Making Progress with Patrick Maloney
In 2014, Patrick (Pat) Maloney spent most of his afternoons trying to book places that would let him play his music. “In these early stages of my career, I probably land one show for every 5 emails I send,” he said in a WorkStory interview. Three years later, things are very different in both his professional and personal life. He has grown as a singer-songwriter and musician, but he would like you to know that he is still 6’5” tall. He also stressed the fact that he started out as a drummer: “I spent my teens and early twenties playing nothing but drums. Those are the years [that] most people have the time and energy to master an instrument. It wasn’t ‘til about a year before my first album came out that I started singing and playing guitar. It sounds a little defensive, but it’s important to know where someone is coming from for context.”
Regarding his progress, Pat said, “Well, I know how to get to Sault Ste. Marie without a map now [and] I have so many gigs! My calendar is rammed months in advance. That would not have been the case three years ago. I can sing nicer now too. My guitar playing has come a long way. The songs are stronger. I do feel like I’ve made a lot of progress in these first few years…. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels sometimes, but when you look back to a few years ago, it’s clear that I’ve made the right decision to pursue my music.”
Additionally, Maloney’s music has been influenced by the people he’s met along the way, including the newest person in his life, his baby daughter, Clementine, whom he affectionately refers to as “Lemmy”. Being an independent artist is still tough for Pat, but he admitted that naming his daughter was “one of the hardest things” he’s ever done: “Names are so important, I think. We wanted something uncommon, but also for it to be a ‘real’ name. Not a new-school, made up, ‘cool’ name, but a real, old name. We thought about Clementine early on, but dismissed it when we figured the short form would be Clem. For a three-syllable name, you’re going to want a nice short form. Then Lemmy hit us one night like an epiphany, and that was it. Clementine is a happy and tall baby,” he added. “I’ve already written a few songs for her. I have a brand new muse. I have been in the mood to soften up a little anyway. So many of my songs are a little edgy or political or angsty or outright bitchy. So it’s nice that this natural well of kind-hearted content is rippling to the surface with Lemmy’s arrival.”
Maloney has high hopes for Lemmy, reminding us all that “astronaut school ain’t cheap” and that it will take many tours to cover her future tuition. His current tour mate is Irish singer-songwriter, Tiz McNamara. “Tiz and I met in Kansas City, Missouri at the Folk Alliance International Conference last February. I’m looking forward to the beauty drive through the Appalachian Mountain range, dipping my toes in the Atlantic Ocean, and showing a great guy (Tiz) what I consider a wonderful region of Canada”, he explained.
Along with Tiz, Pat has shared several travelling experiences with complete strangers in order to get to his gigs (and to find song-writing material): “It’s like a modern day hitch-hiking thing, basically. It’s all set up in advance on Kijiji, where I post my touring schedule, and strangers hop in the car for long haul drives. It’s a way for me to have someone chip in on the fuel expenses, and I get a little company along the way. I’ve been doing it a lot and have written a ton of songs about the people I drive around and the places they are going. It’s been a nice angle for song-writing-- fresh stories…. The thing about driving people that you might never see again is they will really open up sometimes. I’ve had people tell me some pretty serious and personal stuff on these trips.”
Often times, Pat makes the trek back to Fanshawe College in London, ON where he was once a student and a staff member. Recently, he hosted an Open Mic Night where he performed and shared the stage with some of the students who were willing to play. “I love Fanshawe Student Union. It was my home away from home for so long. It was a real treat to come and play. I love hearing what the students are up to musically too, so it was a fun one.” Should any of the students follow in his footsteps, Maloney advised them to “Buy a CAA membership, fold the blankets [and] do the dishes.”
Finally, when asked about his plans for next year, Patrick Maloney replied, “I’m back in the studio soon, and will release a couple new singles early in 2018. Lots of travel, and a ton of fun on the road! I’m also looking forward to watching Clementine grow up. I’m in awe of her already.”
For more information, please visit www.patmaloney.ca.
Photo by Annette Dawm.