Q&A With Pat Carter of Rodeo FM

What is your name/band name? Pat Carter of Rodeo FM, Berlin based Americana and alt-country band with an Indie vibe.

Photo Credit: Michael Glossner.

How long have you been writing and performing? With Rodeo FM since 2005, otherwise forever.

When did you first become interested in music? When I was able to raise my ears.

Who are your influences? Too many to mention. In terms of Americana – Giant Sand, Whiskeytown, Gram Parsons, the Rolling Stones but also bands like Black Flag, Dinosaur Jr and Husker Du. And guys like Antonio Gramsci and Karl Marx.

When did you know that you wanted to be an artist and a songwriter? When I was able to pick up a guitar.

Other than your musical influences, who has most influenced your decision to become a singer? I found out myself pretty early on. Life and circumstances made me drift towards music.

How does your early music differ from your most recent music? I started out in the 80s doing pre-Nirvana 80s punk and hardcore along the lines of the bands mentioned above. After Nirvana went through the roof I slowly disconnected from this scene. I had known Giant Sand and they were like a door opener for Alt-country which is were I have been busy ever since.

Tell me about your current project? Rodeo FM has been around for quite a while and played like forever – dingy cellars, art galleries vernissages, weddings, funerals, beer tents and night clubs, jazz festivals, symposiums and demonstrations. We have been filling dancefloors from the South of France to the Russian border. However, only now, with Covid and the third album “upgrade of truth” out in 2020 I have really started promoting the band and reaching out to blogs, radio stations and magazines. It has been a hell of a year and we have won quite substantial praise.

Was it difficult for you to pick a single to release? Actually, in true modern music marketing fashion, we released 4 singles in the run up to the album, all of them complete with video and dedicated promo. It is a single age we live in, so why not take it like that. I mean, the way I listen to music is the same, I hardly ever listen to albums. As for the first single – that was easy. We released “Devil and the riot” shortly after the BLM protests all over the world erupted.

What do you hope listeners take away from listening to the single? The single has been a bit controversial and we got some hostile comments on social media. All I can do is quote Martin Luther King who said something along the lines that a riot is the language of the unheard. And I’d like to add that all social progress has been hard won from the peasant wars in pre-reformation Germany to the Chile in the year 2020. I’d like to advise to check it out yourself: https://youtu.be/SGW1dJJ2gU4

What is your favorite song on the album? Why? Other than the title song I like “write you a letter”. I like to play it live (God knows when that will be possible again) as it is so easy-going and mellow.

Does this album reflect where you are in your life right now? Why or why not? Sure, it does that and it also reflects on where I am in this life in relation to the world and how I see it and the crisis we are in. “upgrade of truth” in a nutshell hints at the fact that people are waking up to the fact that they are being played, that exploitation and inequality have reached levels that are impossible to maintain, not least because all this is happening against the backdrop of climate disaster. Whether people will choose to move forward in a progressive and emancipatory way or whether they will be played again as capitalism morphs into its next phase or whether we will fall into authoritarianism or downright fascism with the Trumps and Johnsons of this world remains to be seen. something will give for the better or the worse…

Do you prefer to release full albums or release albums a single at a time? Why? I quite liked the way we went about upgrade of truth in 2020 with the various singles along the way. it gives you momentum especially when it is not possible to play live.

What did you do during the pandemic when you weren’t able to be doing shows? We would not have been able to do all the videos. apart from that I was able to start two side projects and will release a few songs later this year.

Have you been able to do any shows yet? No. We did some streaming shows but it is not the same.

What will it look like when you get back to your typical performing and touring schedule? Who knows. I guess live shows will be in high demand. people will want to go out. but competition will also be crazy as everybody wants to go on the road again.

Anything else you want to share? Sure, be kind to the people you meet, get organized and resist the man – no matter the disguise he’s in – the greedy landlord, the corrupt local politician privatizing communal services or the asshole boss discriminating you or your colleagues at work. I know this is easier said than done. Keep your eyes open and your wits sharp.