Friday, January 6, 2012

PATCH Mailing List

Join Patch's Mailing List!!! (scroll down)

enter your email

Saturday, September 10, 2011

THE TRIFECTIC ESSAYS (PART 3): Acknowledgments

***Due to the non-fictional nature of the subject matter for "Acknowledgments", you might think "Is Peter talking about me?" if you were somehow involved with Patch in the past. Rest assured it is about people I no longer associate with. If you are reading this, it is not about you.***

There is nothing I fear more than knowing all of my efforts and self-sacrifices made for an endeavor were all for naught. Time and time again, as I said in "Preclusion" (the last essay), Patch had been in a constant trial and error, try, try again anomaly. I've come to the realization that most bands go through experiences like this. Having people come and go, losing people to intoxication and addiction, failure, short sightedness, laziness, the want of instant gratification, etc. Basically, children.

"Preclusion" is part 1 to a two part meta-story about my frustrations with trying to become a live band. The second part, "Acknowledgments", is the angriest, most visceral and non-fictitious song I've written to date. It takes direct quotes and points fingers at real people.

Now, this might not be a polite thing to do. Embarking on meta-songwriting (I always think of that song by Carly Simon sung about Warren Beaty "You're So Vain") is a tricky business. But I think that there should be a happy medium.

Just as there is a countless amount of broken hearted sad bastard music out there based off of real relationship woes turned into semi-fiction, it should only be allowed that there be songs about band woes.

I basically think that if people have the gall to quit or wrong me after we've agreed to embark on a shared experience where I trust in their ability to show up on time, learn material, it's only fair that I can write a little song about my anger at being fucked over time and time again without naming names. One wrong by one person? Eh, not appropriate. Two wrongs by two people? Still not appropriate. How's about fifteen plus people? The anger was immense, and I felt I deserved a little public ventilation.

And if you call me out on that, fuck you, to put it bluntly. You gave an agreement, you gave me your word. And you failed. To say I can't vent about it makes your abuse of your word ever more pathetic. So take your leave of absence like a man (or a woman, in one case). It's the only time I'll do it, I promise.

Just to thank all of the people who got us to where we set out to be.

The real honest-to-goodness people to thank would be Schuyler Tsuda, who mixed and mastered our first EP, "Schematics", and curated our debut and CD release shows. Greg Strom, who stuck with the band since the very beginning. Paul St. Turner, who also stuck it out in the end. Carl Nyflot for his photography. Taylor Park for his art inspiration and the first Patch logo. These are the people who helped get us to the beginning of Era 1.

But the tongue-in-cheek Acknowledgments go to not all the fifteen of the come-and-go's, but a select few. Some people legitimately could not play in Patch due to busy lives and we mutually agreed that they should or could leave Patch. Some, however, just left unannounced. Disappeared. Some bridges were burnt. And I became so fed up.

This goes to those who went AWOL.

"Thanks, and fuck you, too."



Looking at the stars, looking at the czars
I can make it, I can make it if I only hold on
You taught me how to sing, how to act, how to dance
How to fuck, fuck, fuck and drink my head away
"Tonight, tonight
Is the beginning of the rest of your life!
So grab the bull by the horns and get
Made, Paid, Laid
And by the way
We believe in you, we believe in you, we believe in you, we believe in you."

So they buy up a piece of un-Real Estate
In a sector called "Hope" through a conjugate
We join hands and we smile and we celebrate
I can't shake off the feeling that they'll desecrate
Commit robbery in the worst degree
Friends turn into enemies
And thrown out down the drain
An abortion of another dream

I know what you'd like
To smoke, drink, fuck every night
The small print of the deal
Says "Devotion isn't real".

So take the money and run

Fueled by mistakes and the sight of Cloud 9
I brought them in, one by one, with a promise divine
Of Art, of Truth, the components that are missing
In this fickle falling world where only power chords shine
Well, one left for money
And one in shame
And countless others who held fast to the Simplicity Game
YOU: I did nothing but help you out
YOU: You gave me nothing but a seed to sprout--
--the Curse of Altruism helps nobody in the end
Except the ones with no remorse to take advantage of a friend
But they believe in me, they believe in me . . .

Well, belief doesn't play a guitar for me
Nor does it hit skins or tickle ivory
You fell between the cracks built with the void of all you lack
And thrown out down the drain
An abortion of another dream

I know what you'd like
To smoke, drink, fuck every night
The small print of the deal
Says "Devotion isn't real".

So take the money and run

I hope you're fairing well on the other side

And will you step up to me?
And will you step up to me?
And will you step up to me?
I know you won't


This song was written on a Saturday night, two nights after Trifectic was conceived. It was based off of my want for raw, emotional simplicity. Something Greg could play on the drums (he had never played drums before) while I sang upfront. Paul would supply the guitars, with Greg switching over to bass on the more poignant musical parts. Same with me on the drums. It was inspired by a song from Liars called "Plaster Casts of Everything" and Nirvana's "Breed".

I had written a musical outline immediately after "Preclusion" to see how the journey between the two songs would pan out. I wanted "Acknowledgments" to be the high point of the first third of the Trifectic set.

A storm was raging outside. Perhaps the most violent storm of 2010. As I was about to start on the lyrics and riff writing on Word, I got a call from my roommate who said "Are the tornado sirens going off at the house?"

I said "Tornado?!" Immediately after I said this, sure enough, the tornado sirens started blaring. I checked the weather and apparently a funnel cloud was headed directly toward the house. Yet, a minute later, the sirens turned off. Reports were on and off about the funnel cloud, so I thought "Whatever" and continued writing.

Writing with a raging storm outside of your window, thunder blasting from the heavens, tornado sirens off in the distance, is extremely conducive to writing angry, bitter lyrics. The crux of this song was written in the space of one hour with the storm, only paused by the arrival of my girlfriend, Kristy, who had been driving through the storm from Wisconsin to stay the night, meaning that any efforts to keep writing the song would have been the rudest thing to do in light of her harsh travels. The song was finished the following Sunday afternoon.

The lyrics are both direct quotes from the aforementioned fifteen and direct references to how some of them left. The notion of "Smoke, Drink, Fuck" was a quote from a close friend (one of the people who actually helped legitimately in getting Patch off the ground, so this song isn't directed toward him) about the nature of what we've heard local budding rockers say is the ultimate goal. To be at a level where the goal is to play your music as a means to get to the rest of your life where all you'll do is smoke cigarettes (or whatever), drink the night away, and fuck a new girl of your choosing. Some of our contacts in the local scene wanted to do just these things. It's not about the art. It's about getting Made, Paid, and Laid.

In all of my experience as a local musician, the only time where getting laid was ever in the cards was once while playing a private show at my house with my old band, Citizens Banned. I didn't see it coming. A couple of girls whom we didn't know showed up in our rehearsal space. After the show, they sought me out and found me in my room. One voluptuously said, "Hey." I got up from my chair and went to the door, thinking they knew someone at the party and were going to introduce themselves. It became clear to them however, that I was not all I was cracked up to be offstage.

"Oh, you looked taller during the show." And they left the party immediately.

I frowned. "What?" It hit me. "Ohhhhhhhh . . ."

Musically, "Acknowledgments" is not as musically storytelling as "Preclusion", where buildups and premature endings symbolize the try, try again nature of Patch live. This time around, the driving beat is just angry. I spout a spoken word rant on a soap box up front. The guitars are dissonant and ripe with bitter rage.

The main idea I had coming into the song was the nature of dual drums. I wanted Greg and I to play together during the solo with Paul providing dissonant noise on the guitar. Symbolically, this is supposed to address the fact that the Acknowledged not only affected me and all of my dreams, but the time and effort by Greg and Paul as well. They took time out of their busy lives and certain people made all of that null and void when they figured "Whelp, I don't think I'll show up anymore."

I believe in getting Made and Paid for the effort and time. This is the ultimate goal. I'd like to make a living off of my art. Yet I make art not for the purpose to get paid, if you can understand. If money comes my way due to my art, amazing! I make the art for the sole purpose of making art. I'd like to have a fanbase of people that demand my art so that my job can be solely making art.

And yet it seems that this mentality is not what is held by most in the locally famous scene. It's a world of sharks. Poor art is rewarded because of its accessibility, and its wide draw. Poor artists get rewarded for poor art. They are not artists. They are models wearing clothes and playing riffs that have no new ideas. There is no statement except to get a big house, plenty of women, yaddah yaddah yaddah. These are not new sentiments.

Only in the aspect that these people infiltrated my band, tainting its honest message, is it new. Because I experienced it time and time again on a personal level.

There is a difference between a Poor Artist and a Starving Artist. And the Poor's are taking the sustenance that the Starving need and laughing all the way to the bank.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS @ 1419 -- December 17, 2010

Saturday, August 20, 2011


The door slammed shut.

"Hello?!" a voice called from upstairs. "Peter?! What are you doing tonight?"

From inside my room, a small alcove within a small house shared by two others at the time (and at one point, seven), a place smack dab in the middle of where the most activity occurred, hardly any help to keep the constant flux of creativity I wanted to pour out into the world going, I remained silent. I threw off all of my belongings, cleared a space on my desk for my notebook, looked at the one line:

"All these lines mocking the marks of my life . . ."

"What's next? What's next?" I thought. "What do I want the song to do . . . a revolving DIY machine between three people . . . an intro to our new show . . . we could just do chants . . . nah, at least four chants of this first line then an instrumental build . . ."

Knock, knock. "Peter, what are you up to?"

Irritation, despite my thankfulness that people still took the care to ask me to have a social life with them, must have stained my face and eyes. I remember distinctly looking up and saying "Writing. I have to." And looking back down.

"Oh. Well, we might go out tonight," my roommate said, despite my accidental staredown.

"Mmm-hmm . . . probably not tonight," I said, not looking up from my notebook.

A couple of minutes later, by the grace of God, the house was empty. This never happened. At least, not when I wanted to be creative. To write. To record. It was always empty when I wanted to be social, when I figured the work could wait. Nothing ever seemed to line up correctly.

But this one time, it did.

Coffee downed, shirt off from the heat, basking in gym shorts, acoustic guitar laying on my lap, sore fingertips from playing said guitar all night long, tiny tape recorder full of notes, recorded files on the computer for finished ideas, I heard the door open, the roommates were home again. Yet irritation didn't flood my mood this time around. Gratefulness came instead. "Break. Take a minute, Pete," I told myself.

I looked at my notes. One song written. Six others brainstormed. A name for the era: Trifectic. It had only been a couple of hours, and yet I had done the most work I had ever done in one day, let alone one sitting.

I made a couple more notes for the finished guitar riff ideas before calling it a night.

I walked into the kitchen to throw away my coffee cup. Still in writing mode, I remarked to my roommate, "It's a time of Preclusion. Again and again and again."

"What?" she said.

"I lost another drummer."


"Preclusion. Everything ends before it's supposed to have begun."

"What are you talking about?"

I stopped. I looked at her with a smile. "You'll see?"

She stood there as I went back to my room, no doubt giving me a dubious look that said "You should have come out tonight, you're losing it".

I looked at my notes again. I listened to my riffs.

"Yeah, we're going to be okay," I thought.



All these lines mocking the marks of my life . . .

I tried to lay down the words but they've kept it all in . . .

I take one step forward and two steps back . . .

I finally made a mark to mock all those lines.


When I have a creative flow, most of the time I take the easiest ideas and complicate the living crap out of them. In this case, it was a rising chant. A man, hunched over his drum set, having just said goodbye to the 7th or 8th or whatever drummer that he had hoped to be the one that held the dream together. A chant to get him through the pain that lies within the fine print of art.

A rising chant.

But throw in an instrumental build, then a changeover from drums to mic, no guitar, have another build with different sections in it, changeover again, do another build slightly similar to the first one, but with new sections, and then elongate the big section with a weird roll riff and a coda of slides, one more roll thing and then the main ending of noise and resolute finality. He made a song . . . he finally did it. And if he played that live at his first show, he'd smile to the crowd in a happy proclamation of "FUCK YOU, KARMA!!!"

An easy enough structure in three parts, the song is supposed to introduce the changing wheel of Trifectic. Peter would come up, beaten and weary, and chant four times about the failure of his band thus far. The other players then try to prove him wrong, as one by one they join in on a build as Peter plays the drums out of necessity. "No one else is going to play this damn thing, I guess I'll have to do it," is the feel. At the end of the build, the music swells to a choreographed loud point, everyone doing the same riff together. Finally, something's working! But it ends abruptly. Another Preclusion.

Then the wheel moves, allowing Peter to go up front, be where he's wanted to be all along, and try again. He repeats the lines "All these lines . . ." two more times, and stops, realizing that something is happening. He chants new lines: "I tried to lay down the words but they've kept it all in." The emotion grows higher and higher, a new drummer laying the foundation with a bass acting as the only stringed instrument, yet filling the space with distortion. The chant turns into sounds of repeated cries of sadness/anger, ending again to hint at another chance lost . . . another Preclusion . . .

Peter sings "I take one step forward and two steps back" while actually stepping back to the drumset, resolute that it will never work. The wheel rotates again. He starts a drum riff, Greg and Paul follow suit, never dropping a beat, a last build that seems the most choreographed. A band that will stick together. By the end of the third build, the sounds persist, feedback and a steady bassline continuing, as Peter realizes that it finally happened. "I finally made a mark to mock all these lines." Pointing a middle finger at the heavens, he finishes the song with a proper countoff ending. Finally, a conclusion.

Yet, the sound persists, as the meta-protagonist is about to address the group of individuals that have sparked the constant preclusions. As with any finished product, Acknowledgments are expected. And it's proper to give credit where credit is due . . .

PRECLUSION @ 1419 -- December 17, 2010

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

THE TRIFECTIC ESSAYS (PART 1): A DIY Revolving Music Machine

Try, try again.

How many times, though? July 2010, I was up to 15 on the count for members quitting/leaving the band. We were two weeks away from our live debut. The latest hopeful drummer had just walked out the door on my request. Despite the fact that we had ended things on somewhat mutual, friendly terms, I felt downright hopeless. However, I had had creative surges bursting through my brain as of late. New written material was on the horizon.

The dream to be a four-piece or five-piece was going to be put on hold. I loved the remaining three guys. I thought we made a great team. I thought we could make something with just the three of us and still make the end result as big and as raucous as possible.

Wrought from the emotion of the neverending cycle of band members, I placed a notebook on my snare drum, sitting on the throne of my kit, looking heavy and burdened. Looking at all the empty lines of my notebook page. Starting over. How many times have these lines promised a result, only to fall short before a result could be given? How many times have we prepared a show, only to never actually get on a stage? The marks I put down in lyrics keep getting mocked by new empty lines sparked by another failure.

“All these lines mocking the marks of my life.”


That night, after rushing home, not announcing my presence to anyone in the household, closing and locking the door to my room, I put all of my ideas down on paper.

I wrote and recorded scats to seven different songs. Six made up on the spot, one that had been floating around for the past two years (Whisper a Scream). The initial ideas of all the songs were put down that first night. "Preclusion" had a written outline as well.

I had a three-piece band. But I wanted to sound and do things that a four or five piece could do. Plus, I didn't want to give up the frontman role. I wanted to be up at a microphone as much as possible.

The songs that were written all had stage directions before there was any written music. For instance "FIRST SONG: 1. Start up front, sing. 2. Go back to drums, have instrumental build. 3. Come back to front, Paul on drums. Build. 4. Back to another instrumental build on drums."

From this point, the songs were written one by one in succession. From "Preclusion" to "The Private Collective", so that a flow could stay intact throughout the journey of the show.

In the end, the structure looked like this:

1. Preclusion
2. Acknowledgments

3. Whisper a Scream
4. Silent Cache
5. An Act of 3

6. Here Again
7. The Private Collective


In terms of the subtle stage design and feel of the show, I was relying heavily on all of the instances from the past five years where I pined to be onstage, mainly while watching friends perform or watching that fated "jealous" band where you think they suck yet they've sold out the bar and you're thinking "Holy shit, they'd LOVE my stuff!!!" The lights, the changing of instruments, were all supposed to hint at a variety/burlesque show. This came out of all the experiences of going to my friends' burlesque outings, supporting them, but secretly stewing inside, "Patch would be great here. Hell, I'd just have a drum and a voice up there, just get me onstage!"

From these tumultuous support dipped in jealousy outings, ideas sprang to life. "Whisper a Scream", a simple drum and voice work song, came about because I could perform it easily with either one or five people. "Here Again", a crooning ballad, was a nod to all of the burlesque singers I wanted to replace onstage. "Silent Cache" had the feel of an old time prohibition dive bar burlesque show.

The main unorthodox practice for the show was the sideways drumset. I wanted to interact with the audience, face them while I sang, show them Paul or Greg when they played. I didn't want anyone to be hidden behind instruments. No barriers. It also gave easy access to the change-up between the main setup and our drum line songs.


With these ideas, all brought into existence one night while in a fit of creativity and rage, I called Greg and Paul. "The project's changed, we're doing something called 'Trifectic'." Both were pretty accepting of the change from another, more prog-ish outing we were working on called "On Veins and Nothing" (now put on the shelf for a future endeavor). I said, "We'll start practices in a week."

We were still on course to perform at a scheduled live debut at Room Zero, a practice space in Northeast Minneapolis. Moving the date back two weeks, I set about making a schedule where we would learn seven new songs that weren't even written yet to be performed in less than a month's time.

And thus began one of the most nerve wracking prep periods for any Patch project, one that made us seriously close to the brink of losing our minds and our friendships . . .

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Written By/For Preschoolers

About a month ago, in an attempt to end my preschool music class on a high note, and to go along with my original intention from the get-go of encouraging the children to create their own music, I set about making a CD full of music for children written by children. To an extent.

The project went like this: each preschool class chose a topic. One class chose "Friends and Family", another class "Nature", another "School", and the last chose "Speed/Fast".

Next, the children all drew pictures relating to their topic. I wrote down the statements made by each child while they described their picture. Then, I asked the classes what instrument they wanted to have accompany their lyrics. They chose drums or guitar (some chose flute -- I had to step in for that one, I don't know the flute). They chose tempos, loud/soft, etc.

I then compiled all of their lyrics together into cohesive songs, writing down connecting lyrics to have it all make sense. Below are the finished children songs that I recorded. Three out of the four songs will be performed live at the school's spring program in May.

1. This song was inspired by the topic "Friends and Family". Most of the kids talked about their houses being destroyed by dinosaurs, lasers, cannonballs. Some kids talked about their family standing in the window and waving hello. You know, what you'd expect. Other kids drew pictures about their family dying. I was at a loss taking down notes. Then one kid drew a picture saying it was "Happy endings and hope." Bingo! Had the song idea. A song about hope despite the hardship life throws at us.

"Happy Endings"

In this house
Me and my family live
And I feel warm
From the love my family gives

And Mommy and Daddy are coming home from work
Dad cleans up my toys in my messy room
And mom comes out to hug me as I play in the snow
And I hug her back

Because somebody loves me
Somebody loves me
Somebody loves me
And everything's gonna be right

Smoke comes out
Of the chimney, someone's home
Grandma's visiting
She waves to me from the front window

A ladybug dances into my hand
My dog plays with her toy in the front yard
My family stands outside and waves hello
I have all these signs


We will die and we'll be sad
But we know the love we had
It stays with us forever
A dinosaur can break the walls
But it can't break our love
It stays with us forever and I'll be fine

An airplane flies
Over our house with a banner behind
It says “Love conquers all”
A house of love will always stand and never fall

Cuz no cannonball or laser can bring us down
No fire or tornado can send us away
This house will stay together not because of bricks
But by something else . . .


2. The second class had "Nature" as their topic. A pretty easy concept. The most recurring theme was a boat floating in a river or a sea. I wrote a song about needing to get out of the house, getting something out of life.

"A Little Boat"

Open up the door for me
Step outside, in nature I will be
Forever more

Winds that blow the leaves on trees
Sunny days for make believe
Mom will tend a campfire
Flowers bloom and grow higher

I'm gonna take a boat and sail away
From the chance to be stuck inside all day
Leave me here
In peace

The sun comes up and melts the snow
Children in a river swim against the flow
A rocket blasts off nearby into space
Rabbits will come out and give chase


I'll row that boat across the sea
And I don't care if a storm finds me
I'll jump into a submarine
And float below in waters serene

An elephant stomps in the mud
A forest breathes life into buds
And bloom – hear strange music in the air
It's Mother Nature's voice saying “Please take care”


3. The third class was the most fun to write. "School" was their topic. But they didn't write about school. They wrote about playing on the playground and in our indoor climber. Naturally, I wrote an anthem for the playground. A quasi-rebellious march made by children with tongue-in-cheek anti-establishment flourishes.

"The Playground Anthem"

We've been working hard all day long
Staying still learning all we can
Ring the bell, “Put on your shoes cuz
We're going outside!” What a plan!

It's time to march, march, march outside
It's time to run and go down the slide
If it's hot or cold, rain or shine
It's time to march, march, march outside!!

We can't wait to say “Tag you're it!”
Dig in the sand, be a soccer goalie
Fly in the sky as a superhero
Get chased by a scary zombie!


All our voices singing “March, March, March March March!” x4

Looking at the sky with a smile on our faces
Splashing in the puddles made from snow or rain
Jedi Knights protect the galaxy
With lightsabers in hand we can't complain


Outside is better than snack time, we'd take it any day
We play til we sleep, that's our code
And when our moms and dads come to pick us up
We won't want to go home
We won't want to go home
We won't want to go home!!!

4. The last class topic was "Speed/Fast". This was the most fun to record, since it's more in line with recordings I've done in the past. It's the most Patch sounding, basically. Plus, the kids wrote a lot about monsters and police. And they wanted their song to be "rock n rolley". Their wish was my command . . .

"Get Up to Speed"

Hey, look out!
We got a monster coming for us!
Hey, look out!
With the police on his tail!
Hey, look out!
And there are rockets flying everywhere!
Run away, run
Let's get outta here!!

Everything's fast, nothing is slow
Big race cars and huge speed boats
Trains chasing planes chasing racing motorcycles
C'mon, get up to speed and run, run, run!


There's a scooter laying down on my driveway
I'm gonna get on and go, go, go real far
Cuz I hear the commotion coming down the street
And I'm about to be chased by a police car!
Tigers running everywhere from police jets
Monsters breaking buildings falling down, down, down
Sadie, Sam, and Sophie got stuck in the mud
All these crazy scribbles, let's get outta here!!


Hey Daddio, get up to speed! X4



Monday, January 24, 2011


Current plans for the first half of 2011:

--New material based off of a storyline pertaining to all the ugly facets of love. It's not as cheesy as it sounds. The first of these songs will debut February 13th at our show at the Fine Line in Minneapolis.

--Schematics will be sent to radio outlets in the Midwest starting this week. Results pending on when you'll be able to hear us in rotation.

--We will be playing a very different set of songs for a concert bringing awareness to genocide and warfare at 1419 at the end of March. Details soon.

--I'll finally be able to put together A place of easy access to all things PATCH. I'm mostly excited for the chance to have a place on the site that delves into the background and meaning behind each of our "eras" or concepts. Essays.

--An expansion to the "Infection" (drum line) storyline will be hashed out.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Fan Base Core

This message is a way to garner a fan base. A way to communicate to the would-be supporters of PATCH and all of the brother/sister bands and artists that work with us. We have a lot to offer at the moment, but it's difficult to send messages out to individuals. Mainly, it's time consuming. I'd love to be able to do that, speaking directly to each of you, but it's not practical, unfortunately.

The next best thing is to have an email list. One where I can send out info on exclusive live shows, free giveaways, new products, essays on what everything means in the allegorical world of the lyrics and performances, news on future happenings. It's been my wish from the get-go that PATCH would be a very rewarding experience for fans. I'm a very appreciative person, and the rest of my bandmates are as well. We'd like to give you gifts as much as possible. We're always changing the sets of our live shows to keep you people thirsty for more. Eras of songs will come and go, new versions of past songs are already being cooked up. There's too much!!

That being said, if you would like to join the PATCH mailing list, you only have to put your email in the box below this message and fill out information that goes to ME through a service called Nimbit, which is a "direct-to-fan" internet platform that I've been using to get PATCH off the ground. No other third party will have that info.

Once you fill out the info, you'll be able to download the FREE Promo copy of Schematics.

If you don't wish to be on the list or would like us to stop hounding you, let me know.

This is the beginning . . .

Peter K

enter your email