Friday, February 24, 2006

IMing With The Stars: Christopher Ward from Pattern Is Movement

Not a picture of Chris, but interesting nonetheless.

So, a band that we really like around these parts is Philadelphia's Pattern Is Movement, and not just because they are some of the nicer guys around and are extraordinarily organized for a band, which, frankly, makes us sorta hot under the collar. We dig organized bands.

I think that their warped, polyrhythmic, and skittery pop (?) music is the bees knees' (what does that mean?) and I can feel a strong bit of buzz building on the horizon for these fellas. And, man!, are they on the ball!

Our intrepid reporter, Jon Polk, is on the case for this edition of IMing With The Stars, as he chats with Pattern Is Movement's friendly drummer, Chris Ward. They start with sandwiches and make references to Billy Madison, which always makes for a good interview. Enjoy!

Jon Polk: are you ready sir?
Jon Polk: are you ready to im with the stars?
Christopher Ward: i thought it was tomorrow
Christopher Ward: but i can do it now!!!!
Jon Polk: i'm keeping you on your toes
Christopher Ward: haha
Jon Polk: i like a surprised interviewee
Jon Polk: so, the pressure's on
Jon Polk: we've got to do this fast and be funny
Christopher Ward: ok
Christopher Ward: let it begin
Jon Polk: what have you eaten today?
Christopher Ward: i had a hoagie from wawa
Jon Polk: oooh.
Christopher Ward: turkey/cheese/lettuce/tomato/oil vinegar/little mayo
Jon Polk: i've got a friend that grew up outside of philly in jersey
Jon Polk: and apparently, the wawa was essentially the fulcrum of his teenage years
Christopher Ward: it is true
Christopher Ward: when giving directions in new jerse
Jon Polk: you know we don't have those here
Christopher Ward: it will always include a wawa
Christopher Ward: for instance: take 295 - get off at exit such and such and then turn left at the wawa
Jon Polk: right, i don't think they get south of Maryland
Jon Polk: i like their sign though
Christopher Ward: yeah -- south of Maryland
Jon Polk: so, was it a 'shorty' hoagie?
Christopher Ward: its all sheetz
Jon Polk: what's their name for a full sized one again?
Christopher Ward: a classic
Jon Polk: nice
Christopher Ward: i had a classic -- i am at the studio today till 9pm - so i needed some food in my belly
Jon Polk: what's up in the studio?
Jon Polk: give me some Pattern Is Movement gossip.
Jon Polk: our 7 and 1/2 readers are dying to know...
Christopher Ward: i work as a part time engineer at a recording studio in new jersey
Christopher Ward: but in pim news
Christopher Ward: we are releasing a 12" vinyl of stowaway on alone records in the spring
Jon Polk: nice
Jon Polk: and you'll be at SXSW, yes?
Christopher Ward: that is correct
Jon Polk: other touring plans?
Christopher Ward: we have been playing a lot on the weekends
Christopher Ward: we just played duke U and wake forest U
Christopher Ward: and we play wesleyan U this friday
Jon Polk: nice
Jon Polk: how'd you find the 'research triangle'
Jon Polk: ?
Christopher Ward: we love it
Christopher Ward: our friends the physics of meaning hosted us for the show in chapel hill
Jon Polk: would you describe it as 'rough and tumble'?
Jon Polk: chapel hill that is
Christopher Ward: a bit
Christopher Ward: the people are great there
Jon Polk: i dig that neck of the woods quite a bit
Jon Polk: so, the shows were good then? any odd experiences their?
Christopher Ward: not really - colleges are always fun to play
Jon Polk: how come?
Christopher Ward: the crowd is either really hot or really cold
Jon Polk: so, a really cold crowd can be enjoyable?
Christopher Ward: either they love music or they walked in on it
Christopher Ward: yeah - a really cold crowd is fun because if you do win one person over -you feel as if you have moved mountains
Christopher Ward: its that underdog mentality
Jon Polk: is there a general approach pim takes when a crowd is particularly unresponsive? Do you do anything differently, or just stay with it in the same way?
Christopher Ward: well - andrew is a gym teacher - so he has a lot of experience with cold crowds
Christopher Ward: he will take his bass into the crowd and sing
Jon Polk: what!!! You've got a gym teacher in your band!
Jon Polk: Fantastic
Jon Polk: what grade?
Christopher Ward: middle school in philadelphia!
Jon Polk: Does he talk about it much? Does he get advice for various activities and what not from you guys?
Jon Polk: How the hell do you get into something like that?
Jon Polk: Actually, that's my next question, give me the run down of everyone's day jobs.
Christopher Ward: oh yeah - he talks about it all the time - he went to school for physical education
Christopher Ward: dan teaches high school
Christopher Ward: corey works at a warehouse
Christopher Ward: i work at a recording studio and also work at rock clubs in philly doing sound
Jon Polk: what club in philly is your favorite?
Jon Polk: it's weird there doesn't seem to be the same consensus in philly as in other towns
Christopher Ward: i love playing the northstar bar
Christopher Ward: as well as the first unitarian church
Christopher Ward: they sound is great and the crowds are wonderful
Jon Polk: gotcha
Jon Polk: we gotta wrap this up soon, so two more questions
Jon Polk: 1)
Jon Polk: what sports/games are middle schoolers in Philly most responsive to?
Christopher Ward: well - andrew explains that physical education in the city is just about getting them to exercise - he also incorporates spelling and so forth - because a lot of these kids cannot read
Christopher Ward: is not just about
Christopher Ward: that is what i meant
Jon Polk: has he said what in particular has been most useful in terms of getting the students engaged?
Christopher Ward: music at times -- he has games/events tied to music
Christopher Ward: like a certain sound on the keyboard equals a certain response
Christopher Ward: for instance, if he plays a trumpet -they have to jump on one foot -- they seem to like doing that,
Jon Polk: when i was in elementary school, we did this weird game/dance in which two people would bang pieces of bamboo together in different rhythms and patterns, and another person would have to jump in and out of the spaces the bamboo clackers were creating. It was pretty awesome, thanks Coach Vidd!
Christopher Ward: that is amazing
Christopher Ward: my memory of gym is
Jon Polk: wish i could remember what it was called
Christopher Ward: we all held on to a big parachute - and had to get a ball in the hole of the parachute
Christopher Ward: teamwork!!!
Jon Polk: oh yeah, I did that too. good stuff
Jon Polk: okay, you ready for the last question?
Christopher Ward: indeed
Jon Polk: what is your favorite shape? Mine's the sphere, so you can't have that one.
Christopher Ward: i have no clue!
Christopher Ward: i want to say the circle - but i dont know why
Jon Polk: circle it is then.
Jon Polk: okay, the last word's yours. Now's your time to soar.
Christopher Ward: Thanks for the interview Jon
Christopher Ward: and
Christopher Ward: Jon, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Jon Polk: that's a wrap

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