Pat and I sit in a room with nearly ten other guys. Not necessarily the ideal place to conduct an interview, but this clearly doesn’t phase Pat. He lounges on a couch in the back of the room with his guitar across his body. Aside from a few requests, his playing goes unnoticed. Subtly he strums, providing background music for this hangout as people come in and out. He is in his world, invested in the music.
Pat Collins, a first-year water polo player at Santa Clara University, began playing guitar at the age of 7 after his older brother started playing. He blamed it on his competitive side and wanting to best his brother in any way possible. He continued to play and practice throughout the following years, and often he and his friends would pass time messing around on their instruments. Then, in April 2014 they formally came together to form The Snykes.
In their short-lived career, The Snykes gained a following not only in their hometown of San Diego but across the nation. People would request their music on the radio from time to time. Pat and The Snykes, after winning a radio competition, even got to open for Modest Mouse. So why did this band of friends dissipate if they were experiencing nothing but success?
For those of you who may be School of Rock fans, don’t imagine this break-up to be synonymous with the break-up of Jack Black’s band early on in the movie where Jack Black is thrown to the curb out of the blue. Austin Arthur, the former drummer of The Snykes, left on his own accord. Artistic differences can make being a band member and hard and stressful job. The Snykes were not immune to these troubles. Austin no longer felt he should be behind the drums and wanted to be a frontman and lead singer. Pat and Chris Olson, the remaining member and bassist, were not on board with this change, and early in the year Austin announced he was quitting. All good things come to an end.
But the band’s falling apart wasn’t all bad. First things first, no bad blood came from the break up, all of them remain close friends and continue to hangout during their time in San Diego. Secondly, Pat said their goodbye concert was one of the most fun concerts they ever performed. For the first time in his musical career he performed his favorite piece: the guitar smash. As their show ended Pat raised his guitar, which he had purchased earlier in the day, over his head, and in a swift swing brought down the hammer. Immediately the guitar snapped in half and pieces splintered everywhere. “It was one of the greatest rushes I have ever felt,” he laughed. “Some of the best money I have ever spent.”
Pat and Chris are still playing together in a new band called Rage Cage and have professionally drifted away from Austin, but remain close on a personal level. Pat doesn’t exactly know what the road holds for him, but he’s sure of one thing: “As long as I am writing and playing music, I’ll be good.”
By Jeff Garcia
To hear some of The Snykes’ music visit: https://soundcloud.com/the-snykes