The wonderful world of Twitter is to thank for my latest blog post! A little over three weeks ago now, I was going through my normal morning routine by surfing through my three favorite websites (the NY Times Homepage, Gmail and Twitter) when I came across the actor Ed Burns’ latest post about a winner for a song for his new movie “Newlyweds.” That is where I quickly clicked on @mrpatmccormack and found the man who won the contest; which then lead me to his website and contacting him personally. At first I had to congratulate him on his winning and of course than thank him for us little people who try very hard to follow our dreams. He entered a contest and won a once in a lifetime dream! After a few emails back and fourth I asked him if he’d let me interview him for the CUNY blog and he said yes!
I asked Patrick to tell us a little bit about himself before we started the questions …. I’m a singer, songwriter and film composer originally from New England. Last spring, I recorded and independently released my debut EP, “Fresh Paint.” I pride myself as a self-sufficient recording artist, performing guitar, drums, piano, vocals and all other instrumentation. I’ve spent the past 3 years living in Chicago, playing in my band, T & The Wonder, while writing and recording my original songs. In addition to singing and songwriting, I spend equal time composing and producing instrumental music for independent films.
· If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?
Sentimental | Folk | Pop
· What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Growing up in the 1990’s was a very inspiring time for popular music. When I heard stuff like Beck, Beastie Boys, or Cake all over the radio, it just seemed so relatable. Even if it got me nowhere, making music is such a versatile form of expression. I felt like such an underachiever by NOT having a band, even when I was 10. As far as actually pursuing music, I saved up for a four track cassette recorder. The first batch of simple folk songs I made on cassette really kickstarted my obsession with layering instruments and vocals. That’s also when I realized you can make a record completely by yourself. With enough practice, and commitment, I learned bass, guitar and drums; the brick foundation of every rock song.
· I saw through Ed Burn’s personal Twitter Account that you’ve recently entered a contest sponsored by him through Twitter; can you tell us about that experience? How has it changed your career?
It was a huge surprise to me. My friend Giancarlo even had to talk me into entering the contest. Burns chose “Ovenbird” from my “Fresh Paint” EP. This could not have been any easy choice for him, I think there were about 100 song submissions from some very serious musicians. Luckily, they had a pair of tickets to the premiere for me, so I flew into New York about 36 hours after finding out I had won. Very surreal. The film was amazing, so just being attached to it was such a thrill. Edward Burns was extremely encouraging when we spoke in person. Getting complimented by such a legendary filmmaker,I couldn’t even mentally process it. A large part of my career focus is composing music for film. Right now I’m scoring a few short films and other instrumental projects. Getting the credit of an Edward Burns film is a huge boost for my future in cinematic music.
· What are your up-to-date performance plans? New Releases? Tours? News?
Sometime in the next week I will be releasing the “Mile Away” single, along with some other material. This is a prelude to a new album, which has no official release date yet. I’m at my home studio just about every day, working out the details of my new songs. Should be around mid summer, so look for that. Currently, the “Fresh Paint” EP is ‘name your price’ on bandcamp.com, in other words, FREE. I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in independent music to download and listen. Each track is original, and every instrument was performed by me, including all vocals. I’m very proud of this EP and I can’t wait to share my next one.
I’d like to personally thank Patrick for lending me his time to answer these questions for his blog post! If you’d like to find out more about his work, check out his website or follow him on Twitter @mrpatmccormack
Louise Marie Russo is currently an undergrad at The School of Professional Studies majoring in Communication and Culture. She enjoys traveling, cooking, baking, photography as well as volunteering. Her goal one day is to work with a non-profit organization advocating for the homeless population of New York City and one day publishing a book of photography.