Hell by Pat Veil | INTERVIEW
Author: Thommy Delaney
Pat Veil is one of the most unique rock artists of our generation. He combines power pop with
the crunchiness of modern music. His latest album, "Hell," is a perfect of example of what he
does. Although his lyrics may be distressing, they also have a bit of humor in them for everyone
to enjoy. Let's take a dive into Pat's music and find out what makes his music great!
Hey Pat! Congrats on your latest album "Hell!" This your fifth album that you have
released. Tell us a bit about what music you listened to growing up and how you
eventually got into writing power pop songs as opposed to other style of modern music.
Thank you, Thommy. I appreciate it.
When I was growing up, I listened mostly to music from before my own time. I didn't care for the
stuff that labels marketed towards my demographic, and so I immersed myself in the sounds of
previous times. Perhaps in a subconscious attempt to alienate myself from my peers, I pretty
much developed my own musical tastes and interests. I always liked hard rock and a lot of 20 th
century top 40 pop music, especially stuff from the '70s and '80s.
When I write a song, I always make sure that the song is one that I would find appealing. After
all, I'll be listening to the song about a million times during the recording and mixing phases, and
it certainly helps to have a song I can stand listening to. And since I am a mark for a catchy
tune, I kinda can't help but to try to make the song as hooky and catchy as I can. Pop songs
with overdriven guitars.
The name of the album is for sure an interesting one. Where did title of the album come
It relates to my prior album, "No Longer Human." Conceptually, that album examined themes
found in some of my favorite Japanese literature, particually Osamu Dazai's final novel, from
which the album takes its name. Some considered the album morbid, and through a certain
cultural lens, perhaps it is. It essentially takes place in a realm of death, metaphorically
speaking. Once I finished it, I poked my head out of death's door and looked around. The world
of the living looked like a "Hell." This album is mostly a document of what I have seen. If "No
Longer Human" is an Eastern album, then this is my Western equivalent. It seems that Hell is
always just outside my door. It can stay there.
From start to finish, this album is incredibly catchy and different from any modern rock
album out today. What's your songwriting process when it comes to lyrics?
Thank you. I generally tend to come up with an idea for a song, first. Then a title. Then, I write
and record the music. After that, I write the lyrics, and refine them until I think they balance the
clear expression of intent with what works best for the song, musically.
It takes me usually about an thirty minutes to an hour to write a song, from start to finish. I rarely
belabor the process, but there are exceptions. It's always just a matter of striking the
aforementioned balance, but it's never been very difficult. On occasion, I have gutted a song,
jettisoned the lyrics, and rewritten them completly. One muse sometimes breaks into another's
nest, tosses its eggs to the ground, and lays its own, I suppose. Inspiration is a brutal kingdom.
Your vocal style is something that makes your music stand out from everyone else. Did
you always sing like that or is that something you developed through the years you've
been a musician?
When it comes to singing, I kinda try to do what I think would work best with the song. My earlier
work was much more sonically confrontational, and I would usually just bark, growl, or scream
as melodically as I could. Over time, this changed into what I sound like, presently. As my
songwriting progressed, the songs themselves demanded more of my voice. I hope I have done
It's funny. I consider myself a rhythm guitarist first, a songwriter second, and a vocalist only out
of sheer necessity. Regarding the past two albums, I've heard some positive comments about
my singing. I'm as surprised as anyone else.
"The Place Where High School Never Ends" is for sure an instant classic! Was there
something that happened to you in high school that inspired you to write this song?
Hah. No. I had no problems in school, socially or academically, but I also had no compelling
interest in either. I did not find my classmates all that magnetic, none of us wanted to be there,
and we all suspected that the curriculum would go on to serve us about as well as a dead
waiter. Constant dramas playing out, all around, because nobody had anything better to do.
Hundreds of teenagers, all trapped in an institution, where not one person on staff knew how to
deal with the horde of snotty, depressed, bored, alienated kids; each possessing impossible
dreams and no lives. It made such a small impression on me. I was more interested in partying.
The song is about the Western approach to social media. It feels like high school on an infinite
loop, replete with all of the above cited features...but lamer, because it's not compulsory. That
factor makes it seem like a form of self-abuse, really. Whatever gets one through the night, I
"Take It Away" was another song that piqued my interest. What are the lyrics about and
where did the idea for them come from?
"Take It Away" is about automation of life to an extreme degree, leading to alienation, creeping
despair, and ultimately, a futile, dead-end existence. The loyal consumer becomes a
gangrenous appendix, rotting within the human comedy, to the extent that no one is even
sentient enough to laugh at it. A species turning itself into that tree in the forest whose fall
makes no sound.
A vestigial, but increasingly frustrated, craving for connection that jams a mind's circuits; cured
only by the next funny cat video, "buy it now" click, or somesuch equivalent empty endorphin
bump. People possess passion. If they don't use it one way, then they're gonna use it another
I don't make any kind of judgment about it. It's just the impression that I get. I had high hopes for
Pokemon Go. It got people out of their houses for the first time in eons. Of course, they wound
up walking into traffic, or falling off piers, while chasing down a Salazzle, but Rome was not built
in a day. I just suspect it is healthier for technology to augment reality, than to replace it, outright.
The song presents a "Hell" scenario of general human atrophy in the face of predatory
It's also about how poor most customer support has become. Mostly about that, really.
"Century III," which is the final song on the album, is just a great banger that also is an
instant classic. Does the title have anything to do with the century we live in or is there a
completely other meaning?
Thank you so much. I really like this song, too. It was kind of inspired by early Manic Street
Preachers. It's about the Century III Mall, in West Mifflin, Pa, just outside of Pittsburgh. It is a
notorious dead mall, now, but when I was young, it was the most amazing, and beautiful, of
malls. Dimly lit by tube chandeliers, and cavernous, with strange staircases; burnt brown tile
floors. It felt like walking through a mall as designed by M.C. Escher.
I bought my first Roky Erickson album, there.
These days, it is one of the largest dead malls in the country. There are multiple youtube videos
chronicling its degraded state; a hellscape of vandalism, burst water pipes, black mold, broken
glass. Drawing its name from the U.S. entering its third century, Century III Mall meant to evoke
excitment at the wonders to come in the century to follow. Best laid plans of mice and men, eh?
The song uses the mall as a symbolic microcosm of a larger story, though. Any interpretation of
this song is likely correct.
Do you have any upcoming shows this year?
I don't. Over time, I became very ambivalent about live music. The studio is too enjoyable. I love
writing songs, recording them, and trying out different techniques to shape the song into
something I can enjoy to its fullest extent. I am always learning. Always hunting to do something
that I might find appealing. That's the part of music that I love.
At some point, I would be interested in touring in Europe or Japan, where the lion's share of my
audience resides. Basically, when it makes sense for me to perform live, I will perform live, but
at the moment, I just enjoy writing and recording so much more. I wouldn't want to bring myself
to a point where music became a chore, as I often found the live stateside experience to be.
What else do you have planned now that "Hell" has been released?
Tomorrow, I begin recording the next album. There's a bunch of other sidequests in the pipeline.
I'm expanding distribution to a wider array of streaming services. I also plan to work more
heavily on my Youtube channel. And I've begun to plot out the logistics of doing an international
tour, to meet some of the wonderful individuals that have reached out to me, over the past year,
and encouraged me with their enthusiasm. They are the most wonderful individuals on this
planet, and I truly value each of them as much as they value me.
Is there anything that you would like to share with our readers?
You can find me on the net at:
Be seeing you...
Pat Veil is a phantom.
He hides by day and moves under the cover of night.
Once a guitarist/vocalist in the acclaimed rock band Sir Dove, since 2020, he has released a
string of albums showcasing his "pop/rock with sharp claws," melding of 70's and 80's rock with
Veil's penchant for extremely distressing, yet often humorous, lyrics.
About the Author: Thommy Delaney is a Senior Music Business Major at New
Jersey City University. He is also the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the Bayonne
Indie pop-rock band BreakTime: a four-piece writing modern pop tunes with
generous vintage allusions to artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Looking for something new to listen to? Be sure
to follow BreakTime @breaktimelivenj on social media and stream their music on