featured interview

Therapy Oral therapy with Paten Locke He's MC, he's funny, he got beats, he got crates galore, he's behind the Smile Rays, he's part of the AB's, he's living in Jacksonville Florida, he lived in Boston, he's in Europe, he's everywhere...but right now he's at our table to take some time off and discuss all the previously mentioned activities...

Wassup Therapy? First thing's first; you recently released the Smile Rays album, how's the feedback been so far?

Wadap y'all? This is indeed Therapy from the AB's and the Smile Rays, but you can call me Paten Locke, that's what my mom calls me, yeah, so we released a couple Smile Rays full lengths in select markets (laughs). The feedback has been real positive, a bunch of labels on the Indie level have hollered at us, and we are just moving along with the joints, positive enough feedback to keep going, you could say.

So Paten, how, when and where did the AB's collide with Heavenly Noise and became Smile Rays?

Well the AB's had just put out our debut LP and we were touring a bit and shit. Then I came home for a minute and really just wanted to try something else, to keep the vibe going. While the AB's hadn't started on our second LP yet anyways, I was like, yo, I'm gone start a group with some white folks and see how that goes. (laughs) So I found Heavenly Noise, who I knew were immensely capable, and as it turns out, were my closest friends....sooo, we did what family does, we hung out together to the point of nausea but didn't get sick, so we started recording songs.

Both members of Heavenly Noize are married, so, uhm, between you and us, how's it like to work with a married couple?

Well, being in a group with a married couple is very beautiful but sometimes a bit frustrating because at the end of the day nothing matters to them but their love for each other, which is dope. But at the end of the day I get in bed with my drum machine.

The latest album is released in the Rawkus 50 series, how did you get with them?

I know Slopfunkdust (A & R for Rawkus, ed.) and dude just be everywhere, like every other hip-hop cat (laughs). He's been my homie for a while, and said this is what it is, and if the Rays wanna cough up ten tracks for the Rawkus 50 movement .Interestingly enough, Rawkus had reached out to us early on, before the whole 50 thing, and said that they were feeling our shit...so, we was like, in the words of Greg Nice, 'Aw, What the hell!'.

The 'Smilin On You' album is just a digital-only release?

The 'Smilin On You' LP is not just a digital release; 6 Hole, the label that put out the AB's and 9th Wonder and all that, just pressed up a limited amount of physical CD's and they will be disseminating out there shortly. I think that it will be very limited at retail though, so, if you see it, you better get that shit.

What's your opinion on the whole digital vs. analogue thing?

As far as vinyl vs. digital vs. CD, I know I'm just into the music going into my ears, I have always preferred vinyl, but let's say that ultimately I prefer the music itself over the medium in which I receive it. That being said, if I love a album, I want it on vinyl but this ain't them times no more.

The cover of the new album looks dope, man...

Oh the cover is another reason to get the CD, because yo, the art to me is interesting, it gives you a feel of the sonic on the record I think. Anyways, the art was done by friend Megan Murphy, holler at her at murphygallery.net , she does her thing. I was at her house looking at her works, I loved the overall look and feel of her shit, and asked her very nicely to do something for us, boom, wadap Meg? Wadap E?

Will the Japan-release of Smile Rays' 'Party...Place' be released worldwide?

The 'Party...Place' LP is the one we are trying to release on a bit larger scale...it is out in Japan at the moment, once again, very limited, and we are hoping to get it to a wider audience soon, 'knamean'?

George Clinton was on that album, anymore legends you're trying to get down with?

Large Professor.

So how do you explain the success of Smile Rays over here in Europe?

Well, Europe has shown a lot of love, especially Germany, where we work with a label called Jakarta. They put out a 12" vinyl-only release of our song 'A Toast'. We are going to do another 12" with them. I think that the response has been so positive overseas because people outside of America might be more wiling to smile these days, shit is nothing to smile about right now in the States, but we would like to change that....aggressively!

You recently have signed a deal with Tres Records...

Tres reached out to me and said 'Yo, we like the AB's, we like the Smile Rays, you should do a solo record, bet it would be good?', I said 'Yeah?' They was like 'Yup, and you have full creative control, we just want to put it out'. I couldn't say no, it was perfect timing for me to try another thing, the 'just me'-thing, and the AB's and The Smile Rays said go for it, that they were waiting for it to happen, so with their blessings, here I go.

What can we expect from your new album?

You can expect to hear music that you I hope you will either love or hate, but it will express who I am as a person and sonically. I'm pretty sure I will produce it myself entirely, but I'm still figurin out ome things. I think people will say, I want to see this guy, or they will say, man, I hope I never see this guy. (laughs)

Besides makin your own albums, the AB's stuff and Smile Rays, you produced on Akrobatik's album, how did it feel to be on a production score alongside J Dilla, Illmind, Da Beatminerz, J-Zone,...?

First off, I got mad crates of joints by these cats anyway, because they are all dope and I'm a vinyl cat, so to have a production credit on an LP with Dilla is like 'Word up...Turn it up!' because I, like any other self-respecting musician, think Dilla is the truth! Da Beatminerz is the truth too, come on mayne, 'Enta The Stage', um, OGC, Heltah Skeltah, shiiit, Shadez of Brooklyn, oooh, how about this Eightball and MJG Da Beatminerz remix joint...yep, and J-Zone, got his first LP off sandbox back when that dropped, the 'Music Por Tu Madre' joint with the sticker, word man, I've been a fan of the real forever and it's gone stay that way.

How did you end up on Freddie Joachim's LP?

The label I deal with in Japan is always hittin me up like 'Yo, rhyme on this project we're doing', and when I heard Freddie's ish, I said 'Let's Go', in particular I just really liked the beat I ended up rocking, I felt comfy on it.

How do you remember Camu Tao?

Dude was clearly next level, shiiiit, play 'Wireless', play that shit loud yo!

Are people still calling the AB's 'Asamov'?

Yeah, but you know, not so much. People have surprisingly picked up pretty well on the name change.

When the AB's is quoted there's still mentioned 'fka Asamov', when will you be able to drop that?

We will have dropped all that nonsense by our next official release, word to my homie Cool Calm Pete.

There's also a Northern Irish rock band called Therapy haven't you feared any legal issues after the Asamov case?

Word? There is? They good? Their name is kinda wack. (laughs) Hmm, don't matter, I know who I am and besides, my solo output is coming out under the name my mom and pops gave me, Paten Locke. Been wanting to do that for a minute, the solo LP is gonna mark the switch. I've been Therapy since '93 or so, but google the word 'therapy', not very specific, so next time y'all hear from me, it'll be Paten Locke. It's all good with me, I love change, I love names, put em together and bam! (laughs)

You lived in Boston, Chicago and now in Jacksonville, has each place influenced you musically?

Yup, Boston made me love loud drums and disortion from growing up there and listening to early rap as well as punk, hardcore, metal, etc. Boston gave me a more metal feel in my fundamental approach. Chicago, through its house scene and particulal brand of hip-hop gave me soul, so now I'm sort of like soulful death metal. Then in Jax it's all fonky and southern and real, shiiit, funky,...so now, I'm the soulful funky death rocker -bam!- this time as in Bambaataaa....blaow!

Which of those cities are the best places to dig records, any fav spots?

They are all cool for diggin, but I have just come up ridiculously in my time in Florida, yeah, I'll have to say Florida over all.

When did you start diggin?

1990, started in my pop's collection, he had some funky shit, Meters, James, some obscure rock and soul and jazz, and since then it's been on and poppin!

What are some of your 'dollar-bin miracle' finds?

The Chosen Few 'Nite and Day LP' on Konduko because I got that shit for frizee! And I love that record!

Have you bought a lot on-line?

I've sold more on-line than I've bought. I found this store in Jax that had closed down around '79 and when I found it, it had been untouched since then, store and dead stock and all. For a couple of years, I just sold off them 45's and of course there's the tons of copies of Makeba and Scratch 'Mental Fitness LP' I've sold on 'the Bay', but I've bought some things too, overseas ish mostly, shit I couldnt find in the States.

What's your production set-up?

A bunch of records, a synth, MPC 500, ASR X, a drum set, a tambourine.

We asked J One-Da about why you shouted out Prince Whipper Whip on the Asamov album, he said we had to talk to you about Prince Whipper Whip, so here it comes, you could've shouted out anyone but you shouted out the Prince?

Aw man, because Prince Whipper Whip is dope! And his name don't come up enough when talkin bout the greats plus I have a habit of referencing what would be considered obscure hip-hop cats, euhm, Freshco and Miz got a drop before, Sir Ibu, aw man, Greyson and Jaysun (laughs) I just rap about shit I be about, and I listen to some ol' other shit.

What was the first rap album you had/bought/borrowed?

RUN D.M.C. S/T word! Big up to my next door neighbour growing up, Mrs. Currier. Her son Donnie used to have all them Sugarhill and Profile, Defam, all them 12's and a big ass box with a part that you could pull out to play vinyl, oh my God man, basically this cat introduced me to the shit. Damn, that brings back mad memories...sniff.

Ok ok so let's talk about the last rap album you uploaded unto your iPod?

Aw man, 'Kind of Blue' stays most played but Janelle Monae has got my attention, I'm always bumpin my personal 'Best of Black Poet'-mix, this M.O.P. remix collection I just did and a bunch of Radiohead and Thom Yorke shit from my homie Sven Boogaloo. But yo, I check for everything across the board, believe it.

What's next for Therapy?

The Paten Locke joint coming on Tres, finishing the AB's second LP, touring overseas and in the States heavy, finishing Mr Lif's new project which I'm doing a lot of beats and rhymes on, working on RedRock's shit now that homie 80 is home and finding the proper home for my friend Dillon's 'Studies In Hunger' LP which I produced entirely, uh yeah, more life, more art, TURN IT UP!


Uh yeah, Nikky J! Wadap! Mr. Jeigh wadap! GrandChamp, wadap! and I'm out!



POSTED 06|01|2008
conducted by cpf

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