Great Canadian Music

Pat Maloney is Only Human

I first met Pat Maloney a few months ago at a music conference down in Kansas. Within the first few minutes, he had me laughing harder than I have in a while, and by first impressions I could have easily pegged him for a stand-up comedian rather a musician. Turns out, with the way he weaves funny and relatable stories into his stage show, he’s a bit of both. A common theme between the singer-songwriter world, and the comedian world is the constant touring, and sometimes oddball gigs you wind up playing. Pat’s “Always on tour” mantra embodies this strongly, and in the past few short years since stepping out from behind his former bands drum kits, and in front of the centre-stage mic, Pat has traveled, and performed more than some artists do in a decade. This consistency is what fuels Pat’s stories, songwriting, jokes, and I imagine, his outlook on the world. This true-to-life-troubadour has a brand new single out now, and we caught up with Pat Maloney for a quick chat about it…

NW: Pat, you have a new single out – tell us all about that!PM: Yes I do!  It’s called Only Human.  I recorded it with my old friend Matt Grady at Emac Studios in London Ontario.  It’s a dark song, kind of an odd choice for a “single” really.  I have a bunch of songs written for a concept album, but I won’t have them recorded for a while.  I wanted to release something in the meantime, and there are a handful of tracks floating around in my catalogue that don’t fit into any mould.  So I picked a couple “oddball” tracks to release this summer.  Only Human tells the story of a very much imperfect character trying to find space in the world.  I’m a 6’5″ bearded guy with a big voice, so I’ve always been offered lots of attention in life.  I find it impossible to hide.  But instead of rhyming on about all the great things in my life (which there are many), I needed to exercise a few demons and admit a few faults.  That’s the gist of the song I suppose.  As far as production goes, we went well over the top.  I think it sounds huge.

NW: Knowing your earlier material, this new track is a little ‘different’ to say the least – does this reflect the direction of your material down the line?PM: I’ve always included a few darker numbers on each album.  I perform solo, and all my songs can stand on their own with just my voice and an acoustic guitar.  I really don’t like to pigeon hole myself, and the acoustic guitar test is really the only thing I do to tailor my music stylistically.  There’s like 100 years of popular music to draw from, and I think it would be unfulfilling to make all my music fit into one little box.  I haven’t really featured one of my darker songs yet, and lots of people will have only heard the songs I’ve made videos for, or placed on radio etc.  Most people won’t have listened to the albums all the way through, so I’m curious to see how people react to this one.NW: Speaking of ‘down the line’ – what’s next in store for Pat Maloney?PM: Well I have a million dates booked this summer, so I’ll be on the road like crazy.  But that’s nothing new haha.  I’m all about consistency, so I’ll be marching along to a steady beat as usual.  I’ll be writing, rehearsing, recording, releasing music.  Booking, promoting, travelling & performing.  In between I really would like to join a men’s league soccer team or something because I’m getting skinny-fat.

NW: You are on the road a lot to say the least – what’s your fav road snack?PM: Nuts & seeds dude.  Roughage all day every day.NW: What other music has been filling your ears lately?

PM: I love the new Father John Misty album.  It’s an existential, jaded masterpiece in my opinion.  I’ve also been digging into modern country stuff.  You know, not the garbage sandwiches they serve on the radio all over Canada which is oh so barfy, but the good stuff.  John Moreland, Chris Stapleton etc.  And I just got back from tour in Ireland, so I was caught on to some great singer-songwriter stuff:  Mick Flannery, Hudson Taylor, Tiz McNamara.  And I have CBC Radio 1 saved on my radio presets from Montreal to Windsor, Sudbury to Toronto at all times.  I love listening to articulate people with strong opinions argue with one another.

Pat Maloney’s dirty new single “Only Human” can be bought, streamed etc. through all the digital channels. Pick your poison below…