The Breaking Pattern
Gig Seeker Pro

The Breaking Pattern

Tempe, AZ | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Tempe, AZ
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Indie




"How The Breaking Pattern Became Phoenix's Top Band in Six Months"

You have an idea worth sharing. But how do you get others to notice? That was the question Phoenix rocker Derek Hackman sought to answer after five grueling years as a local musician and poet.

Faced with the daunting task of standing out amongst hundreds of other locals, and finding little-to-moderate success, he finally cracked the code with The Breaking Pattern.

Within just six months of conception, TBP played multiple sold-out shows and headliners across Phoenix. This trend rapidly crossed over to their Instagram and Twitter presence, where they have 30K active, passionate followers—one of Arizona’s largest and most active fan bases. They’ve also garnered positive press from local bands and critics alike.

I sat down and talked to Derek to ask him, what clicked? What was it that made The Breaking Pattern...well, break the pattern? And what are the seven points he could give anyone who wants to break into their industry of choice?

1. Figure out your brand image—how you see yourself.

People tend to think of branding as slapping logos across t-shirts and water bottles, or doing cheesy PR stunts. What made The Breaking Pattern successful was narrowing down their focus to their core competency—or, in other words, the thing that made them unique.

“Not to be cliché,” Derek said, “but I think the biggest factor was finding ourselves as musicians. Not just as writers, but what we represent as an entity. Once I figured that out, I was able to determine who the audience would be and what direction the band needed to head.”

2. Figure out the other side of your brand image—how your audience actually sees you.

Of course, branding can also be more of a two-sided conversation. “Our friends kept comparing us to what was coming out during the mid 2000’s emo movement,” Derek laughed. “And to be honest, instead of shunning that comparison, we just kind of owned it. We consider ourselves a new type of emo, and we aren’t really afraid of the label. “

3. Blend the two sides and keep your image consistent.

The Breaking Pattern took what they became known for - lyric centric rock - and amped it up a few notches. “During the course of writing this album, I was going through a particularly vicious break up. Naturally the songs that came out were cathartic, but I wanted to do something that offered both a fresh perspective lyrically while still maintaining a sense of relatability.”

They keep their brand image consistent across their social media platforms, too. All their pictures, posts, and music reflect Derek’s poetic stylings. As a result, The Breaking Pattern has quickly become the face for the “emo revival” movement in Phoenix.

4. Do your homework.

Even the clearest branding won’t help you sell out shows immediately. To get people buying his tickets, Derek was able to pull strings he had spent years building.

Derek described his success as “a little bit of luck and a WHOLE lot of years spent paying dues.” He continued, “I knew the names of all the promoters. I knew what venues to play. I still know what bands are on a hot streak and who has a positive reputation.”

5. Build up a network of friends.

But aside from just doing your homework, you’ve also got to show up to class. “I worked my butt off for years in previous bands proving myself to those people, bringing fans out to shows, being diligent on my social media, promoting other bands and being a generally good human being to everyone I met along the way.”

When you spend your time cultivating a group like that, it’s no surprise that Derek went on to say, “When the time came to finally launch The Breaking Pattern, those friends we made were all on board with the vision and really stepped up to help us out. That was the luck part—that people enjoyed what we were doing, and were willing to reciprocate the goodwill. I don’t think that’s ever a guarantee.”


6. If you’re trying to build a fan base, engage your fans.

We asked Derek how he intends to hold on to his newfound status. “We try to be approachable. We respond to every message. We are the last ones to leave the venue after everyone else. We want to meet people and get to know fans, and really make a connection. And I think when you genuinely care about others and put them first, then others will start to care about the things you do.”

7. Don’t let your product quality slip.

Once people recognize your name in your desired market, where do you go from there? For Derek, “The big focus right now is finishing off this album and polishing up our live set. All the marketing jargon in the world can’t make up for a mediocre product. If we want a shot at a world stage, we need to be the best.”

He continues, “That said, all big things start off small. The love and support we’ve received recently has been overwhelming, but we’ll need to continue growing our fan base and community here in Phoenix. Then, hopefully, we can start branching out to other cities soon.”


Even if you’re not a musician, this applies to people looking to break into the restaurant business, pioneer a tech startup, or climb the corporate ladder. No, there isn’t a shortcut—but the long and winding road makes the destination that much sweeter.

The Breaking Pattern plans to release their debut album in early March of 2016. You can follow them on Instagram at TheBreakingPattern as they forge their journey into the world’s toughest industry. You can also check out their brand new promo video by clicking here. - The Huffington Post

"The 16 Best Albums Released by Phoenix Artists So Far in 2016"

The Breaking Pattern — There Are Roadmaps In Our Veins
The Breaking Pattern are bringing emo back, and they are doing a damn fine job of it. I've never verified whether their debut album, There Are Roadmaps In Our Veins, is supposed to be a concept album, but damned if it doesn't sound like one. The songs certainly have enough connective tissue between them that if you allow your mind to wander enough, a full-fledged story emerges across its 11 tracks. Still, their mix of explosive guitars, ambient orchestrations, and full-on, hook-heavy indie rock just sits right with my soul. The album is supremely single heavy, and they already have culled four songs in that regard. Still, even the songs that aren't obvious singles bolster the breadth and the depth of the album as a whole. Of note, though the album was released in April, this Friday, July 1, will be the release show for There Are Roadmaps In Our Veins at The Rebel Lounge, with the fantastic lineup of Sundressed, Holy Fawn, and Mimelight. - Phoenix New Times

"The Breaking Pattern: There Are Roadmaps In Our Veins Review"

Seemingly out of nowhere, The Breaking Pattern has emerged on the local music scene with a recent string of three amazing singles and a teaser video for a forthcoming album. With a signature sound that is something like ambient emo rock, they wrap catchy hooks and choruses in endless layers of guitars.

The Breaking Pattern didn’t actually emerge out of thin air, but instead rose from the ashes of Ezer after a lineup change and a definite re-focus. While Ezer was good, their When Dark Patches Fall EP from 2014 was somewhat directionless, and if you heard the songs individually, you wouldn’t guess it was the same band on each one. The Breaking Pattern have regrouped and created a consistent sound that spans the entirety of their debut album.

The Breaking Pattern are Derek Hackman (guitar/vocals), Brandon Dillman (drums), Jacob Beaver (bass) and Nick Benzer (lead guitar). On There Are Roadmaps in Our Veins, they lead the listener on a journey from the first song to the end. Themes of love and loss are typical emo outpourings, but they don’t come across as tired or trite here. There is imagery within the lyricism that is surrounded ambient rock and sometimes magnificent explosive guitars. The Breaking Pattern aren’t necessarily breaking ground, but they do offer up a compelling debut across 35 minutes that completely defines their sound and vision.

“Let Love Go” was released as a teaser video at the start of this year. Clocking in at just under two minutes, with all of four sentences in the lyrics, it somehow upped anticipation for the album, especially after the string of singles. It is the album’s opener and serves as a doorway into its atmospheric world, with ascending, chiming guitars and lush harmonies. It feels exactly like what it is, a stunning intro.

The band’s first single was released last June. They chose “The Rapture” as their calling card, and it was a wise choice. It is one of their most subtle songs, verging on alternative pop. An elegant ode to lost love that leaves an indelible mark upon your life and memories, the song captures the spirit perfectly, even incorporating some folk guitar elements toward the end.

It seamlessly blends into “Act Natural (Keep Your Composure),” which should clearly be the next single, since it’s pretty radio ready. Lyrically speaking, it could be about the woman that parted ways in “The Rapture” and the horror, nay sheer pain, it causes to see her out with another guy. It’s a pretty common theme, but it’s handled here with poetry and grace. It also makes the song damn relatable. It’s uptight and manic, just like the incidents it describes. It also shows off Hackman’s vocal range as he hits some falsetto at the best, most pop moments of the song. At another turn he growls, “It’s another bullshit night, I lie awake in suck city.”

This moves without pause into “Alaska,” the second single, released last September. It is a thinly veiled metaphor where Alaska stands in for a cold and remote woman, who is the object of someone that is more than a bit obsessed. While the heavy guitars lay in the background, the angelic choir harmonies push forward and dress an indie rock song in shimmering pop sheen.
Their final single of 2015 was December’s “Pretty on the Outside,” and at the time, it was my favorite to date. It’s still one of the best rockers on the record, but what makes it great is Hackman’s sexy as hell, slow vocal delivery at the start of the song, before it becomes a punk pop anthem. It also has some of the most amusing lyrics about lovers willingly making bad decisions.

“Something/Anything” serves as the centerpiece of the album, with its church organ intro that quickly switches to raging guitar. This is the tale of a man after the loss of love, after the good times, left alone to wallow in his sorrow. At this point, the album is playing out a bit like a concept piece, but it’s subtle enough that listeners can enjoy the album with or without following the storyline that seems to unfold.

With “Woman of Seine” they tell another story of a man trying to get a woman who’s beyond his reach. It’s a slow burner that turns almost hypnotic, with lush atmospherics that cushion the downtrodden lover with pillows of aural bliss. The haunting refrain of “I fall in love with ideas, and you are just another one of my solutions” sums up the sentiment perfectly.
“White Stone” would almost qualify as a link track, but like the opener of “Let Love Go” this is a fantastic song despite coming in at under a minute and a half. It’s compelling and fully formed and just as powerful as other songs that are twice as long. Whether it’s the terse lyrics or the explosive guitar, this is a tiny power-packed gem that brings the album out of melancholic reflection and turns up the energy.
Backstage - B&W
“White Lie Black Market” maintains that upswing with verve. It also continues the narrative of our hero’s bad luck with women and love. This time it’s about the point in a relationship when people are losing interest, or maybe trust is lost and fights are starting. The lyrics are pretty clever, and the bridge about the movie scene is brilliant in its delivery.
The near Americana feel at the start of “Colonies (Of Earth & Ocean)” is a bit of a surprise, though earlier they showed they had some folk tricks up their sleeve. Still, the combination of this sound and Hackman’s slow vocals is reminiscent of The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Name.” It’s a song about an unwanted pregnancy, but the poetry of the lyrics seems to obscure whether it was terminated, though it certainly lends itself to that idea. There is a fantastic megaphone vocal toward the end that could be interpreted countless ways. This is one of the finer tracks on the album as it sorts a range of emotions in front of you.

“Skyward as We Burn” serves as a fantastic finale to the entire affair. The only thing missing is an orchestra to make it even more impressive. Lyrically it seems to go off the rails, and no matter how many times I’ve listened to it, I actually can’t make head or tail of the mixed metaphors. That said, it reads like pure poetry, where you don’t have to know what the hell it means to enjoy it. It is perhaps the finale of the protagonist who has finally cracked and entered a darker, weirder, more violent world, if only in his mind. It is one of the more fascinating guitar-driven songs on the record, bringing it to a close with a droning feedback wash. - JAVA Magazine

"The Breaking Pattern Overcome & Grow Stronger"

The Breaking pattern are a rock/alt/pop band that hails from the Phoenix area. Although they have officially only been a band for almost a year now, they are all veterans of the Arizona scene. Lead Singer/Guitarist Derek Hackman is joined by guitartist Nick Benzer, Brandon Dillman on Drums, and Jacob Beaver on Bass to round out the current line up. Their debut full length album, There are Roadmaps in our Veins came out April 8th and has garnered some great reviews on independent sites since it's release. The album is a great mix of a styles of music that TBD likes to call a "balance between melodic, acoustic driven ambiance and an intensity derived from today’s modern indie rock. Fueled by flowery, introspective lyrics, the music creates an excitingly imaginative, atmospheric pop genre." I recently was able to have a conversation with lead singer Derek and we talked about their music, the local Phoenix scene, business, and how music has helped him in life. Here is what he had to say:

How have things gone since the release of There are Roadmaps in our Veins?

Really fantastic actually. We are an independent band..a lot of do it yourself. And while we are relatively new, we have been around with various projects. When we formed this band we had a little bit more direction of where we wanted to go with it. But it really did help that we already had a fan base to build on. Out of all things, I think what has really stood out to me, besides all of the obvious things, was that we had our first show just the other night since we released the album. We weren't even the headliner, and it wasn't hard to bring people out to it. We had a really bigger audience than usual. I was like, "Maybe it's a good night.". But while we were there the fans sang along. They sang almost every word to every song that we played, and the album has only been out for like a month and a half! They actually listened! Being in a band knowing that they actually listened to your music and know the words to be able to sing it back to you. I think that is a true measure of success. Everything has been gaining steam, but the best part has been seeing the fans actually react to the CD and being able to see that with my own eyes and my own ears.

As an artist you always get scared. You put your heart into it, you put your life into it, and you think maybe someone isn't going to like it. You try and not take it personally when someone doesn't like it because everyone has their preferences. But, when someone does like it, it is the best feeling ever. It feels like people are connecting with you on an almost spiritual level.

Are there any plans for shows or tours to support the album?

We haven't announced anything just yet, but we will be announcing a headline show soon to bring the album to an audience where we will play the whole CD from front to back. And we are planning on doing some light touring throughout the west in our neighboring cities. We are also currently in talks with places in Colorado, some places in Salt Lake, and then we have some friends out in California that have offered to set us up with some shows. I think we are going to keep it in the southwest for at least this year though. Our strategy is to keep playing cities over and over to build a strong fan base. Hopefully next year we can look at going a bit more full scale, but this year we are going to stay in our region.

You are a strong supporter of the local scene in Phoenix. What makes Phoenix such a great music scene?

When I was a kid in high school, I lived on the outskirts of Phoenix in a small town. There was nothing. Usually our weekends consisted of doing things down the "wrong path". That was what everyone was doing, except a small group of us that would go to shows. A friend had taken me to a show to see a band, called Change of Pace, and I thought they were awesome. "These guys are from here?". I started checking out other bands and would check them out live. I started going to shows 2-3 times a week since the age of 16 and still go to at least two shows a week even now. That I think, it helped me, as it put me on the right path. It gave me a goal to be a musician. It gave me a sense of ambition. It gave me direction. It gave me a sense of community, a sense of belonging, and it gave me a sense of pride in Phoenix.

The reason I think the Phoenix music scene is one of the best in the world, is that it's not too small and it's not too big. If you go out to LA or Seattle or New York or even Austin there is just so much music. The really good bands can get drowned out because in order to get noticed it comes down to politics or even money over talent because there is just too much going on. And in smaller cities there is no one writing the music. There are no fans to market to or to listening to your music, and there are no criticis. There is nothing to feed off of, or inspire you. Phoenix is just the right size. It is close to LA, and pretty close to Austin. And it has a really distinct culture. I think because it has a really distinct culture already built in and because of it's size it is the perfect melting pot. We have a really good history. We have had some great bands come out of the area, and I can see it coming back real soon. We have a lot of friends in bands that are doing some great things and we hope to contribute to that also.

It seems as if you handle most of the business aspects for TBP on your own. Is this something you enjoy doing or is it more out of necessity?

I have learned to enjoy it. I learned out of necessity when I was in local bands before. We had modest success, but that was purely creative endeavor. We didn't try super hard to gain fans or network, or anything like that I realized. "Why aren't people listening to us?" I put all this time into creating the music. I put all this energy into going to best producers. "Why don't people care?" Instead of focusing my time on our image and how people see us, and the direction of the music, all I kept trying to do was to write that one big hit song. The music is the most important thing, hands down. It is what every band needs to focus on the most. But if you don't pair it with good business tactics, no one is going to be around to hear it. If you don't book good shows, don't network with other bands in your scene, if you don't reach out to press outlets to try and promote your work. If you don't spread the word, you can write the best songs ever and no one will ever hear them and no one will ever care.

The business tends to be a negative word. People think of it being corporate or you being a sell out. I put all this love and energy into this music and I want people to hear it. The business aspect can be creative also. We call ourselves "Emo Revival". We willingly took on a genre or a title that others have put on us before. Instead of shunning it off, we said "Yeah, sure. When you think about emo, we want you to think about us." And that is part of the business, but it is a creative decision also. Instead of floating in obscurity, we are trying to define ourselves as artists. And I think the business aspect is what is going to define us, define our niche, and help us come to our own. Yeah, I don't think business is a dirty word. I think it is what is going to get us out there. I also think of it as a creative endeavor in of itself.

It's a balance, that's for sure. But it is super important for bands to learn if they want to be successful.

It seems as if everyone has a different idea of what genre you belong to. Everything from pop, rock, emo, alt and punk. How do you think you would you describe your music?

It is kind of all of the above in a lot of ways. Genres are there to give you a general idea, but they can never quite tell you about a band. The way I describe us without using a genre is a rock band with pretty guitar melodies, poetic lyrics, with interesting pop based songs structures. You can compare us to whatever bands you want to. We tend to fall into pop-punk/emo because that is they type of bands that we get put in with. People can classify us anyway they want, I don't really mind. I think genres are there to give you a vague idea of a band, but I don't think it defines an artist necessarily. I think it does help give non listeners get an idea of what they are listening to before they hear it.

We took on the emo mantel because when someone asks, "Who the heck is this band I have never heard of?" They can be like, "Okay they are part of this scene." That gives them an idea of who we are. We will take whatever you want to call long as you listen.

You have gone into great detail about all of the songs on the new album just before it's release. Is this something that you felt needed to be done to explain the album, or was it just a great way to introduce the individual songs prior to the albums release?

We are very heavy with the lyrics. We have a lot of lyrical intent. Most of those (posts) were explanations of the songs. A lot of artists write obscure songs that you can feel something from them, but not quite sure what they are saying. We are not one of those artists. We generally have a a point we are trying to make. It's not that you can't take a different meaning, or that are songs aren't multifaceted. I don't think they are one dimensional. But I do want to make art with intention. I don't want to make art for art's sake. We all have a desire to be heard, and music is how I have expressed it. It is really powerful when it connects to another person. I have felt that way before. I have felt that feeling of jealousy. I felt that feeling of betrayal before, or that feeling of infatuation before, and the way you describe it is just how I went through it. I love that kind of connection. A lot what we were trying to do is to deepen that connection with the fans. Generally our lyrics have always been what drives our fans, and I think that is why they sing so loud at shows. We try to use the words of the band to connect with the audience, and we thought it would be a fun thing to do and connect with our fans. It was our way of showing "Hey, this CD means something to me. I hope it will mean something to you."

Photo credit: Alex T. Reinhard

You start the album with the song Let Love Go The song is very atmospheric...almost post-rock like especially in the guitar work and has some very short, but powerful lyrics, "Yes you’re flawed, but well intentioned. This adversity you’ll overcome and grow stronger." Are the lyrics directed at anyone in particular or just a general affirmation to your fans?

Sort of both. I had written that, or at least a variation of that, to a specific person at one point. About the song, it was actually written as a post-rock song initially. One of the things we do live is we do a lot of instrumentals. We wrote that song specifically, and I thought that "No, I don't think this song needs a chorus. I don't think it is asking for it, but I do think that we need a release here. I need a line here to release this. I had that line written for awhile that I had written for a friend, and I kind of retooled it to be somewhat of an open message to our fans". We wanted it to be and introduction, not only of the album, but also of the band. It is the first song, on the first album that we ever put out, and we wanted the first words out of our mouths to be words of encouragement. Words of how we view life in a nutshell.

While talking about one of the songs, "Something/Anything" you explained that music has helped you get your weirdness out and in the lyrics you say "Normal is such a foreign world, that I'm not so sure I will ever learn." What would you like to say to those who feel socially awkward or deal with anxieties similar to those that you have dealt with?

A big thing that I want them to know, and a big part of that song and why we do these things is to connect with fans and to let them know that they are not alone. I know that sounds rather generic. But I think when you do feel like, "Hey, everyone is out there making friends. Everyone is out there having fun, but I am stuck here in my bedroom". You are not the only one. Most of us are here, trapped in our bedrooms every night pacing back and forth. Most of us are going through that stuff, and not all of us are going to have girlfriends at the age of 14, 15, 16, 17, or even later. Some of us are not going to have relationships until later in life. A lot of people judge themselves and measure themselves off of what they see others doing. We are all built differently, all created differently, and it is all is all good. There isn't anything wrong with social anxiety. It is normal, it is healthy at times, and it is understandable.

I don't think we should ever try and squash our originality. I don't ever think we should try to and swallow what makes us distinct or human. I think it is really good to embrace that. Music helped me get out my weirdness. I tried so hard to be liked. I tried so hard to be cool. I tried to learn all of the social cues and fit in. Music helped me meet people, get out of my shell and be confident in myself. I know not everyone has that ability, but I hope everyone can find something that will give them that confidence around others; whether it is sports or music or whatever your thing is. There is always something that you can find that will help you meet others. Music was the platform that helped me find a community, find my confidence, and let me embrace my originality instead of being ashamed of it.

Photo credit: Alex T. Reinhard

Can you give me a couple songs to add to our playlist of songs that have been hand picked by artists we have worked with?

The song that elicits the strongest emotion out of me...and even now I listen to it rarely because it is so powerful to me, is a song by Modest Mouse called "Life Like Weeds". The imagery in the song and feeling of that song makes you feel like you are drowning and holding onto something or someone. I always found that song to be the most powerful personally.

I think the second song would have to be Sufjan Stevens "Chicago" which is a really popular song. It is one of those songs that makes me feel like, "OK, I know I am not perfect. My life is not the greatest in the world, but everything is okay. I am breathing, and I am living, and I am here".That song kind of gives me that feeling and really helps me focus in on living in general.

I had a great time talking with Derek and would like to thank him for taking the time out of his day to have a conversation with Don't Let the Music Stop. Make sure you check out The Breaking Pattern and their debut album, There are Roadmaps in our Veins. You can follow them on your favorite social networking site:


Randall Lee's blog Log in or register to post comments - Don't Let The Music Stop

"20 Music Picks"

7/1: The Breaking Pattern release show

These Anthem rockers are celebrating the release of “There Are Roadmaps in Our Veins,” on which the haunted majesty of “Let Love Go” sets the tone for an album of songs that tend to take an understated, almost ambient approach to the emotional intensity of modern emo. They’re joined by Sundressed, Holy Fawn and Mimelight on a night that promises the first live performance of “There Are Roadmaps in Our Veins” in its entirety. Guitar-playing vocalist Derek Hackman says, "We are extremely humbled by the strong and positive response" and grateful that the Rebel Lounge let them put the bill together. "Having really great bands who support each other is vital for our Phoenix music scene," he says. "And nothing makes us happier than to see our community grow and thrive."

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 1. The Rebel Lounge, 2303 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. $10; $8 in advance. 602-296-7013, - AZ Central

"Interview: The Breaking Pattern"

Can you talk to us more about your latest album”There Are Roadmaps In Our Veins”?

TARIOV is our debut album and is an introduction to The Breaking Pattern. The members of the band are all from previous projects and this was our attempt to do something we thought would resonate with a larger audience. While most bands put out EPs to start we thought a full length would give people a greater insight to who we are and give them something more to fall in love with.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this album?
The album centers around a failing relationship. While I was going through a personal break up of my own during the writing process, I also was taking the experiences of my friends as well, and wanted to write songs that encompass all the various emotions and stages of redefining life after such a strong event.
Any plans to release a video for this or any of the other singles?
We do plan on releasing a music video for our song “Something/Anything” shortly. We are partnering up with Alex Reinhard who hhas produced some of Derek’s stand alone poetry video’s as well as our last video “Let Love Go”.
Why naming the album after this track in particular?
Haha the album title does not actually belong to a particular track. The title was chosen to encompass the themes woven throughout the album.
How was the recording and writing process?
The year we spent in the studio was long, tedious, and absolutely one of the best years of my life. We had friends and fellow musicians from all over the music scene come in and help us write bits and pieces. There was never a dull moment and never a lack of creative energy! We kept the songs anchored in my writing and words while simultaneously opening the door for all kinds of various inputs from all kinds of different individuals we trust and respect. I think it’s important to have a balance between consistency while still allowing the freedom for experimentation.
What was it like to work with Cory Spotts and how did that relationship develop?
Cory has been a childhood hero of mine and I’ve worked with him multiple times in the past. It was a no brainer we would be back in the studio with him. Just an extremely experienced producer who knows exactly what we’re going for. I think it’s important to have a good personal relationship with your producer, and because our personalities worked well with each other, we were able to really respect each other’s creative opinions and work together to make an album we’re all proud of.
How much did he get to influence the album?
Cory was pretty hands off in terms of lyrics or song structure, so the general ideas always rested on the band and I. But tonally, and if ever the band was split or not knowing how to convey a certain feeling, he was always there to pick up our slack!
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Again, it is mostly personal experience. Lyrically I’m influenced by literal words. I hear a word or phrase that I like and I write it down. Usually I have themes for songs that will stay in my head for weeks or months. Just ideas that I know need to be talked about or sung about. Generally the words I choose eventually fall in line with those themes until the content is there.
Having shared the stage with some of your biggest influences – what have you learned from those experiences that you are putting in action on your career now?
People are wild and unpredictable. But truly, the remarkable ones are those who have been gifted with enormous talent but continue to cloth themselves in absolute humility. They shake the hand of every fan and don’t leave the venue until they are dragged out. I strive to be that type of artist until the end of my career.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yep! We are working with a booking agent right now to help us do some light touring over the summer in the southwest region. Nothing announced yet, but we’re coming up on it!
What else is happening next in The Breaking Pattern’s world?
We have a music video coming out shortly to accompany the new album. The Summer tour. Several awesome local shows lined up. And a b-sides in the works for later this year!
Thank you again for your time, be sure to tag us on twitter @thebreakpattern for a RT! - Vents Magazine

"Breaking Local Music Patterns with The Breaking Pattern"

During the last couple of years, Arizona has seen a rise in the popularity of local venues like Rebel Lounge, Crescent Ballroom and Valley Bar. It’s not just centered in Phoenix either, even though that tends to be where the heart of everything is. There’s The Marquee in Tempe, The Nile in Downtown Mesa, Rialto Theater in Tucson and The Green Room in Flagstaff. It seems like wherever you are, there’s a music venue within an hour away. First and foremost, the local talent benefits because they finally have an outlet that they can get their music heard on. The Arizona community also benefits because we become connected through a similar love of music and we can relate with a band that grew up in the same place.

I had the opportunity to talk to Derek Hackman of the upcoming Phoenix band, The Breaking Pattern. We chatted about the band’s identity, their upcoming debut album and the importance of a local music scene.

“Poetry Meets Melody”

Logo (B Corrected)The Breaking Pattern is a band originally born from an earlier band called Ezer. In June of last year, Hackman was wrapping up the last few Ezer shows until the songs started to take a different turn which led to the formation of TBP. In the beginning, the rest of the members were a “hodgepodge” of random local musicians. At the heart of it all, Hackman describes the band as himself “and a conglomeration of other musicians I knew from around the area.” The touring lineup consists of drummer Brandon Dillman, who Hackman labeled as “second-in-command.” Guitarist Nick Benzer joined next and bassist Jacob Beaver shortly followed.

Hackman is the primary songwriter, drawing much of his inspiration from his love of poetry. It’s not as simple as stringing some words together and picking a beat to go with it. Hackman dives into making the music mean something. The band’s bio on social media provides a quick summary of their sound – “poetry meets melody.” It’s about creating a song that every and any listener can relate to and coupling that with a sound that will hold their attention.

“First and foremost, our focus is on the lyrics. I want lyrics that people can relate to,” Hackman said. “I like really flowery words, good transitions and a good flow. We like to throw surprises at people in our songs.”

TBP played their first show in June, opening for Arizona-natives This Century. Since then, they have shared the stage with other local bands like Never Let This Go. They hopped from venue to venue, playing as much music as they can to as many people that they could. 2015 was an uplifting start for the young band, pushing them into the new year and closer to the release of their first album. It helps that they receive encouragement from their friends, which Hackman names as one the greatest non-musical influences for the band.

“The defining moment [of 2015] was simply the amount of positive energy being thrown at us. It’s felt like we’ve had more support than we’ve ever had,” Hackman said. “It can be a long, hard, lonely road as an artist because you’re trying everything you can to get people to listen – to get people to care. It’s your life, it’s everything you do.”

Arizona’s Music Scene Making A Passionate Comeback

The reason that music venues in Arizona are taking off is because the number of local bands in the valley is outstanding. It seems like every month I catch wind of another band that’s making their name known in my hometown. A few years ago, the only bands that played in Arizona were big names and they played large arenas that hold thousands of fans. Local bands were limited to coffee shop scenes and party gigs. Once these smaller venues made a comeback, local talent finally had places designed for them to show off their music.

Hackman reflected on when he first gained an interest in local music when he was about 15. It wasn’t until he was nearing the end of high school that he was on the other end – instead of listening to someone play music, he was the one on stage. He remembers when his music scene (“mid-2000s emo”) was starting to go downhill, taking the music venues in the area with it. Personally living through those tough times, Hackman has a great appreciation for how accessible places like Rebel Lounge and Crescent Ballroom are now to bands like TBP.

“I have worked really hard to prove myself to a lot of those people [promoters], on top of knowing a lot of the bands and the genre that I have been playing has been out of season for a long time,” Hackman said. “Now that our scene has really taken off, I think our music is at a relevant point.”

My Heart’s in Arizona (The Strengthening of Community Through Music)

Now that local bands could make their voices heard, it started to make a greater impact on the community. Instead of going to the movies or the mall, teenagers were asking their parents to drive them to places like The Rhythm Room to watch musicians that grew up in the same place as them jam out on stage. Of course, it’s not just the teenagers who are interested. Many of the local venues also double as bars, making them fun places to go out at night even when the people know nothing about the band playing.

There’s a special bond a fan feels when they find out that a band they like is from their state or town. Understanding that, one of the worst things that any band could do is take their local fanbase for granted. They have a sort of responsibility to uphold that relatable feeling that fans fell in love with in their songs. Fans will start to put the musicians in a whole different light if they are able to get to know them off the stage. They’re no longer some untouchable being that’s beyond them. The musicians turn out to be just like their fans – human.

“I am really big into culture and community,” Hackman said. “Glam rock bands were able to put out this image and they were seen as gods. I always laugh at local bands who think they’re too cool to meet their fans. I think they’re outdated, that’s not how it works anymore. Anyone who messages TBP on social media is definitely going to get an answer back. I will stay after a show until the doors close. I will always be there to talk.”

By speaking to the people behind the instruments, fans gain a better understanding of the music. It’s a win-win for both sides. The fan will find a band that gets them and sing about feelings that they can connect with. They’ll share the bands music on social media, help get the word out, which eventually benefits the band.

There Are Roadmaps in Our Veins

Early this spring, TBP will be releasing their first independent album, “There Are Roadmaps in Our Veins.” They’ve teased the public with a few singles, one of the latest being “Alaska,” a gripping track about trying to reach out to someone who isn’t there anymore. The album is centered around a bad breakup, emphasizing the wide array of emotions one faces.

“I don’t want to call it a breakup album because it isn’t all woe is me but I try to explore the various aspects of it – the heated arguments, the coming to terms of loneliness, accepting who you are away from someone else,” Hackman said.

Since TBP was struggling to find permanent members, the album had help from many different local musicians including people from Never Let This Go and Ezer. Hackman described the songs to all have their own unique “flavor.” Adding to the flavor is what influenced Hackman outside of the writing room. He admitted to listening to Brand New the most and drawing inspiration from their lyrics. The themes in movies and television also had an impact on the writing process. Above all, Hackman’s passion for poetry has stood out in the singles and will be sure to stand out in the album. It’s not the kind of poetry that you’d analyze for weeks in your literature classes, but the more modern and straight-forward material from poets like Sarah Kay and Michael and Matthew Dickman.

Hackman is hoping to put on a release show in celebration of when the album comes out. Look out for an exact date and upcoming shows on the band’s social media. The lead singer and songwriter of one of the (soon to be) best AZ bands on the map ends our conversation on a note that sums up this blog: “I want to focus on what’s local because that’s where my heart is.”

Facebook – The Breaking Pattern

Instagram –@TheBreakingPattern

Twitter – @TheBreakPattern

Bandcamp – The Breaking Pattern

So if you take anything away from this blog, I want it to be this: Find some local bands that you can connect with. Whether you live in Arizona or Alaska, there’s sure to be someone with a talent that wants to be heard. Engage and give to your community and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what it can give back. - Nikole Tower


Still working on that hot first release.



After acquiring a strong local following through earlier music projects, lead singer Derek Hackman joined forces with several prominent local musicians from across the Phoenix valley music scene to form The Breaking Pattern. In the Summer of 2015 the band emerged with a series of singles that were immediately received with high praise from fans and critics alike, immediately going on to sell out their first several shows and amassing a large online fan base. Their quick rising popularity caught the attention of legendary producer Cory Spotts (Lydia, BlesstheFall, Greely Estates) where the band went on to record their debut album, releasing in the Summer of 2016. The Huffington Post soon declared them as "the face of the Phoenix emo revival movement" with Phoenix New Times seconding the notion and pegging them as "one of the top local albums of 2016". With over 30,000+ online followers, the band furthered their reach with constant fan engagement in the form of highly stylized photography and spoken word videos. With a flair for poetics, the band’s wordy lyrical stylings carved a passionate, cult-like following from the emo revival and indie rock movements. Coupled with melodic guitars and ambient soundscapes, the band has successfully lived up to its self-described “atmospheric-pop” genre.