Brought up on an intriguing diet of folk music and, funnily enough, in the white suburbs of Ithaca, New York, reggae – developed an insatiable appetite for music and rhythm from the very start. When he turned 13, he traded in his saxophone for a PA and a mic, becoming lead singer of his first punk band, Distorted View. Three years of basements, garages, coffee houses, and his first manager (“It was fucking fun. We had a manager who was like 17 and had a car; he would take us to shows. He had a car that had no foot floor, it was just the street running by underneath it”), and eventually Distorted View made a turn for goth.
Unhappy with this musical direction, Pat instead taped a pair of drum sticks to his hands and picked up a white Pearl Export drum kit for an onslaught of basement punk shows with his second band, The Five Deadly Diseases (each of the five members named after a disease – Chris Syphilis, for example). A few years and an art school education later, Pat was recording for his next band, Les Savy Fav and found himself a good friend in their sound engineer, the indie/punk home-studio recording guru James Murphy.
Raised in the equally sheltered streets of Princeton Junction, New Jersey, James Murphy had garnered himself a reputation as a live and studio engineer (“recording bands on my 4-track for sandwiches”) after a lifetime of starring in various bands himself. Subsequent to his first band at the age of 12, The Mystery Meats, the band names flew in over the years – The Extremes, ? (“We were just a question mark for a while, pre-Prince, just the symbol, I mean, not pre-Prince existence, but pre-Prince being the symbol. And pre-!!!”), Pony, Speedking – but James always found time to balance producing, recording, engineering and performing. Humble but foretelling beginnings for someone that, a decade later, is now heralded as a hugely important figure in electronic music; the “disco infiltrator” that’s considered largely responsible for fusing dance and punk music. As the leading man and lyricist of his musical project LCD Soundsystem, the quintet has celebrated two Grammy nominations (for their self-titled debut LP LCD Soundsystem and the classic Daft Punk Is Playing at My House) and received fantastic critical acclaim for their second album released earlier this year, Sound of Silver.
Throughout it all, his best mate Pat Mahoney keeps time on drums and keeps his company on tour for LCD Soundsystem, and the two now have the divine opportunity to explore the globe with the band’s relentless schedule. But flashing back to the fateful day Pat first came into James’ studio, precisely at the point that dissatisfaction with noise bands and indie rock had reached a halting climax for both of them, their introduction to each other and to dance music was an ecstatic one.