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Gladyss Patches

With the recent success of Nickelback, American fans are beginning to look North to Canada to see what else that scene has to offer. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Mike Hooten from Gladyss Patches, a Canadian rap-rock band that just released their US debut CD on NFE Records. 

RNW: Let’s start off with the most obvious question. I’ve heard that I’m likely to get a different story than those who have asked it before so where did your name come from?

Mike: Let’s see what is it this time? Renz was naming a cat and he had three names down, Gladyss, Pia and Patches. We took out the Pia and came up with Gladyss Patches.

RNW: So it’s not a porn star in Ireland?

Mike: Not today. 

RNW: I read in your bio that a psychic played a role in the formation of the group. 

Mike: I believe Renz was in the mall one day and it was a time that was basically a turning point for the band. We weren’t doing much, weren’t really happy with what we were playing. Frustrations in the band were quite high and then Renz ran into a psychic in the mall. He started to vent and he asked her what to do and I guess she told him to stick with it, a change in around the corner. Then Renz and I got to talking one day and he decided that he was gonna put down the guitar cuz he was playing at that time. So Alex came into the band. We’ve known Alex a long time so we asked him to join the band. So she basically said there would be a change coming and we went from there. The weird thing is I never even know he went to a psychic until recently, he never told me that. It was kind of a surprise to me but it was really cool. 

RNW: How did you guys originally get together?

Mike: Renz was playing in a band, I believe it was some kind of Nirvana cover band, I think they called themselves Mirvana. They played around a bit and I had put an ad in the local musicians paper saying “inexperienced guitar player looking for a band” and Renz called me, we ended up hooking up and things went from there. We’ve had a few member changes and here we are six years later. 

RNW: That’s a long time for a band.

Mike: Yeah, I’ve been real lucky this is my only band ever. I never really played with a lot of different bands. 

RNW: We recently interviewed Nickelback and they told us that in Canada they are one of the heaviest bands up there. 

Mike:  One of the heaviest bands?

RNW: Yeah that’s what they told us, on the radio at least. 

Mike: I don’t know about that. 
RNW: I was gonna say if that is true then listening to your new CD it is readily apparent that you guys are much heavier than most successful Canadian bands. 

Mike: We’re probably more middle of the road. There is definitely more heavier bands up this way. There are some really heavy bands that drop their guitars really low and start banging away. There is a lot of that up here, there is a rather large metal scene as well as like a pop scene. But they’re one of the heavier successful bands. 

RNW: Maybe that’s what they meant.  Did you find that playing heavier than say the pop bands has helped you gain exposure or hindered it? 

Mike: Yeah there is definitely a bit of an edge to the music that people really enjoy but at the same time it kind of maintains a lot of hooks and sort of pop influence. 

RNW: I noticed you guys use a lot of harmonies.

Mike: Yeah that was just something that we grew up with that we really want to throw that in so it’s pretty as apposed to just angst ridded. 

RNW: Speaking of that, who were your main influences?

Mike: It’s different for everybody, right now I’m listening to a lot of rap. Renz takes a lot of influence from like Prince and that kind of stuff, really strong melodic popular music. As well, he’s into a lot of heavy bands like Slipknot and stuff. 

RNW: Do you find a big difference between the American and Canadian music scene?

Mike: I haven’t had a whole lot of time down there but when I have I noticed that people are a lot more receptive. Maybe because we are from out of town and they embrace you a little more but up here you’re just another band. They don’t come out and support you necessary as much as they should or I would support a band. 

(at this point we started to have some connection problems with the phone, so the conversation got a little choppy. )

RNW: I know we are talking about your CD but can fans still buy your debut “Novelty”? 

Mike: Yeah, it was sort of the same general idea; a little more rough around the edges, that’s for sure and a lot more angry. We were a bit younger and we thought we had all the answers, I think that now that we are getting up there, well not old but a few more years to think about it, we don’t have all the answers. 

RNW: Did you approach the writing and recording of this CD any differently than with your debut? 

Mike: Definitely the recording. The last one we did in our jam space and this time we were in a bigger budget studio so the whole recording process was definitely different. As far as the writing process, no we just approached it like we always do; write stuff that we like, that we would want to hear. 

RNW: On the new CD which songs really standout for you?

Mike: I definitely like Headlights and Vanished. Vanished is a really cool song, it’s about people putting on a two faced sort of mask when they are talking to you they will be all nice but the second you’re gone they will take it off and say what they really think. 

RNW: Which track on the CD do you think best represents the band?

Mike: I would say Vanishing because its got a lot of the intensity of the rap that we are capable of, as well its got the soaring melodies in the choruses.  It should a little bit of every side of us. 

RNW: You guys have whole-heartedly embraced the Rap and Rock Marriage?

Mike: Definitely. Been a big fan of it since it came out a few years ago. But to tell you the truth I never really liked rap back when I was younger, it sort of all of sudden hit me a few years ago. Probably my love for rap came from the metal-rap kind of thing. 

RNW: What would be your dream tour, who would be the ultimate band for you to tour with? 

Mike: Right now hed(pe). 

RMW: Final question, I always like to ask this one. What do you think is the biggest misconception people who aren’t in the business have about the music industry? 

Mike: That there is such a thing as an overnight success and that when you’re in a band you don’t work hard. They think that its all fun and games. From the people that I talk to there is not a lot of understanding for the things that we go through. They never had to deal with all the politics involved and the dirtier side of the industry, which is definitely a big part of it, I find. So that’s kind of frustrating. 

RNW: Any final thoughts you want to send out to the readers?

Mike: I just want them to come check us out live if they have the chance. 

RNW: Ok that’s it. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and good luck with the album and tour! We’ll see you when you hit southern California. 

Want more?

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