Kyle Patrick of The Click Five
A new single – CHECK. A new album – CHECK. A new singer – CHECK! What’s not new about The Click Five these days? With a renewed passion for their craft and a hunger to hit the stage, the band (Kyle Patrick on vocals and rhythm guitar, Joe Guese on lead guitar and vocals, Ethan Mentzer on bass and vocals, Ben Romans on keyboards and vocals and Joey Zehr on drums and vocals) has been tearing up the East Coast previewing their new digs to eager fans everywhere. Their new album, Modern Minds and Pastimes, was just released on June 26th but fans were offered a little teaser with the first single Jenny to whet their appetite. The verdict? Pop princesses everywhere are dancing around their living rooms in sheer glee. The band has been out on a Fan Appreciation tour for a few weeks giving their legion of followers a taste of what’s to come, playing their new songs and hosting listening parties.
Many feared it would be the end for The Click Five after the departure of lead singer Eric Dill last year. But fear not, when the band needed a new singer, they knew exactly where to go, the place where all the magic started to begin with – The Berklee College of Music. They quickly found Kyle Patrick who they reeled in and called their own and the rest is just another page of Click history. While the band may sound a little different, their songwriting and musicianship has never waivered, it’s only been strengthened with their new addition.
Newest member Kyle Patrick recently took time out of the band’s busy schedule to talk to TWRY’s very own Click-ologist Ellen about joining an established band, the new experiences involved, and all things Click….
For people who have been out of the loop, can you update us on what the band has been up to over the past year?
The past year has been pretty crazy. I am the new lead singer of the band. As far as the past year goes, the whole switchover thing happened. In November and December it was just us getting to know each other, hanging out. We had a couple of low key shows, just to see how we worked together. From there we hit the studio. It was immediate; as soon as I was officially in the band we were in the studio the next day and recorded the entire record “Modern Minds and Pastimes” in three months. It was a pretty quick process. After that, we hit the road the next day basically. Now, we’ve been on the road for about seven weeks I guess? We’ve been doing a small club tour, with us headlining, and we’ve done some big radio shows here and there. We’re doing a lot of radio promo to get the word out about the record, which just came out on Tuesday, and we are very psyched about it. That’s basically where we are right now, playing tons of shows, getting out to as many people we can, basically doing as much as we possibly can to get The Click Five name out there.
How did they find you to be the new lead singer?
We all went to Berklee College of Music. I was actually a couple of years behind them. They are 25 and 26, and I am 21. I was a junior at Berklee, and when they were looking for a new singer, they came back to the school, talked to some friends, and asked around if anyone knew anyone that would fit the part. My name was thrown in there, and I got a call and met up with them. We just hung out for awhile, and played a couple of songs. Actually, the first song I played with them was “Jenny”, the first single. So that was kind of cool. That went well, so then we did a few shows, like I said, and it all worked out. Here we are.
What were you doing before joining Click?
I was in other bands. I had another band, based out of Georgia, which is where I’m from. I do a lot solo stuff, a lot of writing. I love writing music. Just doing my best to become an all around musician while I was at Berklee. At that point, I was just trying to do my own thing, with periodic shows, and making my network there at Berklee the best I could. Then, I met up with these guys.
Were you a fan of the band?
I knew of the band, but I didn’t know them well enough to be a fan. There was a point where I wish I did because they’re freakin awesome. These guys are awesome players, they’re so good. I would not say that I was a fan of the band, I would say more or less I didn’t know them enough to really get into it. But, definitely now that I have met these guys, obviously since I’ve been around for around eight months, it’s just awesome awesome stuff.
What has been the biggest highlight so far since you’ve been in the band?
For me, not being in any huge bands before. The first radio show we did was like thirty-five hundred people. That was a lot of people for me. These guys have played for a ton of people. They did a big show in Malaysia, Singapore, to about thirty-thousand people, so they were definitely used to it. So that was a big thing for me, playing for big crowds. Another would be my hazing process, for becoming a member of the band. There’s been a few things they’ve done. The latest one was they painted me brown with baked beans, and put me in a half man, half horse suit. They made me walk around in Copley Square, with a megaphone, and I had to say random things like “Hello, Hello my name is Kyle Patrick! I reside in East Boston…” and I just had to talk. It was ridiculous, I felt like an idiot. Out of those two highlights, I think the hazing would be the more highlighted moment. That’s how we roll here with The Click Five, we just go all out!
What do you bring to the band that might have not been there before?
The fact that they had a lead singer before me, and a slightly different sound? I’m not here to mimic anyone, I feel I bring my own thing, I’m taking the band to the next level in performance, the show, everything. I just think that there’s a new charisma in the band, and we all get along, and that comes across completely on stage. We’re all good friends, even after The Click Five. When we are on stage, it emits to the crowd that we are having a good time. That’s probably the biggest thing, we just love what we’re doing. I have never met the previous lead singer, but in the past there were some problems about them not being on the same page. So that’s probably the most important thing now, is that we all are on the same page. We have the same goals for the band, and we all want to take it to as high of a place as we can. I think these guys have said a couple of times that I was kind of the missing puzzle piece. I was the final thing, and now we’re the band we want to be. It’s going very well now.
Were you ever worried that fans wouldn’t accept a new lead singer?
Sure! I think at first, yeah. The fan base had already grown to pretty big heights, and there were a lot of people that were into the previous lead singer, and of course, somebody coming in to try and fill those shoes, even if I’m gonna do something difference, is a big deal. But now that we’ve played a bunch of shows, and we’ve made our new sound available to people, and the new single’s out and we’re getting some airplay, again with the shows and stuff, it seems as though the fans are taking it. I love meeting all the new people, hanging out, and doing whatever. Now it seems like everyone’s very receptive to the new sound. The fans seem to like it, it’s going well.
Your sophomore release, Modern Minds and Pastimes, was released just this Tuesday. What inspired the name of the CD?
The name of the CD is basically the fact that we are products of modern society, which is where the “Modern Minds” comes from, and the “Pastimes” is that this record has a lot of influence. From past decades until present. Originally, the name was going to be “Modern Minds and Past Times”, but we did a little play on words and made it “Modern Minds and Pastimes”. It’s kind of like a new age twist on older music and even new stuff as well.
Can you walk me through three of your favorite songs on the new CD, lyrically and musically?
Sure! One that’s really cool is Addicted To Me. It has kind of a narrative thing with the lyrics. The narrator, almost like in her mind, speaks to the body. That one’s cool in that aspect. I really like the song Empty, as well. It is a ballad about falling out of love. It’s kind of a melancholy thing. You’re in a relationship with someone that might lose interest after a while, and things just kind of hollow out. We’ve all been through that. It was kind of a touchy song for the band. I’m Getting Over You was definitely a song that came onto the record. We weren’t necessarily freaking out about it, and we all were like “wow, that’s a great song, cool, let’s record it”, but there were other songs that we were more psyched about for the record. But, when that one was finished, we all sat there in the studio, and there was a moment where we all were like “wow… this song is awesome!”. That one, for some reason, hit a nerve with all of us. We did a lot of cool stuff in the recording process with that one too. Vocally, that’s a really strong song for me. That was definitely a good one.
The first single, Jenny, has an interesting music video. Can you tell me a little about the concept and how the video came together as a whole?
We had a directing team called Aggressive and we worked with them with the idea of having this hook in the video of this elevator. We would stop at all of these floors, and crazy stuff would happen to us. We kind of got messed with in that sense, since every floor had something crazy on it. That was the original idea for the video, and then we came in and made all the skits and all the ideas, for what the floors would actually have on them, and what would lie ahead for the band, as far as Jenny messing with us. It’s very bizarre, and we love it. It turned out really good. There was tons of green screen stuff, which was cool for us to do, and a lot of computer effects. Those guys were just phenomenal with that stuff. The whole game show scene, and the ‘will you marry me scene’; my scene, then the scene at the very end, where the elevator kind of falls, the perspective changes and the doors open. You see sky, and then you see people looking in like your in a coffin, on the lyric “its killing me”. That’s when the whole thing kind of pulls together in the end. That was all us, just thinking of crazy stuff that could happen to us. We wanted it to be kind of quirky and cool, so it all turned out well for us.
You have been touring since the beginning of May on the “Fan Appreciation Tour”, in support of the new album, as well as you as the new lead singer. How are those going so far?
It’s going very well. We are on an upward slope. We are working the songs out, playing new stuff, and now we’re kind of incorporating some of the old stuff too, which is cool. The thing about playing the old songs, is we wanted to at the beginning of the tour, but we didn’t have any time to work it out. My voice is very different from the past stuff, and stuff had to be changed. We had to change keys on a couple of them, so we didn’t really have any time to work that out as a band. Now that we’re on the road, even just at sound checks, we’ll try to work those songs out. The tour is going really well. The fans are very receptive to what’s going on, and are aware of what we’re doing now. Now that the record’s out, it seems like everyone knows the songs now, even in a few days. The show we played today, and the show we played yesterday, they were awesome! People were singing along because they knew the words already, even to all the songs that haven’t been released yet, which is amazing. It’s cool to see that happen, because leading up the record, we’d play all these songs, and everyone’s just kind of looking at us. I mean, they’re rocking out, but they don’t know what song it is, and they’re just kind of like “wow… this is cool, but I don’t know what to sing!” and people feel most comfortable when they know the words and they can sing along. They feel a connection with something. But now that the records out, we have seen it happening. We’re still on our upward slope, and hopefully now that the record’s out, it’ll steep upwards.
As part of the tour you were doing listening parties, what has been the reaction?
They’ve been cool! Very casual. We just had about twenty or thirty people from every show come in and just hang out. We just put the record on, and hung out with them, signing autographs, talked to people, and got their reaction on the new record. It was really fun. Everybody enjoyed it. There was actually a couple of times, where we needed more time to sound check, which would have cut into the listening parties, so we changed it from a listening to the record party, to a sound check party. They came in and heard us play through some of the songs on the new record, rather then hear the new songs recorded. It was cool, everybody dug it. It was fun!
All this touring must make you pretty tired. Becky from your message boards would like to know, what keeps you going on days when you just want to sleep?
Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. That’s probably the biggest thing right now, is getting enough sleep. we have our bunks, we can conk out if we have a long drive, which is very often. I do that every chance I get. I like naps. I take lots of naps. Sleep is huge for all of us, especially for me. Our bodies are our instruments, and we have to take care of them in order to do what we do. Now, if we can’t nap, we get ridiculous. We listen to loud music, we dance, we drink sugar free red bull, we kick around. We just go crazy. We just do something ridiculous to keep our minds busy.
If you weren’t making music with The Click Five, what would you be doing?
I would be roller-skating…at the local roller-skating outlet. I just came up with that right now, I don’t know where that came from, but I feel like right at this moment in time, I would feel like that’s where I’d be. [laughing].
MTV is hosting a series of 5 webisodes called “The Band Behind The Band” on its Overdrive feature of the site. What made you decide to take part in that and is that your new way of doing tour diaries?
It is our new tour diary. We are doing something more then just being in front of the cameras saying “hey, this is where we are, this is what we are doing”, it’s actually what’s happening. Now, it’s just like a reality TV show. It’s what’s happening on the road, and some of the crazy shit happening when we have a couple of cameras rolling. That’s what our tour diaries are going to be, seeing what happens when we’re on the tour bus, and we’re just hanging out. People get to see what problems go on, and what things we have to hurdle over to get where we are. There’s things every day, there could be good times and bad times for us. As far as me entering it, it was a blast. We had five or six cameras following us around for two weeks, and we just did our thing. Tthe whole process was pretty hilarious as well as kind of aggravating at some times, but that’s all good for the video.
Did they let you move out of the basement yet?
Oh! Uh…about that! I am still in the basement. I don’t know, I’m kind of pissed about that. Seven or eight months, that should be enough time, right? I don’t know but, it’s kind of cool down there. The hot water heater’s down there, so it’s kind of warm. I got some sheets and stuff down there for a bed. It’s cool. It’s nice enough for me to get enough rest. I don’t know, I don’t know what to say about it. [laughing].
The band has built a strong fan base, especially along the east coast, considering you hail out of Boston, MA. What is the coolest thing a fan has ever done for you?
You gave us the ducks! I still have the duck, it’s in my bag right now and I’m looking for it. And I have it! And he has a microphone. There it is. I think that that kind of stuff, things like gifts, you knowing that people are thinking about you, and appreciate what you do, is definitely the biggest thing. That’s just so cool, for us to be playing this music, and writing this music, performing it on stage, to the best of our ability. For that to connect to people is just huge. Anything they do for us, whether it’s just asking us for a picture; everything is appreciated so much. I couldn’t say that there was a favorite thing of mine, because I like it all.
The weirdest and/or worst with the band?
There were a couple shows that were really weird stage setups. That kind of stuff is just weird for us. There’s been a couple of really small stages, because we did the small club thing, and there’s been a couple of stages that can’t really accommodate what we’re doing. We all made a decision that the next time that happens, we are going to set-up backwards. We are going to have Joey at the front of the stage, BUT pointed to the back. So basically, me, Joe, Ethan, and Ben are going to be across the back of the stage, facing the wall. Joey will be on the front of the stage, but facing the wall, and we’re just going to rock backwards. I don’t know why we’re going to do that, but we just have to do things to spice it up sometimes, and that is one of the things. As far as crazy stuff, we ate some crocodile in Louisiana, that was fun. We rode the rides in the Mall of America, which was hilarious. All those little things that we do that make things exciting is always good.
Describe each band member in two words-
Ben Romans: Mad Scientist.
Ethan Mentzer: Chassis Rattler.
Joe Guese: Finger Blaster.
Joey Zehr: Empire Ruler.
Me: Spastic Maniac.
There we go!
What are the touring plans now that the album is out?
We are booked up until late July, doing some more small clubs, as well as radio shows and radio promo stuff, just to get word out about the record. Basically, that’s our plan for right now, but once that’s done we’re going to be booked up for a while playing shows. There’s actually been talk of going to South East Asia soon. That’ll be our first overseas thing so we’re excited about that.
Any last words?
Overall, we’re just so happy to be doing what we’re doing. we’re so happy to have people that follow what we do, appreciate the music, and appreciate what we do as a band. That’s the biggest thing for us, having people like what we do, and it’s very exciting to get the music out for everyone to perform for everyone. We thank all the people that support us!