By Rosine Alleva Rock At Night EU Editor
With a dozen albums in 25 years of solo career, “Welcome to a new world” is the new Pat O’May’s album and first concept one. Its title was imagined before the covid pandemic!! This new opus evokes our responsability for the Planet, our fears, human relationships. More Rock Pro than the preview ones, the album will be released next September 17th via ArtDisto, with an opening concert in Paris on September 22nd at the Café de la Danse.
Pat O’May, the French Celtic metal guitarist also celebrated a fantastic event on October 7, 2017, with many friends from all over the world, for his 23-year career. From this memorable concert, a double live album was released in 2018 with guitarists Ron Thal (Guns N ‘Roses), Patrick Rondat (Jean-Michel Jarre), Jonathan Noyce (Jethro Tull, Gary Moore), Pat McManus (Mama’s Boys) and even the Breton traditional music ensemble The Bagad bro Konk Kerne.
Rock At Night had the pleasure to interview Pat O’May via Skype to talk about his new album and the long pandemic period.
A few days ago, we could discover the new video “In This Town”,announcing the excellent coming album “Welcome To a New World”!
The artist just signed with Vola guitars (USA) and a superb Pat O’May Signature model was made in California.
Pat O’May – Guitar, Violentax, vocals
Christophe Babin – Bass
John Helfy- Drums
James Wood- Vocals, backing vocals
RAN– What have you been doing during the long pandemic period?
Pat O’May– I essentially concentrated on the new album and I had the chance to organize the Guitar Camp second edition in July 2020.
RAN– I last saw you in 2018, what have you been doing since?
PAT– We were touring with the Anniversary concert album (23-year career October 2017) and I was touring with the very exciting parallel project “3 Pats For A Guitar Night”concerts with Pat McManus and Patrick Rondat.
RAN– What about that tour with “3 Pats For A Guitar Night” in 2020 ?
PAT– The concerts were cancelled! Pat McManus was coming back from Ireland and we found out we couldn’t play 45 minutes before reaching the site. This was quite a shock as it was a big tour. For Pat McManus and other musicians it’s impossible to travel since. I’m organizing the third Guitar camp edition focus on Gary Moore this year. Neal Carter, his guitarist (who also played with UFO) can’t be present. We’ll do something here with Jonathan Noyce, Gary Moore’s last bassist and Neal Carter will participate by videoconference.
RAN– This involves difficult economical (and psychological) situations for many artists.
PAT– In France there is a system in place for us, it has been expanded here and that’s good but it’s still a big financial pit for artists. In most other countries it doesn’t exist. I know many English musicians and other friends who stopped completely and changed jobs. A very hard situation to handle psychologically. I’m used to manage album, guitar camp, film music… I was full of energy the first month and when I realized it would be much longer, I fell in a kind of lethargy. Anything to manage was difficult. How can you create without being able to project in the future…
RAN– When did you start writing the new album?
PAT– I started in November 2019 and finished in January 2020 and I had already chosen the title Welcome to a new world! Nothing to do with Covid!! I wanted to change musical direction.When writing I never calculate, the ideas come without conscious thought. And I noticed the album was really taking another musical turn. There is no Celtic theme, just maybe in the intro with violentax, to then nicely embark people from one world to another, reason I gave that title to the album, to welcome people to a new musical universe.
RAN– You organized a crowdfunding for the album, I think it worked out very well!
PAT– Yes, it did and it was cool people were believing in this new adventure and were present especially during these hard times.
RAN– It’s a concept album, how did the recording process work out?
PAT– I love the band sound on stage, it’s a fantastic team and I really wanted to have this energy on the record. Usually each musician is recording his part separately but for this one, we rehearsed the titles before being in studio. I rented a place where artists can be in residence, brought in the studio and we recorded live during 3 weeks. The biggest part has been recorded live. This gave each one to let loose and bring more stuff in. We recorded the old way.
RAN– The album was mastered in the Abbey Road studios, it’s not the first time you work with them.
PAT– It’s the fourth time I work with Alex Wharton. I couldn’t be present this time due to Covid so we did it remotely and his work is just fabulous!
RAN– I had the privilege to listen to this new opus. It’s a jewel. The sound, the solos, the vocals and the visual! You focus on a special sound design with people talking in different languages and other effects.
PAT– These are friends voices, I wrote the text for each speaker in relation to the coming song, except for Christian Décamps (French Band ANGE). I liked to have different languages and the character I called “No Face” it’s to point out a universal discomfort. I also wanted to highlight the singing and the backing vocals on this album.
RAN– Fantastic! I noticed James Wood participated essentially on the vocals on this album.
PAT– We’ve been working together during 10 years, lived wonderful musical moments but James has decided to leave the Pat O’May Band to focus on his personal projects, be more in studio and stop touring. He will definitely share the stage with us when we’ll have a concert around his town!
RAN– All the best to James for the future and thank you for this nice interview! Lots of success with the album release and your starting tour in Paris on September 22nd!
Photo credits: Mathieu Ninat – Branwenn Photographie – Cathie Wetzstein- Boehringer
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