Pat Kiloran, a transplant originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, grew up taking piano lessons, and eventually began songwriting. Whether he was playing drums, guitar, piano, singing, or writing, Pat knew that he wanted to write his own music and that he wanted to “make people feel something”. In 2014, Pat began his solo career in Alternative-Pop music. He ultimately made the move to Nashville, to pursue his passion for making music in “Music City”.
In a recent interview, we sat down with Pat to discuss his career, his new upcoming album and his personal life and how he manages to balance it all.
Was there one defining moment for you where you knew that you wanted to play music?
I’m not sure if there was one moment, but there definitely was a progression. I remember listening to my mom’s Newsboys and Steven Curtis Chapman CD’s when I was maybe 8 years old and just loving it. For some reason, I thought those records were like super rockin’ or something. Eventually, once I entered junior high and high school, I started listening to things my friends were into at the time. So, in a Christian private school, Switchfoot was big, Relient K was big. American Idol had just got going so I was into Kelly Clarkson. I look back, and it sounds dumb. But it was just what was there.
It was really when I started listening to the radio that I started to take a real interest in music as art. I was hearing bands and artists like Kanye West, Green Day, The Killers, etc. for the first time. And that just opened the door to discovering and taking in so many different kinds of music. And then at some point, as I listened to, watched, and tried to learn the songs of these different people, I realized that creating music was something I needed to do. So, I started writing my own songs, as bad as they were, and that was that.
What was your first gig?
The first show I ever played was with my second band, The Domino Effect! (Yes, there was an exclamation point at the end of our name; I’m not excited about it). The first band I ever started was with a good friend of mine, and we practiced a couple times and never played a show. Anyway, The Domino Effect! played our first show at a now defunct youth center in Roseville, Minnesota called “The R2 Center.”
It was a big room sectioned off into different areas of activity. Floor hockey, video games, computers, foosball, and a stage. I remember being so nervous and sweaty in my blue, checkered flannel shirt, my ripped-up jeans with bandana patches my grandma had sewn into the tears, and my green Converse high-tops. The crowd was made up of maybe 30 friends from school and, of course, family members. It went by in such a blur and we messed up a bunch, but I remember loving every minute of it. I also remember rolling my eyes at my mom when she told me to actually talk into the microphone. She was probably right.
What do you think makes you unique as an artist?
I honestly don’t know what being unique means anymore. There are so many artists doing so many different things that it is hard to create anything that doesn’t draw a correlation to someone else.
I will say that I think the most important aspect of finding your “thing” as an artist is to just make what you like and what comes naturally. Don’t make something that isn’t “you” just because you think someone else will like it. Many people are searching for real, “small-business” art. You can find a commercial song anywhere, and there is nothing wrong with a mainstream sound. But I tend to believe that the artists that last (if not in the industry, then in our memory) are the ones that make something that is strictly of themselves. They aren’t creating strictly to please anyone. They are creating because they are supposed to. And the results are often much more unique.
We previously had spoken about this album & I found your concept very unique and interesting. Can you elaborate on how the process of how this particular album was written?
Sure! So it’s a concept record about actions and behaviors in our society that are often looked upon as either normal or maybe just taboo, when in fact they are destructive to yourself and those around you.
“Saint Sierra” starts off with a song about a man’s constant losing battle with lust, pornography, and womanizing. And it eats away at the inside.
“I Don’t Really Care” turns to narcissism and arrogance. Our social media culture is rampant with people constantly looking in the mirror, disregarding those right next to them.
This leads us to “Softer Skin”, the tale of a man caught up in an affair, but completely unwillingly and unapologetically. Coming from a broken home, I’ve seen the effects affairs have on families directly.
We wrap up with “Gin On My Lips.” Hardly a bar song, it tells the story of someone caught in the grips of addiction. And finally asks the question: “If I’m barely here with me, how can I be there for you?”
There are several interlude tracks helping to carry the story, as well.
Is it challenging to have a real social life outside of performing? What do you do to keep the balance? What do you do in your personal downtime? How has being musician affected your family life?
Ironically, I’m trying to stop my son from crawling into the kitchen while my wife cooks dinner before I go to see some friends as I’m answering this. So, these are appropriate questions.
I wouldn’t say it is challenging, per se. It can definitely be hard to find a work-life balance at times, but often they go together. Many of the people I write with or play with are my good friends. So, I’m able to work while I hang. And often times I am right at home with my family while I work on booking or marketing or whatever.
I don’t find myself having as much downtime as I used to. Between taking care of a one-year old, writing with people a few times a week, managing emails and social media, prepping for a record release, and my touring “day-job,” it really doesn’t leave too many hours in a day left over.
However, when I can, my wife and I watch a lot of movies. I love film. When I’m actually home, we spend time with our church and our friends. I play tennis and golf as often as I can. And, like everyone else, I love hitting as many restaurants, new and old, as my bank account will allow.
Who inspires you musically?
A little bit of everything. Everyone says that. But I rather learn from several different styles and people than pigeon-hole myself. Lately, I’ve been all over the map. Last year it was Ryan Adams. A couple months ago, it was the new The 1975 record. Then after that, the new Kanye and Drake records. And right now, I’ve been working my way through the new Saosin album. Sometimes I’ll draw inspiration from my friends’ records. Or other times I’ll take a feeling away from a visual piece of art. That doesn’t mean what I write will even sound like what I’m listening to necessarily. But there’s always something to glean from every piece of art, good or bad.
Knowing everything that you know now, what would you do differently in your career?
I wish I had stayed committed to my projects longer. I always seemed to bounce around from this band to the next, from this genre to another. It didn’t create a lot of longevity in any project, and therefore, it didn’t create the followings I hoped for. That’s why I decided a year and a half ago to just go solo and go by my actual name, so that I don’t have as many excuses to make random, impulsive changes.
I also wish I had realized how much of music is business. I’ve had to learn all of that over the last year or so, and it takes so much work to do anything right. I just wish I had realized that a long time ago.
What projects are you currently working on?
On July 12th, I will be releasing my sophomore EP, “I Know Everything That You’ve Done.” It kind of functions more like a “mixtape” as it has several interlude tracks to carry on the story of the record. I’m really looking forward to getting this music out. It’s been finished for awhile now, but I promised my wife I’d release this one right. So, I tried my best to be patient. But I’ve put everything I’ve got into this record, as have many of my friends who worked on it with me, and I really hope that is reflected in the writing, performance, and overall sound of the record. Buy it. Stream it. Just do it.
Do you have any big shows or projects coming up?
Speaking of which, on July 12th, we are having a record release show in Nashville. Details are still coming together, and they will be finalized soon. It’s going to be incredibly fun. You can check for updated details over at www.patkiloran.com/shows.
What are your hopes for your future in the music industry?
Man, all I hope to do is make something good and provide for my family. That’s all I can ask for.
With his unique, complex thought process, and friendly personality; Pat Kiloran provides something truly essential in the music industry.
Be sure to check out Pat’s latest single, “I Don’t Really Care” and look out for his sophomore album, “I Know Everything You’ve Done”, which *shines* a light on significant, real-life topics through his multifaceted songwriting.
“I Know Everything You’ve Done” is slated to be released on July 12, 2016. Also, stay up-to-date as Pat continues to release more music by visiting his website http://www.patkiloran.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.