Patrik RJ Lethbridge is a local musician who lives in the Yukon for the music.
So, who’s listening?
Well, you, if you attended local events such as Moonstroke, Frostbite or a random open-mic night at Flippers Pub for a good-old Whitewater Wednesday.
Lethbridge has been playing all the gigs lately with friends and local indie rock band Fire Escape. As well as the ‘in your face’ punk rock group, Kung–Fu Aliens.
In Fire Escape, Lethbridge plays guitar and does lead vocals, wooing you slowly but surely with songs such as Better Days and Hearts Collide. In Kung–Fu Aliens he has fun and rocks out on the drums like in the days when NOFX never left the CD player and days when his Step-Mom would go to work and his chance to really make some noise would emerge.
To avoid late-night headaches, “She would hide the drumsticks,” he reminisces.
(He would use wooden spoons and tear them to shreds on the only tangible drum kit he could get his hands on.)
Now that’s punk rock, kids!
Coming and going to and from the Yukon through most of his life, Lethbridge spent Grade 10 at F.H. Collins and was in a band called The Fuzz. However, his first band was with long-time friend and cousin Derek Wyatt.
Lethbridge was playing guitar and convinced Wyatt to buy a bass instead of a skateboard because he (Lethbridge) wanted to start a punk band – which they did, but their band name, for the public’s sake, will remain nameless.
“Maybe it’s the mountains or maybe I’m just getting older,” Lethbridge explains the change in his style of music and how he’s influenced by the Yukon. He plays more acoustic folk music these days because it’s more for himself than for a bunch of rowdy teens.
“I can get my point across in song better than in conversation,” he laughs, but states seriously.
Like any perpetual ‘feeler of the human condition’, his melodies and words are created at their best from slow, tired or even heartbroken days.
Always and forever, his main influence, music-and-life role model, Mom and locally loved musician, Peggy Hanifan, got him started with singing and playing guitar.
Singing around campfires with friends, he was always in awe over his Mom’s talent. “I was too shy to even sing in front of her ’til I was 22,” he admits with a smile on his face.
He’s obviously her biggest fan and playing for your musical idol (we could all imagine) would unquestionably be a little nerve shattering.
Check out Fire Escape at www.myspace.com/fireescapeofficial.
Fire Escape is going into recluse mode and plans to write and record to make an application for grants.
What will happen if the music gig falls through?
Lethbridge says he’ll probably pursue his passion for writing screenplays and musicals. His current project is a musical about Vancouver City Public Transit, which he is writing all of the music for.