Written by Laura Hamlett Wednesday, 06 January 2010 00:00
"By the time we played, the place was packed, and everyone was into it and moving around. "
To call Nashville's Parachute Musical "piano pop" wouldn't be far off base. For those in need of comparisons, their booking agent describes their sound as being for fans of Ben Folds, The Decemberists and Jellyfish...a healthy bunch of comparisons, to be sure. Yet—I confess—I am a fan of none of those bands and still I like Parachute Musical. So perhaps it's best your make up your own mind.
The band is a collaboration between four fun-loving guys: Josh Foster (vocals/piano/Rhodes), Tom Gilbert (guitar/vocals), Andrew Samples (bass/vocals) and Ben Jacoby (drums). We had a chance to chat with Gilbert, who proved to be a thoughtful and entertaining interview.
What has been the response to your full-length release? What do you anticipate from the forthcoming two-song single?
The response to Everything Is Working Out Fine in Some Town has been pretty great. The roots of this band are all across the board, and that record definitely reflects that. For example, track one is a huge orchestral piece, followed by track two which is more of a pop song that ends with a Latin section. So it's just pretty eclectic like that throughout.
However, as time has gone on, we've learned to harness those influences and write with more focus. We also have grown more comfortable with our individual roles in the band, and with how we speak to each other musically. I'd say the "No Comfort" single is an example of how we retain the same roots and feeling we've had, but the songs are more concise and the writing is more smoothed out (in a Michael McDonald sort of way...or not). I'm really happy with how the band has grown, and I think (hope) that people who are already fans will recognize and appreciate the progression. The addition of our new bass player Andrew Samples has also definitely changed our dynamic and sound. He is a great bass player and writer, and is a wild/funny dude; you can sense his presence on the new recording.
Speaking of two-song single...why did you choose this over another full length, or even an EP? Are you currently working on new material for a full-length?
Yes, yes, always working on new material. During the early conceptualizations of what turned out to be the "No Comfort" single, we had enough material for an EP, but not enough money. We basically had the funds/time to do two songs, so the mentality was "What are our two best songs we have right now that would flow together nicely, and that represent what the band is now?" We will hit the studio again later this year, and once again it'll be up to the gods of money and time (aka Dave Ramsey and Flava Flav) as to whether it'll be an EP or something else.
How much time did you spend on the road in 2009?
Rounded out to be about two weeks of each month.
Favorite city you've played and why? Best show you've played and why?
We seem to draw the largest crowds in Nashville and D.C. because they're our hometowns, and those shows are always, always fun. On the other hand, one show that comes to mind (not necessarily my absolute favorite, but a for sure standout) was in Carrollton, Ga., back in August at a bar called Alley Cat. Carrollton is a relatively small college town, home to the University of West Georgia. We arrived at the venue, having never been to this town, not really knowing what to expect (which is the case many nights of tour). The venue was a small bar that didn't even have a stage, and the PA was in shambles. But when we showed up around 8, there were already kids there, and they were all so receptive and cool. By the time we played, the place was packed, and everyone was into it and moving around. Very close quarters and very sweaty—my favorite combination. And it was a Monday night! So, there are shows at big venues with good PA's and lots of people that are always fun. But on the other hand, there are shows like that one in Carrollton that can surprise you, and those are just as memorable.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a band? Other than being able to sustain yourselves as a band, what are your goals?
Just being able to consistently release records and tour is a huge accomplishment in my opinion. Having people turn out for shows, and tell us that they have a connection with our music is a huge accomplishment. As far as a goal...yes, your quote is everyone's #1. All of us have secondary jobs at home that we would love to say bye to. Other than that, it would be awesome for a more nationally known band to take us out on tour.
What sets your live show apart?
We sweat more—which is a good thing most of the time. | Laura Hamlett
Catch Parachute Musical on tour:
01.08.10 | Exit/In, Nashville*
01.09.10 | Cicero's, St. Louis*
01.10.10 | Sticky Fingers Chicken Shack, Little Rock, Ark.*
01.11.10 | The Underground, Enid, Okla.*
01.12.10 | 51st Street Speakeasy, Oklahoma City*
01.13.10 | The Chat Room Pub, Ft. Worth, Texas*
01.14.10 | The Boiler Room, Denton, Texas*
01.15.10 | Emo's, Austin*
01.16.10 | AJ's Bar, Lake Charles, La.*
01.17.10 | Artmosphere, Lafayette, La.*
01.18.10 | The Ready Room, Pensacola, Fla.*
01.20.10 | The Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta*
01.21.10 | Alley Cat, Carrollton, Ga.*
01.22.10 | Amos' Southend, Charlotte, N.C.*
01.23.10 | The New Brookland Tavern, Columbia, S.C.*
01.24.10 | The Channel, Greenville, S.C.*
01.25.10 | Eighty Five, Columbus, Ga.
01.26.10 | Café 567, Macon, Ga.
01.27.10 | Tin Roof, Charleston, S.C.
02.25.10 | Snug Harbor, Charlotte, N.C.
02.26.10 | Café 567, Macon, Ga.
02.27.10 | Tin Roof, Charleston, S.C.
02.28.10 | Snug Harbor, Charlotte, N.C.
03.03.10 | The Blue Nile, Harrisonburg, Va.
03.04.10 | M Room, Philadelphia
03.05.10 | Bowery Poet Club, New York
03.06.10 | Comet Ping Pong, Washington, D.C.
03.07.10 | Acoustic Café, Johnson City, Tenn.
05.02.10 | The Viper Room, W. Hollywood, Calif.
* wth Sequoyah Prep School
Monday, 13 May 2013 10:16
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 20:40
Simon Goddard | Songs That Saved Your Life (Revised Edition): The Art of The Smiths 1982-87 (Titan Books)
Saturday, 20 April 2013 12:04
Thursday, 11 April 2013 20:40
Thursday, 11 April 2013 20:31
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 11:37
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 11:06
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 10:43
Monday, 20 May 2013 00:00
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00