Exclusive Song Premiere: Patrick Dennis "Burn and Shine"
Wed, 03 Jun 2015 09:10:31
Plus, we have an exclusive Q&A with the LA/Nashville musician.
You are about to get seriously acquainted with Patrick Dennis. We are premiering his song "Burn and Shine" from Fürst In The Dirt, out June 19.
So listen to the song and then get acquainted with him further via this Q&A.
The new album is uniquely titled Fürst In The Dirt. Where did that come from and what does it mean?
Patrick Dennis: "Well, it's an obvious play on the word 'First' as this is my first solo album, but it's also a play on the great Oscar Wilde quote ‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.' That's a quote that kept spinning in my head while I was listening to the final mixes for this record until I finally realized that it was the guiding narrative of all these songs. Songs that had inspired me to look back up at the stars and crawl back up out of my own personal gutter. ‘Fürst' in old German means ‘Prince' or ‘sovereign ruler' and while it has something to do with the root meaning of my own name, the fact is we are all sovereign human beings. We are all royalty with this immense potential for change, rediscovery and reinvention. Even when we're being beaten down by circumstances or our own fucked up bad choices. Even more so when the mud is in our faces.
In my case, I began writing these songs after having my ass personally handed to me by divorce, bankruptcy, bands busting up, friendships lost and a professional life crumbling around me all within a matter of months. It was the worst time of my life. But this record became the rediscovery and recovery of joy. The joy of making music again, of coming out of my own isolation, of building new friendships, stumbling onto new musical partners, being open to new love, and then finding it. It was rehab of the most personal order. I was making noise again with friends around me and facing my own s**t.
We have this powerful ability to face ourselves down and question our own deeply ingrained beliefs, to question ourselves. Am I right in thinking this? Is that person right about what he says? Is that person really my enemy? By doing it we can drag ourselves back up off the ground wiser, stronger and more aware. More compassionate. It's really not pretty and it isn't easy. The mythical Phoenix had to burn to nothing but ashes before it could rise as a brand new bird. That's an allegory for us all. Just because we fall doesn't make us dirt. We are still the ‘Fürst.' Failure just makes us more human. Now, if only our legal system understood that and saw our offenders as human beings instead of trash to just toss away. Then we'd be getting somewhere. But what does a rock n roll singer know?"
The album's focus track, "Kissing the Beast" has a punk rock feel and intriguing title, what is it about and what was the inspiration that sparked the writing of it?
"I'd written the music for that track inspired by the heroes of my youth, and when we played it back, it sort of reminded of us of the Misfits. Robbie who plays keys in Deer Tick, laid into those drums so imperfectly perfectly while Adam and I hung on for the ride that it was like fantastic brutal sex. But I had vamped the vocal during the recording ‘cause I didn't have any words that I was digging. I just wasn't connecting with them. Justin came up to me after the take and said, 'I have an idea, I'm going to write this one with you,' which he just doesn't really do with anyone. He's a very self-contained writer and truly one of the most honest writers out there. But me, I love that stuff. I get off on pushing and pulling stuff out of another writer and getting that back from them. You always end up somewhere that neither of you would have gotten to on your own. And the nature of the sessions for ‘Fürst' were that if somebody had an idea then we were going to try it. So Justin and I cracked open a bottle of tequila, went into the house and came out an hour and a few cigarettes later with the lyric in hand. We walked into the studio, sang it live in one take and that was it.
The song is about whatever that 'beast' is to you. Whatever that thing is that you love but it doesn't love you back, it just uses you. How do you shake that? Lover, liquor, ambition, you name it. Just insert your addiction of choice. There's never an equal relationship there. No matter how much you fight back. And it starts off the record because that's how my own story started when I began the journey to these songs five years ago. I was definitely busy kissing my own beast."