With the revival of vinyl we can safely say that record stores are back in the game. And that’s a good thing, because when growing up we all remember days of browsing through endless piles of cd’s and playing your favourite album on repeat. For many artists, the basis of their music career lies exactly in that period. Rockstone Sessions looks back on the first musical influences of artists nowadays in their favourite record store. Today, we’re at Paagman in The Hague, with Pat Smith, who just released his brand new EP Lighthouse.


First logical question: why Velvet Paagman?

“To be honest, this is the only record store I know. Nowadays I listen to my music in Spotify and iTunes, like everybody else. Of course, I used to hang out in record stores more often back in the days; Free Record Shop, Plato and the likes. But unfortunately they’re gone now. I do buy vinyl sometimes, but I only do that to support the artists. It’s nice to have, because it’s tangible, but it’s mainly something the big artists have.”


What kind of cd’s did you own?

“I used to skateboard a lot, so my music was a mix of skateboard music like ska, punk and hip hop. Think Pennywise, NOFX, Black Flag, Anti Flag, Ghostface Killah, Tupac and Cyprus Hill. Also, there were these collected records, called Sublime on which they combined both styles. I had them all.”

“Also, I wasn’t allowed to watch tv before 10 am, so I listened to a lot of the cassettes my dad gave me. All the big names in music were on those mixes: Michael Jackson, Prince, David Bowie, Queen, The Police, James Brown etc. And whenever Metallica came along, I grabbed my tennis racket and played the ‘guitar’.”


You listened to a bold mix of music, how did that influence your style now?

“I started making music when I was 16 and with that rapping more and more. But I also liked the skateboard music. Eventually, Splendid was a mix of our own style and the one I loved so much on the Sublime records. Now that I’m solo, my music is my own style, but also comparible to modern music like Milky Chance or Rudimental.”

Any guilty pleasures?

“Not sure how ‘guilty’ it is, but ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ by Guns N’ Roses was an all time favourite. And that other track (starts humming something that looks a lot like Toto’s ‘Africa‘) is a nice one!”

(Of course I’m not entirely satisfied with these relatively safe not-so-guilty pleasures, so after more questioning, he brings the good stuff to the table.)

Captain Jack, yes I liked that track. And I listened to a lot of ‘gabber‘ as well (another side note: a huge musical trend in the 90’s in The Netherlands. Click the link and be amazed). Songs as ‘XTC You Got What I Need‘ in particular. It was part of my rebellious ‘Thunderdome-phase’ in high school, where other ‘gabbers’ influenced me. This lasted for a year or so.”


Do you listen to other music to get inspiration?

“The last three winters I stayed in Indonesia. It has the perfect surroundings to make new music. Life’s relaxed, I surf a lot and oddly enough; I don’t listen to any music there. I just grab my guitar and play. My new EP (Lighthouse) came into existence there! Back in the days, when internet was lacking, it was easier to write. I’m easily distracted and kind of a scatterbrain. In Indonesia there’s less white noise. The tranquility is very inspirational.”


Want to know how inspirational Indonesia has been for Pat? Check out his EP now!