Long Island’s pop-punk group Patent Pending are steadily making a name for themselves as one of the brightest hopes for the future of the genre. Funded by their ever-growing fanbase via PledgeMusic, a trust testament of the band’s dedicated fans, the band’s new album ‘Brighter’ could well be the first step into truly becoming a staple name for pop-punk.
Frontman Joe Ragosta has shared with us a far more in-depth look at the ‘Brighter’ album track-by-track, including the meanings behind the songs, how the writing/recording process went for the record and more.
01.) There Was A Time
In our opinion, ‘There Was A Time’ is the perfect way for us to open this album. We wanted to convey the concentration that went into making this album. We wanted to try and capture the struggle and dedication that has gotten us to this point and convey the message that no matter how crazy and backwards the music industry can be, we continue to find happiness and maintain an unflinching passion for what we are doing. This band is not just a job or a hobby to us. It isn’t just something that we do. This band is our lives. It’s something that has been engrained into our collective DNA many years ago and no matter how the world and the industry reacts to us, we’re going to keep fighting for this.
02.) Shut It Down
The album was done. All of the songs had already been turned in and we were settling in on mixes. I kept listening to the songs over and over and couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. We needed a call to arms, we needed a ‘We Will Rock You’ style declaration. The result of this feeling is ‘Shut It Down’. I flew back down to Nashville (for the fifth time in 7 months) for a 36 hour emergency recording session. We had to bribe the band that was in the studio to give up their recording time to let us finish this thing. 36 hours straight, no sleep, no breaks, we recorded this song front-to-back. It has an arena feel to it which is something that I’ve always wanted to do with Patent Pending. It falls in line with our chaotic live shows and general “we don’t give a shit what other people are doing” attitude. It comes in order right after the intro, ‘There Was A Time’, and continues the message that though we have always been the odd-balls and outcasts of the music industry, we’ve managed to carve out a spot for ourselves over the last 13 years and we don’t care what anyone else thinks.
03.) Let Go
‘Let Go’ is a perfect representation of what Patent Pending has become. It’s a step up both melodically and lyrically while still maintaining the charismatic and in your face spirit that Patent Pending loves to bring to the rock music scene. We enlisted the mixing expertise of Tom Lord-Alge, because we wanted this song to rock, pop and roll in a way that only Tom knows how to achieve. There’s an energy to this song that previously can only be found at a Patent Pending live show. To catch that energetic feeling on record is a very exciting thing for us.
04.) Hey Mario
‘Hey Mario’ is a shining example of Patent Pending being Patent Pending, but better. In the past, we’ve always found a way to have fun in our music and look at things differently than other bands, but this time we went all out. We engineered all of the 8-bit sounds that any classic Nintendo fan will recognize a mile away and turned those classic tones into a modern pop-rock song.
Musically, we wanted to challenge ourselves to see past the standard power-chord driven structure that so many pop-punk bands have driven into the ground for years to arrive at a crossroads of pop-punk and radio ready pop-rock…
‘Brighter’ is the title-track of this album for a very specific reason. It’s a full on anthem of how far both our band and our Second Family community that we have built across the world has come over the last few years. This song is a part two to our song ‘One Less Heart To Break’. It’s the other side of dark days. It’s a reminder that as a band and as people, this community that we have created for all of us is still here, and doing better than ever. There’s a lyric proclaiming “You don’t have to hide, you know we all have scars / The broken we were becoming who we are / The proof that it doesn’t matter how we start / We can be more than a spark”. This is a direct message to ourselves and anyone that has found hope through Patent Pending‘s music. It means that no matter where we all come from, this music has brought us together, and together we can move forward and be whoever we want to be. No matter what lies in our pasts, no matter what skeletons we have in our closets, together we can accomplish amazing things. We made it the title of the album to declare to anyone that wants to listen that from here on out, no matter what life throws at us, this Second Family community will choose to be “Brighter” than the dark days that lie behind us.
‘Hipster’ is a sarcastic way of poking fun at how pretentious people (including ourselves) can be at times when it comes to this “underground” or “alternative” lifestyle that often comes hand-in-hand with our genre of music. I had come up with the concept years ago, but it wasn’t until I tried it as a pseudo rap song that it finally made sense to me. I realised that I didn’t want it to sound anything like the music that ‘hipsters’ are known for making with (i.e. loud indie rock music). To truly push it past all things stereotypically ‘hipster-ish’, our friend Lisa Goe added a strong female voice to the chorus.
08.) Classic You
TRIVA: What happens when you put two of the more sarcastic front men of the pop-punk music scene together in a room to write a song? Answer, a truly sarcastic pop-punk song sang by two sarcastic front men. It’s the marriage of both Patent Pending‘s and Bowling For Soup‘s music.
09.) The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief
‘The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief’ plays more like a Patent Pending show than any other song the band has ever recorded. Close your eyes with this song in your headphones and you’ll instantly be whisked away to a sweaty, beer-soaked rock club complete with loud guitars, massive sing-a-longs and melodies that will get stuck in your head for days.
10.) Falling Out Of Love
Songs of heartbreak have always been a staple on Patent Pending records, but never before have we rocked and grooved as hard as this one. The chorus does a great job of capturing the emotions that come with a messy break-up.
Patent Pending has always had an affinity for doo-op and Motown style music. With the recording of live horns and strings, in a genre where most of these instruments would be synthesized, you can get a feel for how authentic Patent Pending wanted this album to be.
‘Brighter’ is out now via PledgeMusic. You can purchase it online from the band’s official Backstreet Merch webstore (here).