Patrick Gavigan has had a busy weekend with shows all around Vancouver.
The singer-songwriter was performing with his five-piece band Best Night Ever, winner of the 2014 Hard Rock Vancouver Rock the Mic Battle of the Bands, and the 2015 Roxy Launch Project.
His biography describes a hard-working musician, who also solos and performs sessions work. He formed his first band when he was 13.
"We'd get together on the weekends in the garage at my parents' place and bang out Guns N' Roses covers; we'd approach all the high schools in the area and offer to do lunchtime concerts for all the kids. It was a free taste of playing live. It was a lot fun," he says.
That taste led down a path that has built a long career.
"I'm 39 now; it's what I love to do!" he chuckles.
"It wasn't always full time. I actually worked in Whistler for a couple of years, at the (Fairmont) Chateau (Whistler), as a bartender and in banquets. I always worked in banquets. It takes a little while to get there as a full-time musician. I think most musicians I know, they've had to freelance and do a variety of things to get where they want."
And, funnily enough, Gavigan is returning to work at the Fairmont, this time in a solo capacity — he performs two nights at the Mallard Lounge on Wednesday, Nov. 16 and Thursday, Nov. 17.
"When I perform solo I play a lot of originals, with songs from the band. I also play my favourite songs and hope the audience's favourite songs fall into that collection, and if not there's a lot of booze behind the bar!" he laughs.
"But, yeah, I do adaptations of the band's songs. I find the crowd there really appreciative of live music, which is great. Maybe it's the whole Whistler vibe, everybody's there for a vacation. In Vancouver it's different; sometimes you're just a jukebox with a haircut."
Best Night Ever is Gavigan's main project, with Top 40-friendly pop that is vocally driven.
"Best Night started three-and-a-half years ago as a typical pop band. It's kind of a cliché story, we had a chemistry and different musical influences. When we came together, we recognized it was something we wanted to pursue," Gavigan says.
"We want out sound to reflect our name. As much as we take it seriously, we didn't want it to be super heavy. We want to create tunes for a broader audience. We all come from different musical backgrounds, so we wanted something fun.
"We categorize our music as soul-pop that sounds like rock, but we want it to be cleverer, we want more thought with the arrangements."
The band's self-titled EP came out in 2015; they hope to go into the studio with their second EP in 2017 with Rage Against the Machine producer Garth Richardson — an opportunity that came to them thanks to winning the Roxy Launch Project.
"He really liked what we did and after we won the thing he approached us, so we've been moving along with him. We're song writing, doing preproduction for him. We're inching towards it," Gavigan says.
"When we're writing, everybody brings something to the table. It's a really organic process for us; we start in the rehearsal room, create a riff and we start to build a song from there. It's usually the best way to work for us, we get such a kick playing live together and it's the best way for us to write."
Both Gavigon and Best Night Ever are regulars on the Whistler music scene, also recently playing the full band at the Four Seasons Resort.
"You can play the GLC or Garfs, but (for live bands playing original music) a lot of musicians I know who come to Whistler are playing (corporate) events," Gavigan says, adding that he (and the band) also do this.
"A lot of musicians in my circle think of it as a 'work trip,' they aren't necessarily playing their passion projects, but they are playing music people want to hear."