California-located seasoned singer, songwriter, guitarist, and socio-politically attuned artist Patrick Ames is still going strong over several decades in the music and writing realms.
There is much fodder, especially these days, for his astute protest songs and pointedly cultural/political messages. While this makes for too much bad news for the country/world, it does help to drive Ames’ output.
Blunt outrage is balanced with perceptive views about the dire situations the US is in, whether through the undermining of democracy by the nefarious Trump and his extremist followers, or the equally destructive virus-driven pandemic.
Ames has kindly taken part in our ongoing Protest Interview series, because as the disgraceful events of January 6th have shown, and as President-elect Joe Biden has said, democracy is a fragile thing – and it’s something that needs to be promoted and protected at all cost.
Hello! Please introduce yourself/yourselves and give a description of your sound/musical vision.
Patrick Ames, songwriter; also a tech book editor. I live in a small vineyard in California around the Bay Area. Music is my art. I practice it and create in this musical space. It’s where I go and where I retreat. I like to write music. They are like funky poems with a phat beat.
What is/are the main personal, national, and/or international issue(s) concerning you the most these days?
I write songs about current events, always have, and this year appears to have fostered several songs of protest from me. Just this year I wrote and recorded “Bang, Bang, Bang” (gun control), “Want to Believe” (tech adoration), Covid workers in “Essential Workers,” and Covid again in “Second Wave,” and remastered Reawakened 2020 and released it. So man, I think they’re tired of my preacher rock soap box.
What song, video, or lyrics quote of yours best represents your current viewpoint on this/these important topic(s)?
I like the newish “Second Wave,” because it’s about the lies and rumors that is driving the virus deaths.
What’s your favorite song, video, or lyrics quote by another act or artist that best exemplifies, or at least partly relates to, your current viewpoint?
It changes a lot. Sometimes daily. During the Pandemic, I’ve been walking a lot to get out of the house, and listening to all sorts of music.
However, when I feel blue because of the world and things, I usually go back into funky, bluesy, make me want to swing my butt around stuff. Yesterday, when I took the walk, it was War. And it was “Slippin’ Into Darkness:”
What other forms of protest, besides through your music, are you involved with to get your message across?
I think right now the best thing that everybody can do is to take care of one another. Outlast the bad stuff, outlast the things that are thrown at us (individually and large-groups) and help everyone survive. That means protesting with your dollar, protesting with volunteering, or protesting by supporting each other even if that’s as a virtual presence. So I try to put whatever money, time, effort, etc. into helping as many people as possible.
It’s easy to judge and criticize others, especially in these unsettling times of overt intolerance, ignorance, and insults, but the fact remains that we need to work together to ensure that positive change occurs. Name an action to take, or a campaign/charity that would be worthwhile to contribute to, for your cause.
I like 4Ocean right now. They help clean the beaches of the world, combing up all the trash and plastic, and hauling it away. Then they make things out of the plastic, cool t-shirts, and more. https://www.4ocean.com
What gives you hope for the future?
New music. I love the amount of music we, as a world, keep generating. No matter the protest, no matter the actions that bring about the protest. There is always music… Isn’t that odd?
Where can we purchase/stream your music and find out more about you?
A few places to find my music is https://patrickames.com/, on Twitter @patrickames, on Bandcamp at https://patrickames.bandcamp.com, and search for my name on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, and everywhere else. Rant on brothers and sisters.