INTERVIEW: Upcoming Music, Side Projects & More With Ice Nine Kills’ Patrick Galante
Ice Nine Kills are currently in a massive wave of shows. They are on tour with Metallica and they play even more headlining and festival shows in between those massive arena shows. We had the chance to sit down with Ice Nine Kills’ drummer Patrick Galante to talk about a bunch of things like upcoming music, Silver Scream 2, behind the scenes of music videos and we talked some about Patrick his other bands and projects of which he has a lot. Check out the talk we had below!
How are you?
I’m fine, it’s a few hours before the show now so I’m excited.
It’s been a while since you released new music. Are there any plans of releasing new music soon or is that not really on your mind yet?
A little bit. We’re in the demo stage right now. Sometimes Spencer will record a vocal melody, and he’ll come in and show it to Joe, and Joe has to listen to it and be writing chords for it. So, it’s very slowly but surely happening. I think that Spencer has a good idea for the content and the movies that he wants to touch on, on this third record.
I think it’s all going to start to come together here soon. Once we get a little bit of a break from the constant touring that we’ve been doing. I think that it’ll be time to kind of sit down and get some writing done.
How much do you personally get involved in the composing of the music?
That’s something that usually comes to me later on in the process. Drums are something that, I’ve found with Ice Nine Kills, are very based on vocals. A lot of bands will do drums first, drums are done, you don’t touch drums again, and then it goes down the line to everything else.
And I think that a demo drum track will be created for people to start writing over. But at the end of the day, there’s a lot of little nuances and little accents and embellishments that the drums do that follow Spencer’s vocal patterns. So, you know, it really does come to once Spencer is happy with all of his vocal takes. That’s when the final touches get added on the drums so I I’m sure that I’ll be involved in some of the writing process as I was in Silver Scream 2. But my main role actually doesn’t really come into play until closer to the end of the writing process.
Do you just get handed something like hey, I want you to play this, or do they really let you go free with whatever you want to do or add?
A lot of it is pretty solidified with what Spencer’s doing in the direction that Spencer wants it to go. But I am definitely given some freedom with making it more ‘me’, but I also don’t mind having all of the legwork and all the groundwork kind of laid out for me. I don’t mind having Spencer and his writing partners and his producers kind of hand me a template to work off of I think it’s a cool collaboration.
And you guys have these massive music videos. With like all these theatrical atmospheres. What has been the most difficult music video to film for the band as a whole and for you personally?
Well, yeah, the level of budget, music and crew has gone up exponentially with basically every video that we’ve done. Especially for Silver Scream 2, when we started working with Jensen and Phoenix who have been doing work for: Bring Me the Horizon, Falling In Reverse, Motionless In White and Ice Nine Kills obviously. And I think that of the stuff that we’ve been doing off of Silver Scream 2 I think the hardest video probably would be Assault and Batteries. There were a lot of prosthetics. Everybody was performing on their knees with shoes taped to their knees to make them look smaller, Spencer did all of his like scenes walking down the hallway on his knees.
I remember being in a Target or a store buying shoes and him, kind of having to be like, this is the only way we’re going to know if this works or not, and him getting down on his knees and putting the shoes on his knees and walking through the Target like a little doll. And it was a very funny experience.
But I think that whole music video was very fast-paced and we had to get everything done in the one night that we were at the house where we were filming at. Which was actually in American Horror Story, I think they filmed season 6 there. And with all the makeup and all the prosthetics that we had to wear, that was definitely a long night.
And for me, personally, on drums, I think the Rainy Day music video. Man, the number of performance shots that we did. You have to go hard every time. And it was very tiring. And now that I’m talking about this, I completely forgot that when filming the Welcome To Horrorwood video, I had a broken foot. I had broken my foot playing a show in Leipzig.
I fell off of my drum riser after the show, before the encore and fell and landed on my foot and broke the bone on my foot. And I finished the tour. We played three more shows. I played with a broken foot and then we got home, and I was in like a cast boot and crutches.
And we had to film that music video, and that’s a lot of like us walking the red carpet, and us in the fight scenes and they just had me put a dress shoe on and I’m limping up the stairs in the red carpet. So I guess that one was pretty hard to do for me personally too.
Is any of that visible in the music video?
No, that’s the best part. I was like, can I just wear the boot around my foot? And they’re like, no, we’re going to see your feet. You never see my feet.
And in your music videos, you’ve been working with James from the YouTube channel Dead Meat. How did you guys get in contact and how has collaborating been with them?
I think that’s something that Spencer has been getting more into as he’s been kind of inducted into this horror convention scene that he’s been doing. He’s making a lot of appearances at different horror conventions with all of these big actors and stunt guys and personalities like Dead Meat James.
And I think that just from Spencer doing all these appearances, he’s gotten to know a lot of these people that are very interested in what Spencer and Ice Nine Kills are doing. And they’ve all kind of gotten to know him. And, you know, when Spencer approaches Dead Meat, or Bill Moseley, or any of these kinds of bigger-named personalities to be in our music videos. It is very cool to be a part of that. It’s very humbling to see these guys just be so passionate about what they do that they are willing to lend their skills and lend their faces to our silly little horror movie.
And are there also any horror movies that you didn’t cover yet, but that you personally would like to cover?
Yeah, I definitely have some movies that I want to add to Spencer’s master list of films that he wants to write songs about. I’m a big zombie movie guy.
We have Rainy Day. It’s about 28 days later. It’s about zombies, it’s hard to write about a bunch of zombie movies because all zombie movies are kind of the same. But man, I would love to add something like maybe a World War Z or the original Dawn of the Dead, the original Night of the Living Dead, or Jeepers Creepers, I would love that. Such a cool story in and of itself. I think Spencer would do a very good job getting lyrics and getting a story out of Jeepers Creepers. I think Terrifier is going to make the list. Those movies are so well done and so weirdly artsy, and just horrifying to watch. I think those would be my main wants, I know that they’ve got a lot of ideas so far and there are a couple that are solidified that I cannot talk about.
What was it like? And have you taken any interest in covering other mediums than movies or books in upcoming projects?
Yeah, I think the Resident Evil song, because it is both a movie franchise and a video game franchise, he was able to kind of take themes from both. And obviously making it as cinematic as possible to go with the movie theme. But games like Silent Hill, The Last of Us, or Dead by Daylight. If we were going to cover a few more video games, I think those would be the ones that I think that we’d be leaning towards.
Silent Hill comes up a lot in our discussions because that’s also a movie as well. So, I think the crossover kind of needs to be there between the video game and cinema in order to really bring that song to life. And the reason I keep saying 28 Days Later is because at the end of the song, IT Is The End at the end of Silver Scream 1, there is a nod to the score from 28 days later at the end of it, because there was going to be a 28 days later song that got cut. But one of the main ideas ended up coming back and being at the end of IT Is The End. So there’s a little easter egg for you.
What kind of drum kit set-up do you prefer for Ice Nine Kills’ music? And are there any specific drumming accessories or equipment that you find indispensable?
Yeah, I mean, after Silver Scream 2 was finished and I got to hear how everything sounded and how the drums sounded, there was a very distinct snare drum sound that was achieved for the record that I was kind of, kind of just scouring other drummer’s videos, trying to look for that kind of sound live.
And I came across Jay Weinberg from Slipknot and was watching videos of him. And we both have drums made by SJC custom drums out of Massachusetts and I was just watching videos and I thought, man, that’s the sound that I want to have, it’s the sound closest to how the snare drum sounds on the record.
And the record obviously has layers of different snare drums and samples. It’s very big sounding, but it’s got a lot of ping to it, a lot of attacks, but also very big. So I sent the video clip of Jay and I sent a very specific hit in Funeral Derangements to SJC and they knew exactly what to do.
They made me my own custom Uh, 24-ply maple, uh, 14 by 7 and a half with two huge vent holes. They sent me this snare drum and I put an Evans-coded hybrid head on it, and cranked it up. And this snare drum is the loudest part of our entire set. You can hear my snare drum when it hits front of house. Comes in at like 101 decibels or something like that.
And the PA itself usually stays below a hundred. Our sound guy is having such a fun time mixing me in these huge groups, but I think that that snare drum was something that we definitely needed live and then I had to add a bell. I had to add a bell that wasn’t just on my ride cymbal, a standalone little cup chime from Peisty that kind of gives me the effect that happens a few times on Silver Scream 2, where there is even in Welcome to Horrorwood, in Farewell II Flesh, there are a few parts that all get played just on a bell, and I needed it to be high pitched and be able to cut right through, and Peisty was able to get me this like six and a half inch little cup chime that I like to add with the snare drum to kind of give it even more ring and make it sound kind of like I’m hitting an anvil.
It’s very cool. I could not be performing songs off of Welcome to Horrorwood without that snare drum and that bell.
You also have your solo projects and you’ve been teasing something on your Instagram there. When will fans get to know more about that?
So my solo project is called Lowist. It’s something that I do primarily with Ricky, I’ve always said he is the Finneas to my Billie Eilish. He very much takes what’s going on in my head, and my musical ideas and put some on the instruments and we do a great deal of work together writing songs that feature my vocals.
We have a full EP recorded and done. Adam Reed, who is our photographer on the road, plays drums in Ricky’s other band, Hawk. He is currently mixing and doing the final production stuff on that, because I like to have him kind of go through the drum tracks and see what he would do, kind of give a little bit of like his little flair on it.
So hopefully, again, with all of the touring that we’re doing, it’s so hard to accomplish other musical things because we’re not able to go down and do a studio or be able to kind of sit and write the way that we would normally. But I think that coming off of this tour, we’re going to have a little bit of time in I think August and September for the EP to kind of be completed.
I’ve just kind of been teasing stuff just to keep people interested, and I’m and I am teasing a specific song that I am going to be releasing next that has Ricky actually doing a vocal feature on like, Lowist featuring Ricky Armolino. And it’s a very spooky song, it’s about being a ghost, it’s about haunting, it’s about haunting a house, but also feeling like the ghost is being haunted by the living rather than somebody being haunted by a ghost.
It’s kind of from the perspective of a ghost being, just wanting to exist and being kind of upset with the fact that there are people around. So, the song is actually called Candlelight and hopefully that will be out early I would say. Thank you for knowing that.
You’re also in another band, Night Rider. You’ve released a new single with that band very recently.
Yeah, with Ryan Kirby from Fit For A King. I joined a band called Affiance back in 2009. That was the start of my touring career, my real musical career. And I toured with Affiance from 2009 to 2017. I recorded four records with them, a bunch of covers. We toured the world for a very long time.
And when Affiance kind of went on hiatus and wasn’t touring anymore. That’s when the opportunity to tour with Ice Nine Kills came about because Affiance had toured with Ice Nine Kills before. So they knew me, they knew that I could at least play drums. So the connection between Affiance and Ice Nine Kills is what kind of got me into Ice Nine Kills.
And now that Affiance kind of is done. The guys and I still wanted to write music, but we wanted to kind of change the direction a little bit. And Dennis, the singer, wanted to go a little bit more into the like synth wave world and kind of go back to his eighty’s roots. And we were working with a producer who does a lot of progressive genteel kind of stuff.
We kind of combined both worlds and that’s what’s turned into Night Rider now. And we have a full record ready to be released by the end of the year. We have a few singles out. The most recent one’s called Cold War. It features Ryan Kirby from Fit for a King. I’m very happy with that stuff. That’s one of the things that writing music with those guys is like, I’ve been writing music with them for coming up on 14 years now. And that’s something that I don’t see us ever not writing music together, whatever project it is. I think that I’ll always be creatively involved with them.
I also saw that you like to take pictures. Is there an ideal scenario or situation that you would still like to take a picture of?
Man, I’m kind of living it right now. I’ve been really getting out while in Europe and making it a point to go on a walk every day and try to capture something new every day to send to my mother or send to my girlfriend or send to my father or my sister, just something to share with the people that I love.
And it’s a really nice way of staying connected with people back home is to be able to show them through a medium that I really enjoy doing. If I wasn’t playing in bands, I was going to be a photographer. I mean, I was going to go to school for it. I was accepted into art school and I dropped out the day I joined Affiance.
I moved to Cleveland and I was like, I’m not going to school. I’m going to be in a rock and roll band. I’m enjoying the way that I can combine being on tour with collecting memories in the form of pictures. And once I’m home for more than like a week in the fall, I’ll probably do another little print sale.
I was selling some photographs because people seemed interested and I’ll have a lot of new photographs to kind of reveal once I’m home for a little bit and people seem to enjoy them and I enjoy doing it. So, it’s very fun.
Is there any kind of media that you consume in your free time that people would be surprised that you consume because of the horror aesthetic that Ice Nine Kills has?
Man, I am like neurotically obsessed with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s one of the things that I geek out about the hardest is the MCU, the Disney Plus shows, the Netflix shows, how they’re all connected, whether they’re supposed to be connected or not. I connect them all in my head. I don’t care what anybody says. It’s all canon to me.
It’s kind of like a comfort thing. It’s like a comfort movie. For if I’m feeling like I just want to chill out, I’m putting on Avengers Infinity War, I’m putting on Black Panther, I’m watching the Punisher series or something, even though I’ve seen them all a hundred times, that’s definitely something that I consume a lot of. I also listen to a lot of Halsey and K. Flay and Billie Eilish and, Doja Cat and SZA and like a lot of like really talented, strong female pop vocalists.
It inspires me a lot in the lyrics and the melodies that I write for Lowist. And I just can’t get enough of like dark female pop. I think it’s awesome.
What’s your favourite soup?
My favourite soup? You know, I just had soup for lunch.
What kind of soup?
We had minestrone soup filled with vegetables. It was so good. But I think that I will say my favourite soup was from a bar restaurant in Buffalo that doesn’t exist anymore. It was called Buffalo proper. And it was a perfect fall day. I had a big bowl of butternut squash soup. With an entire baguette. Oh my gosh. I think that’s my favourite soup of all time. It was that very specific bowl of butternut squash soup.
Ice Nine Kills are currently still touring for a while so check if they visit a place somewhere near you. Stream the band’s latest album Silver Scream 2 below.