Written by Erin Mathis
When Patricia (Patty) Lynn Drew started The Wind and The Wave in 2012, she had no intentions of making a band, let alone an album. However, her and band mate Dwight Baker, due to their unavoidable music chemistry, did just that. On August 5th of this year, they released their debut album, From The Wreckage. Curious to know more about this “happy accident” of a band, I spoke with Patty, and met not just a musician, but a person – an honest, down-to-earth, captivating person, who taught me about the therapeutic power of music, life on the road, and even shared with me her opinions on proper crowd etiquette.
You formed this band in 2012, how exactly did it come about?
Patricia (Patty) Lynn Drew: It’s blurry because the formation itself was less of a decision and more of just something that we tripped and fell into. Dwight and I are just really good friends, and we wrote the record without the intentions of being a band. We just wanted to hangout and write music together because we enjoyed each other’s company. And out came all of these songs that we were really proud of, so we shared the music with our friends and family, and people kept telling us, like, “okay, so you’re a band then.” And we were like, “Hmm, maybe we are a band?” It was something that just kind of fell into place.
Was music something that you were always interested in?
PLD: Oh yeah. Forever. If you go through my family photo albums you can see pictures of me singing as a kid, pretending to hold a microphone. I’ve always enjoyed singing. I was in choir in both elementary school and high school, and in middle school I joined the orchestra. Music was always just something that I loved to do.
So let’s talk about the album you just released, and how beautiful it is. Can you tell me anything about the lyric writing process? When do you usually feel inspired to write?
PLD: It varies. Sometimes if I’m just going through something, personally, and I’ll write. But it’s not always lyric writing, it could just be writing in a journal, just getting my feelings out of my system. It’s helpful. Sometimes in hindsight, I’ll think, “Oh, it’s silly that I felt that way,” but I like remembering exactly how I was feeling during a certain emotion, because then other people can connect with it. And for this record in particularly, Dwight and I are really close, and I just feel really comfortable talking with him. We tell each other almost everything. And I was going through some personal shit while we were writing the record, and he has this red couch in his studio (he’s a producer), and I would come in and sit down, and just start a conversation. Something personal always came out of it, and more often than not, the song that we made that day came out of our conversation. It was really therapeutic for me.
That’s great. So I relate to a lot of the songs on the album. Many of them are about new beginnings, and distancing yourself from your home life, and it’s a bittersweet feeling that I think you’ve really captured.
PLD: Thank you. It’s funny, because I didn’t just sit down before making the record and say, “I want it to sound like this,” or, “I want it to say this,” it just kind of happened that all of the topics on the album are really cohesive. And it’s a snapshot – what it is. It’s a snapshot of a period of someone’s life. It is about new beginnings, and knowing that regardless of where you came from, if you want to break the mold or make a change, you can do that.
Some of the other songs, like “With Your Two Hands” and “The Heart It Beats The Thunder Rolls,” were really bad-ass sounding. Would you consider that a reflection of your own bad-assery?
PLD: YES. [Laughs] I have definitely changed a lot in the last five years of my life. I have more confidence than I used to, because I used to care what people think, and I still do, to some extent, but I’ve learned how to not make decisions based on what other people want. I focus on what I need to make myself better, or happier, or more capable.
I really like the one line from “Loyal Friend and Thoughtful Lover” where you sing about not taking shit from any man.
PLD: When we play that song live, all the women in the crowd start clapping, and Dwight will just like roll his eyes. Yeah! Woman-power!
Go women! And I listened to your Spotify track-by-track album commentary. I found it really interesting. I wish more bands would do that.
PLD: Yeah, I wish more bands would do that too. I’m a huge music fan, and I love hearing about the little details and stuff that you wouldn’t normally get to be in the room to hear. One of my favorite things is a really old-school Death Cab For Cutie DVD, and I love seeing the behind-the-scenes footage of them on the road, or in the studio. It is really interesting
So your band is pretty active on social media. How important would you say it is in staying connected with your fans?
PLD: I think there are pros and cons to it. I love when people post pics from a live show, or pictures of us with them, and I’ll give them a shout out or maybe retweet them. On the last tour I was on Ben Gibbard (vocalist of Death Cab For Cutie) tweeted me back, and I literally freaked out. So I know what it feels like, and I think it’s cool to connect with people. But there’s a time and a place. I will just touch on this – I think that the live music culture has changed in a negative way, at least in the United States. People like to be on their phones, and it’s become less about living in the moment, and feeling inspired by the music that is happening right in front of your face.
I agree completely. My favorite thing to do is to go to open mic nights. It’s just local performers, putting their hearts on stage. There’s nothing like live entertainment.
PLD: Yeah, and if someone isn’t interested in what’s happening on stage, then they can go to the back of the room, or go outside and have a cigarette, you don’t have to watch. Because if you’re in the room, and close the stage, then you do have a sense of responsibility to the performer and the people trying to listen. Like you said, people are putting their heart on the stage, it’s like if you were to go up and read your diary, because that’s actually what I’m doing. It’s difficult, especially for an opening band like us. I would like to be a part of the movement to change that. I have no problem, getting up on the mic and telling someone to shut the fuck up while I’m on stage.
One time actually, I forget where we were, but it was a really tiny venue, and the stage was like a foot off the ground. Someone was literally leaning on the stage, staring at their phone, and Dwight kept looking over at me. After the fourth song, he just kicked the phone out of this guy’s hand and was like, “Alright, next song.” It was kind of awesome.
Oh my gosh. That’s so great. So you recently got off tour with Barenaked Ladies, and you’re going to go back on the road in October?
PLD: Yes. We’ll be opening with this guy named Bernhoft, he’s really cool, and everything he has on YouTube is awesome, so I’m really looking forward to it. We’ll be all over the U.S. and Canada as well.
Nice. What would you say are the best and worst things about touring?
PLD: Best thing about touring, hands down is being on the stage, when you’re actually doing, what you came to do. And if I’m being honest, pretty much, everything else, sucks. It really does. A lot of it is just really boring. Also, it’s hard to keep a routine. I need to exercise and eat healthy to feel happy and healthy. But Dwight and I made a deal that we will always work hard to look for local places that have fresh foods. I really hope that we’ll get a bus soon, because then I’ll bring my bike so I can just ride around and explore the towns that we visit.
That’s a really great idea. So I have a question, and it’s kind of a weird question, but I’m really curious. You constantly meet a lot of new fans, do any of them assume that you and Dwight are dating?
PLD: Oh all the time. And he’s significantly older than I am.
Isn’t he married?
PLD: Yes. Dwight is married and has two kids, and his family is like my second family. And I am engaged, and my fiancé is really close with Dwight’s wife. But yeah, people ask us that all the time. I think some people really want that love story of a guy and girl who write songs together. But we’re total BFFs.
My last question is, what are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?
PLD: I am looking forward to being back on the road, and I’m looking forward to all the opportunities that are coming my way. I never thought that’d I’d get to be on a major label [RCA Records], so I’m excited to see what unfolds, even though I have no idea what is going to happen. You know what I’m most excited for? The second album.