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Philip Patrick (of the American Black Lung) Interview

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Tucson post-hardcore band The American Black Lung combine gritty vocals with a guitar that cuts through any and all nonessential filler. Forming in 2001, the band recently found themselves staring down the sun during its month-long stint at this summers Warped Tour. Recently finishing the band’s latest album …And They Rode Their Weapons Into War, vocalist Philip Patrick took some time to answer a few questions regarding the band’s beginnings, religion’s place in punk rock and the swing of Tucson-based acts since the breakthrough of The Bled.

How did the band first get together?

Philip Patrick: One of our guitarists, Johnny and I have been playing in bands together since we were 12. We finally got a lineup that truly worked a couple of years ago.

What is the significance behind the band’s name?

Philip Patrick: The ABL is our ode to the working class. Rock n’ roll for the unsung individual! We hope our name represents that.

How does The American Black Lung fit into the modern punk landscape?

Philip Patrick: Well, we borrow elements from different genres and generations musical stylings. From classic rock & roll to current punk rock. We feel obligated to stay true to the DIY punk rock ethics as well as the sound. This is a culture I have been submerged in since I was 11.

The American Black Lung web site signs off on the history page with “God Bless.” Does religion assume a role in the group’s songwriting process? With situations such as Underoath recently quitting The Warped Tour do to statements made by NOFX, does religion have a place in modern punk?

Philip Patrick: Religion in no way, shape or form plays a part in our songwriting. Being spiritual, however, is a key element to the band. I think that addressing the ills of religion has always played an integral part in punk rock. One of my favorite records is Fuck Armageddon This is Hell (Bad Religion) and some of my favorite bands criticize the fundamentals of religion. Religion has no place in punk rock. At the risk of sounding hypocritical, I think the inclusion of spirituality in modern punk rock is very relevant.

What has been the biggest learning experience that the current tour has offered the band?

Philip Patrick: We have seen the best and the worst of each other on this tour. Warped is a little different than other tours. The days are long, the food is sparse, and the drives are killer. Every city is scorching. But at the same time it’s the most fun we have ever had. This has definitely made us a tighter family.

How did the band’s start in Tucson affect its current sound? Are there any other Tucson-based bands that have helped you along your way?

Philip Patrick: If anything Tucson has so many “carbon copy” bands. When The Bled broke from Tucson we all of the sudden had 15 bands playing locally trying to attempt to sound just like them. If anything it has helped us try to stand-out and be unique.

If the band had one final show to play, who would you most like to share the stage with?

Philip Patrick: Hands down, Converge.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]