Interview: Patience

Following the break-up of Veronica Falls, lead singer Roxanne Clifford went back to her guitar and recorded the final songs she ever wrote for the band. The intention was for these songs to make up her first solo record yet for Clifford it just didn’t feel right. The Manchester-born musician felt she was simply treading old ground, and this gave birth to a desire to do something new, something she’s never done before.

That something new is ‘Dizzy Spells,’ Clifford’s debut album under her Patience pseudonym. Ditching the guitar for disco riffs and cascading synths, ‘Dizzy Spells’ is both infectious and danceable. It’s a bold change in direction but one that reaps rewards. A euphoric feeling lies within its structures, sending you a place Clifford never could’ve taken you with the guitar-led Veronica Falls.

Below Clifford talks us through working alone, Wednesday evening roller skating sessions and the death of former bandmate Patrick Doyle

The first Patience single arrived more than three years before the album. Why did you take that approach?

It wasn’t a conscious decision to take so long to release a full record, more a product of circumstance, it just felt more natural for me to bring out one song at a time when the time was right for me. Since releasing the first Patience single until now I’ve been writing and recording throughout but just not necessarily finishing things – I see it as somewhat of a recalibration period and time for collecting ideas.

Was Patience a part of yourself you held back during Veronica Falls (VF) or when VF came to an end were you just like ‘right better do something myself’?

I’ve never felt unable to express a certain side of myself in any project really but there is a certain sense of letting go that has to happen when playing as part of a band, there are positive and negatives to that. After the band broke up I started the seeds of a new project called Normal Love, which was basically lots guitar songs that I had written for Veronica Falls that never saw the light of day. The recordings were good but I just didn’t feel like forming another guitar band so soon, it felt like walking old ground for me and so Patience really just grew out of wanting to try something fresh and new for myself.

Was there ever a desire to stop making music after VF? If so how did you overcome that?

I’ve never considered stopping forever, I get too much out of it and it’s an essential creative outlet and part of my life but it did take me a while to figure out how I wanted to channel things and where I wanted music to sit in my life.

Are you generally supportive of each other’s post-VF projects?

Yes I think so…

Patrick Doyle [Veronica Falls’ drummer] passed away last year. How does his influence still play out in your life today?

Patrick had a sort of blind belief in my songs when we were younger that I didn’t have myself, it gave me the confidence to start releasing music in the first place. I’m not sure you ever get over losing a friend too soon but you learn to live with it. We played in bands together for 10 years and so his influence will always be inextricably tied to everything that I do creatively. He pops up in my songs all the time but I wrote songs about him when he was alive too.

What was it like to work with producers on this record?  Were there ever any power battles or were you happy to give up certain parts of the process?

No not really, just the usual power battles I have with myself all the time ha! The producer role on these recordings was quite a relaxed one and usually on more of the technical side with sounds and dynamics. For the most part the songs were written but it certainly helped to have someone execute things properly with me and contribute ideas to the production. When making music alone it’s so easy to second guess yourself constantly, it can be quite a lonely experience so I need to have people to bounce ideas off when finishing things.

What bands/acts making music today influenced this album?

It was mainly influenced by older records but modern projects I like are Free Love, Virginia Wing, Molly Nilsson, Keel Her, Cate Le Bon, Tirzah

Where else did you draw inspiration from for these set of songs?

I get a lot of inspiration for lyrics from films and books, often something I read or observe will strike a chord and be relevant to something in my own life.

What do you hope to achieve with this record?

I’m just happy to finally have this collection of songs out in the world so I can focus on the next thing and remind people I’m still making music, also excited to play some shows in the UK and more in the US later in the fall.

What do you do when you’re not working on music?

Every Wednesday evening I rollerskate at a rink from the 50’s that’s still here in LA. My other main joys in life are cinema and cooking, I like to shoot film and take photographs when I have the time and I also do various jobs for money and not love.

What’s the future for Patience?

I’ve been writing songs for another record, I’d like to release something new soonish and collaborate more this year.

Dizzy Spells is out now on Night School Records

Tour dates:

London (Moth Club) – Tuesday 18 June

Newcastle Upon Tyne (Star and Shadow) – Wednesday 19 June

Glasgow (Poetry Club) – Thursday 20 June

Manchester (Yes) – Saturday 22 June

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