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A Dirty Dozen with PAT McMANUS from THE PAT McMANUS BAND – September 2021

| 19 September 2021 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Steeped from a young age in Traditional Irish music, Pat began playing fiddle at four years of age and eventually won numerous awards for his prodigious talent on that instrument.  By the age of 14, he had won the All-Ireland competition on the fiddle in the adult’s category. Eventually turning his eye towards a career in rock and roll, Pat formed the Mama’s Boys with his two brothers, John, and Tommy.  The band quickly became one of the leaders of the late 70s/early 80s movement called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.  The band’s 1985 album, Power and Passion, charted in the Billboard Top 100 and the band toured relentlessly with bands including Thin Lizzy (including opening for Lizzy at the Reading Festival on Thin Lizzy’s farewell U.K. performance) along with a Knebworth Festival performance opening for Deep Purple in front of 150,000 people. After his brother Tommy died of leukemia, Mama’s Boys disbanded and Pat and his brother John formed the Celtus, a Celtic new age band whose music is best described as Pink Floyd meets Clannad meets Enigma.  After releasing five albums, the band split, and Pat resumed his passion for hard blues-rock by forming the Pat McManus Band in 2007.” We get band namesake Pat to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

My new album Full Service Resumed is my 7th solo studio album. The album, as with many of my albums, is quite an eclectic mix. As with my live shows the listener is always taken on a little bit of a musical journey. This album has a slightly retro feel in some parts as i am a big fan of 70’s music. People who don’t know my music too well might not immediately notice a bit of fiddle and irish bouzouki running through many of the tracks, which were my first instruments before the guitar.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I was born into a family of musicians; my American born father was a real legend in his time and having him and my mother, a great singer as parents it was inevitable I would play music. So right from a very tender age I wanted to be a musician. Not for fame and glory; the fact is I just love music. I started public performances from about 5 years old, but it was around 19 or 20 years of age that I committed to a professional career full time.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Not really. Originally all my hero’s were Irish trad players as i was quite a folk purist. In my late teens i got to see the likes of Irish acts such as Thin Lizzy, Rory Gallagher, and Horslips and my ears and eyes were opened.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Jeff Beck, because I have always found him so innovative.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour? What do you like to do to unwind?

Play music – it’s my past time as well as my career.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Blues rock often with a bit of a Celtic twist… most reviewers of my music are pretty accurate and I have learnt that everyone has different tastes, so not to take offence.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

When I hang out with the guys, we get a take away or go to a restaurant as no one cooks!!! My drummer is the most likely to get the drinks in and we tend to talk and have good ‘craic’ as they say in Ireland… more than a sing along.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I am not one for being starstruck, but I have had some awesome moments watching great artists play that I have toured along side such as Thin Lizzy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher, The Scorpions, Rush, Iron Maiden, but when I was signed to Sony music I was invited as a guest to a Michael Jackson concert and that was something to see up close. Also when I signed to Arista in the US, I briefly met a young Whitney Houston… that was another moment.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of playing music is having my hobby as a job, but getting to travel and meet fantastic people and make life long friends is a huge bonus. I can’t see a time when I wouldn’t play music, but I have always wanted to be a lighthouse keeper… really!!

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I think in my long career I have answered most questions and I don’t get tired of doing so. It is my pleasure to do so.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I probably was too accepting and polite early on in my career. I believed that the record company knew best. I probably should have stood my ground more. Still as they say hindsight is a wonderful thing.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would have liked to be part of the recording of the Thin Lizzy Jailbreak recording. I just love that album and part of their career. For me that is an album full of classic songs and as Thin Lizzy gave my former band Mama’s Boys our first big support tour. I will always have that album in my top 10.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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