Interview by: Terresa Allen.
Photos by: Elizabeth Sharpe – Ummagummamumma – Live Music Photography.
Terresa Allen of GC Live sat down to talk all things therapeutic and new with lead singer of Patient Lounge, Zach Eather. Formerly known as ‘Therapist’ this progressive Brisbane based 4 piece are breaking new ground and dismantling stereotypes. Read on to get an insight into their eclectic influences, unique sound and the low down on their new name, new single and new tour as well as the scoop on great spots to eat in Brisbane if you’re a Vegan.
Recently you guys changed your band name from Therapist to Patient Lounge. Why the change and what impact does that have for you guys?
“Yeah, the main reason we went about the change was that ‘Therapist’ was initially just a placement, a place holder. It was a name we all thought was pretty cool in the beginning – having the concept of music as a therapy was always just a cool idea to play around with, so that’s why we actually choose it to begin with. Then after we got into our first EP, which was basically recorded, we were trying to get it out there on Spotify, Apple Music etc and ran into quite a few problems with how many other acts there were out there with the same name.
It was like ‘Oh crap,’ we are going to have do something about that. We thought – we need to change our name so we can have something we can own, we need something we can own it in all the different territories, especially with how globalised music is these days. We don’t want to have a name that someone over in the States has either, cause you want to be trying to play every territory and you don’t want to be sharing a name with anybody.
So, we started looking deeply into that and decided that Patient Lounge was really probably our best option, because when we were first looking at Facebook URLS back in the day, ‘Therapist’ was already taken back then and just as a little bit of a joke at the time I made our URL the Patient Lounge. All our social media URLS were that back in the day, so when we were looking for the new name we thought why not use that, it’s already something set up and people have already seen it.”
Sounds perfect – you stuck close to your initial concept, then tweaked it to make it something unique and all your own.
“Exactly, and we have definitely tried to convey that with the latest photo shoot we did with Liz (Ummagummamumma – Live Music Photography). We did a bit of a mock up, a mock kill photo shoot to let people know that the name still has the same meaning to us and that’s probably the biggest thing that we want to convey. Hopefully the new photos help us do that, it was a pretty cool photo shoot, and we’ll start to use those shots and get them out there now.”
You guys are a four piece, Brisbane based. How’d you all meet?
“So, long story – short. Nick (Nick Keogh) the drummer and I, our mothers knew each from a long time ago. We are both from Warwick, so we grew up in Warwick and basically started playing together from there. Then later down the track I went to university at JMC Academy in Brisbane with Eric (Eric Moor – Lead Guitar) and from there we got him on board to play guitar with us.
Then we were in a position where we really didn’t have a bass player, so Eric suggested one of his mates who he had played alongside at a few metal shows and that was Tom (Tom Logan). So, from there we all got together and started jamming and went yeah, well this is it. These four-people made up the sound that I’ve always had in my head. So, to be able to actually get that out with these people, was great, it just worked– they were the best fit for it and we haven’t looked back since, that was around 2016.”
How would you describe what you guys are delivering, this fusion of genres that you’ve got going on?
“We do try not to buttonhole ourselves, because we all come from such different backgrounds. Like my big thing was that I grew up on Classic Rock, and then I got really into Indie and Folk Rock and that kind of thing. All the guys are completely different though, Eric and Tom grew up on Death Metal and that’s what they were really into back in the day. Nick was hugely into Jazz back at school, so we get this really weird blend.
But the reason why I think our music is so different is because we’re not like four people who love Green Day and want to write music that sounds like Green Day. We’re four people that love music and just want to write good music and from that we just get something different, because all our ideas of what is good are very conflicting, it makes us really challenge ourselves, which is cool.”
Can it get a little tight in what influence will lead the way when you are all in the band room?
“On the music side of things everyone is so involve with it, it’s not like I just come to the guys and say, “Right this is what we are doing….”. Normally our song writing process is everyone in the band is going right, sweet ok, but let’s jam on a few ideas and then everyone will have their own input. Then once we’ve got something that we think sounds really good musically it’s my job to go away and come up with some lyrics to it, which often is pretty difficult with the way we right music, because we kind of throw structure out the window. But it’s always a good challenge.”
Is it a process of fusing together each influence and making it into the best piece of music you can?
“The boys love a good challenge, they like to write something that they think is going to be pretty tricky to play, so they really like testing themselves out in that way. It’s really like finding awesome ways to go from different time signatures and to go from different harmonic structures and that kind of thing. They just really like challenging themselves and trying to write music as interesting as they can, but at the same time still be able to ground it and make it listenable to absolutely anyone and not try and make it sound to proggy or to metal, but more something that everyone could love.”
That craftmanship is definitely evident in your soon to be released debut single “All You Want”. You can hear a lot of different influences in there, can you tell us a little more about that song?
“Yeah, All You Want its due for release next week the 19th April and it does come from a lot of different spots. The main guitar riff is always just something that I had that I would just jam on and from there we just tried to experiment as much as we could and tried to get as much out as we could. The big thing was the 5/4 section in it, that was a lot of fun and being able to find a way to fit that in there so it didn’t feel so strange when it appeared. It took a lot of time to make it all blend well and to make it sit perfectly, because there are so many different influences in there.
But at the end of the day that’s our sound, that’s the type of music that does come out of every song we write. We never go in saying we want to write a “rock song” or we want to write a “progressive rock song”, we just say we want to write music. From there we come up with some pretty interesting stuff and I’m pretty keen to release a lot of the other stuff we’ve been working on as well, cause it’s all very similar in that regard. While every song is different it’s really exciting cause we do have some pretty out-there ideas, so it’s about stripping them back and leaving in what works best for the song in general, but in that process, we do end up with some pretty cool stuff that does get to stay in the music.”
Are you the lyricist for that one – All You Want and what came first – the music or the lyrics?
“Yes, I’m the lyricist for that one. I write most of the lyrics for the band and for most of the stuff we do it is normally the music that comes first. The whole girl pattern that in the verse, I had that idea for quite a while and I wasn’t sure what song to put it in and then when we wrote this, I thought it would sit perfectly in there with how the song transforms throughout.”
The lyrics match the songs transformation perfectly, to me it sounded like moving from a point of desire to one of frustration with that desire not expanding, would that be the intent?
“Yeah, spot on, that was pretty much the idea behind it. When I write lyrics, I do try to keep it pretty loose, so that everyone can take their own thing away from it because I don’t really have a sole focus when I am writing. I tend to make them into something that anyone can take their own story away from, but that is definitely the main thing with this song. You nailed it on the head, it’s about having something desirable and then being really frustrated that you can’t get anything out of it – it’s just nothing more than that initial desire essentially.”
The artwork for the All You Want single is divine. Who’s responsible for that?
“That is from an artist we found on line – Agnes Cecile (https://agnescecile.com/), when we saw her work it was like ‘Damn, we need to have that!’ We did go through a couple of ideas where we thought we would try and do something similar to what we have now, like maybe we could do something with the smoke kind of thing, but really, we just couldn’t find anything that we liked as much as we like that. So, in the end it was screw it, we contacted the artist and purchased it to use for the cover art work, cause basically it just fitted perfectly.
We had wanted a girl’s face and I ‘d seen one on line where the girl’s tears became a river, which I thought was cool, but in the end this one had all the things we wanted, and the use of colours was a nice contrast from our last EP which was black and white, so there was a bit of rejuvenation in that. I’m stoked with it, it’s exactly what we wanted and I’m so glad we went ahead with it in the end, I can see us using Agnes Cecile’s art work again in the future as well, she’s amazing, she does some really cool stuff.”
Debut Single, Artwork and now the Tour, what can we expect there?
“The tour, yeah, the first show is the 5th of May, that’s our home show at the Woolly Mammoth, which is going to be pretty exciting cause last time we played there it was amazing, had a really good turnout, it was just a great night. So, I’m super keen to go back there, it is one of my favourite venues in Brisbane to play, it’s got one of the best stages and lay outs is Brissy I reckon, it’s just really cool. From there we are heading down to NSW, we’ve got four days there first and then we are off to Melbourne a couple of weeks after that and doing three shows down there as well.
This is our very first staged tour and we are pretty stoked. Damien (Little Wing Agency) has hooked it up for us, he’s put in some awesome work and also got us on the Dead of Winter Festival as well as a support slot for a pretty big international artist that we aren’t allowed to announce yet, but that’s really exciting as well (this has since been announced and it’s HAKEN on their upcoming Australasian Vector Studies Tour that the boys will support in Brisbane). And there’s also an international support slot in the tour that will be announced pretty soon too.”
So individually what would be your top 5 musical influences?
“My music tastes are pretty varied and that keeps me pushing for something different. I don’t have five artists that are my favourite that all sound the same, they are all very different in their music writing, which I think does help to come up with something different – to think outside the box as opposed to having just five Classic rock artists that I love, or five Indie artist that I love.
One of my big lyric writing influences is Bruce Springsteen, he’s just an amazing story teller. The way he writes music is very interesting too, I like the way he writes lyrics though, he really doesn’t care too much about form he just cares about telling a good story, which I think is always important. He’s definitely one of my big ones.
Then I’ve got the Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) as well, they’ve always been a big one for me, the way they write. John Frusciante has always been one of my big guitar influences, which you may hear in some of our stuff, especially the stuff on our ‘Therapist’ EP, you’ll see plenty of his influence in there.
I’m also a big Aussie Rock fan, old Aussie Pub Rock, so Cold Chisel and Jimmy Barnes, they’re in there – they are like classics and huge pillars in Australian Rock Music, which I think is important.
As a musical artist I also love the melodies that Michael Jackson wrote, I really take in what he writes melodically, he has written some of the catchiest melodic rhythms ever and another huge one is Freddy Mercury – the melodies he wrote. If I had choose three of my all-time favourite artists it would have to be Freddy, Michael and Elvis to be honest.”
Ok, we’ve covered the music, I’ve just got a few Short and Sweet Questions now to round it out. What’s your….
“Oh wow – ok, well surprising fact, I’m actually a Vegan and I don’t really cook – I’m too lazy. So, I can probably just name you my Top 5 Vegan places in Brisbane (lol). They would be Greenhouse Canteen, Netherworld, Grassfed, Yavanna and Brekky at Dicki’s, and throw in Crust Pizza as a bonus – their vegan range is amazing.”
“My perfect evening would be to go get a mad vegan feed at a great vegan restaurant, go and play a show and then spend the rest of the night with all my mates who had just come to the show out on the town – that’s a pretty good time.”
Dead or Alive your perfect live line up?
“One of my favourite Aussie acts at the moment is 12 Foot Ninja, they are a pretty good time, absolutely love what they are doing. Tobruk I’d love to see them, they have been one of my biggest influences too. I’d put Springsteen on there again, RHCP, they are always a good time and another fellow I’d love to see is John Fogerty from Creedence Clearwater Revival.”
Most embarrassing moment on stage?
“I’ve not really had anything to be honest, it’s all been pretty smooth sailing. I did end up tangled up with Tom on stage once, but that’s about it. We got tangled somehow, still don’t know how exactly, but we managed to get our guitars and his hair and everything tangled up, that was interesting.”
Most memorable moment on stage?
“Definitely one of my favourite moments is playing at the Woolly Mammoth for our EP launch back in the day. Just having everyone in the crowd, having a couple of awesome call and response moments with them and just hearing everyone singing our songs, that meant a tonne. When I think of us as a band, that’s what I think about and that’s what I visualise every time, just us being on that Woolly Mammoth stage.”
So, if you are keen to catch yourself some of that vision and guarantee yourself a good time then be sure to catch Zach and the lads from Patient Lounge at the Woolly Mammoth on May 5th as they launch their new single All You Want and kick off their east coast All You Want Tour. Details below
Patient Lounge ‘All You Want’ Single Launch:
Patient Lounge ‘All You Want’ Tour Dates:
Thursday 16 May – The Lounge Room, Port Macquarie, NSW
Friday 17 May – The Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 18 May – Rad Bar, Woollongong, NSW
Sunday 19 May – Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 30 May – The Vineyard, St Kilda, VIC
Friday 31 May – Young Supper Club, Frankston, VIC
Saturday 1 June: Bombay Rock, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 13 July: Dead of Winter Festival, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 14 July: Peregian Originals, Sunshine Coast, QLD