Philadelphia’s Pattern Is Movement is about to say goodbye after fourteen years of producing music, so PopGun wanted to commemorate this momentous occasion by sitting down with current members Andrew Thiboldeaux and Chris Ward. What began as a five-piece math rock group in the vein of Sunny Day Real Estate ultimately shrank but evolved into a two-piece that grew away from the angular sound it started with, choosing instead a sound championing heavy compositions with emotionally vibrant lyrics. All in all, a journey through Pattern Is Movement’s extensive oeuvre proves to be a peek into the trajectory of an artist’s inspiration and creativity. We feel lucky to share these musings with you.
This is your farewell tour. How does it feel to say goodbye to the project?
Andrew: A mixture of things, I’d say. I’ll miss this band, to be sure, as it’s been a major part of my life for so long. But I also feel like it’s the right time to take in camp. It’s been quite a time!
Chris: It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this band. Pretty much my whole musical life has been with this band and that’s the bitter part. However, I’m looking forward to having some distance from our band and its catalog of my music. That distance I believe with help me appreciate the band more – and that I believe will be the sweet part.
How do you think your time with Pattern Is Movement will influence your work in the future?
Andrew: Chris and I have learned so much from each other over the years and have managed to keep inspiring one another with each new album. I’m sure we’ll carry those things with us no matter where we travel.
Chris: Oh man, I think I’ll always be influenced by this band. I feel like I learned how to be a drummer via Andrew and his sense of rhythm will always have an impact on me.
We’d love to hear some reflections on your albums. Are any especially significant to you? Why?
Andrew: I think our last album, Pattern is Movement, is us at our most genuine, by design. The takes on that album were the most emotional and candid that we’ve ever done.
Chris: I’ll never forget tracking “The Severe” from our album Stowaway. I was in a small vocal booth tracking the drums for that song and I could not remember how to play the beat. I was getting so flustered and Andrew helped walk me through all the motions of the beat and then stayed outside the door looking in – giving me positive reinforcements. It’s a memory that will forever be in my heart.
What were some of your favorite moments as a band – live shows, tours, etc?
Andrew: I loved meeting all these wonderful people on tour. The country shrinks in this amazing way when you’ve toured so many times, and when you see a city on the map you get this flash of people in your head that you’ve met there over the years. It’ll be a wonderful souvenir to have after this tour.
Chris: One of my favorite moments was playing when The Roots backed us up (yep, you read that right – crazy, right?!?) on our cover of ‘How does it feel’ by D’Angelo. During a break within the song, I pulled out a pick and began picking out my beard. When the song resumed, I’ll never forget looking back at Questlove and watching him laughing so hard!
What’s next? Any other projects in the works?
Andrew: Not sure just yet, but I’m excited about mining some new sounds and approaches, and also seeing what’s possible in terms of translating emotion to tape. Onward!
Chris: This is a question I’ve been asked a lot lately and my standard answer has been that Andrew and I were in a long-term musical relationship since we were 14 and now I’m single and going to play the field. I’m going to open up my musical Tinder™ and start swiping!
Thanks for the memories. We can’t wait to see what comes next.