Otherwise Talks "True Love Never Dies"
Mon, 21 May 2012 06:27:29
Otherwise get right to the point on True Love Never Dies.
The Las Vegas quintet's debut album for Century Media Records is an elegantly architected collection of unforgettable hard rock. Blowing the doors open with "Die For You", the group weaves together a punchy stomp with masterful melodies. Then, there's the stadium-size sing-a-long first single "Soldiers" on the other end of the spectrum. However, the record's stand out is "I Don't Apologize (1000 Pictures)" a fiery goodbye that's as corrosive as it is catchy.
There's also another layer to True Love Never Dies. Singer Adrian Patrick tells some rather relatable relationship stories lyrically, and it's what makes the music really stick.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Otherwise frontman Adrian Patrick opens up about True Love Never Dies and more.
Did you approach True Love Never Dies with one vision in mind? What's your take on the album as a whole?
It's funny you asked that question. When we went back and looked at all of the songs as a whole, we realized they actually do create a story. It's weird how it worked that way. We met with the producer Jay Baumgardner, and we only really did a day and a half of pre-production. When we looked back at the subject matter of every song, we noticed it flowed so well. Honestly, we didn't plan it that way. At this stage in our career, we write each song as its own entity. It happened that all of these songs fit together.
Is there a thematic or lyrical thread?
Well, real life is not always rosy and peachy-keen. We want to address the sadness that can sometimes pervade every aspect of being alive. At the same time, we want to project hope. As long as you stay positive or at least try your best to stay positive in the face of whatever adversity you may be confronted with, you'll be okay. As far as lyrics go, I wanted people to know there's someone out there who feels their pain. I also want them to know they can get through it if they really want to.
Well, your honesty definitely will elicit empathy.
The whole album is real life. Sometimes, your biggest strength is also your biggest weakness. I've never really wanted to write songs about things we haven't been through or experienced. Some songwriters are very good at telling stories about imaginary people or something they envisioned. We're more visceral. Everything we sing about is true to life. We've lived through the loss, the love, and the light that's on this album. We want to be genuine about it. I feel like we did a decent job of coming across as honest.
What's the story behind "Die For You"?
About this time last year, we wrote that song. In life, there are two things that tug at our heartstrings the most—love and loss. They're the yin and yang of existence, if you will. At that time, I was trying to make someone see the light and believe in us again and believe that we can rebuild. I'm saying, "I'm here for you no matter what. We're here for you." I want it to be reciprocal. That song hurts. It came from a very personal place. I'm happy we got a solid tune out of the emotional turmoil going on at that point. Sitting here looking at the album liner notes, my brother and I were on the beach this morning and we were missing our cousin more than anything.
Where did "I Don't Apologize (1000 Pictures)" come from?
Unfortunately, both of those songs relate to the same situation. "Die For You" puts it all out there. It opens up the soul and lets that person see, "This is what I have to offer you." Then, as far as "I Don't Apologize" goes, there comes a point when you can only give so much of yourself and not get anything in return. We're all human. Unfortunately, we're not as evolved as I'd like to think we are. Every relationship in life has to have a give and take. I wish I could say we were all that altruistic and could simply give over and over again. At some point, you have nothing more to give though. "I Don't Apologize" wraps up the redemption of what "Die For You" starts.
It seems like "Soldiers" references the band.
That was how it started. That was the inspiration behind that song. At the time when we wrote that track, we were like, "We've got to make something happen. We've got to do something different. We're stuck here stagnant. Do we stop doing what we're doing?" "Soldiers" came together so quickly, easily, and honestly. We decided we weren't going to quit; we were going to soldier on. That song was an anthem to my band mates—my brothers-in-arms—we're so fortunate it has a universal meaning behind it. I had a friend tell me that song helped her get through chemo. She doesn't have a military background. She's never been in combat. The majority of us will never know what it's like to battle cancer though. This girl told me the first time she heard that song was her second show seeing us live. She said, "That's when I decided I was going to go back to chemo, fight through the pain, and get healthy." We're very honored that song was embraced by our military family. It's an anthem for anyone who's fighting for something.
Did you always know "Heaven" would end the album?
To be honest, that was the first song I ever wrote on an acoustic guitar back in 2000. Our grandma passed away, and I wrote that song. It changed over the years, but we never had it recorded. It was just me on an acoustic guitar strumming a handful of chords. The song was started when my grandma passed way. We got the final version back the week our cousin died. There was no other song that could close it out.
What influences you outside of music?
I do enjoy reading a lot. I'm a huge movie fan. A lot of pop culture does influence and inspire us when we're writing. I can't tell you how many times I've watched Gladiator. When things seem like they can't get any worse, at the same time that often means things can only get better. I have a bad habit of reading three or four books at a time. I haven't read a good novel in a long time. I'd like to! Films inspire us all the time.
If you were to compare True Love Never Dies to a movie or combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
I'd probably say Gladiator. The basis of that whole movie is Maximus has lost his family. Now, he finds something to fight for using that anger and sadness. In the end, he finds his way back to his loved ones. That's all we're trying to do with this album. I get emotional thinking about what we see. I'd give anything to see those who have gone before us, but not yet. At the end of the movie, Djimon Hounsou's character says, "I'll see you again, but not yet." That's pretty heavy. There are so many aspects to that movie. There's love, loss, violence, anger, and redemption. We've been through so much as a unit. I'm ready for whatever's coming next. I really don't have any fear anymore. Maximus got to that point in the movie. He wasn't scared to die for what he believed in. I don't think anybody should be.
Has everything fallen into place now?
Yeah, it's never the way you expect it to be. It's weird how things happen the way they do. All of the pins fell into place very quickly. When we didn't think things could get any worse, we lost a brother—our cousin was the same age as me. When I celebrated my birthday, it was a little weird. It was the first one in my life that he wasn't around for. After he passed, "Soldiers" blew up all over satellite radio. His voice is on that song. You lose hope. Certain things happen that make you question whether or not it was more than coincidence. I want to believe. Certain things make me believe wholeheartedly. Other times, it feels so hopeless. That juxtaposition is documented well in the album.
Have you heard Otherwise yet?
See our review of True Love Never Dies here!