NY Grates in mind

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

BRIS­BANE band The Grates lost a drum­mer and moved to New York. At least that’s how gui­tarist John Pat­ter­son, one half of what is now a duo, de­scribes it.

Pat­ter­son says there are no hard feel­ings be­tween he and Grates front­woman Pa­tience Hodg­son and their former drum­mer, Alana Skyring, who left the band to be­come a chef be­fore join­ing Neil and Sharon Finn’s new band, The Py­jama Club.

Pat­ter­son says the line-up change brought him and Hodg­son closer to­gether. ‘‘It made us even more tight,’’ he says. ‘‘It just con­cen­trated the two of us and all of our ideas. It brought us closer to a sin­gu­lar vi­sion.’’

That vi­sion saw the duo re­lo­cate to New York for a year to record their lat­est al­bum, Se­cret Rit­u­als.

Pat­ter­son says with ‘‘some­thing amaz­ing al­ways hap­pen­ing’’ in the Big Ap­ple, they cer­tainly weren’t short of in­spi­ra­tion.

‘‘We recorded in a more modest stu­dio in Brook­lyn over four months, which was way longer than we would usu­ally spend,’’ he says.

‘‘But the stu­dio was cheap and we were en­joy­ing the in­flu­ences.’’

The re­sult­ing al­bum con­tin­ues The Grates’ blend of in­die pop and Pat­ter­son says they are ‘‘re­ally happy’’ with the fin­ished prod­uct.

‘‘It feels like new peo­ple are dis­cov­er­ing it ev­ery day on the in­ter­net,’’ he says.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple are just get­ting it now or lis­ten­ing to it for the first time. It’s not as im­me­di­ate as our pre­vi­ous al­bums. ‘‘I like that it’s find­ing its au­di­ence.’’ With the ad­di­tion of Amer­i­can drum­mer Ben Mar­shall, au­di­ences have been flock­ing to see The Grates’ pop­u­lar live shows on an Aus­tralian tour.

‘‘The live show and the en­ergy sur­round­ing it, that’s re­ally im­por­tant to us,’’ Pat­ter­son says.

‘‘It’s kind of what our band is founded on. It’s how and why we started.’’

– MARIA LEWIS

The Grates and Last Di­nosaurs play the Coolan­gatta Ho­tel tonight at 8pm. Tick­ets are $30

The Grates – gui­tarist John Pat­ter­son and singer Pa­tience Hodg­son

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