with his current project, Red Sun rising. The band is poised to release their new record in March, 'Thread' and the first single is called 'Deathwish'. Pat talks about tour life and playing big festivals, some his drumming idols, and what he likes to do in his off time.
Dustin: Yeah, why don't we start with your musical influences? We talked a little bit about Queens of the Stone Age, but what got you into drumming? What bands do you think of when you're coming up with drum lines that you might want to reflect upon and kind of, not necessarily mimic, but be inspired by?
Pat: Well, speaking of Queens of the Stone Age, like that whole rabbit hole of bands like Tool, A Perfect Circle, that's what really got me really juiced to play drums. I've always been a drummer, you know? I got my first kit when I was like 12 years old, so obviously I grew up with the grunge movement; Alice in Chains, Soundgarden. But when I really took drumming seriously is when I moved on to those darker, heavy and deep bands like Tool and all that stuff.
Jeff: Awesome, and you said you started drumming when you were 12 and you grew up in this area where we're in, right now.
Pat: Yeah, I grew up in Albany.
Jeff: So, how did you hook up and start being in a band that is predominantly from Ohio?
Pat: It's a very long story. I'll try to keep it short.
Dustin: Make sure we have time.
Jeff: Yeah, we totally do.
Pat: I had started my own band in Charlotte, because after I left Albany I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina right in the middle of high school. Didn't want to go, hated it, going from the north to the south. Immediately I was asked to join this band; turned out to be my best friends down there, and we ended up forming a band in college called Fusebox Poet. So Dave, who plays guitar in Red Sun Rising, now, was the bassist in that band. I kind of brought him on within the last couple of years. But we were just doing independent tours and just playing shows wherever we could. For some reason we always could find shows and show swaps in Ohio, like Youngstown, Ohio, Akron, that area. We were just coming through town one day, we had a day off, we're grilling hot dogs in the parking lot with their van. Had a nice steel grill and we were doing, like, brats and dogs. Walked into the Guitar Center just to grab some stuff and Mike and Ryan, who started the band, worked there for years and we just hit it off and, you know, we're playing for, like, 40 kinds a night if we're lucky, and these guys are like "we draw like 500 to 1,000 kids for a show." We were like "we gotta get your number!" Sure enough, we kept in touch, became homies. That band, Fusebox Poet, broke up, I moved to L.A. to pursue my thing and I was actually going out there to be an independent drummer. I didn't want to join a band, I just wanted to work for myself doing session stuff and freelance stuff.
Dustin: How do you feel about touring versus the studio? Do you see yourself more as a session bassist or a touring bassist?
Pat: Drummer. You're the bassist. I wish I was a bassist. No, that's alright. I'm definitely more of a touring drummer; I have a lot more experience with that, but there's something about being in the studio that I absolutely love, and the grass is always greener. We just got out of the studio and it was like a magical moment. I felt like we just went to therapy for a few months, as an individual, as a band, it was like a creative release, so it's all about having a balance of the two. I see myself, as I get older, you know when I'm 50, 60, maybe I can ease into the studio work stuff and just record in a home studio in my backyard and be home every day and have a couple of dogs, whatever. Stuff like that.
Dustin: The American dream.
Pat: The American dream. Right now, it's all the grind and non-stop touring and that's just such a part of my routine right now.
Dustin: The grind, itself, is awesome. I mean, as far as myself, that's what I strive for in life. I love the path of struggle, you know? That's fun, especially like the road can be a struggle, but man, I bet when you come out of it, you feel like a warrior.
Pat: Yeah, we've pretty much toured for two years straight, like two and a half years, non-stop. We're on a break right now.
Dustin: How does that feel after two years?
Pat: The first couple months, I was just in a hole. I didn't want to leave the room. I'd close the door, lock the door ...
Dustin: Because the thing about tour is you're never really by yourself too often.
Pat: Never. No privacy.
Dustin: Yeah, that's insane, so I bet that's like, shut yourself in a room, please don't talk to me.
Pat: It's been nice, but now that's been three, four months I'm like, "let's go on tour." I'm just ancy now, like "alright guys!" Me and the guys in the band are on the phone almost every day, just talking and shooting the breeze and just getting everything moving because we start to miss each other a little bit and we're just ready to take this thing to the next level and go off for the next round.
Dustin: Do you know how long you're going out for the next round? Do you have any ideas? Is it going to be another two years?
Pat: It's probably going to be just another solid grind, but the first touring cycle was our very first album, so we couldn't really be selective; we took any show we could get ... not any show, but any tour, pretty much, that made sense. It was better to get our feet in the door and just get out there, so now we're going to be a little smarter with how much we're touring; quality versus quantity kind of thing. It's going to be a long cycle. It's already shaping up; I mean, our schedule right now is through the fall. Most of these dates aren't announced yet, but we do all the big festivals in the U.S. and it's just like, because we've been off, the work's just kind of piling and the shows are piling and, opportunities.
Jeff: That's a good problem to have.
Pat: It's a good problem to have, so the longer we're out, the better. That means something's going well.
Jeff: I've heard you say before that ... especially drumming with this band ... that you have found the way that you personally, and your skillset, kind of fit in to the music, and I wanted you to speak a little bit about that because I thought that was interesting, especially with Red Sun Rising, because it is such an eclectic sound. Did you find, by joining this band, that it completely changed your way of playing?
Pat: I don't want to say it changed my way of playing; if you married all my favorite bands into one, that's what my band sounds like right now. That's the coolest thing because we all have the same core, like what I said earlier. We all grew up with the grunge movement, we all have a classic rock background, we all listen to soul music, and we listen to such a broad range of music that we're all on the same page 90% of the time. But yeah, I feel like I'm just playing for all of my favorite bands melted into one and I just kind of know what to do. I know how to mesh my drum part with that guitar part and we're all on the same page, so it's very exciting.
Dustin: I've seen a few videos of you guys playing live and, undoubtedly, you're all very, incredibly tight and, you can tell, very well-practiced, but I'm just curious for my own sake: do you play to a click track?
Pat: Yeah, just clicks.
Dustin: Because I don't see a way of getting that tight without having some sort of click track.
Pat: You see some bands, like Smashing Pumpkins, like Jimmy Chamberlin, their drummer. They never played to the click; only in the studio, and you listen to it and it's just like "what the hell?"
Dustin: Do you think he probably, when he was practicing, he probably had a clicker.
Pat: Yeah, I'm sure he learned to play to it, but then, the more advanced timing stuff that happens in a lot of Motown music and stuff is the push and pull. When you can control that or even ... you could still find that while you're playing with a click, but yeah, we're on a click, we're kind of completely against backing tracks. We really have an old-school model. We're not with the times where we have Ableton running and the drummer's hitting space bar on the computer, starting the track. We're on a click, but that's it. It's all instruments.
Dustin: I feel like that forces you to find more creative ways to use your instrument if you want to make cool, creative sounds at a live show.
Pat: Of course, and plus, whatever you record on the record you have to be able to play live. If you have tracks, that's not true; you can just throw a bunch of crap in there.
Jeff: Did you get used to playing with a click track, like when you were pursuing being session drummer? Or was it just with this band?
Pat: Oh, yeah, and I've done that stuff, the Ableton stuff, going on tour with an artist and pressing the space bar and playing to a track, and if you get off one beat the entire track is ... there's no room for error.
Jeff: You're screwed, yeah. That's a rough life but it's refreshing to see a band like you guys have so much fun with your sound, but also be as tight as you are. I think that's really, really, really awesome. Your first record, it did really well on the charts and you ...
Dustin: You guys had two hits off that, right?
Pat: Yeah, we had two number-one billboard active rock singles, which is ...
Dustin: That's incredible. How good did that feel?
Pat: It's pretty amazing. It's just crazy when you see that and it's crazy just to even see yourself in the top 20 with, like, Metallica and these guys you looked up to. We're kind of peers with them now; not with Metallica. You know what I mean. We're in the same genre of bands and we're in the same battle together and to find that acknowledgement is unreal.
Dustin: That's so cool.
Jeff: You got your record; that did great. Now you were saying you just got out of the studio. You guys are poised to release your second record.
Dustin: Do you have a date on the release yet?
Pat: Yeah, but I don't think I can say yet. March-ish.
Pat: Yeah, soon.
Jeff: That's good. Is there either a lot or less difference from this record to the first record, because as people out there of our fan-base don't know, this is the first record that Red Sun Rising, as a group, you guys are going to be on a record.
Jeff: Because the first was predominantly, you know, your two O.G.s, basically.
Pat: It was the O.G.s, yeah. Mike and Ryan and some studio cats.
Jeff: So this is the first one with the full band, so is there a lot of difference to it?
Pat: I think it's a lot more interesting and it's a lot more colorful. For example, we're adding some keyboard textures. My bass player Ricky, he's like a classically trained piano player. You're not going to hear some Dream Theater pianos, but there's some really nice background keyboard stuff here and there.
Jeff: Why not utilize it if he's got the talent?
Pat: Why not, right? Plus, you go on tour with these guys for two and a half years straight and play every single night, it's like you just form this bond, musically, and I think it's just the natural progression of the band. I think this album is a little bit riskier and a lot more interesting but it's still Red Sun Rising. The records called Thread. That's kind of something that we stand for; our hashtag is "we are thread". We're always pushing that out there, like not being afraid to mix all these different, crazy influences; anything from, like I said, soul music to grunge to rock, classic rock. It's kind of like an anti-genre of just, blend everything that makes you you and just put it out there, instead of being caught up in like, "oh, we have to be heavy metal. We have to be this genre."
Jeff: I love that mentality. I've been in actual bands that have that same mentality and it's a very freeing mentality, especially as a musician; but you guys are on an international stage now and you're signed to a label and you're working with incredible producers. Is there pushback on that? Do you have people coming to you and being like "no, you should stop doing what you're doing and fit your peg in this hole" kind of thing?
Pat: No, because I kind of think that's why our band stood out to begin with, with the earlier singles, was because ... rock radio's really changed and it's very stagnant and very, everybody kind of just plays by the rules nowadays. Everybody's scared to take a risk, and we came out; the first single has a '90s, grungy, Alice in Chains-y kind of vibe and people are like "whoa, what is this?" We're just being ourself. So there's been no backlash. For the second album, we probably had, like, 30 or 40 songs that we were able to pick through; our favorite 12 or 13. Having that many songs and that many choices to choose from was more than enough to work with.
Dustin: So, speaking on backlash, you guys recently came out with an Alanis Morissette cover. Uninvited. Right? Which is awesome, by the way.
Pat: Oh yeah, we're going to talk about this.
Jeff: Very cool.
Dustin: It sounded very cool. I didn't recognize it as an Alanis Morissette song at first.
Dustin: I was like "oh, okay. Now I recognize it." But you guys did an amazing job. Anyways, you guys have a video for that, which I looked up and it was like, "you sure you want to watch this? Are you at least 18 years old?"
Jeff: Be careful; boobs ahead.
Dustin: Yeah, pretty much, which is great to see you guys pushing the envelope. Have you caught any backlash for having nudity in your music video?
Pat: I don't think so at all. A few complained about it but most people were like "wow, this is awesome!" If you go down and read the comments, people definitely acknowledge it, but it's getting people talking about it and, again, it's showing that we're not afraid to take a risk.
Dustin: And it's not needless, either. You know, it's a creative video and the nudity is part of the creativity in that story that you're making in that video, which I think is amazing.
Pat: Actually, our good friend Brad Golowin, he added that from one of his short films. It just fit perfectly with the song and with the message and he did our two new music videos that are coming out. He's been our film guy. He's coming to Europe with us. We have a little thing going with him and it was just the perfect match-up. He just cut it to fit the song a little better.
Dustin: I've complained about recent music videos released by bands because I feel like nobody's really being as creative as they should now. We live in a video-based society or social group at this point and the viral video is the thing that really launches people into this weird next level and I see a lot of bands not even taking advantage of that. We were talking about Metallica a little earlier. They came out with, I forgot what song it was.
Jeff: It was one of their newest singles and the video's just a light bulb with them playing and it's like, we've seen that for thirty years.
Dustin: Don't they have a little bankroll?
Jeff: A little bit more creative than that.
Dustin: So do you guys try to focus on making creative videos to go along with your music?
Pat: I think it has a lot to do with being tight and being close friends with somebody who has, first of all, been on tour with us. Brad's super-talented and he just kind of has these images and he's got an idea before the song's even done. He actually came to the studio with us for, almost the entire time.
Dustin: So he's sitting there listening to you play, listening to you create, coming up with ideas for the next music video.
Pat: He's there from the beginning. We rented a cabin in Illinois for three weeks, and we just got snowed in and just made music for three weeks, just to get our initial batch of songs recorded and tracked. He was there for that whole thing. He's not coming for three days, he's coming for three weeks, so he might know the record better than we do. He's been there from the very beginning.
Jeff: He's not sick of it yet?
Pat: I'm sure he is. I know I am, but ...
Dustin: That happens when you record though; you quickly get sick of your own music because you're literally listening to it for thousands of times.
Pat: Every day.
Dustin: It gets a little bit numbing after a while, and it's hard to even listen to what the song sounds like anymore. It gets tough, and that's why I've always been against musicians mixing their own music; because you need that line of separation.
Pat: Yeah, give me a break from it for a little bit, with a fresh ear. It's hard to find, man.
Jeff: What's your writing process like with the band? Is it a full-on effort from everyone or is it in parts?
Pat: Yeah, well we kind of had to find that on this record; that's another reason why we locked ourselves up in a cabin for three weeks, because we didn't want to ... So basically, Mike and Ryan are the main songwriters and they've been doing this together for 10 years. You don't want to just throw three guys in the mix and potentially taint what they have working, what they have going on. So we just kind of got in the room a lot and usually Mike or Ryan comes forward with a sketch. They write on acoustic guitars and the whole thing is, if you can make a song sound good with vocals and acoustic guitar ... nothing fancy, no crazy bass drops or any of that stuff ... if you can write an actual song that speaks to people on just the guitar and your vocal, the foundation's got to be there. So usually those guys come to us. We'll get in the room together and usually Mike will say "I have this song 60% complete, 70% complete," and we'll just hash it out and just get a feel for each other. Again, it's kind of like we read each other's minds nowadays because we've played together every single night for two and a half years as a five-piece band. So yeah, everyone's involved. Ricky writes piano parts, Ricky writes guitar parts, Dave writes guitar parts. I'm just a drummer but ...
Jeff: "There should be more drum solos here."
Pat: "Can we do a solo here guys? Double-bass section here?"
Jeff: Speaking of the tour life, you guys, like you said, were on the road for two years, you've done a lot of shows all over, plus you do a lot of the festival circuit. Do you like one more than the other? Do you like doing a festival more?
Pat: Rock on the Range. The band's from Akron, Ohio, so that turns into a little hometown thing for us and we played two years ago. Mike came out with the Ohio flag and people went crazy. That's obviously the epicenter of the band. That's where our buzz is the strongest because that's where those guys grew up.
Dustin: The Midwest has incredible fan-base for rock music. They show up to shows. I don't really know what that is. Do you know what that is?
Pat: It's gray. It's gray and flat.
Dustin: It's just not much to do so people actually go out to rock 'n' roll shows.
Pat: Yeah, something about it. You're definitely right, like Michigan, Ohio, that's kind of where we have grown the fastest in the U.S. It's a little bit harder; you go out west and people are more opinionated and you go the big cities like New York City and Chicago, everybody's too cool. The Midwest, everybody just wants to rock out and drink beer. It's just like, alright, we can do that for you guys. We'll be that band for you.
Jeff: You guys are on a break right now, but you're going to go right back at it. You're doing ShipRocked for the second time. What's it like playing rock music in the middle of the ocean?
Pat: Well, actually, last year we were supposed to play in the main deck and there was a huge storm so they canceled our show and moved it to the downstairs room; but, dude, it's just an unbelievable experience. People are just going crazy the entire time. You're stuck on the boat with these people, you're stuck on the boat with all your favorite bands, and people are just lit up. There's no limit to how much fun you can have on there. It just turns into a complete shit show.
Jeff: That's incredible because we were looking it up, actually, and you're going to be out there with a bunch of friends of this show as well. Father Zakk, there with Black Label Society, is going to be there.
Dustin: Did you say A Perfect Circle was going to be on?
Jeff: No, they're actually playing another festival with A Perfect Circle. This one has our good friends from another podcast, Legion of Skanks, is going to be there with Luis Gomez. So they'll be partying; keep an eye out. You guys are playing another festival in, I believe, May, called Rocklahoma, right?
Dustin: Guess where that is.
Jeff: Yeah, in Oklahoma. Yeah, A Perfect Circle is on that. You were saying that that's an influence of yours too.
Dustin: I would say I could pick up a lot of Josh Freese in your drumming.
Pat: He's my absolute favorite drummer. Him and Danny Carey.
Dustin: Him and Joey Castillo are like, top two drummers in my life. Josh Freese is that very calculated, very unorthodox style of playing. He leaves space for everything else, yet knows when to chime in. I'm getting chills talking about it. Thirteenth Step was just next-level drumming. The drumming in that album really changed my idea of approach to music. But Joey Castillo is just a beast. He's like the other side of coin where it's pretty straightforward, big, busy fills, and just powerful slamming everything like a gorilla. I remember the first time I fell in love with Queens of the Stone Age. I think it was like MADtv, and I was like "that's not Dave Grohl drumming that. That's Joey Castillo," all jacked to shit. He was so big then! I was like "that's some next-level drumming." I would say I could hear those two drummers in your drumming like, right away. When I heard you were coming I was like, alright, do my research, and it wasn't hard because I fell in love with your band almost immediately. Definitely picked up your drumming style very quick. It's very cool.
Pat: We used to make a joke; before I moved to L.A. I said I wanted to be the Josh Freese of the east. He's the west guy. I want to be getting all the gigs and playing all the cool opportunities on the east coast. I actually got to meet him one time, accidentally. I was doing this rehearsal thing at the Columbia Records building in Hollywood, and I'm sitting in the waiting room waiting for the call to go upstairs and I hear "Josh Freese, Studio A?" So he's checking in to go do a session, so I stood up and I went up to him. I was like "love your work, man." He was surprised that I recognized him, it seemed. It was kind of weird, like "oh yeah, yeah. Thanks, man."
Dustin: Because he's not necessarily tied to any specific group, right? He's not even in A Perfect Circle.
Pat: He's pretty underground, if you really think about the number of recordings he's played on and the caliber of bands that he's recorded for. He's not a household face that you're just going to recognize.
Dustin: And he should be!
Pat: He should be. He's my favorite drummer.
Dustin: He's a sorcerer.
Pat: He's a sorcerer.
Dustin: He really is.
Pat: A wizard.
Jeff: So through it all, through the ups and downs of being in bands before, finding this incredible band that you're in now, and now touring all over the place; festivals, shows, everywhere else. What fuels you to keep getting up there, keep getting behind the kit and keep going?
Pat: Honestly, I've poured my entire life into this and I've never had a backup plan. This is my complete passion. I've been doing this since I was a baby, before I could even walk or talk. It just seems normal to me. I've never really questioned it. I don't know who said this, it might have been Adam Levine; he talked about how the false opportunities that you thought might happen, that were never going to happen; those are what kind of keep you going. I can't tell you how many times I'm playing a show and my guitar player was saying "our guy is coming out" and we rehearse for three weeks, we think this guy is coming out, he doesn't come out. There's all these opportunities and all these little stepping stones that just give you that push and then that doesn't work out and then you just keep going. For me, it's what I've always been doing.
Dustin: You mentioned no backup plan. I've heard people say "don't have a backup plan. Just leave yourself strung out there." Do you believe in that mentality?
Pat: I kind of live by it, because if I had a backup plan, I can't tell you how many times I would've resorted to it.
Dustin: Probably why I'm not playing too much music.
Pat: You've got a pretty sweet gig, though, man.
Dustin: I know, it doesn't suck.
Pat: Want to trade for a few weeks? Want to get, like, hired?
Pat: You play bass, though. You got the wrong instrument.
Dustin: There we go. It's done. You heard it here first.
Pat: Ricky, you're out for a few weeks, bro.
Jeff: When you're not devoting your life and time to drums, what gets you going? Do you have any dusty, nerdy hobbies?
Dustin: You a stamp collector?
Pat: I'm a total nerd. Completely. I grew up, I played so many video games and that's kind of what's cool about the fact that I can kind of technically still play them without being a loser. You're on a tour bus for eight hours. I'm going to play some video games. I can justify it. No one's going to see me. I'm in the back of the bus, playing PS3. Whatever. It makes time go by quick.
Jeff: Do you gravitate towards newer games or do you still live in the realm of the old-school ...
Pat: I'm stuck in the old-school RPG games. I grew up with Final Fantasy games.
Dustin: That's what I play too. I play Final Fantasy on my tablet.
Pat: I've got it on my phone right now.
Jeff: Did we just become best friends?
Pat: What's funny about the Final Fantasy stuff is when I lived in Charlotte, when I lived in L.A., nobody's hip to the Final Fantasy and all my Albany friends, all my New York friends, that's what we did. We would gather and play Final Fantasy.
Jeff: I have it on my phone now, too, actually, so yeah.
Pat: So, video games, I read a lot of cheesy Stephen King books, love sports.
Dustin: I love cheesy Stephen King books, though. They're great. Any particular one that [crosstalk 00:24:30]?
Pat: I don't know if you've ever read this one; it's called Insomnia.
Dustin: I knew you were going to say it! We are best friends! Yes!
Pat: It is such a good book.
Dustin: I have to say the audiobook version of that is really great because whenever the demons show up it starts playing this creepy music for the audiobook and it's just so good.
Pat: I'm going to have to download that.
Dustin: And the narrator, I'm trying to think of his name, but he's a great narrator. So yeah, that's a great audiobook.
Jeff: Hands-down, and it's funny, I wasn't into audiobooks until Dustin got me into them. Same thing with podcasts, honestly. I wasn't even into podcasts until Dustin got me into podcasts.
Dustin: I need to be distracted all the time.
Pat: I hear you.
Jeff: I started getting into audiobooks. Again, big Stephen King fan, so I was like "okay, I'll start listening to stuff that I know." Hands-down, 95% of his material is some of the best audio-acted stuff out there. They get the best people behind it. They really do.
Dustin: They had, I can't remember the name of the first narrator; but he actually got into a motorcycle accident and can't really speak right anymore.
Dustin: Most of it's done by George Guidall. He does a great job, except for, with the Gunslinger series, he came out with a book after he was done. It's like 4.5, right? He narrated it himself and I've never been able to listen to it. He's like "Willem Desheen pulls his gun out from his holster," it's like, no, we're done.
Pat: I'm out. Pause. Back to Stephen King.
Jeff: Stephen King is a great writer but he's the ultimate nerd. As soon as you start to hear him talk, it's like oh, dude.
Dustin: How did that nerdy guy come up with such creepy, horrible, gritty, nasty stories? It's amazing.
Pat: My guys make fun of me too, because I finished reading the book It. Obviously I read that, like, last year. It took me forever because it's huge. It's like this big. My monitor guy, Kevin, actually passed it off to me. They're like "are you actually reading this?" Because I would just carry it around everywhere we'd go for, like, six months. "Finish that damn book, dude." I finally did.
Jeff: Put it in front of your kick drum so it doesn't go anywhere.
Pat: There's pictures of me backstage. Dude, I could find a lot of stuff. There's a whole vault of the It time. The It touring period.
Dustin: How'd you feel about the movie? Did you catch it yet?
Pat: I did see it. I can go on and on about this. I really did enjoy it. It was a lot of fun to watch, but I don't know.
Dustin: How can you capture that giant book in a movie, though?
Pat: Yeah. I kind of don't like that the first movie was just the kids. I don't really like that split because I feel like there's so much, like a lot of deeper stuff that happens. I'm sure they'll catch it in the second movie but it made the first half of the movie seem a little bit duller or seem a little bit ... it wasn't as interesting as I'd like it to be compared to the story that I know.
Jeff: I agree. The original movie still left a lot out of the book, but you get those moments when you see something happen to the kids and then it flashes forward, or vice versa.
Pat: That's what I'm saying, yeah.
Jeff: And it makes it that much more emotionally heart-wrenching because it's like "oh, man. This guy. I just watched him go through this like 30 years ago and now he's still dealing with it mentally" or vice versa.
Pat: Maybe the second half will really capitalize on that and the second half will be like a mind-blowing emotional roller coaster thing. It was great. I really enjoyed it and speaking of my monitor guy, Kevin, him and I went to see that before he flew out to Europe, like when he first came out. We geeked out and had a little bro date. We both read the book and had to go see the movie together, obviously.
Dustin: So back to the band. Where do you see Red Sun Rising going in the next three to five years? What do you see happening?
Pat: Our biggest goals right now really have to do with being a headlining act. We've been on the opening circuit playing huge shows, playing for eight, ten thousand people, whatever; playing all the festivals. We really want to establish our headlining, this is our show, here's two hours of music. We're picking the opening bands, we're really having control of even stuff like what songs play between bands. Just really building up the headlining crowd and giving our fan-base more than just a 30-minute opening set and seeing where that takes us. We have all this new material, we have a lot of great tunes from the first record. We have time to really explore that and really make a cool set list and a really cool-flowing show.
Dustin: So is that something you have a good plan for? Do you just bite the bullet and maybe play to a smaller crowd at first, knowing that you're building yourself up?
Pat: You nailed it.
Dustin: Yeah, so you just kind of deal with it.
Pat: Starting ... I don't want to say too much, because we haven't released a lot of stuff, but that's kind of our first step out the door after we do a couple of festivals. We're doing three shows with the band Stone Sour in the Midwest. Then we're going to start on this journey of, "we're going to play some smaller venues. Let's try to sell them out. Let's play a 300, 500-cap. room and sell it out" versus trying to jump into a 1200-cap. room.
Dustin: Those are fun shows. [crosstalk 00:29:33]
Pat: That's the most fun and I actually kind of miss that too. I love playing the run-down, grimy ... the clubs that I grew up playing.
Dustin: Oh yeah. We know that.
Jeff: Places in my heart for those clubs, for sure.
Pat: I miss that smell.
Dustin: It's so intimate, you know? You miss that when you ...
Pat: Ahhh, beer, piss.
Jeff: It's just stale beer and piss. You can totally smell it.
Pat: It's a taste. You can actually taste it, that's so strong.
Jeff: In the back of your throat, yeah.
Jeff: With anything, though, you guys are going to put the work in. You're going to be smart about it, you know, and the sky's the limit for you guys. I really believe it.
Dustin: Is there any particular place you like to play? Any particular area? Maybe an area that you haven't played that you're curious about?
Pat: I want to get out to Japan again. We got to play in Japan.
Dustin: How was that?
Pat: It was amazing. We were actually on a U.S.O. Air Force Base so playing for the soldiers, the troops; that was amazing. Those guys are so pumped up and they were thanking us left and right. We're like "thank you for having us here!" I want to actually play in Japan, play with the Japanese crowds. I've always heard they're the most rabid fans.
Jeff: That's what we hear too.
Dustin: Did you get to wander around Japan at all while you were down there?
Pat: We did. We sure did. We were there for, like, five days. We played a festival. It was all the bands from high school. It was like P.O.D., Trapt. It was like this nostalgic ... Sick Puppies. We were just right in the middle of that. It's like this is a complete blur. Everybody's just so excited in the crowd and these guys are serving the country. They want to let their hair down and do some headbanging.
Dustin: So you want to hit Japan again.
Pat: We want to hit Japan.
Dustin: Actually play to the Japanese people.
Pat: Play to those people, yep. I can't wait for that. We'll see when that'll happen. It's cool playing our hometowns. Three of the guys are from Akron, Ohio. My guitar player, Dave, is from a small town Bradford, Pennsylvania. I'm from Albany, of course. So we kind of consider our hometowns. We have three of them. Anytime our band goes to one of those three towns, it's going to be crazy. It's all friends from high school.
Dustin: You plan on coming to this area on tour?
Pat: I'm sure we will. I'm not really sure when. I can't really say much about the exact dates and cities yet. It's still in progress, but last time we were here in February we played that new venue. We played Jupiter Hall in Albany and sold that out and it was a blast.
Dustin: Is that the one we played, Jeff?
Jeff: Yeah, we played Jupiter right as it opened.
Dustin: Is that the one with the bowling alley and stuff? That was a fun gig.
Pat: Huge arcade, speaking of video games. Alright guys, let me know when you need me. I'm going to be over here.
Dustin: I liked that gig. That's a good room, too.
Pat: It was cool, good sound.
Jeff: I forgot about that place. They have good shows there.
Pat: They should. I'm sure we have to come back. It's the hometown.
Dustin: So there's always good turnouts when you go to a hometown?
Pat: It's always fine, man.
Dustin: You get to see old friends, almost like reunion time.
Pat: It's a crazy thing. Family coming out, friends I haven't seen since, like, 4th grade. Like "oh, saw you're playing here." "You want a ticket? Yeah, come on out, man."
Dustin: That's so cool. When you come back to this area, let us know.
Jeff: We'll be there.
Dustin: We'll give the whole band the tour. We'll shower you guys in coffee beans.
Pat: Shower us too? Oh. Coffee beans. We're going to need a shower too. Let's do both.
Dustin: We have an emergency eye-watering station in case anybody gets chemical burns. You could shower on that.
Pat: You might need that. Try that.
Jeff: We're really excited about the new record. It's coming out soon, like you said, and I know it's very easy to follow the band all over social media. It's Red Sun Rising pretty much anywhere. In fact, I was just seeing on your Instagram, which also is on pretty much all of your social media, now you guys are giving little teases, which is really nice. I like that.
Dustin: Do you feel teased right now?
Jeff: I do, I do. It's good. It totally works.
Dustin: Doesn't he look teased?
Jeff: For our listeners out there, do you use social media? Is there ways to follow you specifically, as well?
Pat: Yeah. We're all on Instagram and Facebook and all that as individuals. You can actually go to our Instagram page and I'm pretty sure they have all the names on there. My Instagram handle is patgerasia_drums so I'm always collecting followers. Anybody's welcome to hop on board. We gotta get you guys too. You guys have individuals?
Dustin: Yep. Deathwishdustin and deathwishcoffee.
Jeff: It's a tongue-tie. Awesome man, I can't thank you enough.
Dustin: Wait, I have one more question.
Jeff: I can thank you enough.
Dustin: Do you think we're going to see another Tool album this year?
Pat: Seeing all these festivals around, they gotta be brewing something, right?
Dustin: Maybe, but they've been playing festivals for a while, you know?
Jeff: I feel like it's the last three years they've been keeping us on a fishing line, but honestly, you go back to every Tool album release, that's exactly the way that they've done it.
Pat: They're smart. They're breaking the mold. They're making you want it, and you're going to want it so bad that people are going to go out and they're going to buy this CD because they're not on Spotify.
Dustin: It's funny, everybody's like "I'm fucking sick of them putting it up," but you're going to buy the album.
Pat: Yeah, those are the guys that are going to buy, like, three copies; talking trash on the internet. Those guys are the most excited to the fact they're actually upset that Tool doesn't have a record out.
Dustin: He's too busy making wine and shit.
Pat: Yeah, I'm reading his book right now. He's got a book that just came out. His biography's out. He's a character, yeah. It's cool to get some of the background information on him. But yeah, that's another book I'm reading, asides from Stephen King. Try to read some other books here and there.
Dustin: Alright, Jeff, now you can't thank him enough.
Jeff: Now I can't thank you enough. Jeez.
Pat: I can't thank you enough!
Jeff: For real, though, it's so interesting that we live in this area because you never know who's from this area and just being able to connect with you and have you come to H.Q. and be on the show is just awesome.
Pat: I had a blast. Thanks for showing me around back here and we're homies now, so we'll be hanging out again.