Monday, April 20, 2009

Ryan Patterson of Coliseum

Ryan at first is a very intimidating figure. Black Clothes, gnarly beard, southern accent, and just his very confident stature. I've gotten to know Ryan a little bit through the years and he is one of the most honest and forthright people and I love that about him. I know I won't get some bullshit answer from him, he doesn't need to beat around any bush and he's not trying to win any dick measuring contests. He also happens to be in one great hardcore/punk band called Coliseum. Ryan also manages Auxiliary Records and does a hell of a lot of design work for all of your favorite bands. To keep up with Ryan stop by and checkout his blog that he updates with pretty awesome introspection's on releases he's been involved with.

1. You've actively been touring in band's for a decent amount of time now, what has changed for you when you first started getting into that van 10 years, and getting into the van now?

Things have gotten easier overall, although there are still struggles. I have more responsibilities at home and the biggest difference for me now is that I don’t tour to escape, I tour because I love it and because it’s what I do with my life... It’s much harder to leave now since I own a home and have a great life with my girlfriend there, but it’s what I do and that’s that.

2- You start getting sick on tour what is your solution to get better?

Generally, Emergen-C every day, as much fruit as possible, lots of rest... But it’s hard. I’ve had a number of little issues that wouldn’t have been a big deal at home, but on tour things get bad quickly and I’ve had to visit immediate care locations on the road... Which is inconvenient and expensive.

3- Coliseum has been on some pretty diverse tours, one wonders how you transition yourself mentally from playing on the floor to 60 people in a community center, to 500 at a club? Do you have a different mental preperation before these different types of shows?

It’s more or less the same. The number of people matters less than the willingness of the audience to be excited and engaged by the show. The vibe is impossible to define, but it is what makes a show good or bad for me. The amount of space on the stage makes a big difference in terms of how you handle yourself, monitors and PA’s can be very helpful or extremely difficult... I actually find big club tours with a package of bands to be pretty relaxing, there’s less pressure and things generally run very smoothly. It’s not as fun as, say, the recent Converge / Ceremony / Coliseum / Rise And Fall / Pulling Teeth tour where you’re psyched for every band and it’s small venues that are packed to the gills... But it’s also cool to play early on a metal tour then leave the venue, go eat and see a movie, then come back and the headliner is still playing. It makes for an almost normal life within the confines of a long tour.

4- Pre-tour rituals? Do you make a list and check items off or do you just wing it and hope for the best?

There’s all the usual crap... Printing tour books, making sure all the gear is in order, making sure the van upkeep is good, ordering merch, etc. Most of this is pretty much second nature at this point. I write lists to remember the other small details, but for the most part remember all the little things I need to pack or just leave them in my bag from the last tour. My one and only superstitious thing that I always have to do is bring along a Mickey Mouse pillowcase that I’ve had since I was a baby. It has been on every single tour I’ve ever done and I don’t leave home without it.

5- You play with some random touring bands when you’re on the road you realize that they just don't get it, do you placate them and try to ease out of the situation after they say "Hey man, that was an awesome set. We should play some shows together" or are you honest about not being into their band and you really don't want to tour with them?

This doesn’t really happen that often... The dreaded “let’s trade shirts” thing happens and if we’re not into it we just tell them we can’t do it. I generally don’t get into conversations like that luckily. If I tell a band I like them or would like to tour with them, it’s absolutely sincere. I do my best to never say anything I don’t mean, I don’t bullshit a band and tell them I thought they were great if I don’t like it. On the other hand, I don’t go out of my way to bring anyone down either, just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not valid.

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