Meet cousin duo band Relatively Speaking

‘We are daring and not afraid of taking any song and making it our own’

Temple is filled with musically talented individuals ranging from one genre to the next. Some students choose to do their own thing, while others come together to collaborate their talents.

But what if you could combine talents with someone in your own family. That’s exactly what Temple freshman, Vincent Gonzales, decided to do. He combined his vocals, guitar, piano and harmonica skills with his cousin, Patchy McElroy’s talents.

Patchy is an 18-year-old high school student, attending Bishop McDevitt. He, like Vincent, does not just have one talent but multiple dealing with the guitar, piano, harmonica, bass, banjo, ukulele, saxophone and the list goes on.

Their story

As cousins they both had always played together just for fun whether it be in one of their basements or a random open mic night. Vincent explained how they grew up in a musical family, which helped them establish and find talents within themselves.

“Our mother’s family is one of those Irish-American families who are very connected and always would have parties resulting in the playing and singing of songs, lasting throughout the night,” Vincent said. “Having attended all these family functions growing up, we became influenced to take up instruments and explore the musical talents that we possessed.”

Photo: Matt Smith

After a few years of just playing together for fun, they decided to take their skills to the next level. That moment hit them when they were at an open mic night around three years ago. Patchy got up on stage and introduced them saying, “This is my cousin Vinny.” That line stuck and ended up being their name as they transitioned into a band.

“We created a set list an hour before we went on and stole the show,” Patchy said. “We were able to have a huge number of girls in the audience fall in love with us, which boosted or confidence and convinced us that we had something brewing. Even though looking back we see it sorta sucked, it was the beginning of a long road to success.”

You can check out their first show here:

Once they decided to become a legit band they named themselves Relatively Speaking, after finding out that there were all kinds of copyrights involved in being named after a film, My Cousin Vinny. Vincent explained that his mother was the person who actually came up with the name one day as they were all sitting around the kitchen table.

“She pitched the idea due to the fact that we are related and we perform music,” Vincent said. “It’s cheesy but it works and there are worse names used in the music industry, like Pitbull or Nickleback.”

After picking their name they hired Matt Smith, a senior here at Temple, to be their manager. He helps promote their band to get them the attraction they want.

Their songwriting

In early 2015, Patchy and Vincent finished their first song, Spaceman. They stated that it became their favorite song to play together because it was the first time they were able to create something entirely on their own. After playing it over and over and revising it, it has come to be what is now called Atmosphere. Both Patchy and Vincent expressed the importance of listening to it live because Soundcloud doesn’t do it any justice.

Just like with most music, the lyrics are key to the message behind the musicians. Vincent explained that the melody is simple to create but the lyrics are the difficult part. They spend hours locking themselves in the basement and forcing themsleves to create.

“With our style of music, the lyrics are the backbone of the song,” Vincent stated. “So finding the right ones that are meaningful and thought-provoking, while sticking to a certain message or emotion, can prove to be difficult.”

Photo: Matt Smith

In order to create new music they look for inspiration to help produce their songs. Vincent was truthful in his remark that besides their role models within the music industry, girls are definitely a force of motivation. “We did it to get the attention of girls,” Vincent said.

Patchy stated that within the music industry John Denver is without a doubt the man that has influenced him the most. “John Denver was drilled into our brains since we could hear,” he said. “His music, much of which we later found out was cover songs, inspired us to create some of our own.”

Their music

Photo: Matt Smith

They explained that their band focuses on a soft rock style with a blues background and a folky undertone. Patchy described their music as, “A psychedelic journey into modern greatness with a hint of patriotism and frustration with the establishment.” Vincent added that, “It’s calming- something you would listen to at the beach around 8pm.”

For the future, they are only hoping to grow and further their music. “I would like to take what we have and build,” Patchy said. “Build us into something huge- like a giant wall of sound. I’d like to add more instruments eventually and give us a fuller sound.”

Their new cover

They just released their new cover, Caroline. They stated that it is nothing like the original song instead making it something of their own.

“Doing a rap song cover was very interesting, but what I want people to take away from it is that we are daring and not afraid of taking any song and making it our own,” Vincent stated. “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me is our take on an older song and making it unique in our own way. I personally really like this one because our voices blend very well together in it.”

Where you can check them out

On February 9th they are performing at the Milkboy on South Street. It’s from 9pm to midnight and is free admission. “If you’re free come,” Patchy said. “If you’re not free, try to come. It’s gonna be a good time.”

You can also check out Relatively Speaking on Soundcloud or follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. They both are looking for feedback and only want to get better. If you are a musician and want to meet up, direct message them on any of their social media accounts or by emailing them at [email protected]

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