Pattern Is Movement

Bears want to be him and cubs want to be with him. Dazed talks to Pattern Is Movement's Chris Ward about influences, vestigial members and plans.

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Brought together fifteen years ago by an abiding love for Dr. Dre’s "The Chronic", Philadelphian duo Chris Ward and Andrew Thiboldeaux are no longer rapping about Jesus but they have been vigorously employing childlike melodicism and pummelling polyrhythm. To what end? By cleaving hip hop's cadence with Thiboldeaux's tenor Pattern Is Movement is creating an undeniably ursine wall of sound that will blow your brains out and fix you dinner. And with "All Together" – their latest release on Oregon’s Home Tapes Records – it's clear that the dyad is verging on something extraordinary.

Dazed Digital: Your sound has rapidly evolved over the course of the four years between your first release and All Together – what inspired the departure and how do you see your sound now? Did your music become more
defined as members left? 
Chris Ward: I think that over time both Andrew and I started, like most artists, going back to our roots as musicians and that helped re-frame our sound. We cut our teeth listening to Dr. Dre and things hip hop in the 90s, Funkadelic, War and funnily enough – Lenny Kravitz. Now that we are older, we are able to pull out the things we liked in R&B and hip hop, and add it to the melodic structures that we both fancy – namely, lush / classical melodies against a backdrop of grimy / distressed sounds. Also, the leaving of members also helped us see our instincts better as we had less to discuss
as Andrew and I have been writing together since we were children. When there was a full band, we had to check those instincts so as to create a democratic space for everyone to have a voice. I think the flow of our music now is in direct relation to our flow as people.

DD: You've mentioned before that it was never your intention to be a duo, but I'd be hard-pressed to find a band half as happy as you two seem when you're performing. The unexpected can be surprisingly great?
Chris Ward: When the idea of being a two-piece was being discussed, I was so unsure that both Andrew and I could pull that off!  We had only played in larger bands and I just couldn’t picture it at the time. Now that it’s happened I
am so happy because we both play off each so well and only having two members helps to create a dynamic on stage that is so hard to get with a large group.

DD: What are the most important cultural or musical touchstones that you find yourselves coming back to often?
Chris Ward: Hm... that is an interesting question. I think re-listening to hip hop from my youth has been something that has helped revitalise musical ideas when I write drum parts. The creativity of hip hop beats is something I am always amazed by and that I hope will keep inspiring me.

DD: Are there any international dates in the works?
Chris Ward: We have been talking about going overseas for a while and it looks like we will be once our new record comes out. I am quite excited at the prospect of seeing Europe and playing shows at the same time.

DD: You are driving through Pennsylvania, your native state, with copious amounts of the state beverage (milk) and a Great Dane in the back seat. What is on your mixtape?
Chris Ward: Starflyer 59. From start to finish.
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