Themes of a Recurring Musical Event

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It makes sense that the members of Pattern Is Movement are obsessed with burritos. There are several different elements that go into making a burrito special, but a good tortilla is top priority. A traditional burrito contains rice, beans and some kind of meat. What happens when other cultural influences are added? Is it still a burrito? Burritos are also the food of choice for many chronic culture seekers. All of these things might be related to the sound of the band, but drummer Chris Ward doesn't seem too concerned about the implications of quantities or cultural line crossing. For a group of Christian-raised, hiphop inspired book nerds, Pattern Is Movement's sound is somewhat inexplicable. Their influences range from mid-western religious mysticism to complex and prolific classical music to barbershop quartets in a sea of gypsies. Their music is masterfully arranged and performed—and in the exact quantities necessary for a delicious auditory experience.



SLUG: What is the significance of the name Pattern Is Movement? Also, what moves you?
CW: We lifted the name from a T.S. Elliot poem. Everyone in the band liked it and thought it helped describe what we going after at the time (this would be 2002).
I would agree that it related to our math-like tendencies when we had three guitarists, but we left some of those math-like tendencies behind and when employed, we try to disguise them. Maybe we should be called Pattern was Movement?
What moves me is any song by Otis Redding. My question is, why aren't there more bands listening to him as their number one influence? He is a genius.

SLUG: Your previous album was recorded at John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone studio in San Francisco. What was that like?
CW: We recorded Stowaway in 2005 at Tiny Telephone. It was such a great experience for the whole band. I t was the first time we had ever recorded in a professional studio and it really taught us so much in such a short amount of time. We also loved recording a record in San Francisco. The weather was amazing as well as the burritos.

SLUG: How did the recording process differ on your newest album All Together?
CW: We used the same engineer from Stowaway, but we did it at his studio in Monroe, NC. That was a much different experience than Stowaway because we were out in the woods and we lacked the accoutrement that San Francisco afforded, namely, burritos. We also recorded onto the same medium, analog tape, and we think the results were stellar. Our engineer, Scott [Solter], is amazing with tape and he makes you feel like you're using pro-tools with his ease of skill with editing tape and such.

SLUG: How does your hip-hop background influence your music?
CW: Both Andrew [Thiboldeaux, vocals and keys] and I became friends at the tender age of around 13 and 14. We both were raised in very religious households (see: Jesus Camp) and we would go on religious retreats. On this one retreat, we both got talking and released we loved Dr. Dre's The Chronic. We discussed it a bit and decided to form a hip-hop group. Our goal was to create a Christian hip-hop record that would be inspired by The Chronic without the chronic. We have since moved on from Christ inspired records, but we still love hip-hop.

SLUG: How has the band's dynamic changed since losing one of your members? What changes have you had to make to perform live? CW: It was tough when our guitarist, Corey Duncan, left the band. We were not sure how to approach Pattern is Movement as a twopiece. However, when Andrew came to me with new tunes (sans guitar arrangement), I was very motivated by them and he made it very apparent that a two-piece could work. At first, it was a bit shaky live, but just a couple of shows in, friends were telling us that it was the best version they had seen. We feel like the dynamic of two people is easily translated to a crowd and furthermore, our long history as friends and musicians really comes out when it's just the two of us.

SLUG: Describe some your non-musical influences. Why is rhythm so appealing to you?
CW: I have never answered the question with this answer, but here it goes: I really enjoy comedy. From early on, my dad impressed upon me that comedy was king. I listened to comedy albums while I went to sleep. My favorites were Flip Wilson and Bill Cosby. I also watched a lot of SNL as well anything Mel Brooks was associated with. While I was making Christian hip-hop, we as a family, would watch the Simpsons and In Living Color with one caveat: when the fly girls came on to dance the channel had to be changed.

Prepare to be moved on Sept. 24 when Chris and Andrew bring their version of cerebral and spiritual indie rock to Kilby Court. A burrito stop on the way will only heighten your experience.