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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: European experiences - success overseas more than u.s.? what about norway?
Category: General Questions
From: James Moran (Schenectady, NY)

This is what happens; you're so generous to answer questions, well, us fans just keep asking more!!! Another question, then -- how would you explain PMG's tremendous success in the varous countries throughout Europe (as opposed to your tremendous success in the U.S.)? And how did you guys get so involved with the Norwegians in the earlier days? Thanks again for all the absolutely wonderful music you've always done . . .

Jim Moran

Pat’s Answer:

well, things do tend to go in cycles. it's true, we did enjoy an almost equal success here in america to what we have enjoyed overseas for many years - but times have changed - the u.s. these days is way off for us compared to europe and japan. and especially in terms of general knowledge about modern music, the current period here in america is pretty discouraging - you have some "older" people who are aware of music something like ours only via the medium of radio and the limited chances they have to hear any good music on the radio leave them fairly unprepared for most of what we have to offer - and then younger audiences these days here in the u.s., (as opposed to europe) for instance, are pretty much content to stick with whatever mtv dishes out to them. the younger generation of listeners now (13-30) is, in general, the most conservative and complacent in several generations and that has meant that there have been fewer people venturing out into the world of the alternative musics than ever before. add to that the peculiar and unfortunate advent of radio formats that go by the misnomer "smooth jazz" that play one or two of our tunes (pesky improvised solos edited out) - therefore giving young people the chance to throw us in with that bunch - and it is no mystery that any intelligent person, teen or otherwise would rather be caught dead than endorsing or being associated in any way with something as intrinsically unhip as a "cd-101" like station - and we are left with a generation of kids here in america with no interest in anything beyond what is on their favorite radio station. it is so weird, because in europe and japan - it is pretty much the opposite. most of our audience there is young kids who come to the concert not only to hear the music, but you can feel that they consider it a hip place to be, to meet their friend, etc - all the cultural/social conditions that usually have to be there for music really to be absorbed into the vibe of a place and time in a way that is real, that goes beyond the hype that you would read about in your local alternative weekly or something.

we used to record often in norway because of a great engineer that lived there (jan erik kongshaug) and a great studio. i always loved norway and always loved playing there. ironically to this discussion, although we enjoyed some good success there at different times over the years, i don't think we could get arrested there now!! but i will always want to go there, even if we can't get any gigs, just to visit. it is a really beautiful place, filled with great people.