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Articles Home » Music Talk » OTHERWISE Interview
OTHERWISE Interview

Interview By: Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio

 

Adrian Patrick – lead vocals
Ryan Patrick – lead guitar, backing vocals
Tony "The Beast" Carboney – bass guitar, backing vocals
Brian Medeiros – drums

 

OTHERWISE is a hard rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada.   When they last played at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, I enjoyed getting to know the guys and learning more about the meaning of their music.  If you haven't heard of them, climb out from under that rock and go buy their latest album, Sleeping Lions, and catch them in a city near you.

 

(L-R) Brian, Adrian, Nina, Tony, Ryan

 

BRR:  For those unfamiliar with your humble beginnings can you tell me a brief history of how it all began?

 

Adrian:  My brother and I, Ryan who is our lead guitar player, started in Vegas and released our first independent album in 2006.  We built a name, contrary to what Motley Crue and Nikki Sixx will tell people, they were not the first original rock band to have a residency in Las Vegas, OTHERWISE was.  We had a monthly thing with our buddy in Steel  Panther.  Every month we'd do this thing and it got bigger and bigger and here we are sitting at Mohegan Sun for the first time and talking to Boston Rock Radio.

 

BRR:  Your message is “Peace comes thru struggle.”  Can you elaborate on that?

 

Ryan:  Yeah, peace has come to us at different times throughout life but probably through some of the hardest times we've ever faced.  The peace that we got from signing a record deal and becoming a nationally known band came after losing a very prominent and very important soul in our life and it just seems to be the theme of how we get stuff in this life.  A lot of effort, a lot of struggle and then a little bit of relief and peace and it's an ongoing thing with us with rock ‘n roll.  We try to convey the message that if you are going through something tough in your life and you're struggling, peace is right around the corner, and not to give up.  Keep fighting and putting your strongest foot forward.

 

BRR:  Ironically, today they are doing the whole peace march in Boston with everything that is going on.  What are some of your personal hardships you've overcome as an individual and as a band?

 

Ryan:  I struggle with a pizza addiction.

 

Tony:  So pizza at all costs!

 

Ryan:  Tony for the win!  I think I struggle with my emotions a lot.  One moment in life, I'm extremely positive, extremely confident, extremely focused and big picture thinking and big picture living and then a gust of wind can just hit me literally out of nowhere and all of a sudden nothing makes sense; I have no confidence and am super depressed.  The voice in my head is super dark.  What I've realized is that the only thing that actually really helps it is when we are playing music onstage.  Then everything is quiet and it gets all brought in and focused to playing the music and expressing.  So emotions and depression, or just confusion has been one of my biggest struggles.

 

Adrian:  My struggle, for me personally, is being away from my family.  I'm a new dad and my eldest son turned three in September and my youngest boy was 6 months on Aug 25th.  I've already done all the typical rock ‘n roll shit, struggling with alcohol and anger and blah, blah, blah, but right now my main battle internally is being away from those two boys.  Every day, it's like what is more important?  If I were to walk away and spend all my time with them would I be doing them a disservice by giving up on my dreams?  By struggling through the hardships and the dark times, like my brother was talking about, am I going to show my boys that they don't just have to keep their heads down and be a worker and make somebody else rich.  If there's anything that I struggle with is the sacrifice that it takes to show these two beautiful boys that they can achieve whatever they want.  Our parents are immigrants.  My brother and I are first generation American born and our parents came from a third world country that is worse than anything you can think of.  Now here we are, their sons, their two boys have songs on the radio.  Their two boys signed a record deal, which is like the American dream, the brass ring.  The realities of that American dream are a bit different, but the fact that we achieved it is something I want to impart on my sons and say, “If Uncle Ryan and I can do this, and we're not nearly as half as pretty as you two little bastards are, imagine what you can do!”

 

BRR:  Exactly, live your dream.  Life is too short.

 

Tony:  I would say that I've found myself in an interesting situation in Las Vegas where I've run into a lot of toxic relationships.  Needless to say, I don't have a ton of friends in Vegas anymore and actually have more people that I dislike in the old music business in Vegas.  Just to keep the answer short and sweet, I'd say that as I break free from a lot of those toxic relationships, I'm realizing now that I can achieve peace, as we were saying earlier, through eating multiple different flavors of pizza.  But, you work through it and you get past it and you whittle off a lot of negativity in life and you can be happy just to survive it, just to get through it and realize that now I am on the other side where the grass is greener.  You don't know how green it is until you go through all the hard times,  how green and sweet it is to not have a toxic relationship.

 

Brian:  I think my biggest struggle is just myself and self doubt.  I'm always trying to improve on every level of everything I do.  A lot of times it seems like it's too much and I kind of weigh myself down and I look at it from the outside and try to listen to what other people are saying.  They are family and friends and these guys support me in what I do, they're lifting me up when I need it.  It was a really hard thing when we were on tour about a month and a half ago in Houston and my grandma passed away and I'm really close with my whole family, and she was the Matriarch of our whole family.  I looked up to her in a lot of ways and that was a huge blow and I still played the show.  Adrian had some very kind words to say after a couple songs and it was a very powerful moment.  People were like, “ How could you even go onstage after dealing with something like that today?”  It was a lot easier to go onstage and do that and express that passion and emotion through playing than sitting in a dark room and be upset about it.  Music definitely heals me and it's really cool to see how it touches everybody else.

 

Adrian:  On that point, for me, when I saw Brian power through that, because we've been in those same exact shoes, and when he pulled it off and maintained his strength the way he did for that show, it solidified that we had a really good thing going here.  Tony and Brian have elevated a lot of that darkness that my brother was talking about.  What we've learned about struggling is that if we stick together, it's a little bit easier to deal with it.

 

BRR:  So true.  Now the new album, Sleeping Lions came out 9/22.  I love the single “Angry Heart.”  I actually heard it on the way here on Sirius XM Octane. They play it a lot on Octane.  I thought that was a good sign that it was going to be a good night.

 

 

Adrian:  Really?  I heard it for the first time on the radio in Puerto Rico last week.

 

BRR:  What can you tell me about the full album?

 

Adrian:  The new album Sleeping Lions is our most ambitious effort to date, being a signed band.  It's a very dynamic album.  There's a lot of ebb and flow to it.  I'm very proud of it because a lot of hard work went into getting it created.  Again, Tony and Brian really stepped up to the plate and helped my brother and I to kind of overcome that self doubt of if we were able to put together another good record.  Are people going to like it?  Is the label going to like it?  Are we going to have support for it?  At this point, I don't give a fuck what anybody says, it's an undeniable album.

 

BRR:  I agree.  You put out two independent albums in the past, correct?

 

Adrian:  Yes, with my brother.  This is our third as a signed “national professional band.”

 

BRR:  Can you give me a little insight into the lyrics of “Angry Heart?”

 

Adrian:  I'm very proud of the lyrics.  The riff that Tony wrote is brutal, it's probably one of the heaviest pieces of music on the record.  At first listen, people might think it's a metal meathead song, or whatever you want to call it.  But, the lyrics themselves are very introspective because it's about that inner struggle.  To me the crux of the lyrical content is the phrase, “Who is all bite and who is all bark?  The wolf of light or the wolf of dark?”  Ironically, we are sitting here at Mohegan Sun, a Native American casino and that's an old Native American legend about which wolf do you feed?

 

BRR:  And you're playing at the Wolf Den tonight!

 

Adrian:  That's right!  And the B side to that is also that anger is a gift if you use it correctly.  For a long time in our lives and our careers, we would let it consume us, especially myself.  Instead of focusing on it and using it for positive energy, I would give into the dark side.  But the song is an anthem about taking it and using it as a tool, a gift, if you just realized the basic primal emotion of anger is an amazing motivator. You just have to harness it.

 

BRR:  I've been struggling with that recently and getting rid of toxic people in my life, and trying to deal with that anger and just move on and use it, as you said, in a positive way.  So I really understand what you are saying.  Perhaps that's why I love this album so much.  Now, the cover art for Sleeping Lions is simple but striking.  Where did the idea originate and what is the meaning behind it?

 

Adrian:  That was actually Tony and my brother.  Tony thought we should do something simple and straightforward, iconic in a sense.  It's a lion's skull and the title of the album is Sleeping Lions, and that's what we felt like since it's been a few years since we had a release.  We've been through a lot and damn near had all the wheels fall off and we licked our wounds and pulled our shit together and now we're ready to go and freaking hunt and get what we need for our families and loved ones, the non toxic people in our life.  We were bouncing all these ideas around and Tony was kind of a champion for something simple.  I think we were on a conference call with my brother and he said, “What if it was just a lion's skull?”  We were talking about Sam Hon, who is an artist in Vegas, very talented guy.  He has this sculpture that is made out of gold, I believe, and it's just a lion's skull and we were discussing his art and I think that's where we finally decided.

 

Ryan:  Did we talk about the song “Sleeping Lions” yet?  

 

Adrian:  I figured we'd get to that next.

 

Ryan:  I figure it all ties in together. One of the most brutal riffs that came up on the record, again championed by Tony, and Brian was playing it back with some killer huge rock drums.  We all thought that this was when they blossomed.  Tony has been in the band with us for years and Brian just a year, but they weren't able to artistically bring their talents to the table.  When we were in the studio, finally all of us together in a good positive energy band, we hear this guitar riff and the drums, and when you hear “Sleeping Lions” you'll understand.  We all started rocking out really hard and thought “We can't wait for this!”  That's where this idea of, don't wake sleeping lions came from.  We've been lions and we've been away and haven't released a record since 2014, so we're now awake.  Sleeping Lions is a collection of sound that awoke the beast in all of us.  It brought OTHERWISE back to life.  There's always this vibe of lions and being very carnal and very strong and we had the song ”Sleeping Lions” which wasn't even the name of the record yet and  it wasn't even the name of the song necessarily. It was just an idea and it just tied in and everything synergistically speaking going on with us right now is very strong.  So that ties in with the picture, the song title, then that became the name of the record, and who we worked with to do the song, which was Jonathan Davis of Korn.  It's just amazing what's happening.  Now we're in the Wolf’s Den waking up and ready to rock.  We're really grateful for everything.

 

BRR:  How do you like the idea of playing in the middle of a casino?

 

Adrian:  We're from Vegas, we love it.

 

BRR:  That's true.  It's no big deal to you guys.

 

Ryan:  Been there, done that.  However, this casino is actually amazing.  We have really high regard as far as casinos go too because we have the best in the world.  This place is pretty amazing.  They give us hundreds of dollars to spend here.

 

Adrian:  We spent hundreds at the steak house last night!

 

Ryan:  Hundreds!!

 

BRR:  I hope I win some before the show.  So, how was the summer tour?

 

Adrian:  It was our headlining tour Close to the Gods Tour. “Close to the Gods" is one of the songs on the record.  Again, it was kind of symbolic, because we’ve always been right there at the cusp.  We've been a band at the cusp as long as my brother and I can remember.  The press referred to us as such.  Now it's time for us to kick down the gates of Zion and freaking go hang out at the table with Zeus and all of his buddies.  This headlining tour that we did was very surprising in the sense that we hadn't had anything new in awhile and a lot of these places we played were packed and the energy was great.  It really feels like people are rooting for us.  They always say that everybody likes to watch someone fall but what they like more than that is to watch them climb back up on the pedestal. So, that's where we are at right now.

 

Ryan:  One of our personal mottos right now is proving all the disbelievers wrong.  That's the mindset that we've always had, that we're going to prove you wrong if you don't believe in us.  But now we just want to prove the people that do believe in us right.  That's one of our personal mantras as a band.

 

BRR:  Exactly, again, turning it around into a positive.  What are your favorite cities/venues to play?

 

Ryan:  We just played in San Juan Puerto Rico for the first time.

 

Adrian:  Last weekend.  We walked around a pirate cemetery

 

Ryan:  They took us to this 500 year old fort right on the ocean and brought us to waterfalls.  We got to play to a crowd where half the people, if not more, didn't even speak English.

 

Adrian:  But they were singing all the words.

 

Ryan:  It was a small bar but it's amazing to play small bars in other territories.  I would have to say Puerto Rico, even though I was sick the whole time with a severe stomach thing.

 

BRR.  Did you drink the water?

 

Ryan:  You know what, I did.

 

Adrian:  I talked to them and they said the water shouldn't do that. It's not Mexico.

 

Ryan:  I don't know dude.  I probably shouldn't have eaten an entire pizza the first night we got there.

 

BRR:  That could have done it.  So, what lies ahead for OTHERWISE?

 

Adrian:  We just announced a big tour with 10 Years and Red. The great thing about that tour is we've toured with both of those bands separately in the past and both went on to be very successful.  The guys in Red were super cool to us.  The dudes in 10 Years are probably some of our best friends in the business.  Regardless of what it is on paper, it's going to be very uplifting spiritually this run.  Every tour has it's share of pitfalls and shit goes wrong, Murphy's Law, but we just take it in stride now.  Especially being on a tour like that, the rooms are really nice that we are playing and it's perfect timing, right after the record officially drops.  The new single “Angry Heart” debuted in the top 50 on the active rock chart and it's climbing.  It jumped up 3 spots from last week.  Everything feels really good, so this Fall is going to be really fun.

 

BRR:  I don't think that tour is coming this way, and I'm bummed because I like both  those bands a lot!  I  just have one last question.  I work  with a lot of local bands and I always like to ask what advice do you have for young aspiring musicians?

 

Adrian:  Don't quit and don't suck….and get a good lawyer.

 

Ryan:  If you want to go to the next level, study the business, understand publishing, understand touring, understand that it is NOT about the fame, unfortunately, and it's not about money at all.  You have to practically be kind of stupid if you want to go and rock.  We had this conversation last night about there being artists in Vegas that have been around as long as us…

 

Adrian:...massively talented.

 

Ryan:  Extremely talented and extremely deserving of their chance, but their own egos kept them in those tiny little bars, that they're still playing mad and pissed off that they didn't go anywhere.  For once, our stupidity as brothers actually worked for once in our favor.  Not to say anything bad about our record label because we're very grateful for what we've gotten working with them, but you sign things that you have no idea about.  You sign away things when you're not necessarily educated, but it worked out.  Do your research, but just don't suck, actually. (All laughing)

 

BRR:  I interviewed Raven last night who have been around since 1974 and they said it still actually costs them money to tour.

 

Adrian:  We just recently got to the point now where we aren't in the red every time we go out on the road and that's tricky.  Last night, again, we were discussing how all these big major labels had the chance to buy the Napster proprietary technology for the website and they didn't do it.  Because they didn't do it, now artists like us don't make any money.  We're changing that though.  When we tour we have merch and we have fans that want to give us their time and their money.  That is really flattering.  Without that energy, we wouldn't be able to maintain and keep doing what we're doing.  Things are only getting better and looking up.

 

Ryan:  And that's after a very, very long time of stuff not looking up.

 

BRR:  I'm sure and I'm glad you pushed through. Well, I appreciate your time and getting to know you guys and I'm look forward to seeing the live show.

 

Adrian:  Thank you, Nina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And after show drinks with the fans!

 

 

 

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