This is my interview with Joe Ragosta of Patent Pending on July 11th, 2012 at the Cleveland, OH stop of Warped Tour 2012. Here are links to their videos for “Douchebag:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XHdybfV5Cw and “I Already Know:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EKfmhxnsls
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First off, how are you?
I’m great! Are you enjoying the tour?
Me: I am, I’ve been down here in press all day though.
Good. It’s gorgeous here. It is and you have a tournament ready to begin to play pinball.
Me: Exactly. Someone did just set the Batman high score though.
Dammit, I’ll have to give it a shot. The new one comes out next Friday and I don’t know when I’ll be able to see it but I’m still super excited.
Are you enjoying Warped so far?
Dude every year is a blast. Every day, it’s like punk rock Christmas. I was such a fan of the tour before I was on it and now this is our seventh year where we get to play and I just love it more than anything.
When you prepare to go on tour, what is the one non-instrument item that you can’t leave without?
Well I’ll run in and out of my house for a million different things. When the band comes to my house, they know that, and it’s not an offensive thing, but no matter when they say we’re leaving and no matter how much they may lie to me and say ‘we need to leave at 10’ when we really need to leave at 3 in the afternoon, I will not be ready until 4. It’s only because I’ll get in the van and say ‘I’m ready,’ then as soon as we pull out, ‘wait go back, I forgot my wallet,’ or ‘go back, I forgot my Ritalin.’ I need my pills because I have really bad A.D.D. So I’d say Ritalin is the most important thing I take for sure. I have such chronic A.D.D. Other than medicine, my iPad is the most important thing I take because that links me to the real world. Once I watch Workaholics before bed, I’ll feel like a human being again.
Me: But with the DirecTV deal, you may have just lost Comedy Central.
Are you serious?
Me: With this new deal all channels under the Viacom name are being taken off. No MTV, no Nickelodeon.
Are you joking?
Me: Sadly, I’m not.
How long will that last?
Me: I don’t know. I hate to be the bearer of bad news.
This won’t end well for them. Workaholics is on Netflix but only season one is. I actually bought season three on my iPad to be able to watch it on this tour. That was a very good investment. I watched the episode where Homegirl died last night. It was amazing. But I’m really ready for Apple TV, I don’t know if you’ve seen this but they are coming out with a full TV set. I know this has nothing to do with music or Warped Tour but they’re revolutionizing cable because they will be selling people individual channels for around $2 a month. Say you only watch MTV, Comedy Central, and HBO, you only have to buy those channels. So that’s $6 compared to around $50. It’ll be sick. I can’t wait.
What’s your must have food on tour?
I love Boca burgers. I love them and I’m not even a vegetarian at all. But I love them and I’ll put a little bit of the Taco Bell sauce. Dude everywhere except for Long Island, they sell in the Walmarts this Chipotle Taco Bell sauce. It’s so f**ked up, it’s insanely good. Oh my god it’s so good. I love that and Atkins Morning Shakes, they’re really delicious.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I’m a very open person. I love New Kids On The Block. I love Kristen Bell movies, see to me that’s not even guilty. (Laughs) Yeah I saw When In Rome and it’s about magic. Alright I saw previews for that movie for about a year and I said ‘alright, I’m definitely going to see that movie.’ So I missed it because we were on tour. Then it was OnDemand when we were doing a merch count for like six hours so we turned it on and turns out, it’s about magic. Who the f**k saw that coming. How was that okay? It took us way longer to do the merch count because we were so invested in that movie. Awesome movie. Guilty pleasure. Kristen Bell. I love teen angst movies. My favorite show in the whole world is The OC. If that’s guilty then I guess I’m guilty as s**t because that is my favorite. A lot of the things and ideas for our songs come from television shows like The OC because there is very little drama in my life. I live a very blessed life. I live in the suburbs, my parents are awesome, I lived there until I recently moved out with my fiancé to get married, I’m in a band on Warped Tour, things are f**king awesome. I sell tents for a living for bands on Warped Tour. I don’t have a lot of drama so I watch The OC ‘Damn, Summer slept with Seth again.’
Who have you enjoyed seeing play and are there any that you haven’t and still want to see?
Dude every time that New Found Glory plays, my heart grows. They’re just so fricken’ good every single day. They might be the best band I’ve ever seen in my life. They’re so good and have been around for so long and played so many shows. You watch them and you’re like f**k, these guys get it. It’s cool to be able to see bands like them and Yellowcard. I used to pay to go to signings at record stores to meet both Yellowcard and New Found Glory so to now be in the same parking lots playing the same crowds is an unbelievable and amazing thing. All Time Low, they used to open for us when we were little kids. They played in front of 15,000 people the other day in Chicago. This tour is just amazing in every single way and it brings small bands and big bands together to give guys like us a shot. To watch bands like Yellowcard, New Found Glory, All Time Low, Streetlight Manifesto, there are just so many good bands.
Me: But you guys have been putting on quite the show yourselves.
Well that’s because we’re out of our minds. That’s the thing. If you watch our band, you’ll see that a lot of stuff was learned in Warped Tour parking lots when I was a little kid. Actually, I got to see Goldfinger play one year and he walked on top of the crowd and I thought that was the coolest thing I had seen in my life. And now we walk on people’s crowds.
Me: Actually the first time I saw you guys was at your last show here in Cleveland with Bowling For Soup. It was fantastic.
Man, that s**t was nuts. We actually posted a live video of that show.
Me: Of “Shake Weights & Moving Crates”
Yeah, that show to me was just the best. Other than Warped Tour, that was the perfect show, just sweaty and disgusting mayhem. It was like that three days ago when I lost my voice on stage in Chicago and I lost it about the third song in of our six songs and it didn’t matter because people were going out of their minds the whole time and it was just so much fun. It was a great, great time. But that Peabody’s show was a good time.
Do you have a favorite song to perform live?
I have three and we only play six right now. The song “Douchebag,” it’s just so funny to see people’s faces because the verses are somewhat quiet and you can’t really hear what I’m saying because sound guys toy with the volume but with that song people are like ‘no way’ and I’m like ‘yeah, I wrote that. Nice.’ So that’s a fun one to do. We also do “Anti-Everything” and we started doing this Justin Bieber-like dance to it with full choreography. So halfway through, our guitar player has a solo and they wheel him in on a drum case from the back so it looks like he’s floating on the crowd. That’s really fun. The last one is “Shake Weights & Moving Crates” and I start playing with a Shake Weight on stage. It’s disgusting.
Corey, their merch guy, comes by
Corey: Tell them about your cat dream.
Okay so, I had this cat dream. The whole dream there was this cat just eyeing me up and I was like ‘f**k you cat’ and then this cat jumped at me and got on my face so I threw him off. When I woke up I realized I had just thrown my pillow across the van and it was weird.
If you could give yourself advice 5 years ago, what would you say?
Just do what you want to do. Don’t try and make your band something that it’s not. Just make your band something you enjoy seeing on stage and enjoy doing. I’d tell myself that it won’t happen overnight and it’s going to be okay and that I don’t have to eat Nutella and Pizza every day. I know that sounds insane and people have real addictions to alcohol, which is a problem, and meth and coke which are much more serious addictions but I had a seriously dangerous addiction to Nutella. I’ve almost lost fifty pounds now but it was only because I stopped eating Nutella and pizza every single day. I’d tell myself to stop and life would be easier (laughs).
Me: Did you eat the Nutella on the pizza or separate.
Separate but usually in the same meal. I would eat pizza six days a week. I’d tell myself that fewer times a week is okay.
It’s Karaoke Night, what’s your song?
Lisa Loeb “Stay” every single time unless our drummer is there then it’s Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow “Picture.” No questions asked. The whole band was in Kansas one time and I guess they don’t take kindly to homosexuals. Obviously we aren’t homosexual but we aren’t homophobic, we’re all just people and that’s all, that’s how we were raised and that’s what we believe and in Kansas they do not believe the same thing and we did Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow and this whole bar full of people were like ‘queers! Get outta’ here!’ So I ended up giving this whole political speech in a karaoke bar like ‘it’s 2012, grow up.’ (Laughs) Then these guys in hunting hats wanted to fight us. It was crazy.
How was the Billboard Award Show?
It was the best. It was so fricken’ cool. It was so insane.
Me: I was so happy to see you guys win.
Dude, me too. Seriously, one for the good guys. Justin Bieber was there and Mike Tyson was there. I almost ran over Katy Perry in the parking lot when we turned a corner. We got a picture with Whoopi Goldberg, Gavin Degraw photobombed us. Carrie Underwood did an interview about us and said ‘y‘all did fantastic.’ It was just so fricken’ cool. If you watch the video of us playing on YouTube, you can see a part halfway through the video where I have my performance face on like I’m in the zone and then I just have the biggest smile because I looked around to realize I was in an arena and I saw Carly Rae Jepsen freak out during our song. My face at that moment really expresses what it was like for us. It was nuts.
What concert have you been to that has changed your life?
Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish on the Crouching Finger, Hidden Fish Tour. Zebrahead opened, RX Bandits were one of the five. I was so little and when John Feldman from Goldfinger walked on the crowd, it was the coolest thing I ever saw. Darren, their drummer, then put a Twinkie in his butt and then they called someone on stage and he ate it. They still do that every single show and to me it just broke the rules of music. I saw so many bands play and they just made music anything. To me, that kind of broke all of the rules. That changed my life forever. More recently, the first, second, and tenth time I saw Andrew W.K. because he is just on this whole other level. He embodies everything that I believe music is. It’s a community, there are no egos, none of that ‘this person wrote this song so he’s better than you.’ It’s more ‘this song is now out there, now we share it.’ That’s always been such a cool thing to me.
What are your plans for the future?
We are finishing our Warped dates, then we are jumping on tour with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus for a quick run, then I’m getting married, sick, then I’m going on vacation, nice, then we’re going on tour in the U.K. with Bowling For Soup and we’re releasing a split CD with them and The Dollyrots. It’s going to be cool, they’re covering our songs and we’re covering their songs along with some originals and some duets on there. After all of that, we come back for an American tour in November through December.