Where: The Rockpile West, Toronto, Canada
When: July 23, 2016
Phear plays their second show of 2016 at the Rockpile West in Toronto on Saturday July 23 with special guests Cameljoe. The Rev chatted with vocalist Pat Mulock about all things phear, his career and what it means in today’s challenging climate to ‘make it’ in the music biz.
On a hot summer day in July 2010 my wife and I were sitting at a crowded open air restaurant near Toronto’s Molson Amphitheater ahead of the Megadeth and Slayer show that evening. A couple approached us as we had 2 available seats at a table for four and asked if they could join us to which we, of course, said yes.
After the typical polite introductions we surprised one another when he (Pat Mulock) revealed that he was a metal singer who had worked and toured with the Drover brothers, Shawn and Glen, in Eidolon (prior to their respective stints in Megadeth) and I revealed that I was a heavy metal loving pastor – two things that neither one of us would likely forget.
Fast forward to July 2015 when MNR had just developed the Metal Nation News Facebook page. I received a notification one day that a guy named Pat Mulock liked the page. “Hell”, I thought, “that has to be Pat from Eidolon!” and messaged him accordingly. We connected and he informed me that he was now fronting a band named phear that had just released an album. Naturally I was stoked to hear it and review it – as it turns out it is the only album I’ve ever reviewed with a perfect score of 10/10. It was also my # 1 album in my ‘Top 15 of 2015” article published at year’s end. Read that review here:
The first opportunity I had to see the band live was at the Rockpile West in February 2016. The band put on an arena quality show that absolutely blew the packed room away. On Saturday evening, July 23, 2016, phear returns with a bigger production and an upgraded laser and light show; I chatted with Pat about the upcoming gig and his career at some length today.
Rev: How did you get your start as a vocalist? Did you also play an instrument growing up or at the start of your involvement in music?
Pat: Quite a while ago, I was the drummer for Rampage. Our vocalist was very successful in business, so he had to leave the band. We auditioned a long line of vocalist but couldn’t find the fit. I sang all the backup vocals so our bass player at the time asked me if I wanted to do it. I really didn’t want to play drums and be the lead singer so I asked my high school friend (Chris Lewis) if he was interested in playing drums. Lots of vocal lessons and here we are today.
Can you give us the short version of your career in music?
1985 – 1988 Drummer for “Living in Luxury”
1988 – 1989 Drummer for “Station to Station” (Bowie Tribute)
1990 – 1992 Drummer for Scoundrel (Glam Rock)
1994 – 2001 founder, drummer and eventually lead vocalist for RAMPAGE
2001 – 2004 Lead Vocalist for Eidolon
2014 – current Lead Vocalist phear
I know know that you worked with the Drover brothers in Eidolon which has become a reference point for people, “Oh he worked in Eidolon”. It seems as though that gives you some sort of legitimacy that wouldn’t be present otherwise and that seems rather shallow. What are your thoughts on that?
Honestly, I have managed to get to the point that whether I’m legit or not is another person’s opinion. I make myself legit but doing what I like doing regardless of what people think and that feels great!!! Eidolon was an incredible experience that taught me a lot. I guess the “Legit” part may have been being signed to the Metal Blade label. Let’s face it, we all strive for a deal and few get them. Phear, I feel, follows the same mentality. We do what we do, we strive for more and we love what we do! That is Legit – I also know a heavy metal reverend whose legitimacy people might question – I also know that he doesn’t need their validation to be legit!
As this is phear’s second show since the release of Insanitarium about a year ago what is your reasoning for not touring or playing locally on a more frequent basis?
Like most artists in this business, we all have to work to live. A tour would have to make sense. Driving around in a white van playing to 20 people a night doesn’t appeal to me. At this point I would rather put on 4 quality shows (full production) a year. If we get a deal then we have to take another look at everything. Do not be mistaken, we want to tour, we want our shows to get bigger. We are playing Saturday night with new lights, bigger backline etc. We are always creating a live spectacle. I grew up going to Triumph shows…every show got bigger and bigger. I look forward to the days when we can show the world what we do!
Admitting that writers/media people can be a thick lot and ask stupid questions, what is the one question you WISH they would ask?
There are so many questions that are relevant. I always liked answering; “What advice would you give to someone starting out?”
Where do you think the music business is going today with artists finding it impossible to profit from sales of their music? Some say that the industry is dead outside of pop or the top 1% of hard rock and metal acts like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or GNR. What does it mean to “make it” today vs 30 years ago? How do you reconcile your dreams versus the fundamental changes you’ve seen in the industry since you began?
30 years ago, if you received a record deal and you didn’t squander your cash, you would have been well off. Today, that is not the case. I have friends in other bands, with record deals that cannot survive just on their art. Everybody complains about the music industry changing… the truth is, the way we listen to or get our music changed and the industry didn’t. I have to work full-time to support my family and I’m not really sure about the answer. Phear have made a lot of gains but certainly not financially.
The advice I give is this: First and most importantly: love what you do! Love the music you write!
Second: Never stop learning. Be aware of marketing. Sell yourself. The world has become smaller via the internet.
Third: Be Professional. Always, always, always be a great band to deal with. If you want to make this your business, be business-like.
Lastly define “Making It” and make it happen! That is probably a different answer for everybody.
Phear is: Pat Mulock – Vocals
Chris Lewis – Drums
Tyson Emanuel – Lead Guitars
Graham Stirrett – Lead Guitars
Chris Boshis: Drums
Connect with phear on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/phearband/?fref=ts
Reverend Rock is host of Too Metal For Church with Reverend Rock exclusively on Metal Nation Radio, Monday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. EST and Friday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. EST.
Photos by: Phoenix Camerah for Metal Nation Radio
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