Patrick James is used to looking around himself on stage – and seeing other people. As a longtime member of groups such as Pound, Flywheel, and Four By Fate, being alone in the solo spotlight is something that is a new feeling for the singer but not foreign in the least bit.
Patrick James is known for such award-winning hits as “Upside Down” which reached #15 On the Billboard charts from his band Pound (Universal/Island Records). Also, his production and writing on Sugar Red Drive’s debut single “One More Time,” reached #30 on the active rock mediabase chart. The lead off single from Rachel Lorin’s debut song “I Hate You,” was also written and produced by Patrick James, and reached #39 on the mediabase active and mainstream rock charts. Patrick also wrote four songs on Relentless, the latest album from Four By Fate.
His many influences come to the forefront on Ride of A Lifetime, his forthcoming solo album. On the album, Patrick delivers musical works that are very close to his heart. The title cut has a deep personal tie to the singer.
“I actually wrote this song after my dad passed, and I really had a hard time with it … he was my biggest champion,” he says softly. “That song just means a lot to me.”
Another song that has a deep meaning is the album’s lead single, the inspiring “Thank You,” which he says is a song of gratitude for everyone in uniform who has fought to protect our freedoms. Patrick wanted to thank them personally.
“I always wanted to write something to thank them for what they do; fighting for our freedoms we enjoy. You know, you and I are sitting here today because a lot of people lost their lives for it,” he explains. “To live in the country that we live in, to be able to express ourselves, to be able to live our dreams, that came with a heavy price. I wanted to write a song to all the military and first responders who fight and protect our freedom. Thank you!”
Patrick James says that he comes by way of his country influences in an authentic manner, but explains that his musical tastes were all over the map in his formative years, ranging from Johnny Cash to The Allman Brothers. He says that he feels that comes out in his music – particularly the music on Ride of A Lifetime. He’s ready for the fans to hear what he’s been up to. After all, they are the ones that gave him a career, helping to make Pound’s “Upside Down” a top-20 hit on the Billboard charts. He says that seeing the public’s reaction to that song – as it was taking off – is something he will never forget.
“I can remember it clear as day,” he says of hearing the song on the radio for the first time. “I’m in Jacksonville, and the bus driver’s got the radio on. We’re doing press and all this preliminary set-up to and touring and then all of the sudden the song comes on the radio. The feeling is something I can’t explain. Even though that’s where the work really started, it’s a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for the years of hard work and labor.”
And, that work continues on Ride of A Lifetime, but Patrick feels this is the album that he’s been waiting to make his entire career. “I feel like all these projects and bands that I’ve been in throughout the years were all an extension of myself, and have led me to this point. “I write a lot of music constantly. This record is important because it brings me through different points, times and moods of my life and I don’t metaphorically speak it at all times. I feel like I wrote the record everyone can connect to lyrically, which is important to me. The rest is in the Man’s hands upstairs.”
Make no mistake about it, the music business is a completely different game than it was back when Patrick was with Pound, and the record company took care of all the finer points. This time around, Patrick is handling those himself. From Facebook to YouTube, the landscape looks a lot different, and he’s ready to hit it with his best shot!
“I think it’s the new norm, where records still come out every Tuesday,” he says. “There are always going to be changes in the business. If you’re smart and you know what you’re doing, and where you’re going, you can get your message out there,” he continues.
Could it be the Ride of A Lifetime?
Patrick is hoping so!