Psychotica were a band that broke into our hearts back in 1996 with their self-titled album, which came across as one of the most original and wild glam-goth oriented rock albums I had listened to for years. It was a pleasant surprise, at last, a new glam-gothic rock band that did not suck ass in the nineties, on the contrary, they were superb, so much so that even non gothic rockers really got into Psychotica. The songs were reminiscent of everything I had ever been listening to during my teenage goth years, all exquisitely mixed up into one big huge dramatic and hypnotic whirlwind, always powerfully lead by that absolutely mesmerizing VOICE, the voice of Pat Briggs. And the man was not only the owner of such a voice ladies and gentlemen, we soon learnt he was quite a piece of an artist with a seemingly endless creative vortex inside that he let all go out during his live performances, which left everyone anything but indifferent. He’d had a long and surprising and extremely interesting life behind him, success had knocked at his door at the very beginning, but being a totally uncompromising artist, he never cared about “selling out”. During the all too brief period Psychotica were active, they released a total of three albums, which you can get by visiting www.toxicshockrecords.com get them all now if you still don’t have them.
It would now be impossible to write a quick list of the many highlights of Pat’s career in the music business, he has been an actor too, and the owner of the famous Don Hill’s as well as the creator of three legendary glamrocksexdance clubs in America, Squeezebox, Club Makeup and Glitterdome. Amongst many other things.
Please, visit Psychotica’s official website and myspace pages to read about the life and times of this very important band, not to be missed by anyone with a little bit of taste in glamrock music, and something else.
Psychotica left their many fans alone ten years ago, all of a sudden. We had all been wondering what the fuck was going on with our band, reading interviews with Pat every now and then.
Pat got married to Carrie Hamilton and left everything, his wife died and he’s been through a very rough period of his life which seems to have found its end this year. 2009 is the year; the good news is that Psychotica are making their triumphant comeback, with a new album and a live tour to boot.
And even if just for once, Spain gets to be the winner here, because they are starting their tour next Halloween here, so lemme say just for this time, hey, hurrah for fucking Spain goddamit! Hells yeah...
This interview was conducted last August 22nd, on the phone. I was in
Here is the interview, read and enjoy, and most specially, spread the word boys and girls, PSYCHOTICA ARE BACK... and it’s gonna be good.
Rachel - Hi Patrick, how are you today and how’s things in your life at the moment?
Pat - I’m good, how are you? Things right now are a little crazy.. Enrique and I just got back from the city. We’re in Queens right now, we’re back from an art show I’ve got going on in Manhattan, we were at the gallery, so that’s what we’ve been doing today. But, we’ve been busy mixing the single and stuff and getting it ready and, also getting ready to come to
Rachel - How’s the new work on new songs coming along, are you feeling inspired again to make new songs?
Pat - Well, I don’t know if you noticed or not, but I took the last ten years off and you know, literally, I haven’t been on-stage in ten years. So it’s a very big deal for me personally, and I got married, my wife passed away, and got sick, so I was with her, you know for a long, long, time and after that, you know, I tried to kill myself with drugs and, decided not to, and here I am.
Rachel - Oh...Wow...
Pat - Basically... hahaha
Rachel - Ok, so are you now excited about coming back with Psychotica?
Pat - Yeah, I am very excited about all of it and it’s very exciting for me because, you know I thought that maybe I wasn’t gonna be able to start singing again. I am pleasantly surprised and happy that it feels like I walked off the stage yesterday.
Rachel - How do you want Psychotica to be in this next upcoming reincarnation?
Pat - Like the next chapter? I don’t know, to take glam to the next level.
Rachel - Can you give us a little advance of what can we expect, live and in your new songs?
Pat - Reeka recorded new voices for the new songs again, and we are gonna use all those things that made Psychotica special in the past, like her voice, the cello. There was a point in the past when she couldn’t sing with us anymore because of problems with her visa and also because she makes other kinds of music such as reggae, dancehall, etc. So we used
Rachel - I’ve listened to your recent cover of “I Will Survive”, what other covers are you preparing for your new album, or for when you play live?
Pat - For the new record we did “Telephone Line” by the E.L.O. (laughter... the title of the song was very fitting with the horrible telephone line sound situation...) (Then Pat starts singing the song...)
Rachel - What other plans of touring do you have for the near future?
Pat - We suppose the shows are maybe going to be in smaller venues, though that could change once we get there, the current line up is Ena, Enrique and Patrick, live as Psychotica now. We may add other musicians and people along the way. Hopefully in the future Reeka will not have any more visa problems and will be able to join us live again soon.
Rachel - How do you make your songs? Your main inspiration?
Pat - Well, I think, today, Carrie. The songs are gonna be dark, obscure, sad... but with a happy ending. Be a lot more honest about what happened, the story of the last years, what happened with us and my life, and what is happening.
Rachel - During the last few years you kind of disappeared out of the spotlight for us your fans, I read you’ve mainly doing art, painting, and had a shop in L.A., but I think that was at least a couple of years ago.. What have you been up to since? Is your shop still there (
Pat - The shop is not there anymore. I left LA to come to
Rachel - So you may like
Pat - What, people wise? Haha.. I just wanna go there to see bullfighting.
Rachel - What was that you said, I didn’t hear you..
Pat - I wanna go to a bullfight.
Rachel – I’m sorry but I think I still can’t understand this!!!!
Enrique - Corrida de toros!!!
Rachel - Ooohh he wants to go to a bullfight??? (laughing in background) Now you’re kidding me right!!!!
Pat, Enrique - Hahaha .. No!!!
Rachel - Now that’s a lie!!
Enrique - That doesn’t sound like Pat right?
Rachel - Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!
Go to a bullfight in
Pat - I’ve been to those, many times!
Enrique - Yeah but they have bullfights in
Rachel - Yes there are bullfights in
Enrique - I went to
Pat - It’s for the tourists right?
Rachel - Yeah they always want it.
Well, Some time ago, Pat, you started writing your autobiography, and there was talk of making a movie out of it. How are those two projects doing as of now?
Pat - Well the director died! (Laughter) It was Ted Demme who was going to make the movie so, as for the book. No, the thing is after being married, I feel there’s a lot more to be added to it right now. And I’ll finish it at one point but now I am gonna finish what I am doing right now.
Rachel - Is living without regrets still a constant pattern in your life?
Pat - You know, I wanna say I regret some things but and I wish there were things that hadn’t happened but, you know, without that, I guess I wouldn’t be where I am now. That wouldn’t be a good thing so, I do not almost ever feel any regrets about anything, I mean seldom, you know. I mean, most of all I wish Carrie was here, but probably that’s not a regret thing that’s more of sadness, so no, I guess I don’t have any good regrets.
Rachel - What is the first thing you think about when you wake up, and also when you go to sleep at night?
Pat - Carrie Hamilton, Carrie is the thing I think of most often, I still wish that she was here.
Rachel - Sorry, but the sound is really awful, can you turn the speaker off?
Enrique - The sound is worse without the speaker!! Right now I am throwing it out the window! I just bought it and I am gonna feed it to my dog!!!
Photo: Omar Martin, L.A., CA
Rachel - What/who did originally prompt you back in the beginning to go and start your own band? (Which turned out to be Psychotica)
Pat - I think boredom really at the time, because I had sworn I didn’t want to do it anymore. I wasn’t trying to do anything, it was really accidental. Most of all things boredom, that’s what got us all in the band together. There was nothing good going on in
Rachel - Do you have anything to say about today’s current state of music? Would you recommend any new bands/artists you think are worth us checking out?
Pat - I’m not listening to anything new, I’m listening to Gladys Night. Well, I’m starting to listen to La Lupe. (Enrique: Ooh, did you hear that? Like years ago I was trying to make him listen to some spanish music, and he says now he’s listening to records of La Lupe, and now he is saying that he likes it.)
Rachel - Ooh!! My god!!! (In total shock)
Pat - Well when we were doing “I Will Survive”, which is coming out as a single, I found it’s got like a very Spanish influence, musically.
Rachel - Sooo.. are you now kinda bored guys or can I go on?
Pat - No you can go on, the wine is good!!! Hahaha...
Rachel - Cool!!!... Hey you must obviously be aware of how many well known artists and bands have copied or gathered influences, both aesthetically and musically from you (I don’t think it is necessary to give names since they are all too obvious!). How do you feel about this, do you feel flattered?
Pat - It is kind of flattering. I always felt that I can create more. If I am ever annoyed it’s only momentarily usually. I’ve always felt that, well, I am me, so I can always. I’ll always outdo them, you know haha.. Sometimes I’m annoyed by it, but only for a minute. I don’t mind.
Rachel - I think you don’t care much for heroes, in fact once you said your only reason for wanting to be a singer was to be the centre of attention, (which is what we all want I guess). So what about telling us of anyone who has made a big impact in your life, whether they are musicians, artists or friends, and why?
Pat – Carrie, has been the biggest influence on my life, but, believe it or not,
Did you mean musical influences too? (Rachel - No, any kind) Pat - Then Carrie and
Rachel - Whenever I think of people like you, with a very strong personality, brutally honest and/or candid sometimes, not afraid of being themselves all the time, etc I wonder if it must be specially difficult for such types of people to live in such a contradictory society like America, or maybe just because of that, it may turn out to actually be the best place for this type of person to be?
Pat - Yeah, I mean, we never made money for one thing, hahaha. There’s no money in it hahaha, but yeah, well I think it’s always been like that, somebody comes along and creates it, and they don’t make the money, then the next person comes along, copycats it, then capitalizes on it, becomes the popular one and you know, takes a lot of what it originally was and you know it’s a double edge story, because I’m not a follower but, at the same time... you know... I don’t know. I’m satisfied with that, that’s ok, but a lot of people might be a little more cranky than I am about not making money out of it.
Rachel - So, you think it is better or worse to be in
Pat - Somebody has got to do it! Haha... You know what I think, especially after living in Hollywood for three years, like I realized Hollywood is a place that.. for a place that’s based in the entertainment industry, there is no real talent there. When somebody comes to that environment with talent, they try and squash it, so that you don’t see how much non-talent is not there. Does that make sense?? So, I think
Rachel - And when you lived in Atlanta, GA, what did you find for you there, aside from your club Glitterdome?
Pat - Oh, umm well
Rachel - Do you have good memories of Glitterdome in
Pat - I did, you know like, I did Squeezebox in NY and then I did club Makeup in
Rachel - So you’re not interested in doing anymore clubs?
Pat - Hmm no, I don’t... (Enrique on the background goes: ...maybe in
Rachel - Oh!! So you’re not seriously considering opening a Squeezebox number 2 in
Pat – Oh, yes, yes, yes, I’m going to! Hahaha!
Enrique - I am telling him to do it.
Pat – Well, you know the Squeezebox movie is coming out too so. Well, you know, we’re gonna be playing soon in
Enrique - Maybe La Lupe will show up!
Pat - Yeah maybe La Lupe will show up! Hahahah!
Rachel - How do you feel now about your life Pat, are you having fun?
Pat - Oh yeah, I am starting to again; it was taking me a long time. I feel much better after coming back to
Rachel - Like...?
Pat - Well, I had to take care of some relationships with ...you know, people that I had alienated, for whatever reason. So, it’s been a lot of, it’s been definitely some work too, but now it’s all good, it’s looking up, because now it’s all positive, so it’s good. And now I’m feeling better about myself, because that happened so very long ago, so yeah definitely all is looking up good.
Rachel - Was it good to have met/worked with so many good artists/people in the music biz over the years? Which ones would you like to remember now and for good or bad reasons?
Pat - Musical artists? Oh, Umm, when I was hosting Lollapalooza in the old days, I used to get up, drink and sing with Green Day and we would do a set of old metal songs. I never dreamed that would happen, but that was fun they’re really nice boys, I hope to see them again soon. Well, also I remember X Japan, they were really cool definitely, glam is just second nature to those guys. That’s probably like my most fun collaboration. I met Courtney Love, being a big old mess and I thought she was somewhat arrogant, also The Distillers, you know them? Yeah, she’s one of my favourite girl singers of all time; probably the Distillers’ first album is one of my favourite albums of all time.
Rachel - Do you love Siouxsie, has she been a strong influence for you in any way?
Pat - Oh yeah, I love Siouxsie, I loved Siouxsie since I was... well you know that song of ours “
Rachel - Yeah, she was so gorgeous. Which are your fave songs of her?
Pat - It would have to be “Spellbound” I think, and maybe “Arabian Knights”.
Rachel - Did you like The Creatures?
Pat - Ummm...not that much. I mean, I do like them but certainly not like old Siouxsie. But I don’t dislike them.
Rachel - Did you ever see her around LA?
Pat – Well, I nearly went to go live with her, we were supposed to go with my old partner Joseph, because she is very into big cats, and there’s a place in Bel Air Square where you can go stay at a hotel and the jaguars come by to the hotel, and so I very nearly did that as a matter of fact. She’s very cranky at night, very nauhgty.. hahaha!
Rachel - Nina Hagen, would you like to do something musically with her?
Pat - Nina Hagen is in the Squeezebox movie, Nina Hagen is amazing. I think she’s one of the best voices in rock n roll. I mean, her and, do you know Christina Amphlett from the Divinyls? Christina is very little known, she isn’t getting as much credit as she should. The reason I brought her up is that she was also an opera singer, which Nina was as well, and they both, um, if you listen to um, they have similar.. if you listen to the Divinyls first record, called “Desperate”, which is way before “I Touch Myself”, which was really stupid, and they are mostly known for that record, but the first record was amazing and it was sung by Chris Thomas. Who, did you know The Pretenders first record? Yeah, so he had that sort of balls to the wall rock n roll feel to it, and Nina Hagen, yeah those are the kind of girls that I like, influences, the music, the visuals. I still listen to all those records. I remember when I first came to NY and I was dancing at the Danceteria, back in the eighties, “
Rachel - Would you like to do a duet song with Nina Hagen?
Pat - I would love to do a duet with Nina Hagen, that would be awesome!
Rachel - I was thinking “
Pat - You know, that’s not a bad idea!!
Rachel - Did you meet Perry Farrell (you played/DJ’d at Lollapalooza festivals for three years). In some aspects, you sometimes reminded me a bit of him back in their early days. What was he like to work/hang around with?
Pat - I’m not sure that Perry understands really what I am about... haha. Yeah, he was in his own little world at the time you know. I think sometimes when people make money like that, I think they lose touch with what made them popular in the first place, I don’t know, I think that, if it’s the case with him, I don’t know?
Rachel - Is there any recollection of touring with bands such as the Ramones, Tool, Genitorturers, Iggy Pop, etc. that you feel like sharing here with us?
Pat – Umm, I don’t know, it was a lot of work, shit!.. hahaha. First of all it was a long time ago you know, you know it’s not nearly as over the top rock n roll as everyone thinks it is, I think, hahaha! When people are working every single night you know, I think it’s not nearly as cutting-edge as you might imagine it being. There’s some bliss and madness in-between, but you know, you’re putting it out every night. I think we had a blast with all of them but I think they’re all a lot more sedated than you might think, hahahaha!.
Rachel - What do you do for a living now? I cannot imagine you for a second working a day job!
Pat - I don’t think I know how. You know I was thinking,I was gonna go and start doing porn but now I’m not going to.
Rachel - Did you enjoy the Squeezebox movie?
Pat - I thought it was fabulous, but from what I understand there is still some editing that has to be done due to song rights and other legal stuff. It is still being pitched to studios. It is still a work in process; let’s see when it’s out.
Rachel - How do you always find the strength to be yourself all the time, no matter what?
Pat - Oh you know, I’m not sure that I do. Some days is hard, some days it’s a lot of work. You know, some days it’s easy, it’s just not every day.
I’ll tell you in a nutshell here, and it is that sometimes when you wear the clown nose long enough you forget that you have it on.
Rachel - Thanks a lot for your time Pat, we’re looking forward to your new songs and live shows.
Enrique - Nos vemos allá en
Pat - Ok good night, spread the word!
Enrique - We will party in
Rachel - Yeah I will bring you wine!
All of them – Hahaha you got it, Bye!
GO GET YOUR PSYCHOTICA FIX AT: WWW.TOXICSHOCRECORDS.COM
Interview by Rachel 01/09/09