WTF Podcast

Episode 462 - Patrick Stickles

Patrick Stickles, frontman of Titus Andronicus, brings his punk rock style to the garage for a conversation about rules and rule breaking, the Rolling Stones versus Led Zeppelin, and why rock and roll is a dying artform. Marc and Patrick also discuss mental health and how the things that torture us are also the things that allow us to create. This episode is sponsored by Domino Records, featuring Arctic Monkeys’ new album AM, by Hover and by NatureBox.


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Freshman Philosophy 101 January 16, 2014 at 10:09 am

Only the second week of January, and we already have a winner for insufferably childish and pretentious guest of 2014.



j January 16, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I completely agree Freshman Philosophy 101. I’m barely making it through this episode.

Atish Raja January 16, 2014 at 12:51 pm


aedouard January 16, 2014 at 12:57 pm

That guy will hear this interview in 10 years and feel embaressed.Cool dude, but youth makes you feel you knoe much more than you actually do.

Greg from Bloomfield January 16, 2014 at 1:59 pm

I came to Titus 6 or 7 years ago after seeing Patrick open for Ted Leo in a now-defunct abandoned hotel in Bushwick, and have stuck with them ever since.

I dunno. Maybe you have to be from Jersey.

Guest January 16, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Ay carumba. Someone give this guy Phil Stutz’s number.

Sweet Home Chicago January 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Titus Andronicus is, and will continue to be one of my favorite bands. My buddy told me about them 4 or 5 years ago while we were in highschool, and been listening to them ever since.

Rock on Stickles.

Trav January 16, 2014 at 5:47 pm

You think Keith Richards ever gave two fucks about any of the shit Stickles was talking about? That’s Rock N Roll. Seems like a nice kid but he is clearly just trying to act as eccentric as possible. Not very Rock N Roll…

Matt January 16, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Every time a read or hear an interview with Patrick Stickles, I get a reminder that you can love the art and hate the artist. Thank god his music isn’t as pretentious as he is.

emxdoom January 16, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Its hard to listen to this guy. The moment you start to analyze your self like this your fucked.

JS January 16, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Don’t think this guy is pretentious at all. Just a young guy talking about his life and experiences.  Good for him for doing what he loves. Does he have everything figured out? Probably not.  But who does?  You need to appreciate these interviews for what they are:  Snapshots. 

Thanks for the interview, Marc. You are great at what you do. 

Steph January 16, 2014 at 10:26 pm

I’ve always thought and continue to think that Patrick is an awesome person because he is honest to himself and is aware. I hope Titus’s new album is as brutally honest as their past albums!

Max January 17, 2014 at 2:17 am

I’ve been listening to this podcast for almost two years, and this might be my favorite episode yet. Keep on keepin’ on, Maron.

kate January 17, 2014 at 3:38 am

There’s nothing wrong with being an intellectual.  I think a lot of people get uncomfortable listening to someone talk who has read and thought a lot and when they find they can’t really keep up mentally they get defensive and call the person pretentious.  This is obviously a sensitive, inquisitive person trying to further human understanding and struggling and going through some hard and awkward things as openly and honestly as possible.  Personally I really enjoyed it.  Good job, guys.

Steve Galerkin January 17, 2014 at 6:15 am

Thoroughly enjoyed the interview. I can not think of one other interviewer who would be capable of conducting this interview. I remember being in my late twenties and will never forget those days as much as I would like to. Reflections in pools of piss it was, but eventually it evaporated and I was able to step forward right into a pile of shit. Anyway, just wanting to show my gratitude and let you know that you have a listener and a fan who appreciates what you do in Thailand.

Mark January 17, 2014 at 7:38 am

I have to admit, I’d never heard of Patrick Stickles before this interview, though I was aware of the Titus Andronicus in passing.

I’m a little surprised at some of the negative reactions. I appreciate this young man’s passion and intellectual curiosity. As an “old guy” of 45, it’s refreshing to hear young people with so much energy and insight. And as far as there being any “pretentiousness” with Patrick Stickles, weren’t most of us at least a little bit like that in our early 20s?

James January 17, 2014 at 7:43 am

Not sure what angers people about this person, I’ve not known of him before. He seems more grounded and articulate than some of the people on here.
Can we really criticise someone for being self-obsessed when they are being asked to talk about their lives? Seems pretty pointless.
I found his struggle very well described almost lyrical in places.
Well done Marc.

rob January 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I’ve been a fan of this band since, “The Airing of Grievances…”, and was STOKED to see Patrick’s name in the title, and was not disappointed by the result.
Thanks for doing what y’all do, WTF’ers.

Mark January 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Glad to hear Marc has gotten into Fugazi, if he could ever get Ian Mackaye in the garage it would be nerdcock heaven.

Andrew January 17, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Not knowing anything about Stickles or the band he’s in, I listened to much of the interview thinking he was an insufferable self-involved bore lecturing Marc instead of sharing his life story. The Nietzsche quotes were particularly annoying. Then things took the turn Maron references in the intro. His description of his struggle with manic depression and more poignantly his struggle with the drugs meant to cure it really opened my eyes. He’s an earnest dude who’s been through a lot and is trying to sort things out, hopefully he finds a good balance.

Dale January 17, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      Marc while I sympathize with this kid please don’t encourage this over intellectualized hipster wankery.These guys use to become music critics.It’s only Rock and Roll but I like it.P.S. from what I’ve heard, Nietzsche sucked on guitar but Hendrix was an Übermensch .

Krista Harris January 17, 2014 at 8:55 pm

I really don’t know why people are criticizing this guy for being pretentious, I really didn’t get that vibe at all. I think he’s just a young guy out there doing something he’s passionate about and everything he said seemed to be coming from a pretty genuine place. As for being “too intellectual” well, how can a person be too intellectual? That notion just gets into weird, thought police territory for me, but to each their own opinion I suppose. I had never heard of him or the band until now but I started listening today after I listened to the podcast and am pretty impressed so far. What he said about the state of rock and it no longer being the dominate youth culture really rang true but in a way, it’s nice that it might be returning to a more alternative and authentic place. When your on the fringes anyway, it only pays to be yourself. He struck me as being cerebral yes, but also a down to earth guy with a refreshing, kind of subtle sense of humor. I really enjoyed this podcast. Thanks for having him on the show, Marc.

J R January 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm

He seemed out there but I wasn’t particularly turned off by him.. I like intellectual wankery, though. I find it ironic that people think this guy is pretentious but we all listen to a podcast hosted by a self-obsessed self-proclaimed narcissist who can’t help but name drop ernest becker every episode (no offense marc). Get real, people.

dale January 18, 2014 at 12:43 am

  You will never quantify creativity art music etc.It is the intangible.Now I’m being pretentious but it’s true.You will never solve the puzzle.It is truth.It’s life.And ultimately it’s faith.Intellect is a luxury.

Michael P. Gowdy January 18, 2014 at 8:03 am

I’ve realized during the last few weeks of this show that generally comics are much cooler people than musicians. Hahaha.
This guy and the even more self-obsessed musician named Father John have drilled it into me.
I pinpointed the moment when I realized that I hate this guy. It was when he talked about the creation of the band name and said that he chose the name because it made him seem smart.
Marc: “So it was just a ruse?”
“Was it a ruse? I think I was kissing my own ass about how many books I read.”
If I had this conversation with a comic and he used the tone this guy used when he said it, let alone that sentence I would literally follow that remark with, “dude, kill yourself.”

David January 18, 2014 at 9:16 am

You say that like you hang out with comedians all the time, Michael P. Gowdy. How about this, kill yourself for thinking you’re anywhere near being important enough for people to care about your opinion.

Michael P. Gowdy January 18, 2014 at 12:25 pm

“You say that like you hang out with comedians all the time, Michael P. Gowdy.”

Wow. One might have the impression that…. I actually do….. Hmmmm…..

Josh January 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

This man must write a book. Immediately. And I will buy it just as fast.

Joe January 19, 2014 at 2:06 am

I feel for this young man, he sounds so lost and confused throughout the interview. I hope he can find real peace, real love, and real harmony in his life. Having spent the day trying to better myself, make a crib for my soon-to-be-born child, listening to and reading A Course in Miracles and in general seeing the perfect non-duality of our existence, it is unsettling to listen to this interview. It is making my mind fizzle as I hear this gentleman’s confused, downward spiral talking. I feel like he could truly benefit from doing some serious healthy steps in his life (prayer, meditation, routine, etc.).

David January 19, 2014 at 6:33 am

Yeah. Patrick Stickles is the douche bag. Not some guy coming onto a message board talking about hanging out with comedians. GFY, Michael P. Gowdy.

Scott January 19, 2014 at 8:51 am

Distorted guitar through a loud amplifier is easy to mistake for passion.

Michael P. Gowdy January 19, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Hey, “David,” uou might want to check out the other people who have identical feelings about this guy. I love it when someone focuses on a single person as if he is the only person who has such beliefs—I guess that it means that my posts were so well-written that they’ve enraged you.
If I thought he were a good person I would not post my negative opinions about him.

smitty January 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm

I think many of you are confusing style with substance. I initially found him slightly off putting;but he quickly grew on me, as I listened to what he had to say.  he’s not the most elegant communicator,and can ramble off a bit. however,he had great social insight ,and a quite keen notion of the world as is;and how the dynamics of human nature play off of that.  some of you are just fanboy personality whores it seems.

smitty January 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm

btw- I do think it rather perverse , that so many of you get on someone, because of their flaws, quirks, and or, perceived or real, mental perturbations.  don’t you all just love to decry phonies;yet, when you get a bit of unvarnished “truth as he sees it”, you can’t fucking deal with it..!!

H January 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm

I fucking loved him…
Patrick is the real thing. Thanks for the amazing interview. His music is really important for me smile

Tony January 20, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Anyone looking for pretentious self-importance, there was none of it here… Just an intelligent earnest young guy who appears to take the world around himself seriously enough to want to think about it and engage with it…

Thanks for this interview, Marc… I’d never come across Patrick Stickles or his band, but I’ll be buying a couple of their records now and will be interested to see how it all works out for him. I echo the comment above about your interviewing style… There aren’t many interviewers out there who can elicit the kind of conversations from such a wide range of individuals that you do… Keep up the great work, it’s hugely appreciated.  All the best from Japan.  Tony

B January 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Marc, might be time for another ‘Don’t be a dick in the comments” PSA on the show.  Seems like there are some new listeners looking to blow off some negative steam here in the comments. For what it’s worth, I think Patrick’s an earnest and open-minded dude - grade A wtfpod guest in my book

AJimenez January 31, 2014 at 2:27 am

Jesus the guy has his heart in the right place but freshman philosopher is right. Nothing about this guy sounds punk or rock and seriously who quotes Nietzsche after the 11th grade?

Growhydro January 31, 2014 at 12:09 pm

The only reason he doesn’t get Zeppelin is because hes not a real musician.

Empty Nester February 01, 2014 at 8:53 am

Something about this young man I found very touching.  He’s clearly articulate and intelligent.  So what if he speaks with the voice of a young person—he IS a young person.  The brutal honesty he brought to the table about his bipolar disorder was insightful.  Something about him brought up my mothering instincts, and honestly I worry about him on his journey of self-medicating.  Thanks, Marc, for this interview.  I have never heard of this band or this guy, but I found it all very interesting.  I hope that he can find the balance of clarity and creativity that he needs.

Jesse February 01, 2014 at 9:16 pm

I admit that I was assuming Titus Andronicus was just not my thing, but I gave The Monitor a listen and it’s really pretty fantastic! Also, not sure why so many people here seem to dislike him so much.

Kay March 16, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Are you kidding people? This is one of the most interesting interviews I’ve heard in months. Don’t get me wrong, I love the usual kvetching about, and processing of, childhood wounds and misspent youths, but every now and then, it’s nice to listen to a big thinker.  This kid’s working on a huge fucking puzzle.

I loved listening I him think out loud.

dale March 22, 2014 at 2:44 am

      Patrick can play me what he thinks is his greatest song and I will put on Led Zeppelin 1 or 2 on and ask him to show me which of his songs are better than this.Just because your parents finance your delusion don’t expect the rest of the world to buy it.A little humility would serve him well.We live in the new world of super human narcissism.Artists struggled in poverty trying to express themselves while rich kids who have never suffered a days honest work critique music they could never create.Patrick you may have talent but you don’t have experience.

JM April 16, 2014 at 10:49 am

Maybe 30 minutes in I realized that every other word out of Pat’s mouth was “ya’know” and then it was the only thing I could hear and had to turn the interview off. Ya know?

garbanzoalfonzo May 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm

great episode, marc!  stickles is the man—very articulate and thoughtful and not at all pretentious, just self-aware.  but it took you *that* long to understand the doors cultural relevance?  reeeeeaaaally???!!!  that was pretty shocking.

Julie June 13, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Why bash someone for not loving Led Zeppelin? Good grief, they’re on every Dude-Rock station in every single town at the top of the dial and have been there at least since I first started paying attention to the radio at 8 years old in 1984. And just today I heard “Ramble On” when scanning through in the car. Followed by that (in my opinion) horrible Joe Walsh song. Zeppelin are ubiquitous. Their legacy will survive if a few individuals aren’t fans. Let someone have another opinion, for once.

I’ve got about 10 years on Patrick, but I knew exactly what he meant. Sometime in the 80s that limited “Classic Rock” playlist format became “the Establishment,” just as their Boomer fans became “the Establishment,” many voting for Reagan, and I for one associate most of those “Classic Rooooock” (wish this had audio so I could do that obnoxious DJ voice) songs with 60-year-old rich white guys cruising in their convertibles on Saturday afternoons. And not to state the obvious, but turning away from what we now call “Classic Roooooock” has always been what punk is, pretty much.

And I didn’t find Patrick pretentious at all. I found him dryly funny and sardonically sincere. He’s a bookish, philosophically oriented young person, from the post-Hardcore punk tradition. Really smart, especially book-smart, young people always come off a little bit full of themselves intellectually—shit, I know I did, for sure, and to this day some dumb thing I said will surface to the top of my consciousness and make me cringe. That just goes with the territory, and so what? I have no problem with it whatsoever. He’s trying to make art, trying to make a contribution, I’ll take that over some musician just making electronic stuff with their MacBook in hopes of selling it for a car commerical.