The singer tells us how his fifth album is shaping up…
Studio: Metropolis Studios/El Cortijo/Air Studios
Confirmed tracks: The City, Time Of Life, Bermondsey Street, Slow Motion, House
Due: May 2011
Guest collaborators: Thomas White (guitar), Thomas Bloch (glass harmonica, Ondes Martenot, Cristal Baschet), Belinda Sykes (duduk/arabic vocals), Katie Larkin (vocals)
Label: Hideout / Mercury
Hi Patrick. Your last album, ‘The Bachelor’ was very dark. Have you turned a corner with this album?
I don’t feel in that place anymore. I still want to fight, but not with aggression and battling. I’ve freed myself from that hatred of the world. I want to share with the world my feelings that you should try to make things better by doing positive things.
Initially, that album was intended to be the first of a double album – with the second to be titled ‘The Conqueror’, is that right?
The double album idea came about because I’d written about 23 or 24 songs, and I thought it was possible. But it really wasn’t possible with my perfectionist’s streak in the studio. I would have to take 3 or 4 years off to make sure everything was mixed, mastered and ready to go. There was a track called ‘Together’ which was the one where I suddenly realised I needed to write a whole new album around that song. It’s the first time I’ve smiled through music for a long time.
Does it feel like the curtain has come up on things a little bit now, that you feel you’re really revitalised?
I have a perspective on life that I didn’t have at age 26. And with everything that’s happened to me since I was 18 – the things I’ve enjoyed and not enjoyed about life – I’m getting older and better at observing. It’s also about not having such a big ego. Not always being so about me.
The first single ‘Time Of My Life’ is euphoric, and has positivity flowing through it, is that what we can expect from this record?
When I started out on this album, I started out on that tip. I went out to Los Angeles and recorded some big dance numbers. I thought I’d ride that whole wave that’s going on at the moment, but I took a long hard look in the mirror and asked myself why. Because it is popular? Are you making this music because you want people to enjoy themselves, or is it because you want to be famous? I decided actually, no way. I went back to basics and re-evaluated everything and thought about what I needed to do.
The concept of ‘The Conqueror’ is abandoned then?
Well, there’s still the idea that love conquers all. Love comes along and changes your life in an instant when you least expect it. Most people see the words ‘The Conqueror’ on an album and think Kanye West – or at least that whoever wrote it would have some sort of super ego. That’s not what I want it to be, in that style.
So what are you going to call it?
I don’t know. I don’t really want to call it anything.
Thomas White appears on ‘The Bachelor’ and Patrick’s new album.
“He doesn’t play guitar like 99% of the world”.
Patrick is learning the harp.
“I still think there’s a Rihanna ‘Loud’ album in me somewhere.”
Patrick wasn’t dressed very flamboyantly during this interview. We were disappointed.
“I’ve been there, done that,” he countered. “Got the t-shirt?” we asked? He didn’t laugh.