Interview With Parson Red Heads
How's the NW treating you? Miss LA?
The NW has been really great so far! It has been a really nice change of pace, something I think I needed more than I realized. Slowing life down, simplifying things a little, has been good for all of us. I've been able to really focus on songs and becoming a better musician, I think the same could be said for all of us. On top of that, we've already been able to get together and play shows with some great musicians from Portland / Seattle ... there are a lot of great folks up here, a lot of great players, and it's been fun getting to know new folks and put together new recording projects and show ideas. Definitely hasn't been all vacation - we immediately starting rehearsing and working on new songs, and have already played a sizable string of shows. We're booked pretty solid all through January, so we kind of moved up and put our noses to the grindstone right away.
We definitely miss LA in waves ... I think the people in LA more than the city itself. We miss all our friends from the music community up there, and the venues we love. But we're trying to focus on diving in and building a community of musicians around ourselves that will be great and that we'll learn a lot from. It took a while in LA to find our niche and find the community of people we felt at home with, so we're jumping in head first and really trying to get involved with the scene as much as possible.
Would you rebuke the term hippie if it were applied to you?
Haha - that is a good question. It's tough, because I guess it really depends on what the term hippie means to whoever was applying it to me! I think if anyone really got to know me - or any of the folks in the band - they probably wouldn't label us hippies anymore. But we happen to wear white when we play live, and have a strong vibe of love and community in our music ... and we get along with each other really well, we have a real family-band vibe. We definitely have a feel of a 60's band in a lot of ways. That leads people to saying we're hippies sometimes, and that is fine by me! In short ... I wouldn't reject it, if someone decided for themselves that we are hippies. But I wouldn't ever call us a band of hippies myself. =)
Facebook or MySpace?
You know, I was a staunch supporter of Myspace for a long time ... I really tried to stand by it through thick and thin. But I've had to face facts, and the facts are that Facebook is a better program. Much easier to use, and the fact that EVERYONE uses it is a plus, too. Although I still think that Myspace is better for bands / musicians. Facebook's band pages aren't quite up to snuff, in my opinion.
Microsoft or Apple?
Definitely Apple ... I don't have much to say to support that. But I have an iPad, and it made the last tour we went on a breeze ... didn't get lost once, and always had quick access to e-mails and what not. And it has a great version of Tetris.
SMS or Email?
Email for sure. Texting is fine, but I am terrible at it ... it takes me forever to text a really simple sentence.
Digital or Analog?
I am still on the side of Analog. I can't deny that digital has come a long way - there are ways to make an all Pro Tools recording sound really great, really warm. But there is something about analog that goes beyond the immediate sound. I think just the fact that digital recording makes it so easy to make anyone sound good ... with autotune, with the kind of precise editing and punching-in that can be done ... pretty much any caliber musician, any caliber singer, can be made to sound like a pro in the studio. But when you're recording straight to tape, not only does it have this unbeatable sound (maybe a sound that be closely mimicked, but never topped), but it really requires you to be on top of your game. There isn't any technology to hide behind, or to cover up your mistakes. It is by far the most pure way to record music, and for me the most enjoyable.
Beatles or Stones?
The Beatles, without a doubt. Sam Fowles, the other songwriter and guitar player in the Parsons, was once interviewed and he boldly said the Stones. He has a decent argument for his side, but I can't go with him there. The Beatles changed everything, and no one did more to further pop music than they did - they really expanded the boundaries of what was considered do-able in popular music, especially in the studio. They created brand new sounds. And although the Stones were great at what they did, I wouldn't say they often, if ever, explored uncharted territory in the studio.
20th Century or 21st Century?
At this point, the 20th Century has the upper hand on the 21st Century. Ask me again in 90 years, we'll see if my answer remains the same.