Jon Pattie, a singer-songwriter based in Austin, Texas, knows exactly what it means to have another gig while working towards his music dreams. In our interview with Pattie, he explains his multiple other gigs, and how that affects his overall life as a musician. Continue reading below to see our interview with Jon, and check back next month for our next installment of The Other Gig!
Start off by telling me a little bit about yourself and your music:
My name is Jon Pattie and I am a singer-songwriter currently living in Austin, TX. I am also a student at The University of Texas at Austin! I have grown up and lived in Texas my whole life and have consistently been a part of my local music scene wherever I am! Whether it has been pop punk, metal, or singer-songwriter music, I have always been playing music!
Do you attend school while making music/touring? If so, what are you studying and why are you pursuing other studies?
Yes, I am about to go into my final semester at The University of Texas at Austin. I am studying to receive a Bachelors in Science for Chemical Engineering. I originally decided to pursue chemical engineering because I find science and biology fascinating and I have always been good at math and science. My junior year though, I decided that engineering was not for me and I wanted to devote myself to my music because that is my true passion.
Do you work an Other Gig (in terms of a job) while making music? If so, why did you pick up this second trade?
During my free time between music and school, I work as an Uber driver and a dog-walker. Really, I do any jobs that can fit into my constantly changing schedule and that will allow me to save money for my music career. I have also worked in the server industry as a barback for a while but the late hours and nights didn’t agree with my school schedule.
How does your Other Gig/school work both help and hinder your band?
I am able to use my jobs and school as a platform to promote my brand and my music. I’ve also taken things that I have learned through my previous jobs and school and applied them to my music. Ultimately though, I sacrifice a lot of my time and energy that could be better used for music. Some days are mentally tiring and I wish I could only do just music.
If you work your Other Gig/take classes while on the road, how do your bandmates react to your work?
I am usually on the road between semesters so that I do not have to worry about school work while traveling. I have done a 2-week tour in Minnesota and California in between spring and fall semesters. I travel regularly throughout the school semester to other towns in Texas to perform. It’s difficult making time for school but it’s not impossible! I don’t have any bandmates at the moment so I do not have to worry about their reactions!
Has a fan of your music ever recognized you at work/school? If so, what was that interaction like?
Yes and it was a pleasant and surprising experience. I didn’t expect this person to like my genre of my music either, but they really enjoyed it and told me some of their favorite tracks! It made me feel a sense of accomplishment.
Has your band/music ever cost you a job/negatively affected your school work?
A lot of the time I have sacrificed doing a great job on my schoolwork so that I can focus more time on music. At this point, I am just simply trying to get out of college in order to devote my time to music, because that is what I want to do full-time.
Some bands working Other Gigs might feel stuck. They potentially feel worried about making money, finishing school, not devoting enough time to their music, etc. What advice would you give to these musicians?
My advice would be that you are not the only one and don’t be afraid to reach out to others in your area. Most likely they are on the same grind and the support of other local musicians can help you greatly. Surround yourself around positive people too, you need them when you’re going through those moments like that.