October 30, 2014 / UNCOMMON
October 30, 2014
An interview with Patrick Dodd
Music is a powerful force and an important part of our culture today. It tantalizes the senses and evokes emotion, movement and soul. Music can make us think, influence passion, and spark creativity. Music brings people together. We recently had the opportunity to sit with Patrick Dodd, music video producer and general music enthusiast, to talk about how music is shaping his life.
Where does your passion for music come from?
Passion for music is in my blood. My whole life, my family has passionately engineered and encouraged music—children were expected to have a musical piece to share at extended family gatherings, we all took lessons and were always ready to share. I loved to play and perform and recall wanting to spend every waking moment playing my guitar. In the summer of 1999, a few friends invited me to a garage-sized venue in Pacific Beach, California called The Melting Pot. Over that summer we watched a number of bands playing music and having a great time (Switchfoot seemed to have an exceptionally good time). I knew from that summer that music—in some way—was going to be a part of my future.
Who inspires the music you write?
Musically, there are so many influences and it’s constantly evolving. The artists who stay true to who they are over a period of time have had major impact on me. Going back through Ryan Adams’ discography recently has been really fun for that reason. The tone of his voice evokes such great emotion and the progression of songwriting really reflects the journey he’s on. Historically, my music specifically would be linked to people like John Mayer. I remember hearing Room For Squares for the first time and thinking, “this is amazing!”
(Listen to one of Patrick’s songs, “Together,” below.)
Tell us about SerialBox Presents.
SerialBox Presents is a one take, multi-cam, multi-track performance project my friend Ryan originally started as a hobby. From the first session I saw, it instantly became one of my favorite musical projects. A few years ago we discussed the series progress, and although the project was a success, the management side of things was not his forte. I encouraged him to keep moving forward because the project fulfilled a niche in the industry and inspired many. A week later Ryan called asking if I would be willing to be the Executive Producer of the series, and here we are today. We’re moving forward with the goal of injecting beauty back into the world. We work with amazing artists and feel honored to capture some very special moments.
What’s next for SerialBox?
Right now, we’re working toward transitioning what we do into TV format, and just launched a Kickstarter campaign to enable us to work on the SerialBoxTV Pilot featuring Noah Gundersen. You can get a taste of what we’re trying to do here:
What’s the most interesting thing about the music industry?
Music as a whole is always in a state of transition––recuperating from the fear of digital sharing and streaming services to a state that is beginning to embrace musicians and inspire a new approach to the industry. Streaming services are forcing artists to think differently and find other ways to make a living through their art. It’s really interesting to see some of the byproducts of the shift.
Also, technology––music production isn’t what it once was. I’m a bit too young to remember the days of recording to tape, but I go to NAMM every year, and the amount of technology being released for musicians is insane. Everything is being optimized for a better instrumental experience. Music trends are also really interesting to me—most recently the increase in vinyl purchases. Considering the high quality sound and audio tracks we’re able to download online, to have the consumer continue buying such lo-fi music is refreshing. I personally love vinyls, they are one of the purest forms of an artist’s finished product.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
For me, life has been a constant string of good advice from a lot of wise people. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by great mentors that have taken me under their wings and shown me first-hand many valuable principles like compassion, humility, determination, and perseverance. One piece of advice I often think of is actually from Conan’s last night on NBC’s Tonight Show when he said, “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”
There’s so much music out there, how/where do you find new artists?
Spotify is a great tool for artist discovery. It gives people the ability to instantly listen to anything they want, and their recommendation engine is constantly improving. On the flip side, my friend David said it best when he said, “Spotify doesn’t steal from artists as much as it steals from the listener.” The listener today has so too many options resulting in a digressed value in music. I’m fortunate to be exposed to a variety of artists, however I still find that some of the best music discoveries are those that are personally recommended to be by trusted friends. That’s one of the upsides of Spotify, friends creating and sharing playlists. It makes sharing and the discovery process so much fun.
How does music influence your daily life?
That’s hard to pin down. But, if I had to answer that:
1. It’s one of the first things that sets the tone for my day
2. Different music gets me in the zone for different needs––work, exercise, thinking, reading
3. When I look back at life, so many of my greatest friends and experiences came about from music
4. I hear melodies everywhere
If you could have dinner with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Oh man, there are several. John Mayer, Bono, and Thom Yorke would be up there. I would ask how songwriting has manifested itself for them and why they do what they do, and they would all have interesting insights into a book I‘m in the early research phase for. I think artists can often underestimate their art and its emotional value when they get beat down by the critics and the business side of it.
What’s your favorite album right now?
Always a hard question, but I have been listening to Asgeir for a few years now and I can’t get enough. And the newest War on Drugs record is so good. The sounds on both of those records are pushing the envelope … it’s inspiring.
What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in the music industry?
Work hard, be kind, and roll with the punches. Don’t give up.
What are your Uncommon Sense Steps to doing what you love?
- Identify your influences, and then figure out your own style
- Write all possible inspiration down
- Don’t be afraid to invest in taking risks, it can bring huge returns