MusicMusic Features

Pattern is Movement Says Goodbye

After 14 years, Philadelphia-based rock band Pattern is Movement is calling it quits. For fans, this may come as a bit of a shock. The group has gone on long periods of hiatus, lost band members—eventually dwindling down from a five-piece to the duo of drummer Chris Ward and vocalist Andrew Thiboldeaux—and completely retooled its sound. It seems odd that a band in such a constant state of flux would come to a permanent end, but according to Ward, it just felt like the right time.

“We’ve been making music since we were 14, and Pattern is Movement has been a band since 2001,” he says. “I think we’re both just ready to move on and do other things. It’s amicable. The first amicable breakup in history, ever. There’s not really much behind it, except we did our last album, and we did some touring around it, and we were both like, ‘This is it, I think we’re ready.’”

Pattern is Movement began as a math-rock project, but over the years it hopped from genre to genre, eventually shifting into a more baroque pop sound. The band’s most recent, self-titled album even incorporated some light R&B elements. So, why not just keep evolving?

“I think, for now, Pattern has taken so much of our lives, and we’re just ready to do something else,” says Ward. “Going from five members to four, to three, to two—I guess there’s only one more option. I don’t think there’s any more evolution coming right now.”

Still, Ward adds, listeners can expect both members to continue making music.

“We got a lot of feedback on our last album and tour, people who were saying they were looking forward to seeing where that sound went. Andrew and I don’t have any direct plans, but I think on our own we both might explore more of that sound. It’s sort of hard to talk about. It’s like we’ve been in a long-term relationship, and we just broke up. You don’t necessarily want to talk about getting into another relationship right out of the gate.”

And the show isn’t over yet: The band has set out on one last tour to say goodbye. For Ward, there’s a lot riding on this final venture.

“I would like to gain some closure from doing this. ‘Catharsis’ is probably the best word for it. Doing this final tour [is] a way to end things in a way that feels right. I think, to our fans, it should be a celebration. The fans are integral to this entire experience. I feel like that’s not dealt with enough from the musician side… I want to celebrate them. Even if I don’t know them personally, they’ve been a huge part of my life, and for some of them, I’ve been a huge part of their [lives].”

Athens, in particular, has always held significance for Pattern is Movement. For Ward, the group’s final show in town will be a sentimental experience.

“Athens is our second home,” he says. “I would say it’s one of my favorite cities in the entire United States. I’m going to miss having reasons to come to Athens… Playing so many shows at places like Secret Squirrel and Caledonia, I have memories of those shows that are bigger to me than stuff like graduating college, or buying my first house.”

Ward gets emotional as he searches for the proper words to express his gratitude to the people who have supported his group over the years.

“This whole ride has been a unique experience for someone like me,” he says. “I travel the world playing shows, and it’s because of fans that I get to do stuff like that. I want people to come out and celebrate that experience, and I want to celebrate the people who made this band what it is. That’s what I’m really looking forward to: thanking people for giving us life as a band. It sounds overwrought, but I really, really feel it.”

WHO: Pattern is Movement, John Fernandes & Alec Livaditis
WHERE: Caledonia Lounge
WHEN: Saturday, June 6, 9 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $10 (21+), $12 (18–20)