Interview – Patent Pending


Patent Pending are a five piece “pop punk” band from New York who are currently on the UK leg of the ‘Brighter Tour’. Touring fourteen towns and cities in the UK, they are joined by Hype Theory and Suburban Legends. Patent Pending already have a loyal fan base in the UK which is growing all the time. I caught up with Joe from the band to see how things are going for him and Patent Pending.

BL:       For those people who are unfamiliar with you, briefly who are you?

Joe:      Hi! I’m Joe Ragosta and I sing for the band Patent Pending.

BL:       How is the tour going so far?

Joe:      The tour is great. The UK is always great.

BL:       Are you enjoying your time here?

Joe:      Definitely, I love coming to the UK!

BL:       What do you love most about England?

Joe:      The shows here are usually in city centres, which means we get to go out and see all the  cool sights. When we tour America we go from being in big cities to being in the middle of nowhere with not much to see.

BL:       Do UK gigs differ much from US gigs?

Joe:      You call them “gigs” for a start.  In America its really crazy as far as, like, violence goes and there’s always crowd surfers which you don’t get so much in the UK but the shows here have gotten insane. So yeah they’re different. Also when you guys sing back at us you have an accent.

BL:       Are you looking forward to taking the tour to Germany?

Joe:      Dude! I am so excited. I never thought we would get to go anywhere other than New York. Then we started going around the country and then we came here then to Ireland and Scotland, and now we get to go to Germany. We never thought this was something that was going to happen to us, so yeah, its really great that its happening.

BL:       What’s the worst or funniest thing to happen to you guys on tour?

Joe:      Our camera guy John who helped make the Mario and the Brick Breakers movie got really bad food poisoning, he was throwing up for two days, it was disgusting. But other than that… I did lose my voice a little bit. Other than that everything is good.

BL:       Mario and the Brick Breakers- which by the way was hilarious….

Joe:      [does a little bow] Why thank you.

BL:       ….Where did the idea come from?

Joe:      We had to make a video for a song we have on the album ‘Brighter’ called ‘Hey Mario’. We procrastinated from October until January, just spent a couple of months not doing anything and then when we sat down to discuss the video, my brother Robert (who plays Warrio in the video) came up with this Idea. He said “why don’t you guys do a behind the music of a Mario band?”. I just thought it was brilliant! So we were going to make the music video and have like a one minute interview with Mario at the beginning where he discussed his history in the band but when we started, it was so damn funny that we just kept going and going, for months!  We actually shot 6.2 terabytes of footage which is insane. We made a movie and all these videos and  there’s still more stuff that people haven’t seen, we just lost our minds with it. Yeah it was crazy but hopefully it works. I think its coming to your t.v.s soon, hopefully!

BL:       How did you choose who would be who or did it all just fall into place?

Joe:      If you look at the story of Mario and the Brick Breakers, without the obscene drug abuse and sex tapes, it kind of echoes the history of Patent Pending. Anthony (drums) and I have always been like the Mom and Dad of the group, I’m the singer so I would be Mario and he would be Luigi;  We though Rob (guitar) would be really funny as a mushroom so we made him Toad; Yoshi is a quiet character and Corey (bass) is quiet and then we had Marc (guitar) as Donkey Kong because [he laughs] he’s loud and obnoxious.

BL:       How did you feel when Mario and the Brick Breakers “best of” album reached number 7 on  the UK iTunes chart!?

Joe:      What’s crazy about that is we’ve been trying to do that our entire lives with real music and  it never worked so the fact that it happened with a fake, funny album is hilarious to me and very fitting for our band.

BL:       When you were at school you played hockey which is what you were going to do with your life but you broke your  ankle giving you the time to play music. Do you think you would have still started Patent Pending if you hadn’t have broken your ankle?

Joe:      I honestly don’t know. When I broke my ankle I was kind of going crazy from not playing hockey which was all I ever did and because I was so bored I picked up my brothers guitar and I learned how to play ‘Dammit’ by Blink 182. Then I was too shitty at learning other peoples songs so I started writing my own songs and that’s how Patent Pending started. So I really don’t know if I would have started it if I hadn’t have broken my ankle

BL:       Your brothers play in the band ‘This Good Robot’ do you think you might bring them on tour with you next time?

Joe:      I would love to bring This Good Robot! It didn’t work out this time for a couple of different reasons but whatever bands my brothers play in they are always awesome. I’d love to get them over here to play some music for sure so we will see how that goes.

BL:       ‘Cheer up Emo Kid’ is an amazing song, is the only reason you don’t play it on tour because it’s such an old song?

Joe:      Erm… [he pauses] kind of, in a way. We have a lot of joke songs and Cheer Up Emo Kid as a song itself is much older, we were really young when we wrote it so maybe musically its not as up to snuff as say, Hey Mario or Douche Bag. We have funny parts of our set where we would play Hey Mario and Douche Bag and some other funny stuff like the Friends theme tune or the Big Bang Theory theme tune which is fun and I think maybe, pound for pound that song doesn’t really add up with those songs.

BL:       You and your wife just had your first child so this has to be asked. How is “Parent Pending” going!?

Joe:      Its the best! Her name is Everly and she is the greatest, I’m obsessed with her. Oh my god, she is just so amazing. I love her!

BL:       How are you finding being on tour without her?

Joe:      Its so, so difficult. I love being here and and playing shows, this tour has been amazing but I really cannot wait to get back and see her! In the photos she’s already so much bigger, its crazy.

BL:       What’s next for Patent Pending?

Joe:      We are going to Australia. We are going to do some more recording so we will see what that turns into and we will be making more music videos. Hey Mario is at your radio stations now I just don’t know if they’re playing it! Hopefully they will, that would be great. In fact if you’re reading this request it!

BL:       Finally we have a quick fire round for you.

Bowling for Soup or Zebrahead? Bowling for Soup. Fuck that was hard!

7up or Sprite? Neither.

Xbox or Playstation? Xbox. Only because there’s Netflix integration.

USA or UK? [long pause] I don’t understand the question.

Beer or Cider? Beer

Summer or Winter? Summer

Tattoos or Piercings? Tattoos

Sex or Alcohol? Sex

Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart? I don’t know! Wait…. Mario Kart. That was hard.

Mario or Luigi? Mario

BL:       Any other comments you’d like to add for the readers?

Joe:      Yes, I meant Luigi, I didn’t mean Mario! Also we are out here with Hype Theory and suburban Legends, check them both out they’re amazing. Check out Mario and The Brick Breakers and we will be back within a year so we will see you soon.


Interview: Gemma Bywater and Shaz Rafferty

Photograph: Shaz Rafferty

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