Patrick DeCoste is a talented young guitarist from USA. He just released his brand new album, Show me the Way to go Home and took a few moments to talk to us.
Tell us something about your musical history?
I’ve been playing for about 20 years. I started out listening to players ranging from Randy Rhoads to Joe Satriani to The Edge. Being from Boston, I was able to take advantage of lot of opportunities like playing in front of 50,000 people at Shea Stadium, opening for guitar icons and being the guitarist for a Grammy-winning, Tony-winning musical for the Broadway-produced production of “Hairspray“. In 2004, I released my debut CD, “Inside The Unsaid”, which opened a lot of doors for me and I’ve been fortunate enough to keep the momentum going since.
Can give us some insight into the making of your latest album, Show me the Way to go Home?
The album is a perfect example of what an independent musician can accomplish with minimal technology. When I write, I record all the parts (ie guitars, bass, drums programming) in demo form and then send it (along with the stems) out to the band for tracking. Everything was recorded in our homes and Rich (drums), Josh (bass) and Rory (bass) emailed me their parts. After I took the production as far as I could using only the Garageband software on my MacBook Pro, I sent everything off to my buddy, Al, who specializes in R&B for a second set of ears and any minor tweaks (what he called, “sweetening”). From there it was mastered and shipped out for duplication. The album has several ‘movements’ and covers a lot of ground stylistically which helps explain the title a little.
How long did it take to complete this album?
Either 8 years or 12 months – depending on how you look at it. My first album, “Inside The Unsaid”, was released in 2004 so technically it’s been 8 years but I’ve kept busy gigging, doing session work, teaching and putting out a demo in 2009 during that time frame. Once I finally got the itch to complete it, it took about a year to from “this needs to happen” to getting the finished product. It took about 10 months for the guitars, 2 weeks for the bass, drums and final mix, a few days for mastering and about 2 weeks for duplication. I guess you could say it’s a ‘best of’ consisting of all the material I wrote since the first release.
Are you pleased with the finished product?
I’m very proud of the album and have received great feedback on it. It runs a wide spectrum of styles from Rock to Irish music to Blues. The goal was to put together 12 songs which can stand up on their own and also tell a story if played in order – and I feel it does that.
What equipment did you use on the album?
I’m endorsed by Music Man guitars, Ernie Ball strings and Clayton Custom Guitar Picks so recorded using them exclusively. All guitars were recorded direct with my DigiTech RP1000 by sending the USB out to my MacBook Pro. I used my Taylor guitar for all the acoustic tracks with the computer’s internal mic capturing the sound. Almost all my tones and sounds/ effects were worked out before tracking so very little was done in post-production.
Many really talented guitarists these days are trying to do their own Surfing with the Alien, yet you resisted this temptation. How come?
I actually started playing instrumental guitar after hearing that album! But “Surfing” has been done already. I just put out what I comfortable with and enjoy doing and hope people find value in it. I can’t say I set out to be different than what’s out there, it’s just how I write and enjoy filling a niche.
You seem to be capable of both emotional playing and flashy chops, yet you seem to be very much interested in creating real songs instead of showing off your skills. Has that always been the case?
Yes – definitely. Why sweat through mind-bending chops when I can just play something melodic? There are so many monster players out there with amazing technique but that style of playing is just not for me. Being influenced by Satriani, U2 and Peter Gabriel, I’m a product of those artists so my songwriting is a reflection of that.
Can you “say” something new with an instrumental guitar album that hasn’t been said already?
Hopefully. I’m always trying to push the envelope with my music. The countless CDs I have of instrumental Rock players are mostly lead-based but I’m more into chord melodies and effects-driven leads which create new angles and sounds not necessarily heard in the genre.
How is Show me the Way to go Home different to other guitar albums?
I feel like it’s rawer than a lot of other albums in the genre. There’s also a lot of bottom end with the bass/ drums in the mix as if it almost has a hip-hop vibe to it. The older guitar albums, like “Surfing” which you referred to earlier, have machine-based rhythm sections pumping out rock anthems and power ballads but “Show Me The Way To Go Home” showcases a few different styles and genres.
How has the reception of the album been so far?
The reception’s been great. Local radio stations have gotten behind it and it’s definitely been receiving attention internationally. I think because it has some new ideas people are warming up to it and getting behind it.
Have you been able to present it live? Are you playing any shows in the near future?
I’m currently booking for 2013. I’ve been able to play some of the new stuff at clinics, radio appearances and past gigs.
What have you been up to lately? Writing any new stuff already?
It’s funny how it works. I’ve been working on getting the album out for the past year and now that it’s finally done, I’m out promoting it but am starting to think of what’s next. Maybe there’ll be a 2013 Christmas CD but for now I’m just trying to get out there and spread the word about “Show Me The Way To Go Home” while promoting the genre.
Some final words for our readers? Maybe some words of inspiration for young aspiring guitarists who are finding it hard to make their mark…
There’s only one way to make your mark and that’s to get out and do it. Learn from others. Listen. Network. Believe. Know music isn’t a competition and always keep your eyes/ ears open. Be professional, be courteous and be thankful – you’ll find people are more willing to return the favor.