There are metal legends from the UK and the US. Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, and Iron Maiden stand out among many others. But who are Canada’s? We have always had a large metal scene in the underground of Hamilton, London, and Toronto. But who are our metal gods?
I’ve had the pleasure of not only hanging out with but also playing in a band with Pat Mulock, who I think is a great candidate for a Canadian metal legend. Mulock is the ex-lead vocalist of Eidolon and current vocalist of Phear. I sat down with him to pick his brain on the music industry, metal’s place in the scene, and what it’s like to be a notable metal singer.
The Medium: What do you think of the local metal/music scene?
Pat Mulock: Hamilton isn’t bad—it’s actually pretty good for metal. The scene is rising there. You really have to look for it in Toronto these days, but it is growing. Funnily enough, I’ve noticed more and more women are coming to metal shows, which means more men show up. Montreal, which obviously isn’t really local but is worth mentioning, has a fantastic metal scene—always has.
TM: What are your thoughts on the music industry?
PM: The industry has been in disarray—tech moves faster than the business. I mean, this shouldn’t be news to anyone, and yeah, the tech is fantastic for sure, but how do you protect the artist in this day and age? It’s very tough to make money when recording, playing, or doing anything in music, to be honest. That’s why I say have fun and write from the heart. Record labels don’t have the money they had in the past, so it’s hard to invest in new talent, but I think independents have figured it out.
TM: Where do you think heavy metal fits into that?
PM: Well, I think having a Nickelback and Beyoncé on your label will help you pay for your Opeth, if you get what I mean.
TM: What about metal’s place in the wider music world?
PM: Well, I think metal is very underground and I’ve noticed that the crowd is changing. In Toronto, I’ve noticed that the bulk of people going to concerts are gamer-computer-type guys showing up that I’ve never seen before. It used to be all bikers, and now it seems to be all gamers. I think that gamers want their own music; it has to be different from pop, so they’re embracing music outside of the norm. I think that Guitar Hero introduced many gamers to music.
TM: What was your favorite Eidolon moment?
PM: The last show we played was at a place called the Medley in Montreal. It was sold out. We were playing with Iced Earth, Evergrey, and Children of Bodom. We just totally nailed it. It was the last Eidolon show, and it was just perfect.
TM: Let’s talk about your current band.
PM: Well, Phear is gearing up for an album release by the end of February. It’ll be up on iTunes. We’re also starting our live prep; we want to showcase our album release and try to record a live DVD of the event. You know how our shows are going to be—lasers everywhere. If you experience seizures, please close your eyes.
TM: What’s the best advice you can give to an aspiring musician?
PM: Well, because of the state of the music industry, I’d say write from the heart; don’t sit there trying to write a hit. Write songs that mean something.
TM: What do you think is the most effective way to market your music?
PM: Seriously, play live as often as you can. Make sure you interact with your fans, generate Facebook likes, and just use all the social media available to you.
TM: What advice can you give on touring to a band that’s never done it before?
PM: Watch your habits, don’t blow all your cash, lock your van, and be nice to everyone. You never know whom you’re going to meet.
TM: Do you feel that musicians have a responsibility as role models?
PM: Like anything else, there are good and bad role models. I know of musicians who volunteer to play gigs for free, give to charities, and are overall good people. I’m a father; therefore I’m a role model to my daughter. However, I believe that just because you are a rock star doesn’t mean you need to be “badass”. Don’t let the job define what you do. Being a role model is all about the person you are—not the job you do.
TM: Who are your biggest influences?
PM: As a drummer, it’s obviously Neil Peart. Although Peter Criss and Roger Taylor are big influences on me, too, I think. As a vocalist: Rob Halford, Freddie Mercury, Bruce Dickinson, Dennis D’Young, and Ozzy Osbourne.
TM: Any closing thoughts before we finish here?
PM: Support local talent. Please go see live bands and appreciate them. They want to have fun with you and fun translates. Find music that inspires and moves you and be open-minded to all music. There’s no such thing as “right” or “wrong” music—I listen to Duran Duran when I clean my house because it makes me dance!