My first two time interview steps to the plate, and who better for it to be than my man Paten Locke, aka P. Locke, aka Therapy of the Alias Brothers aka Asamov and The Smile Rays. The man does it all, rhyming, scratching, producing, and I’m sure he could throw up his tag while breaking into the funky worm. Meaning the dude is maaad talented. I’ve long championed the greatness that I say is The Smile Rays. They are one of my favorite groups to come out of this decade, so when I heard Paten was going solo (no fears, the Smile Rays and ABs still are) I got kind of excited about the possibilities. After hearing the first single, I have to say the sky is the limit for his debut solo album, Super Ramen Rocketship.
P has been busy leading up to this album. He signed a deal with Tres records, went to Germany to record his album and geared up for the release of his single, “Break Thru”. Once again, Paten and I caught up to kick it. Even though he had the pressure of living up to what I call the funniest and most fun interview to date. A turkey sandwich might have taken him down a notch, but it was still a good time had by all….PART TWO tomorrow…
WYDU: So what’s been going down since the last time we talked? I know you spent some time over in Germany, how was that.
Paten Locke: Last time we talked, that was a minute ago. Yeah, went to Germany, spent three months with Bat and Daisey. Did some shows, mostly was there just to record my upcoming solo album.
W: So you did most the recording for it over there?
PL: I did the entire album over there. I recorded every last bit over there. Wait, I take that back. I did some cuts for it over here and the skits, if we put them on, were done here. All the songs though were completely recorded over there.
W: Right on, right on. How was Europe? They always get labeled as hip hop purists and true junkies compared to us over here anymore, did you see that why you were over there?
PL: I’ve been there a few times now. Before I had been over there, I heard they just love hip hop so much more over there and they were more into the classical sound. And they are. While I was over there, there was even a show that had Beatnuts, Paris, Lords of the Underground, Jeru and someone else mad classic that I can’t think of. That show happened while I was over there and kind of solidified that they were more hip hop heads in the sense of the word.
But you know, I don’t know man…. There are a lot of hipsters there, not that there is anything wrong with that. It’s just different. A show like that with Beatnuts, Lords, and the rest would probably more well attended than over here. I actually had an interview over there where they asked how that show would do in the states, I told them I wasn’t sure, but you don’t see it as much in the states
W: True, very true. So did you do any record shopping while you were over there?
PL: I didn’t purchase any vinyl while I was there. I came home with some, but didn’t buy any. I went to a few shops, but I was just there to record and financially things were tight. I already made the beats for the record, so I wasn’t needing anything. That’s something I usually do more of when I’m tour. Hopefully this year I’ll get back to making more beats and get back to producing and stuff.
W: Didn’t you sign with a label over there while you were there?
PL: Definitely not, but I did get offered with a situation with a label over there. I do have some things we’d like to work on together in the future, but right now I’m just seeing how this Tres thing works out.
This label over there, it’s affiliated with HipHopVinyl.de network. They said they were interested releasing a solo record with me. So I was like, “Well shit, let’s see what Tres does, see how everything goes.” Right now, I’m having a great relationship with Tres. Then again, I might take the opportunity to do something with them in the future. I’m also hoping to get Tres and them to work together more as two institutes, through the fact that they both dig my shit and hope to build a stronger hip hop network. The label over in Europe actually put a song of mine out on a compilation. The compilation is called Silent In Truth.
I’ll definitely be working with them in the future. The guy that runs the label, he is an artist, he is a professionally graphic artist and he did my 12 inch cover for the Tres single coming out. That was my first attempt at bringing the two labels together. They are completely aware of each other, yet they haven’t done anything together. Yeah, Gordon is a good friend of mine and really cool. He is a good guy to know in Germany if you are hip hop.
W: I’ve noticed you are using your given name on this album, P. Locke, and moving away from the Therapy moniker that you have used in the past. Any reason for that?
PL: Maaaaaan, ya know, ya know….You know Trav, it’s like whatever. The reason for that….the REAL reason for that was I just felt like I ran with Therapy for a long time and I love the name. I just felt like there was a little bit of a ceiling on it. Maybe because of dealing with the ABs/Asamov situation, I just wanted to go with something I wouldn’t have any issues with. This is also my first solo outing, so I didn’t think it would be much of an issue. Not that there is a bunch of Therapy records out there. There is Therapy in the ABs and there is Therapy in the Smile Rays, I just figured this is the start of my fan base really right now, so I could come out with whatever I really wanted.
Tres is down with it, I asked them what they thought, because they approached me as Therapy. I was like, “I’m thinking of putting this out as Paten Locke, what do you think about that!?” (a little bravado found in his tone). I figured they would not really be feeling it, but they were like, “Whatever you are going to do, just do it,” so I figured that was it.I figured I’d go with P. Locke, because I’ve never had luck with people pronouncing my name right…..(as I found out when I called him by his first name incorrectly. It’s pronounced with a long “A”, Paaaaten)
W: Yeah, sorry about that….
PL: Yeah, it’s just so crazy. Really I’ll be up there as Paten Locke as well, at shows I’ll be, “I’m Paten Locke,” which is a little bit strange to me, but I like the strangeness so far. It’s a new name to go into a new era. It’s just another thing to deal with and to make me laugh.
W: You’ve already mentioned that you signed with Tres, who did that come about and how are you liking it so far?
PL: Real good so far. They are real attentive, the listen to all my cookie ideas. They are a blue collar label, so I’m not looking for a Def Jam type promotion, but so far so good. I had met them, the guy that runs the label is also in the group Giant Panda. I met him at a musical festival, and we clicked on some artist type shit. I wasn’t even aware they had the label, I didn’t understand all the dynamics of that. I was out in L.A. one time with Lif and Ak, and they came out to the show and we started talking. He was like, “I got this label, it’s called Tres,” and I was like, “Oh shit, I know Tres.”
Oh wait, you know what?! I forgot, between meeting Giant Panda and running into them at L.A., I was talking to someone who told me that they had met the dude in Giant Panda that runs Tres, and I was like, “Oh shit, I like Tres, Tres is one of my top labels I’d like to record for. I was thinking Stones Throw, Tres and Nature Sounds, or some shit like that.
Somewhere I figured that out and I was hitting it pretty hard with The Smile Rays right about that time, so I hit him up about the Smile Rays and maybe putting out the AB’s second record. He expressed interest in wanting to work a project from the ground up. He suggested I do a solo record, which I had always thought about, but I was really rolling with the Smile Rays situation, but I was like, “Yeah I’ll do it.” I was hell…I almost said hella and I’ve never lived in California…but yeah, I was excited about it and the trip to L.A. pretty much solidified it.
I thought it was mad official to put out my solo album, and I’m still excited because they’ve handled everything right. They done everything they’ve said they were going to do, I’m loving it. We’ll see how it continues when the record comes out. We’ll see if I do the artist thing and the day after my record comes out I be like, “I HATE MY LABEL! Clowns over there, they be on some shit!!!” I don’t think it’ll like that though (laughing). It’s a good situation.
W: I didn’t know that the dude that was in Giant Panda was running Tres….
PL: Yeah, yeah! I don’t even know if I’m blowing his cover by saying that or if he wanted to keep that separated, but yeah, that’s what it is. They put out some good stuff as well. Just recently, it was the Johnson & Jonson and the Shawn Jackson, which are two really good records. So on the heels of those I was like, “fuck yeah, I’m wit it!” I’m definitely happy with the relationship so far. Hopefully I can do something for them, like they are doing something for me.
W: It’s a good look for sure. Let’s talk about the new single. Which song is the actual single, because I know you got like three on the 12 inch that you releasing….
PL: The single is “Break Thru”, it’s coming out June 30th or something like that, I’m pretty sure that’s the final date. I gotta say something Trav, I feel like the interview we did before, after we did it, you were like, “This dude is mad funny, it was like the funniest interview I’ve ever done…,” or whatever. And I shouldn’t be saying “whatever”, it should be a direct quote, because that meant a lot to me. I just want to be funny, everything is secondary. I just feel like………..this one is so much more bland………It’s all my fault, hopefully we’ll get this rolling. I mean, I was like, “My man Trav said I was the funniest dude he’s ever interviewed and he just interviewed MILK D!!!” (laughing is definitely going on now….)
W: It’s all good man. That was an awesome interview though, I had a good time with that one. We’ll get this rolling though…..
W: The new single, “Break Thru”, which I’ve had in my head all damn day today too……
PL: Yeeeeeeaaaahhh! The original situation was that Tres wanted to put out a 12 inch, and I wasn’t going for that. If I was going to do anything, it was going to be an album. Pretty much right when we decided to put an album, they wanted to put a single out before it. They hadn’t heard shit yet, they hadn’t even heard a single yet. Ultimately, I needed a single, and by the time the deadline came around, I had made a few songs and “Break Thru” was one of them. Bat and I both felt good about it after we did it. I had recorded a few songs, and Bat was there for the whole thing, he recorded everything for me. Bat liked it and I didn’t have the whole record yet, just needed a single. Now that the whole record is done, I might not have chosen that for the single, but I still feel good about it.
Does that mean that you like it, because it was in your head? I mean, Soulja Boy songs stick in your head, but that’s not always a good thing…
W: Nah, man, nothing like that. I’ve just been playing it a lot the last couple days. I’ve had the beat playing over and over in my head…
PL: No doubt man. I think every record on the album sounds different, and that one sounds different from everything else. When I do it live, it gets a good response….
(sounds of barking dogs once again, read the Louis Dorely interview for the infamous WYDU dogs, and sirens)
W: Sorry about that, sitting on the patio and fire engine just went by
PL: Yeeeeeaaah, canine ferocity going on over there. Sounds like some pitbulls or something.
W: Nah, harmless, unless your a rat, then they’ll go for the kill……
(we break into a dog conversation for awhile….)
W: Not too many people are putting out the 12 inch vinyls right now. I know Tres is kind of a vinyl oriented label, but why go with the vinyl? Why not just say, “Here internet, here is the single, have fun with it”, what’s the reasoning for releasing the vinyl.
PL: You know I’m a vinyl dude, I love vinyl. It was a plus to me that they are a vinyl label and they care about it. Tres puts out vinyl, that’s their thing. From what I’ve heard now, CDs and vinyl are close in sales because of the downloads taking over the market. On top of that, vinyl is a better medium for keeping, it will last longer than a CD and keep its sound that much longer. I’m excited about it, especially since so people don’t have it. I’ve had releases where I haven’t had it when people came up to me looking for it. I’m even trying to put out a cassette tape and some other little nifty things. I’m hoping the vinyl does as well for them than the CDs do. Of course everything is going to be on Amazon, iTunes, the whole digital scope. I’m sure it’ll be up on every bodies, or nobodies blog for free as well.
Lots of people just put out a digital record, and that’s cool. You can totally run with that anymore and just be yourself. If you are going to mess with a label though, you want them to do promotion and that type of thing. You want them put out physical product and put out vinyl and hopefully standout. It’s the medium that the culture goes to. Plus, I’m excited that now I have two copies of my OWN record that I can go to. It just makes it “official” to me. I’ve made it because it’s on vinyl now. It goes back to wanting to have a “record” out. I’m a vinyl head, so it just works. It will work just as well as the CDs, we’ll see….vinyl rules.
W: I do have to say, there was a line on one song from the 12 inch single, that caught me off guard. You mentioned Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, who is a professional poker player. You don’t hear too many professional poker references being spit in a rhyme. It just caught me off guard, like, “damn, P knows his poker players.”
PL: (laughing) I roll with poker players, but I don’t know play, you know what I’m saying? I don’t have TV anymore, but when I did, they always showed poker on there late at night. My friends, namely Basic of the AB’s, he’s damn near a professional poker player. That’s all he does. Every time I talk to him, he is holding lots of money he made off of playing. I don’t play. I gotta keep it real, I don’t play. But by watching the shows and being around all my friends, I know enough. I know the big wigs. Mike The Mouth Matusow, he’s an ill character. He’s mad antagonistic and fun to watch. If Mike Matusow listens to underground hip hop, hit me off with some of those stacks buddy!!! Obscure references, but that one might not be as obscure. Just some late night television. I’m just happy I got it to rhyme.