Interview with Patrick Moran (The Bohemian Groove, Lite Mayo Band)

Patrick Moran has been making a name for himself in the Worcester, Massachusetts rock scene and surrounding areas these past years.  Known primarily for playing local gigs at venues like the Raven Music Hall and Tammany Hall with his group Lite Mayo Band, and previously the Bohemian Groove, Moran has fascinated and entertained audiences with his passionate rock style rooted in all things bluesy from B.B. King to Black Sabbath.  When he’s not rocking out covers of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, he’s playing and composing his own music with Lite Mayo Band, who are working on their debut album.

Lite Mayo Band on Facebook.

Q: How did you first become interested in music?

I got an acoustic guitar when I was 10.  I didn’t get into it until I was 12 or 13. I knew some kids were playing in my neighborhood.  Also, my dad was an art teacher and an artist back in the 60s.  My dad just kind of fostered a love for the arts in general.  He also turned me onto guys like (Jimi) Hendrix and the music of the 60s.

I took more formal lessons when I was 13 or so, and I learned from an old southern blues player who worked at a small music shop, James Garner.  He really gave me an education in old school blues and the many styles and forms the music can go.  He showed me a lot.

Q: How did you become involved in the Worcester scene and what do you think of the scene?

I really got into the scene when I was playing with my previous band, the Bohemian Groove.  I wasn’t really sure that blues-rock would catch on, but I was proven wrong.  A lot of younger fans really connected with the music as well as the older crowd.  I think it gave the older crowd a sense of hope that there are younger players carrying on the style.  I feel like it was refreshing to the older crowd. I feel like to the younger crowd it’s cool since no one around me is really in that style.

Q: How does Lite Mayo Band compare to your previous group, the Bohemian Groove?

I feel that the Bohemian Groove really gave me a chance to write my own music and get out onto the music scene.  Playing in the Bohemian Groove really got me noticed as a serious musician, even though the players I was with weren’t really what I was looking for.  In Lite Mayo Band I’m using some of the same songs.  We are not a power trio; we are a 5 piece band: drums, bass, guitar and vocals, as well as keys.  So I have to think a lot differently. This band is more serious and more experienced players.  Also, I had played with all of the guys before so we all had a friendship.  That’s key to a band.

Q: What is the biggest highlight of your musical career, and where do you see yourself in the future?

I think with my last band, the Bohemian Groove, it really connected with certain people.  I got to make friends with… as well have two articles in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette… the author and his friend (who) came all the way from their colleges to see us play on a Wednesday night.  That meant so much that someone would travel an hour or so away.  It was very cool.

Also, getting to open for Eric Tessmer Band and becoming friends with (Eric Tessmer) was great.  He is one of the best guitarists in Austin.  I’ve looked up to him for his musicianship, and meeting him as a person was great.  He really is a class act on and off the stage.  He sets an example, and through his CDs I learned a ton.  I got into him when I was 15 from an article posted in the Boston Globe.  My dad showed me it, so I logged onto the internet and saw his website with no music or video at that time.  YouTube and Facebook were not invented yet.  I just saw a picture and said to myself, “This guy can play.”  So I just started to email him and as the internet evolved I could see him and  furthermore learn from him.  So this past summer his band came up and we met. We got a kick out of each other.  He’s a killer player.

Another player I have become friends with and open with was (Greg Miller from) Gregg Miller Group.  He is from the Boston area and I saw him over the internet when I was 19.  I went out to see him and we have become very close friends. He is a class act and I’m also learning from him, a great player.

Hopefully (I will) just keep on making cool music.  I would love to open for more people.

Q: How much do personal ideals, such as political opinions or personal philosophy, influence the music you make? Do you consider yourself a musician with a message?

I try to write from my own personal experience. I have certain songs that I’ve pinpointed a certain time or experience in my life and try to capture as best I can in a song lyric or guitar riff.  I try to stay away from politics.  I do take an interest in it, but I don’t want to alienate a certain audience or person that might be at that particular show. I try to give a message as best I can of hope or love, or not to forget certain people or where you come from.

Q: Your style of rock music is strongly rooted in the blues-rock of the 1970s. How do you feel modern trends in rock compare to those of the past? Do you find more of a personal connection to more traditional rock styles? If so, why?  

I love the style of the blues-rock.  All the great bands or guitarists have been blues-influenced at one time or another.  I feel like the blues-rock style connects with an audience a lot more.  I feel like certain players or bands have a vibe that people will catch on.  Today, I feel like rock music has become mass produced and you can’t tell one band from the other on radio.  They all sound bland and the same.  I’m into making my own music that has it’s own vibe and sound while still mixing in covers.  Original music, I feel, with a bluesier edge connects.  Everybody can feel the blues no matter what shape the blues might take.

Q: Who are some other local groups who you respect, or look up to, or are a fan of? Why?

Well, locally from Mass would be Gregg Miller Group, Starr Faithfull, Tester and Sonic Titan.  All different styles: blues-rock, to metal, to rock, to 1970s-style rock.  On a national level: Eric Tessmer, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Wes Jeans.

Q: What would be your advice to musicians trying to break into the Worcester scene?

Play anywhere you can even if you’re not being paid.  It’s all about networking.  Just go out there and do it, and have fun.

(photos: given courtesy of Patrick Moran.)