Patty Larkin

Patty LarkinInterview by Joyce Peters

June 1999
Reprinted courtesy of Taconic Press

I spoke with Patty at her Cape Cod home as she prepared for some time off at the beach.

JP: What music excites you these days?
PL: I just finished a new album that will be out in July. At lot of times when I’m working on a new record, I don’t like to listen to much new music, but this time I kept those channels open. I’ve been listening to Me’Shell NdegeOcello. It’s one that I drive with. The new Tom Waits I really like. Beck is one of my favorites. I’m looking for songwriters who musically, are taking a bit of a left turn, so I can reinterpret it for myself and be inspired by it.

JP: What would surprise people to find out about you?
PL: Hmmmm…most people know I’m Catholic. I play accordion, badly. I play it on the new album. It helps when you produce yourself; you let yourself play accordion.

JP: Whose praise is most meaningful?
PL: That’s a really good question–we all do this for different reasons–we’re propelled forward by different impulses. I think praise is a good thing. Not many people I know get applause every time they do something at work. Praise from other musicians and writers. And my manager and co-producer, Bette Warner.

JP: Describe your strangest gig.
PL: There have been so many…

JP: Does one stand out in your mind?
PL: Oh, there’s a winner! The strangest one was PJ’s Pig Roast & Music Fest. I’ve learned that whenever the pig gets top billing, there might be trouble. It was a biker fest. As we pulled in, everybody was drunk because they offered a $5 bottomless mug so people could drink free all weekend. There were three booths — and all three were tattoo booths [laughs]. I don’t know what else to say, except that I wore sunglasses and I didn’t say anything.

JP: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
PL: I like to get there early. It’s pretty essential. I like to have 3 hours to set up. I’ll change strings, and like Pavlov, I always need a cup of tea. It’s like creating your space and starting the day. The last half hour before, I really need to be alone [laughs]…..to be sure I’m concentrating. And that probably requires one more cup of tea. A lot of it has to do with saying hello to my guitars and warming them up–getting a sense of the room.

JP: What can we expect from your performance at The Towne Crier?
PL: I think I’ll be doing some material from my new album. I’ll talk about myself for over an hour [laughs]. And I’ll take requests during the second half.

JP: Describe your upcoming release.
PL: It’s called Regrooving the Dream on the Vanguard label. The essence is about people in transition. How you deal with change, how fate impacts your life and how things can turn around.

JP: What do you want to happen next?
PL: Musically, to continue to write and grow that way. I’m going to concentrate on writing for film. And the whole technology business intrigues me. I have my own studio at home and I’m excited by the technologies that are so accessible to people like myself. You can do fun things for a price we can all afford. It’s changing what’s being released. Then in general, I’ll work on peace of mind. Meditation might be good but I can’t slow down enough to sit still [laughs]. Getting out of your head is a good thing.