We caught up with Patent Pending – – when they came home to Long Island after playing at the Billboard Music Awards on May 20 to rest and recoup from their turn in the national spotlight.
Not that the boys in this band get much rest. They have a show planned in June while they’re home, they just finished and they’re already booked to head off on tour again culminating with a trip overseas.
According to singer Joe Ragosta and drummer Anthony Mingoia, two of the band’s founders and Mount Sinai High School graduates, the band owes its success to their intensity and go-go attitude.
The two pop rockers sat down to talk with Patch at in Port Jefferson Station a few days after returning home from the award show.
Upon meeting, Ragosta looked around the pizzeria and declared that since he came home less than a week ago he had eaten at Colosseo’s about four times, once even for breakfast.
Settling into a booth with our slices, Ragosta and Mingoia talked about their humble beginnings and their first few shows.
Ragosta was a serious hockey player in high school who broke his ankle and had to search for somewhere else to direct his energy. His brother was a guitar player and after trying his hand at creating music, Ragosta got bit by the songwriting bug right away.
Mingoia had been a drummer in other bands in high school and after looking around for options the brothers settled on the more experienced guy, except for one thing.
“We were nervous to ask him because he played in a band before,” said Ragosta.
Once they got over the fear, Patent Pending was formed.
The band is rounded out by guitarists Rob Felicetti and Marc Kantor and bassist Travis McGee.
Ragosta and Mingoia said that the North Shore Youth Council gave Patent Pending their big break allowing them to play their first gig at the Shoreham-Wading River Recreation Center.
“Even if you were terrible they’d let you play as long as the kids had fun and you didn’t break anything,” Mingoia said.
Another early gig consisted of unplugging the Coke machine in the Port Jefferson Station parking lot and playing until the cops showed up.
They will be the first ones to tell you that they were horrible when they started out but the boys had a hook.
“We learned what makes a crowd go crazy,” Ragosta said.
The band used their intensity and what they called the “pageantry of the show” to distract the crowd from the fact they were terrible.
“We always played to entertain,” said Mingoia.
He said that it was a Puritan-like work ethic that helped them get better at music. They claim to have well over 2,000 shows under their belts and over 200 songs recorded.
“Somewhere along the way the playing catches up with itself,” Mingoia said.
Patent Pending has grown over the years into sort of a black hole. It sucked people in even in the beginning before they made a thin dime playing music.
“We have an ever-growing crew of merry idiots that travel around with us,” said Ragosta. “It’s a bizarre community that we’ve created for ourselves.”
One time, when attempting to play a last minute gig at the bar wouldn’t allow any of their under 18 fans in to see them.
“Last, last minute” they made another change according to Mingoia. They secured the Smithtown Masonic Temple to play the gig and arranged to caravan 200 people to get there.
The band thinks that playing the Billboard Magazine Music Awards has “justified their existence.”
Although they didn’t feel that they were the top band musically, they won over the judges with their intensity. Showmanship won the day, crafted by thousands of live performances. Plus they had history on their side.
“We’ve never lost a battle of the bands,” said Ragosta.
You can see Patent Pending on Long Island at Ollie’s Point in Amityville on June 3 at 4 p.m. Then they head out on tour coming back to Nassau Coliseum on July 21 with the Warped Tour. At the end of the summer the band heads out for their first overseas tour in the United Kingdom with Bowling For Soup.
“It’s going to be a dream,” Ragosta said about the U.K. tour. “Crazy times right now.”