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Matthew Bihuniak: The Sense of Calm

Austin Carmichael, Staff Writer

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As most students at McIntosh do, Matthew Bihuniak carries a heavy workload on his back. Unlike most McIntosh students, however, Bihuniak carries a different weight: he strives to be the best drummer and manager he can be in Patterns of Interaction, his Peachtree City-based rock band.

“He’s the drummer… he has the beat, but he’s also the manager,” said Bihuniak’s girlfriend, Brooke Owens. “He really books a lot of the shows and he made the stickers for the band… he really is dedicated to working hard.”

Bihuniak stands at average height; his dark hair and dark eyes make him look mature and older than he is. He seems cool and collected, and his deep voice compliments his appearance.

Bihuniak formed Patterns of Interaction with some friends in 2015 for the McIntosh Talent Show.

“My sophomore year, I saw the announcement for the McIntosh Talent Show,” Bihuniak said. He sits relaxed and continues confidently, “I didn’t necessarily think I was starting a long-lasting band at that point, I just wanted to make music and show people.”

After their first performance, Patterns of Interaction continued to practice and write music. The band takes influence from bands like Tame Impala and Sunflower Bean.

“We all love the indie pop scene,” Bihuniak said about himself and his bandmates, “and that’s what a lot of our older stuff sounds like.”

Lately, the band’s music has taken a different turn.

“We have been getting into harder rock, punk… stuff from the ‘60s and ‘70s, and our new stuff sounds like a fusion of those things,” Bihuniak stated.

Bihuniak has been drumming since he was in sixth grade.

“I can’t really say for sure why I was drawn to the drums,” he admitted. “I’ve been tapping on things as long as I can remember. [When I was little,] my great uncle would put me in the front seat of his car and give me a magazine and a pair of sticks. He’d turn the Beatles on the radio and drive me around the block while I went ballistic in his car.”

By the time the next McIntosh Talent Show rolled around, Patterns of Interaction took the stage with confidence. “We came back to the talent show in 2016 to perform an original song and announce our debut EP,” Bihuniak continued.

That EP, entitled “Resonance,” was released the following year. The EP’s Red Hot Chili Pepper-style sound and catchy songs instantly appealed to listeners.

“The ‘Resonance’ EP was really cool because our bassist’s dad was a recording engineer and producer, so we set up in his studio and tracked our five songs in, like, two or three weeks,” said Bihuniak. “I got to use [a] gorgeous Yamaha Recording Custom kit, which for drummers is like the holy grail of all drum sets.”

A few months later, the band recorded a new single: “Mind Cemetery.” The song sounds more like a ‘70s punk rock song than the band’s older material, and the band’s improvement since their last release consequently yielded better quality instrumentals, vocals, and production.

“When we recorded ‘Mind Cemetery,’ we set up in [our singer]’s bedroom with a mixing board and our own microphones and did it all on our own,” Bihuniak stated. “We did it in one take and were happy with it, so we mixed it and published it within a month…Hearing yourself through headphones on a record is a crazy cool experience. I’d highly recommend any musician even thinking of recording something to hit the studio.”

A year later, Patterns of Interaction continues to play in venues all across the Atlanta area and has created a solid fanbase for itself. As the manager, Bihuniak books all of the band’s gigs, and as the drummer, he practices weekly with the band. As a high school senior, though, Bihuniak has a lot on his place in addition to the band.

Bihuniak said, “It can be tough at times, as I am in the school band, my own band, [I have] my job… coupled with the reality of graduation being just a month or two away, but I’d say I’m doing an okay job of keeping a level head. I’ve got my friends and family and my girlfriend Brooke to thank for that.”

Patterns of Interaction really excels at playing live. Dedicated fans come to almost every show the band plays, and typically the band packs out smaller venues.

Cole Sanford, who went to one of the band’s shows last December, stated, “I thought [Patterns of Interaction] sounded amazing… [Bihuniak] just looked like he was having a lot of fun.”

Bihuniak’s favorite song to play live is “Obsessed” from the “Resonance” EP.

“There’s a little break in the song in seven-eights time, and I kind of play a mini solo underneath it,” he said. “It’s so much fun.”

While Bihuniak is relaxed as he explains life in the band, he is a completely different person on the drums. He confidently hits every beat perfectly and even sings while playing during certain songs. He is humble while he talks but really shows his skill through action.

“Everything about playing live is absolutely great.” Bihuniak thought for a minute as he tries to describe a typical gig. “When we start [playing], we typically open with our song ‘Thumb,’ which will be on the new album. We go through our set, and if we have enough time, sometimes I’ll get a solo.”

Perry Cox, a good friend of Bihuniak’s, was surprised by how talented Bihuniak and the rest of the band were when he saw them live. “I knew that they were talented. I listened to their CD before [the concert], but when they started playing, it was great,” Cox said.

“They are all very good performers,” Brooke Owens, Bihuniak’s girlfriend, said about Patterns of Interaction’s live gigs. “You can tell that [Bihuniak]’s enjoying playing the music and that he’s really into it, and he works really hard to be as good as he is.”

Bihuniak’s reputation as the foundation of the band is well-earned. He is the sole remaining original member of the band, and his role as manager and drummer help cement his importance.

When asked about what Bihuniak contributes to the band, Cox said, “Awesome drumming… and creativity… he’s started to sing too, which is really cool.”

“I think [Bihuniak] adds a sense of calm to the band, because from what I’ve seen of him, he’s always very calm and put together, and he always knows what he wants to do and how to do it,” Sanford, one of Patterns of Interaction’s fans, mentioned.

Bihuniak and the band aren’t planning to slow down any time soon. Patterns of Interaction is currently working on their first album in the studio and plan to continue work through the summer while they continue to play live across Atlanta.

The band’s releases, “Resonance” and “Mind Cemetery,” are available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more for listening.

Today, May 11th, the band will be playing at Furnace 41 in Jonesboro, Georgia. They will also be performing at the Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia on May 24.

For more information, check out Patterns’ Instagram @patternsofinteraction, Twitter @patternsofptc, and Facebook @patternsofinteractionofficial.

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