Otherwise Talks Positivity, the Influence of Andrés Segovia

Before they ever signed a record deal, Las Vegas five-piece Otherwise were making a big noise in the hard rock world. In 2010, singer Adrian Patrick shared vocal duties with Maria Brink on the In This Moment ballad “The Promise,” and the next year the band’s call-to-arms anthem, “Soldiers”—recorded in drummer Corky Gainsford’s garage—became the first song by an unsigned act to hit Number One on Sirius XM’s Octane station.

Since then, Otherwise—Patrick, his brother and guitarist Ryan Patrick, drummer Gainsford, guitarist Andrew Pugh and new bassist Tony Carboney—have signed with Century Media, shared stages with everyone from Papa Roach to Stone Sour and released two studio albums, True Love Never Dies and the recent Peace At All Costs, that pair thick and churning downtuned riffs with an unshakeable rhythmic groove and Adrian Patrick’s husky, commanding vocals.

But the band’s aggro attack is offset by the otherworldly and varied guitar work of Ryan Patrick, who cofounded the band with his brother. On Peace At All Costs, songs like “Darker Side of the Moon” and the hard-charging “Demon Fighter” he laces the music with spacey single-note melodies and effects-laden atmospheric textures, while ballads like “Walk Away” and “Meet Me in the Dark” are propelled by lilting, exotic-tinged acoustic picking and strumming. It’s an approach that, according to Patrick, stems from the fact that “I never learned the classic ‘guitar player’ songs,” he says. “I never studied Metallica or Iron Maiden or AC/DC. I actually went to school for classical and Spanish guitar, and spent all my time listening to Andrés Segovia and playing these pieces from the Baroque period. So when it came to rock and roll I had to make up my own little bag of tricks. I guess that helped us find our own sound.”

That unique approach extends to the band’s lyrics as well. Explains Pugh, “We have a positive outlook, which I think sets us apart from other bands today who are all about either partying or self-deprecation. We’re trying to find a light through all the darkness.”

“It all goes back to our band name,” Patrick explains. “Otherwise means ‘other than supposed.’ And our music is this unorthodox contradiction. But hopefully it can also inspire people. Because when you’re onstage in front of a roomful of people, that energy can make an impression and last a lifetime. That’s the power of music. That’s how you spread love.”

Photo: Robert Kley

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.