August 11, 2013

The Pete Kilpatrick Band: A sound business plan

Thanks to advances in technology, making it in the music business nowadays is easier for everyone – and, just maybe, harder than ever.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 3)

click image to enlarge

The Pete Kilpatrick Band plays to a packed house at The Big Easy recently in Portland.

Photos by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Bandmates Matt Cosby and Pete Kilpatrick lug equipment into the Market Street venue before the show. These days, musicians often struggle to be heard above all the competition.

Related headlines

But they soon found that Universal wasn't a lot of help. It was a time of mega-mergers in the music industry, and the revolving door of employees in charge of artist support was swinging faster by the minute. Record labels were already becoming less and less involved in developing bands -- and then the technological revolution hit.

"When we got that deal, we thought nothing could stop us," said Matt Cosby, 31, bass player in Jeremiah Freed who's now a member of The Pete Kilpatrick Band. "They basically guaranteed (success). But once we recorded the album, I don't think they knew what to do with us."

When Jeremiah Freed went on the road, they took their friend, Kilpatrick, with them. He sometimes served as an opening act for the band, and also became its traveling instrument repairman.

Kilpatrick learned a lot from that experience, and not just how to fix a guitar. He and the guys in Jeremiah Freed were all young, and thought it was "cool" to trash hotel rooms, to try to live like rock stars. After all, the band had a record deal.

But a couple of years later they were without a label, and they broke up.

"I think I learned that you need to be humble, that it's not cool or helpful to burn bridges -- especially when nobody knows who you are yet," said Kilpatrick.

Around 2004, Kilpatrick formed the Pete Kilpatrick Band. It has experienced several lineup changes since then; the current incarnation besides Kilpatrick and Cosby includes Dickhaut on drums, Pete Morse on electric guitar and Tyler Stanley on keyboards. They have been playing together for about three years.

Kilpatrick and the various lineups of the band have put out a total of six albums, the latest being "Heavy Fire" in 2012.

All the current members are in their early 30s, and all have been in other bands in Portland's extremely active music scene. It's not uncommon here to find acts that have signed record deals in the last 10 or 15 years and still have members playing around town. Rustic Overtones, As Fast As, 6Gig, Spose and many others all have this in common.

So bands in Portland tend to be made up of people who met through music.

"I knew Cosby way back, when we all were hanging out and partying together," said Stanley, 35, who has played in the local bands Sly-Chi, Jacob Augustine and Gypsy Tailwind. "I knew Eddie (Dickhaut) from Inside Straight. We all just hung around in the same scene."

And all the members have a unified dream, cemented in their minds from years of working hard at their craft and seeing the music industry change drastically in the meantime.

"All the people I've played with have the same goal -- just make it to the point where you can make a living just playing your own songs. You can probably make a living doing cover songs, but I think most of us want to be doing our own music," said Stanley, who is married, plays in another band, teaches piano and fixes sewing machines to make ends meet.

"I mean, I'd love to be in the Top 40, but I'd be really satisfied if I could pay the bills just doing our own songs."

PRACTICE, GIGS, NETWORKING

The close-knit Portland music community was on display on a Thursday night when The Pete Kilpatrick Band met for its weekly band rehearsal at a rented storage space on Portland's Warren Avenue.

Located in an industrial area behind a Salvation Army store, the space is actually rented by the band Sly-Chi but used by other bands as well. It's in a row of spaces that are used by Rustic Overtones, the Mallett Brothers and several other bands.

(Continued on page 5)

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)