How did the band get started?
I have been writing and performing my own music for several years now around Montreal. Over the past few years I had been searching for a group of musicians to play my music that had the right balance of emotion and chops, and that’s what soul music is to me. I put together a new band in early 2011 who are now known as The Preachers. Most of the guys studied music together in college so they already have great chemistry together. I worked with them on my latest album and I couldn’t be happier about that.
What’s in store for Patrick Lehman and the Preachers in 2012?
I just finished recording my third album. It’s a full length album that fuses Rock n’ Roll and Soul elements. I’ll be launching my new album at the end of March at Petit Campus in Montreal, and CAB will be opening up the night! We’ll be hitting the road all summer across eastern Canada and the New England area of the USA. My goal is just to play live as much as we can and expose people to the new record – I don’t think that that aspect of the music industry has changed. It’s still about making music and sharing it with crowds – Live is still my favourite part.
What’s it like being on tour and where are you playing these days?
Touring for me so far has been a lot of back and forth. We’ll go to Toronto and Vermont and back in the same week! In a week or so we will be in Detroit at Cliffs Bells club. Touring these days is not glamorous, but it’s amazing! To me that’s what I dreamt of in high school – piling into a beat-up van with a duffle bag of clothes, some good CDs and the windows down, driving to the next gig. If we’re lucky we get a hotel room, sometimes we camp between shows. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and meeting new people. Summer 2012, we’ll be performing at various clubs and festivals across Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and northern US states.
What is your favorite venue to play in Montreal and why? What is your least favorite venue to play in Montreal and why?
I love playing Café Campus because the sound and staff are great. I have my least favourites but I’ll keep that to myself. It’s really about who fills the room though, for me.
Who are your favorite Montreal bands?
I’m a big fan of CAB and Soulvation. CAB are an amazing duo who have a great onstage chemistry and really remind me of why I fell in love with country about two years ago – their stories and instrumentation are great. Soulvation is a really sweet R&B cover band that play around Montreal often – the best way to spend a thursday night in NDG!
You have performed in some pretty awesome festivals, how did you get started on the festival circuit and what is your favourite Montreal festival?
The Montreal Jazzfest is great and it’s huge! I was asked in 2006 to perform in the Paul Simon tribute event – which was enormous and really opened me up to perusing my own music. Singing in front of 150,000 people and being well received is always great! Festiblues is a great place to find amazing local groups. We have been lucky enough to play in that festival three times now and played the main stage in the past two years. It is growing every year. I starting doing festivals a few summers ago and have just been pushing to perform in more and more. Festivals are what I wait for all year!
Explain what people can expect from your new record “The Electric Soul Kitchen Vol. 2″
People can expect it to be a nice mix of my first record Pat Lehman Band and my last EP Vol.1. To me it sounds like soul music – it has the grit of rock and vulnerability of some of my favourite old soul records. We recorded it at Studio Victor in Montreal in the same room Frank Sinatra did in the early ’50s. It had a lot of history and we felt that while we were recording. I wrote, produced and arranged the record myself which was the hardest thing I’ve ever done musically but it was well worth it. I loved the challenged and learnt a hell of a lot. The Preachers helped with some musical arrangement as well and brought a lot to the table. This record definitely has heart and feels complete. This time around I didn’t want to use many drumloops or synthesizers – So Live drums, Hammond B-3, grand piano, 4 back up vocalists, violins and Baritone Sax can all be found on Vol.2 and I couldn’t be happier about that!