apatternimperfect, the catharsis of Rob Wacey

apatternimperfect is the alternative/electronic project of Rob Wacey, a story of research and inspiration towards the future.

Hi Rob, welcome to LiveTrigger Magazine!

Thanks for having me, it’s a pleasure.

 

Let’s start by introducing your project: what is (project name) and where are you based?

apatternimperfect is an alternative/electronic project I started almost two years ago.

I knew I wanted to write and produce my own songs a while before then, however, I only came up with the name a few years back and the ideas started to come to fruition throughout 2018.

I released my debut EP and a separate single in early 2019.

I’m from South-East England, not far from London and I’ve moved to Melbourne where I’m working on new material.

https://apatternimperfect.bandcamp.com/album/for-you

How was your 2019 so far?

Busy. Exciting. And surreal.

Aside from finally putting out my own music at the start of the year, I quit my job of four years and moved to Australia to try new things and carry on making new music.

apatternimperfect

What’s the most exciting thing that happened to you recently?

I would say, once again, moving here.

But moreover — and surprisingly for myself — there’s been a somewhat substantial amount of interest in my music and what I’m doing with it since I’ve got here.

That to me is quite exciting; considering it took me a while to push myself and develop the confidence to let my guard down and finally put some of my own ideas out there, I never thought I’d meet people here that were keen about what I’m doing, let alone in the area where I’m from.

It’s probably not a surprise that music is very much a form of catharsis for me – I was initially nervous about expressing myself this way through fear of how it would be received but if I’m not mistaken it seems to have resonated with some people.

So the very idea of that – that to me is more than exciting.

 

What do you like about living in Melbourne?

It’s very much my kind of vibe, my kind of place.

Cultural, artistic – and it’s not just something that people say it’s known for, you can actually feel it here.

Cities always have their museums, galleries, live venues et cetera – but there’s more of a relentless pulse with it here, I’m still trying to put my finger on what it is exactly.

When I started thinking of going away, I was actually giving some thought to living in Berlin.

I love it there – but I’ve been to Germany a few times now; I have some old friends in Australia – so ultimately Melbourne won out.

In fact, there are parts to Brunswick and Fitzroy that remind me of some parts of Berlin.

In the sense that there’s a lot of social commentary and history expressed through graffiti, venues and bars crammed next to one another, the general hustle and bustle.

Obviously there’s a lot of brutalist architecture and high rise buildings in Berlin, but the aforementioned suburbs can have the same feel in some ways.

Especially during nighttime.

As a more practical answer, my two favourite days here so far have been watching my first AFL game at the MCG and visiting Phillip Island Nature Park.

Especially the latter; I spent all day feeding animals before watching the penguins come home at the bay. It was a winner.

Where do you get inspiration and how do you create your music?

I listen to music every single day, so obviously music itself is the prime driving force for enforcing any kind of creativity I hold.

I’m quite open-minded with music and things in general – otherwise, how are you going to ever experience anything new?

Other than that, I can get inspired by pretty much anything else artistic.

I read a lot and I watch a lot of films and documentaries and things, so something as simple as a particular visual or a phrase can even spring something to mind and I’ll incorporate that into something else or it will start something new off altogether.

At the moment I create music using Logic Pro as my DAW.

The way I come up with ideas can differ – sometimes I’ll have a lyric or a title and I’ll build the music around that or develop an idea that I had made prior and begin to build on it.

Or sometimes I’ll have exactly that – a melody or a harmony – sometimes even just some kind of sonic texture and I’ll build it audibly with the lyrics coming later.

 

Who are your favourite artists and how did they influence your style & sound?

It’s probably no secret to people close to me that I’m an avid fan of David Bowie.

The Berlin triptych is my favourite snapshot of his career.

And I love the fact that first he’d put together an album, put it out, it sells more than well – so he knew that the palette and aesthetic of it works and caters to taste.

And then – despite the fact he knew it was successful – he’d throw it all out and start again for the next release by going down a different road rather than sticking to a formula that he already knew had worked.

It takes serious courage to do that and especially for anyone doing it in the current climate when the music industry is arguably even more motivated by revenue than creativity.

Somebody else that I also look up to is Trent Reznor.

Probably not another surprise seeing as he’s worked with and toured with Bowie.

His work ethic is astounding.

Especially given in the past year or two; he’s put out several score albums, Nine Inch Nails releases AND toured to promote the material.

And he’s a devoted family man too, it’s amazing how he’s managing to weigh it all up.

It’s hugely admirable.

I also listen to a lot of post-rock and film scores.

I’m very interested in atmosphere and how that can translate and I’d like to focus on taking those elements and incorporating them into more conventional and digestible song structures.

I love music that can evoke something well.

One of my favourite albums from 2019 is Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’.

Just the pure nakedness and courage of the lyrics alongside the intricate parts of the production – it’s just one of those pieces of work that’s quite honestly flawless in it’s delivery.

In regards to other influence, there’s a lot; one day I’d like to find myself in a suitable enough place to write songs like those of the The Clash –and Rage Against the Machine.

I love their work.

Obviously with the furore surrounding the political turmoil in the States right now, the general election in the U.K., certain political parties leaning toward the far right in Europe – there’s a lot of fuel and fire there to stoke the embers for lighting a good song up.

But I just don’t think I have the calibre or professional attitude to write songs like that right now.

Or at least have the stones on me to do it.

My material so far has been quite internalised and personal – but there’s a lot of things in society – as with a lot of other people I hope – that angers and upsets me so maybe something out of that will come along someday.

So anyway, yeah, those are just some of my inspirations and things that inspire me looking forward.

A bit of overkill with my answer but there you go!

 

What’s the best live music show you’ve seen recently?

I’ve only been to a couple of shows in Melbourne and you’ve got Melbourne Music Week coming up so I need to go to more here.

But generally?

That’s always going to be a difficult question.

I saw Kamasi Washington at Brixton Academy in London earlier this year.

That was excellent.

Two of my favourite shows from last year were Death Grips at the same venue – they really are something else live.

Just so powerful and the energy does not let up.

I also saw Rival Consoles and Throwing Snow perform their own sets at a great art space in Hackney.

If you’re into atmospheric electronic music with hard beats, you should check out both artists.

 

What is your best and your worst memory on the road?

I’m currently in the process of putting together a live ensemble for apatternimperfect so I don’t have any stories there yet.

One of the best ones?

I think maybe perhaps performing in the dark at a place in Camden Town.

It was at an all day event but the windows of the venue were blacked out to give more effect to the lighting rigs inside.

We weren’t a fan of any of the lightings at all – they were just really ugly bright pink lights aimed straight at the stage; no ambience, nothing.

So we asked for everything to be turned off and we played our set in the dark.

Yeah, it was weird.

People didn’t really know what to make of it but in the end, it forced them to focus on the performance in a purely aural sense which is quite interesting if the music is live.

I enjoyed doing it – it was a bit of a challenge, I couldn’t see my pedalboard as clearly obviously apart from the LEDs but it was good to ultimately do something different that resulted from a spur of the moment decision.

The worst one?

I was due to play a gig in Shoreditch – I got all my stuff into London, made it to the venue, only to find that there had been a leak pretty much right above the stage so the event got cancelled.

It was disheartening as I was looking forward to playing new songs.

That wasn’t a good day.

 

What do you think about Livetrigger?

It’s great to see music lovers put together something that purely focuses on uncovering more interesting independent music out there.

And in Melbourne there certainly seems to be a high volume of this, therefore a publication like Live Trigger is an important and fundamental catalyst for the scene.

So I’m touched to have been interviewed by you guys, thanks!

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Thanks Rob for taking this time to have this chat with us 🙂