Interview: Pataphysics


Melbourne based soulful-guerilla-hip-hop artist extraordinaire, Pataphysics, sometimes known as Pat Marks, has been making waves with his trumpet toting, political critiquing and dope beats. Vulture wrangled some time with the man to discuss all things pataphysical.

VM: You sport an impressively lengthy crop of dreads, have they been around as long as your MC career?
P: Ha! No. Comparatively they are a new addition, I first started writing rhymes and freestyling around grade 3.

VM: Your songs often have very serious political messages, yet somehow make us want to dance along, too. Is it a challenge to achieve this balance?
P: Not really. Whatever I do I always want the music and beats to be dope. That’s always a priority, sometimes I’ll write a song, lyrics and music and if its not bangin’ enough for me when I listen to it a few days later, I’ll re-write the music so it swings harder and meets the required standard I need it be. Then I just lace the rhymes on top.

VM: Your latest single ‘Asylum Is A Crime’ slams Australia’s refugee policies as inhumane and has clocked up many YouTube views over the past few months. Do you know if it has reached the ears of any political leaders yet?
P: Well it was tweeted and shared a lot on social media and I have posted it on a few politicians’ pages, so I’m guessing some may have seen it.

VM: You have worked a lot with refugees through RISE (Refugees, Survivors, and Ex-Detainees), can you tell us how you got involved with this organisation and why their plight hits a chord with you?
P: I started working people from RISE before it existed as a formal organisation, I used to work with artists and offer my help when it was required.
RISE is the only organisiation governed and run by refugees and ex detainees. I guess it strikes a chord with me because these are human beings like us who have faced some of the worst experiences imaginable. People fleeing just for a chance of life. I find it crazy how desensitized and apathetical the voting populous are becoming. Seems now politicians are playing upon the worst aspects of human selfish desires to win elections. As a country we are sending pregnant women into detention, ignoring human rights violations and being manipulated by our governments.

VM: You are about to release IED, what sort of sounds can we expect from this five-track follow-up to your 2012 LP Subversive?
P: A similar vibe, but this EP better represents the live show. It features Project nRt and Diego Villalta – the musicians I perform with live.

VM: Your talents extend beyond rapping and rhyming, with more instruments to your name that fingers on both our hands. Do these appear in the upcoming EP?
P: On these EP its a bit more simpler, I still produced the songs and added to them what they needed, which was some synth, trumpet, keys, beats/mpc, but with Diego on the tracks he filled up a lot of the spaces.

VM: You describe your style as ‘soulful guerilla hiphop’, do you have many comrades or inspirers that share this genre hybrid?
P: Not sure how many other artists have claimed this style, but I am inspired by a heap of artists like Public Enemy, Bambu, Immortal tech, Lauren Hill, Christian Scott to name just a few.

VM: You have recorded, played and produced alongside many big names in the Australian hip hop community, but Paul Kelly is one collaborator that stood out from the crowd. Can you tell me how that came about?
P: Well Jesse Hooper (Killing Heidi) works with/manages a band called the Flybz and he asked me to produce some tracks for them. One of the tracks was a track called ‘Child Soldier’, which featured Paul Kelly. I was given the vocals and a guitar and asked to make it. I was stoked when Paul Kelly heard the track, liked it and said “love the trumpet.” It made my week!

VM: You will be launching IED at the Workers on November 8th, have you got anything exciting planned for the live show?
P: Well Yes I will be joined with an extended live act. There will also be an awesome projection show with lots of surface mapped goodness. Also playing at the launch will be Birdz as well as DJ Sadge.

VM: What’s in store after the launch? Will you be getting up to any summer shenanigans?
P: Yeah got some gigs lined up over summer, pretty keen to start recording the next album, got a stack of tracks written so pretty keen to get back in the studio. Also gotta couple of other projects lined up, so will be workin’.

Grace Robertson


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