Patrick O’Neill: Plucking the strings of mind and music

Name: Patrick O’Neil

Major: Music and Psychology.

Hometown: Sacramento, Calif.

Why did you start playing music?

I was hanging out with a buddy of mine that I met at a job that I had before. I noticed how he always had a guitar around. So one day I asked him, ‘hey man do you want to teach me how to play guitar?’ So he did. He started to teach me some basics. I definitely struggled at first, but then he was the one who told me that I should be a bass player because he saw something in me that he said was characteristic for a bass player. He gave me that and ahh, I just fell in love with the bass guitar; it is just an amazing instrument.

When did you start?

I started just before I turned 20.

Isn’t it kind of late to be a guitarist?

It is kind of late, actually one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t start playing earlier. But you know, I just never gave myself the opportunity to actually do it. Once I started, I was so amazed that I had never found something else that amazed me as much as playing guitar did before in my life.

To clarify, do you play bass or guitar right now?

I play both but my main instrument is the bass, that is really what I prefer to play.

What band did you grow up listening to?

You know if there is one band that I have to say I grew up listening to I must say it is Earth, Wind and Fire.

What do you like other than music?

I like hanging out with friends. Being around all of my buddies and just doing whatever, you know, we like to go out to bars, do a bunch of stuff like that. I like to snowboard a little and I’m glad we finally are getting a little bit of snow.

Why did you move to Tahoe?

Well I was looking for a school. I was looking for some place to continue my education and I saw an ad in a local newspaper back in Sacramento that my dad had shown me, so I checked it out online and I looked at what their programs were and I saw music and psychology on there so I was just pretty interested right away.

Had you ever been up in this area before then?

Not really. You know I had been up here once or twice but only as a kid.

Other than music I have heard that you are a fantastic athlete, can you tell me about that?

I used to love sports! All type of sports but the one I used to be really great at was racquetball. I used to play a lot, I was about 16 when I really got into it. That was right around the time I quit playing baseball.

There are stories saying you were the guy to beat on the West Coast?

I did really well at one point! I got my sponsor at that time.

It was by Prince. So I had my sponsor and I was playing tournaments just about every weekend around in California. I was ranked in the state of California relatively high.

Did you play tennis as well?

No, you know I have played tennis maybe once in my life.

I never really got into tennis, it is a very different sport to me. But what I do love is table tennis which is referred to as ping pong. That is a sport that I absolutely love!.

So if you were at a party and there is a table around, would you stay and play a round or two?

Haha well yes if someone wants to play me! I’ll be there absolutely! But unfortunately it is hard to find people to play around in this town!

What is your feeling about the music culture around campus?

Around campus? I think that there is really a great amount of talent around campus and school. I feel like they are really disconnected from each other.

I feel like getting together and jamming more would form more bands, you know there is a lot of talent, it is just that people are not making use of it at all.

Tell me what music means to you?

Music is life essentially. It is a crucial part of anyone’s interaction, socially. It is a lot about how people act, dress and whom a person hangs out with.

To me, it is being able to cope with life, deal with struggles. It is a way of actually understanding life, applying just everything that I know about music to life, and open the world and see what is out there. It is a way of creating a little bit of mystery.

Are you currently playing in a band?

No, I am not currently in a band. I have a couple of guys that I like to play with time to time, but we haven’t played shows since last year.

When you played shows did you guys play cover songs or your own music?

Mainly covers. That is because the bar that we were playing at wanted to hear the covers that are songs that most people know about. But we did have a few times where we had our own jams.

Tell me who you are in five words.

Come and hang out and drink with me! Then you will get to know me!