Patawawa are a band from that Midlands that have gone from strength to strength over the past few years, with some top notch festival appearances under their belt this summer. We had a chat with them to find out about their rise to fame, amongst other things!
By Jane Howkins
You’ve had quite a whirlwind rise to success within the music industry recently, with the band gaining more and more traction as time has gone on. How have you found that, and did you ever expect you would get this far?
It’s really nice and humbling that we seem to be, slightly, getting somewhere at the moment. We have all put in so much hard work and time over the past 4 years that its nice to get a little bit of recognition but we still have a long way to go yet!
From when we first started the band we wanted to take it seriously and see how far we could go. The big dream was for us all to go full time and we recently achieved that so now we need to adapt the dream slightly!
How did the band start out? We hear you’re quite fond of the DIY approach – we’re assuming that’s something quite important to you as a collective?
Myself (Sam) and Rory started out making music together around the age of 14 and after a while messing about doing joke songs and that kind of thing, and then we started to make structured pop songs. We’d done a track called Charmer and thought it would be great to get female vocalist to sing it.
Rory knew of a girl in the year below us at school called Beth Garrett who was also having guitar lessons with the same guy he was. So Beth came down to Rory’s house, sang on the tune and it sounded awesome! We sent it to the legend Dean Jackson for East Midlands BBC Introducing, he played it and the rest is history…
You’re originally from the small town of Matlock. What do you think of the music scene round there?
I’d say that when we started in Matlock the music scene was pretty desolate, I suppose it still is really but there’s a bit more going on now. There wasn’t really any venues to play at, so I think it’s great that The Loft in Matlock is actually a venue focused on music as before that all we had was the bar 2010 and, personally, I don’t think the acoustics in there are very good.
There’s been a couple of people coming up through Matlock currently, obviously Karma Kid has done brilliantly but his brother Jacob AKA Dopla is coming through and has had some Radio 1 plays too which is awesome. There’s also a mate of ours called Harry Diggle who has a sort of a pop Jamie T kind of vibe which is really cool. He supported us on a couple of dates last year. There could be more in Matlock in terms of music but its getting slightly better!
You recently announced that you’re going on your first ever full UK tour. Are you excited for that, or more nervous? What are you expecting from it? What can people expect from a Patawawa show, and why do you think people should come and see you perform?
With it being our first ever tour we feel super excited but also really nervous. We’re playing all these places we’ve never played before so hopefully some people show up!
Seriously though, the overall vibe is that we’re all really excited, we can’t wait to play and meet everyone! Its gonna be vibey as fuck!
You’re playing a show at The Fulford Arms in York, which is something of a hometown show for us. Have you ever played up here before? What areas are you most looking forward to visiting on the tour?
York is such a beautiful place! We played at Fibbers last year on a student night to something like 700 people which was pretty mad! We had an awesome time and cannot wait to be back! Hopefully we’ll see you there! I think we’re all really looking forward to our Sheffield show which is the last date, its gonna be a mega party!!
You’ve also performed at a few festivals of late, including Bestival recently. How do you find those shows differ from normal ones, and are there any festivals you like to go to as punters?
Yeah its been a great summer for us and we love playing festivals! It gives us a chance to go on a bigger stage and play to people who have no idea who we are and then it’s our job to try and convert them into fans. Festivals really are the best way for bands/dj’s to create a new fanbase.
Because we do a fair few festivals we just go to the ones we play – Tramlines, Bestival and 110 Above have been highlights so far this summer but as I am writing this we’re on our way to our last festival of the summer, Joefest in Lincolnshire, and we can’t wait!
It’s fairly obvious from listening to your music that you’re influenced by a lot of different things – we can hear aspects of modern music as well as older stuff like disco and funk in there. What would you say have been your biggest influences, and what have you been listening to recently that you would recommend?
We all have lots of inspirations but growing up we were heavily into Disco and Funk and still are but we’re also listening to more modern stuff as well. Personally I love Franc Moody, EKKAH, Shy Luv, Roman Kouder, Kraak and Smaak, Parcels etc, I could go on for weeks about music!
You recently released a new single titled Fight Me. What can you tell our readers about the track, and do you have any more singles up for release anytime soon?
The track is written about addiction but is dressed up as a love song, its got that funky synthy Patawawa beat that hopefully the fans have enjoyed and connected with! We have a new single dropping next month that we absolutely love on a label we are stoked to be releasing on, but its not been announced yet so keep your eyes out on social media for updates!
As a band, you seem to have released quite a few standalone tracks over the years. Do you have any plans for a full length album release at any point in the near future?
Aw thank you very much! We do actually have plans for an album next year but to be honest we don’t know what we’re doing one week to the next right now so we’re just taking it as it comes. But hopefully it’ll happen as we would all love to do one!
Any last words for the fans?
If you are reading this and you are a fan, thanks for being a fan and hopefully we’ll see you on tour in September and October! Xoxo