Michael Green Interviews.... Patrick Sporrer
Originally posted on July 3rd 2020 here is a Q & A with singer-songwriter Patrick Sporrer. He talked about his experiences in music.
Where did it all start for you getting into music?
I had always loved music ever since I was young and was always singing around the house, in the shower, in the car, etc. as I was growing up, but it wasn't until I was 16 and had this unceasing urge within me to go and buy one of those cheap First Act guitars from Walmart and begin learning to play guitar that I started to wholeheartedly pursue the idea of being a musician. I still remember the day I bought that cheap acoustic guitar and brought it home and first began plucking terrible sounds (haha) from the instrument and how incredibly mesmerized I was by the absolute fun of the act of playing - from that moment on, I was hooked and practiced for hours each day, eventually leading me into songwriting which led me to where I am now. Who are your influences? My main influences are the bands and artists that inspired me to fall in love with music in general and in regards to wanting to be a musician/songwriter. The Goo Goo Dolls were the first artist/band that made me fall in love with music when I was around 5 years old (in 1996) - I remember hearing "Name" on the radio and it was the first song that made me feel that deep internal love for music. Avril Lavigne played a monumental role in influencing my love for music as well as, at age 11, "Complicated" finally cemented the desire that The Goo Goo Dolls instilled in me of wanting to be a musician. Both of these artists played, and still play, a huge role in affecting my own personal style of songwriting as I love the heartfelt, honest, and emotional aspects of their songwriting. Other artists that have influenced my songwriting and artistry are Sara Bareilles, Evanescence, City & Colour, Colbie Caillat, Michelle Branch, Paramore, and 30 Seconds to Mars. With songwriting where do you tend to get your inspiration from e.g how do you start your songs & what's your process? My songs almost always start from an intense emotion, that arises from a situation, memory, or experience, that consumes me at any given moment during the day - I then go straight to a notebook and pen (my favorite and preferred writing method) or my phone to write out the lyrics that come to me from whatever emotion I'm feeling in the moment. Usually I'll start with a good song title that comes to me and sums up the emotion I'm feeling in the best way and I'll keep that song title, and, hence, overall theme of the song, in my head as I write out the lyrics to the song, usually starting with the first verse then progressing to the first chorus, then the second verse, etc. The entire time I am writing down the lyrics, I can already hear the melody that will accompany the lyrics in my head as the lyrics' phrasing, cadence, syllable placement, and overall prosody informs the melody for me. I find this is the best way for me to write as when I write the lyrics first they naturally inform the melody of the song and I don't feel confined to a pre-written melody where I have to write "boxed-in" lyrics to fit the melodic structure of the song. After I have the lyrics finished, and therefore the general melody structure mostly finished as well, I'll sit down with my guitar or at my piano and begin constructing chord progressions around the lyrics and melody, just playing around and "doodling" with different chordal ideas and "riffs" until I come up with something that I feel fits the tone of the lyrics, melody, and overall emotional theme of the song.
Patrick's original song called 'My Destiny'
How important do you feel it is to listen to current music as well as music from the past?
I think it's important to stay informed on current popular trends in music as there's always viable new production techniques, songwriting elements and strategies, and beautiful melodies in popular music that could inspire new directions for you to take your music in - there's always something valuable that can be analysed and gleaned from successful songs.
That said, I think the majority of the best music being made today is music not featured prominently on (mainstream) radio, such as within the genres of metalcore, post-hardcore, indie singer-songwriters, progressive rock/metal, etc., and this type of music is just as good as music from the past decades and should be sought out and enjoyed simply for its own fantastic merit.
Do you feel it is important to watch other acts perform and to watch other live music?
Yes - watching live shows gives you tips and insights on how to improve your own live show and performances. Going to concerts is also incredibly inspiring and such a different way to experience music than the "static" recording that you listen to when sitting at home or in the car - attending a live show can really inspire you and lift you out of a musical/songwriting rut and make you fall in love with the process of being a musician again when you've become a bit jaded with everything that being a musician entails.
Finally what tips do you have for anyone starting out when it comes to songwriting & performing?
The best advice I have for songwriting is to write directly from your heart, as cliché as that may sound. When you write your songs with honestly and pour your heart and soul into your songs and don't try to "front" or "put on airs" in your music, your songs will resonate much better with audiences and fans and will be more well-written songs that will stand the test of time more than if you write with the thought of "chasing popular trends" in the back of your mind. Writing in this way will also establish your own personal songwriting style because no one else in the world experiences things, feels, and thinks the same way you do, so your own idiosyncrasies will make your music stand out from what everyone else is doing.
For performing, I would say the best thing to do is to "lose yourself" in the music, as Eminem says, haha. By this, I mean to forget that the audience is even there and to play, sing, and perform your music as if you were in your own living room just enjoying the sheer excitement of playing your music. The audience is there to watch, listen to, experience, and enjoy your music and performance on its own; you don't necessarily need to perform "to" the audience or try to "impress" them - just do your thing and they will enjoy watching you do your thing and you will perform better just being immersed in the music and not worrying about the audience so much. Of course, this doesn't mean you can't look out at the audience or talk to them between songs/sets, but don't get so caught up in "always" having to perform "to" the audience that it stresses you out and you lose the excitement, fun, and cathartic freedom of performing live.
To find out more about Patrick go to
Official Website - www.patricksporrermusic.com
Instagram - www.instagram.com/patricksporrer
YouTube - www.youtube.com/user/PatSporrerMusic77
Are you looking to improve your songwriting or live performance skills? Click Here to find out about my coaching sessions.
CLICK HERE to get your free copy of my Ebook called '5 Steps To Help Performers Overcome Stage Fright & Nerves & Know What To Say In Between Songs'