Mr. BIG was on tour and we had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Torpey about tour, new album and some other interesting things
Not long ago (11/07/2017) we interviewed Pat Torpey. We had a great conversation with a fantastic guy. Today it has been two years since he left us and we wanted to remember him with all our love
Hi Pat, first of all we would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk from Rock and Blog to you. We have a very special affection for you in Rock and Blog.
RnB: Lets talk about «Defying Gravity». After the last tour we understood that you were not planning to record more albums. How did the idea for a new album come about? Who was the motivator of recording this new álbum?
Pat Torpey: well it was kind of time for us to do a new record. We enjoy doing the record it is part of the cycle because what it does it makes give us a chance to go out the opportunity to go out and playing live shows in front of people which is what we really love to do. So you know we got together and put some songs together and recorded. It was really quickly and now got it out and we’re out on the road
RnB: Defying Gravity begins with an “ok, we roll!” exactly like first Mr. Big´s record. Is there any hidden message? Is Defying Gravity your last album?
Pat Torpey: I think it’s because we have the same producer and this was part of the beginning of our first album and that’s what he said. We got to be trying upon this kind of a throwback theory. the old days of nineteen block. It was just kind of a fun thing to do there’s no secret message or anything.
RnB: If we are not wrong, the album was recorded in only six days. How Is it possible? Could you briefly describe the music-making process for your last album?
Pat Torpey: Basically there was some more time. We did take some more time after the initial six days recording to do some background vocals and mixing. But the actual recording of the songs took six days. We had a deadline and initially we thought maybe we shouldn’t try to do it that quickly. But then we realized that we all have experience in studio. We just decided to jump in and draw our experience of being a band together and our experience of songwriting and creating, It was really a fun process.
RnB: Did you already have stuff written?
Pat Torpey: Well I would say about about two-thirds of the songs were all written and then three or four songs would get kind of ideas. We always have little ideas floating around and we just threw them together, get in the studio and they came together pretty quickly actually
RnB: Doing so in such a short time makes it necessary to improvise? Has the album many improvised parts?
Pat Torpey: Well I think what we do is we really improvise what father Billy and I would get together and cut these little ideas. We’ve always done it that way and together some kind of organized business comes up with some new song ideas.
RnB: Is there any favourite song for you in this álbum?
Pat Torpey: Well I I like Defying Gravity, which is the focus on those very good rock and roll song defenders. Guitar, bass, drums and good vocals, It´s just good rock and roll and there’s the one that stand out for me right off 1992 song.
RnB: About 1992. What is this song about? Who is asking for help?
Pat Torpey: All came up with the idea for and it kind of talking about the song “to be with you” which is our number one single in 1992 and kind of the experiences that we had during that time. I think it’s also kind of a fun for fans that has been with us since 1992 and also people that may be our new Mr. big fans because they can go back and check out the old songs.
RnB: What about the audience? How is being the audience reaction to this album?
Pat Torpey: Well it’s been really good we play about five six new songs in our set that we’re doing live, and the crowd really reacts well with them and there’s always fun to play in new materials. it’s always great fun to play the old stuff but it’s fun to play new songs because it you get out in front of people and they develop in their own way. That’s what mr. big go about playing live shows.
That’s only source of our inspiration and what drives us want to still be doing it. So it’s great to have a new album out there and it’s been doing pretty well. We’re really happy about that.
RnB: It has been a long time since you worked with Kevin Elson, both of you had changed, and Defying Gravity is so different to the firsts Mr. Big albums… How did you feel working together again.
Pat Torpey: Well it hadn’t worked in a long time but I think it’s kind of like when you have a good friend that you’ve had a lot of experience with, and we picked up where we left off because Kevin would give us the first four studio albums so we had a lot of history together and we’re also a really good friends.
RnB:You have played in USA, South America and Japan. How is being the tour?
Pat Torpey: The tour it’s been great, a lot of people, a lot of crowds. it’s been really great. I keep saying I think everybody needs Mr.BIG. What we like to do is play live shows. When we have new material and play live it’s just like being in heaven for us. it’s what we’d really love to do so we’re really glad to be out here still rockin and rollin
RnB: What would you say to Spanish fans to encurage them to see Mr. Big live?
Pat Torpey: I would say that if you want to come to a good rock and roll show with great guitar playing, bass playing and drumming and singing we’re the show to come see because we give 110% for over the shows and people always seem to have a great time and we love it. We’ve been in Spain a couple over the years many times and there are really good crowds and you love playing insane so don’t miss it it’ll be the show to see
RnB: What about Matt Starr? Has he changed his way of play to adapt Mr. Big sound? Do you advise him?
Pat Torpey: Matt is a great drummer, I mean we don’t play exactly the same way and he interprets the things in his own way. He does a great job and he’s just a really good rock and roll drummer and also a really good guy. Now we just have an extra help in the back for me
RnB:You are fighting hard against Parkinson disease and you are trying to keep on doing everything you love. Can you give us advice for people who are in your situation and need some light in the tunnel?
Pat Torpey: What you got to do is just keep moving forward and keep moving that’s what my doctor told me. it’s good just thing to do especially with parking two degrees keep moving and being on the road keeps you moving, and keeps you active and keeps you having a reason to get up out of bed in the morning. A lot of think it’s a might be a death sentence but it’s not. it’s just you have to deal with a little more fatigue and you have to deal with a tremor and it’s some other symptoms but it’s manageable and I’m just really grateful to be out here still playing rock and roll music live.
I´ve got ahand in the guys in the band made they encouraged me to be here and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
RnB: What music do you listen nowadays? What bands would you recommend us? apart of Mr. BIG of course
Pat Torpey: Well I listen to a lot of different things but mostly I still go back and listen to the classic rock and roll stuff like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles and the Stones. And I still get the extra stuff I actually go back and especially live stuff with being able to have the internet and YouTube you can see so many live performances. I also like Buddy Rich and I enjoy watching him play. So I listen to a lot of that but I listen to all kinds of stuff.
RnB: We are almost finishing, so now it´s time for our most personal questions. Don´t worry, this is not about relationships, the only lover we’re interested on is rock and roll (hehehe) What was the first concert you attended to, as an audience?
Pat Torpey: The first big concert I ever went to see was “The Monkeys”, so it was a long time ago. I used to love watching The Monkeys on television and I was able to see them. But I I was able to feel a lot of classic rock bands I saw THE WHO, I saw The Doors (original Doors) and some really original old bands. I was going to concerts and I was really young but the first one was a Monkey which is kind of funny.
RnB: What was the first record you bought?
Pat Torpey: The first record if you call it a single was the Beatles “Day tripper” “we can work it out”, it’s a double sided single and then my mum bought me the album Rubber Soul
RnB: Did someone close coax you into loving rock and roll?
Pat Torpey: Well I think the person that helped me to get involved in start listening to music was my older sister. She was the one that mentioned to me about the Beatles. I got a hand it to her for giving me the inspiration.
RnB: Could you please send a greeting to our readers, Rock and Blog readers?