It's Happy Hour. The San Francisco 5 piece Cocktails have created their freshest concoction to date made up of the following rock and roll ingredients: a thick slide of guardant gumptious guitars, a healthy shake of limitless lissom lyrics and a whole lot of cool to top it all off. How's that sound to the pretentious mixologist? Great? Yeah, thought so. We caught up with front-man Pat to talk about our favourite cocktails.
3rd: Which real life cocktails best describe the band?
Cocktails: I think of us as more like a cooler full of cheap brews. Or maybe Capri Suns? But I'll take a shot at describing each band member in drink form for my own enjoyment: Our drummer Phil is a neat Irish Whiskey, enjoyed quietly. Guitar man Joel is a Strawberry Italian soda with lime, extra syrup, hold the booze. B-Vox and guitar girl Lauren is a true Salty Dog and Ryan on bass is chocolate milkshake; 2 straws, both for him. I'm Kentucky bourbon; pickle back.
3rd: A wonderfully variable concoction. You recorded the album 'Adult Life' with another wonderful copncoction; Rob Good from Warm Soda. How was it? Does Warm Soda mix well with Cocktails, we could say?
Cocktails: Rob's our boy. He's no longer involved with Warm Soda but he was around the time we met him. We were just comfortable taking our time recording in this make-shift studio in a warehouse. Rob is always genuinely excited to work with us which makes it a lot of fun, and we were kind of figuring out some songs as we went, so he was helping us decide what to track. Why should people buy our new album? It's got a great cover, for starters. There's 30 plus minutes of total hits.
3rd: Cocktails is signed on Father/Daughter Records. Is signing to a such a label a way to make sure you'll make the record you want with someone who genuinely likes your music?
Cocktails: If major labels had come knocking, I'm sure we would've had no problem sacrificing any creative self-righteousness to become some huge band. The Killers, Foo Fighters...Cocktails! I mean, our tunes are basically already primed for modern rock radio; we'd just need some crazy glossy production and probably a few studio musicians to make everything sound like it wasn't played by humans. Sign us up.
[Third Outing detect sarcasm...]
For real though, I was super grateful that Jessi at Father/Daughter was down to work with us. I'm happy just to have made a record. It was fun. We're talking about recording again, hopefully soon. I think if we were like 23 and really going for it and touring a bunch trying to pay our rent doing this, it would probably matter a bit more. But right now, we're kind of able to escape our normal day to day and have this be our outlet. It's mostly just fun for us, so it's not super important to me if other people are on board or not.
Photography by CJ Leclair©
3rd: What's your view on music these days? Are you optimistic about what you hear? What was the one piece of music you can remember which was a life changer?
PC: I guess 'music these days' can mean a lot of different things. Top 40 radio music is just as formulaic and ridiculous as it's always been. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I can appreciate a great pop radio hit. But then so much of it is really really awful, and you wonder how it can be that shit like Imagine Dragons even exists with pretty much ALL music being so easily accessible. My girlfriend had a free SiriusXM trial in her car and so all we listened to was Hip Hop Nation for 3 months straight when were driving around. Songs like 'Bag It Up and Sell It" are huge.
A real life-changer for me was the first Weezer album. I was a small town kid and didn't have access to much cool music. I heard it and then begged my parents for a guitar for Christmas. I wore sweaters and black rimmed glasses for like 5 years straight after hearing it and joined their fanclub. More recently I went through big Gram Parsons phase, which kind of changed my life. Starting the day with a little 'Grievous Angel' and a good coffee is the best thing ever.
3rd: Tony Molina, LVL UP, Speedy Ortiz and many more embody a 90's revival following on from Pavement, Teenage Fanclub, Ride etc. It seems new bands are getting their shoegaze back. Is it a good thing? Or a thing of the past?
Cocktails: I think it's a good thing. I haven't heard LVL UP yet, but Molina's the legend! His practice space is down the hall from ours and I go to his shows when I can; he's always fun to watch because he's such an absolutely nuts shredder. I don't know if people are getting inspired by his thing or what, but there definitely seems to be a growing number of new bands that are hardcore kids trying their hand at pop (and in some cases shoegaze) and they're really great at it. Maybe it's like years and years of growing up listening to super pissed music allows them to unleash some beautiful melodies or something, I don't know. I definitely like it.
3rd: Third Outing has a huge Scottish connection. 'Down & Out' could easily feature on The Pastels last album 'Slow Summit'. We can hear a bit of Belle and Sebastian and Teenage Fanclub on the album, too. Could Cocktails be a scottish band?
Cocktails: Well I personally love all the bands mentioned, so yeah, I'd like to think there's a little influence there. Something about Scots and great pop melodies. A lot of our songs start out as little acoustic ballads and we kind of 'Cheap-Trick' them out a bit later in the process. Jesus and Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins, BMX Bandits, The Vaselines, Camera Obscura; Scotland has churned out some serious legends. Phil and Lauren went to Scotland last year and they had a blast in Glasgow.
3rd: It's been a pleasure talking, Pat. It seems silly to ask the cocktails master this, but tradition is tradition. So finally, what's your desert island drink?
Cocktails: Wow, more drink questions. I'll say a Michelada, or just a Tecate with lime. Keep it simple.