We caught up with Exeter’s merchants of smooth grooves Pattern Pusher during their recent UK tour
Exeter-based trio Pattern Pusher are raising spirits with their new funk infused track, ‘Holding On’. This will be your next song left on repeat all day long. It is seemingly impossible to listen to this sunshine-soaked new single without feeling hopeful for the future and that everything is going to be okay. The track reeks potential for a main character scene in a film where they dance like nobody’s watching. With its energetic bass lines and soul infused rhythms, combined with soothing introspective lyrics, ‘Holding On’ is your new prescription for happiness this summer.
Whilst on their UK and Scotland spring tour, I spoke with Alex Johnstone, Benny Conibear and Benny G about their new music, being on the road and building their positive image.
Millie: Thank you for speaking with me today. Your newest single ‘Holding On’ is already becoming a well loved track with indie fans and beyond. Could you talk us through the creative process of this song?
Alex: So it’s been a bit of a tough year from me, and I came up with a chorus that I felt really summed up this stage of my life. So we had this little seed to work from, then we all got into the studio as a group and had some real fun with it. We played around with chord sequences and experimented a little which was nice. We wanted it to be as fun as possible, whilst still keeping it a heartfelt track. And yeah, we just wanted to create a bop.
Millie: You’ve certainly made a bop! You mention in your blog that ‘Holding On’ is a song of hope. You certainly feel that when you’re listening to this track, and it’s certainly a theme I feel is cemented in all of your music. Is this something you purposefully strive for in your music or do you feel it comes naturally during the process?
Benny C: Yeah I’d say it’s something that comes pretty naturally, we hope that our music lets you get away from life’s stresses and see the good in everyday things. There’s a lot of escapism to our music.
Alex: Yeah, and also just pushing that message across that everything is going to be okay.
Benny G: I’d say that hopeful tone is something we try to get across in our shows too, to give the audience that feeling of togetherness. That even if there’s things that aren’t going great in life, you can have this space with us to escape and just feel hopeful again.
Millie: The music video for ‘Holding On’ perfectly encapsulates the message you’re putting across in this track. You worked with Spinning Path to include elements of classic silent cinema to demonstrate the retro vibe of your music, which works brilliantly. Did you have fun making this video? Could you talk me through the process of making this video?
Alex: Spinning Path, they’re awesome. They did the Happy Place music video too and we loved it. I think they really nailed this video for Holding On – it shows it without telling it, which we love. The idea was funny but simple. Yeah, they’re a great bunch and everybody should definitely go check them out.
Benny C: I really enjoyed making this one, there was a lot of choreography in it.
Benny G: Yeah, which was actually really fun to do, making sure we were hitting the mark every time.
Alex: Our director Tommy was fab. We had a concept in mind but had no idea how he was going to execute it. But yeah, he smashed it. The crew were amazing and really brought the song to life.
Benny C: It ended up being a 14 hour day I think, but it was so worth it and so much care and effort went into it, yeah we were really proud of what came out of that process.
Watch the video for ‘Holding On’ here:
Millie: So Pattern Pusher, you’re currently on your spring tour across the UK and Scotland. How’re you finding it? What’s been your favourite venue so far? Has there been any surprises?
Benny G: The Phoenix in Exeter was always going to be a special one, the response was so good. Hearing the crowd sing our songs back to us, crowdsurfing.
Alex: Yeah, I’d agree. The crowd there were belting out Holding On lyrics which was amazing as it had only been out for a day.
Benny G: Winchester was a surprise. We had lots of support there brought in from Boardmasters and Beautiful Days, it was reassuring to have them come back to see us.
Benny C: Yeah I’d say that’s the nicest thing about touring so far, the support we’ve had. Going to these new places but having people know who we are or interested to check us out, or who had seen us before and had come back too. It’s a great feeling. And my favourite moment was probably in Brighton, I’d never been but it definitely exceeded by expectations. The venue sounded great, which really makes all the difference. We all ended up staying out all night and when the sun started coming up, we sat on the beach and watched the sunrise.
Millie: I’m talking to you halfway through your spring tour. Is there a particular venue you’re most looking forward to performing in?
Alex: I think London is going to be great, the O2 in Islington.
Benny G: I’m really looking forward to going up north and doing a few shows up there.
Benny C: I don’t think there’s a particular one I’d pick. I think all of them are going to be good as they’re all unknown and new to us, and that’s exciting.
Benny G: And Cornwall too, the Old Bakery in Truro.
Benny C: Oh yeah, that’s one you always hear good things about. Even if it’s not completely packed, you know it’ll be a good vibe.
Millie: You bring so much energy to all of your performances, and your stage presence is so defined and positive. Is this important for you to come across this way to your fans?
Alex: We decided about four years ago that a positive vibe was just who we all were as people, and I think it’s really important when you’re doing something like a band, to show your true self and the music will follow. We were seeing a lot of moody bands at the time doing very serious black and white photoshoots, and we did actually try that, but it just wasn’t us. We’re the type of people to put on Gimme Gimme Gimme by ABBA at a house party and just bounce around, and we’re happy with that.
Benny G: Yeah just to follow on from that, we’d go to these really popular shows in great venues with loving crowds, and the bands would just look so angry and upset, and so I think we aim to have such a positive stage presence so that the crowd knows were having just as much fun as they are.
Benny C: I think that’s it, it’s not really forced. If anything it’s hard to stop us from going too over the top with it – we do genuinely love being up on that stage.
Millie: Do you have any pre-performance rituals to get you hyped for a show?
Benny G: We have to eat, or then you probably will see an unhappy band.
Benny C: Hanger is real.
Alex: And Lucozade, we pretty much live off Lucozade on tour. We also have a bangers playlist we stick on before shows, solid bangers only. And then Benny G does a pep talk before we go on.
Benny C: Yeah, it usually involves him raising his eyebrows and telling us ‘cmon boys, play like this is the last show of your life’. It’s like it’s the beginning of a quidditch match or something.
Alex: I always look forward to a Benny pep talk.
Millie: When looking back on this experience, what tracks will you associate with the tour?
Benny G: We went and saw Everything Everything in Bristol last night and I’d say their music has really set the tone for our tour. They were electric and the crowd were amazing.
Benny C: Bad Friday by Everything Everything would definitely be one, where its going ‘Was it a Friday Night? Was it a Saturday Night?’ – it felt really relatable to us at the moment!
Alex: Oh, and ‘He’s Got The Whole Word In His Hands’ of course. My mic didn’t work one night so Benny got the whole crowd singing, it was great. They started adding in their own verses too, You’ve got to love the primary school bangers.
Make sure to check out this lucozade-fuelled positive force of a band, performing in The Old Bakery Studios, Truro on the 29th April and at St Ives Food and Drink Festival on the 13th May.