Parachute

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A while back, I got the chance to sit down with a band that while having their fair share of mainstream success are still the same boys that started Sparky'€™s Flaw back in high school. Parachute, who is currently signed to Mercury Records, put out the incredibly successful debut record '€œLosing Sleep'€ which led them to tour with some girl we know as Kelly Clarkson and much more. With a slew of hits from the record including '€˜She Is Love'€™ which got huge radio play along with '€˜She Is (Liz)'€™, '€˜Mess I Made'€™ and '€˜Under Control'€™, they gained a huge amount of fans and hopefully the success will continue with their sophomore record that will be dropping in early 2011 and have announced they'€™ll be back on the road with Plain White T'€™s in late January.
I'€™ve known about this band for a while but hadn'€™t had the chance to sit down for an interview yet so when I saw they were coming through Boston with Hot Chelle Rae, I jumped on the opportunity. I was able to sit down with the full band where we talked about both the goofy and the serious being what each member would be doing if they weren'€™t in Parachute to the serious where we talked in depth about the new record that they'€™ve been working on all summer for you!

This is a little goofy one but take the band mate sitting next to you. What would they be doing if they weren'€™t, maybe not necessarily in Parachute, but in music in general?
Johnny: I know exactly! Yeah, yeah, oh hey this is John Stubblefields and do I just keep going? Okay and to my left here is Alex Hargraves who is usually a bass player but if he were not a bass player or any musician or just anything like that, he would be probably a professional mountain bike designer and the first three bikes that he would build wouldn'€™t work at all but the fourth bike would be the most amazing bike in the world. It'€™d take him three tries but the fourth one would be the greatest thing ever. Everybody would be riding these bikes.
Nate: What kind is it?
Johnny: They pedal themselves.
Nate: That sounds just a little bit more like a motorcycle. I saw this kid riding on the street making a really loud noise and he was on a bike. He just stopped pedaling.
Kit: That'€™s awkward.
Nate: Swear it was one of those power bikes.
Johnny: Alright passing on.
Alex: This is Alex Hargraves. The character I will be-
Kit: I'€™m not a character, I'€™m a real person!
Alex: If you could see his hair right now, you would disagree. Thank god I'€™m talking to a microphone. Uhh he would be a pearl diver off the coast of the Caribbean somewhere. Oiled up skin-
Kit: So true.
Alex: Lovely locks just flowing in the wind. His skipper would be named Ramone. That'€™s about it! Alright, here you go Kit.
Kit: That was beautiful. This is the real Kit French talking and I'€™m going to be discussing what Will would be doing if he were not in the band. He would definitely be I think a two part thing. He'€™d be a pro golfer, well no, no he'€™d be like a semi pro golfer.
Nate: He'€™d show up to every tournament.
Kit: He'€™d show up to every tournament and he would be'€¦who did you play with in Tiger Woods golf?
Will: John Daly.
Kit: John Daly. He'€™d be John Daly'€™s best friend no doubt about that and then he would probably-. He'€™d pick up local sports caster shifts for the local news-
Johnny: Well he'€™d be out of the tournament so quickly he'€™d be able to cover for the rest of the tournament.
Will: It'€™s William Charles Anderson discussing Nathan McFarland. If I had to describe, if I had to guess what Nate would be doing first off he would be an angry old man. An angry man. He'€™d sit on the porch for the majority of the day yelling at little kids walking by. He'€™d probably be some type of history teacher. You know the cool history teacher trying to be cool. He'€™d play like '€˜300'€™ during class and hope that kids learned something from it but I guess he'€™d be a teacher of some sort as that is where he is gifted besides his little fingers. Here'€™s Nate!
Nate: This is Nate speaking-
Johnny: I forgot. Oh man I thought I got out of this.
Nate: If John was not in the band, outside of music, he'€™d probably be like just a total redneck on a farm. He'€™d be owning some land. He'€™d be driving around a Suburu in the city and he'€™d start a label and he'€™d try to sign Craig Morgan once Craig Morgan was done.
Johnny: There'€™s flaws in your deal man! You'€™re going to need to change and come over to my label.

Perfect, now to get a little more to the serious questions. It'€™s been a while since you guys have been back on the road but I know you'€™ve been recording the new record and keeping busy. How have these shows been like being back out with the kids and playing?
Johnny: Sure feels good! It feels good being back.
Will: Johnny can handle this one.
Johnny: Oh okay. Yeah it was a blast making the record all summer but you know towards the end of it you definitely do get sick of just being in a box playing music to nobody. So it'€™s good to be almost complete and out on the road playing for some folks now and road testing new songs. Yeah, it'€™s exciting!

Then is the record finished? Is it still in progress? What'€™s going on?
Nate: Yes! We'€™re going to do a couple more songs.
Will: Out in 2011. This is William Charles Anderson. Out in Los Angeles with Mr. John Fields who'€™s been working on it with us. We have ten songs done. Probably going to do a couple more and finish up some of the older songs that we'€™ve been working on and then yeah pick the ones that go on the record out of that. Some bonus tracks but yeah it should be done, it'€™s basically done, very soon and it will be completely done.

Then do you guys have an idea of when it'€™s going to come out? Is it like 2011?
Will: Yeah definitely 2011 release. The first single'€™s going to come out in December so everybody can hear it then for sure and then the record we'€™re still shooting for a February release or something close to that. We have a date in mind but it will probably change.

That always happens and then how do you guys normally go about writing? I know this is the original band?
Kit: Ish.
Will: Ish. Basically.
Nate: It'€™s just me I'€™m the only one who'€™s not.
Will: The original Parachute. Nate joined us in college but yeah I usually write the songs and then this last record was a little different since when we started writing for it, we were in Europe. So there'€™s a lot of writing I was doing in the van. A lot of it on a computer in a lot of hotel rooms which is unusual for me.
Johnny: And there'€™s no real drums on there.
Will: Yeah the whole album. No drums. It'€™s all the ones that I use.
Johnny: I use mountain drums.
Will: But then we got together at the beginning of the summer and kind of went over all of the songs and picked which ones we wanted to record. We had like twenty five ideas. Either fully formed songs or good ideas that could have been fully formed and then we just picked them. Fourteen out of those that we wanted to record and stuff.
Johnny: Make it an astounding number. Say we whittled it down from two thousand.
Will: We whittled it down from two thousand songs to about fifteen so we really only wanted the best. I was on a spree for three months. I was writing about ten songs a day for three months.
Nate: That still doesn'€™t equal out.
Will: Yeah no.

And then you guys have toured a lot since the beginning. Out of who you'€™ve toured with, who would be like your dream collaboration?
Nate: A dream tour? Oh I'€™m sorry a dream collaboration.
Will: I think Kelly.
Nate: Yeah it would be, it'€™s hard because we only can pick one. It would be fun to do a duet with Ms. Clarkson who we'€™re all big fans of.
Kit: Dolly Parton..but we'€™ve never met her.
Nate: I'€™d like to get a little edge from U2.
Alex: We'€™ve never played with them.
Nate: Wow I missed the question.
Johnny: Oh my god we would need somebody who could actually slay guitar instead of this fool who doesn'€™t pay attention over here. I don'€™t even have an answer let'€™s stick with Kelly Clarkson man. Oh that would be awesome. I have at least three songs in mind that I'€™d like to do with Kelly Clarkson.
Will: One of them is called '€˜Since You'€™ve Been Gone'€™.
Johnny: And the other one is called '€˜Avocado'€™.
Alex: '€˜Since You'€™ve Been Back'€™.
Johnny: (singing) While you were gone!
Nate: That'€™s so bad. This interview is going down the tube I just burped into the microphone. I'€™m sorry! Alright!

Now where'€™s the strangest place you guys have found inspiration, maybe not just necessarily writing a song but like for a title or a cover?
Will: I got you (after catching the microphone as it was thrown). I'€™d say the strangest place I wrote a song was in the middle of St. Petersburg, Russia. As a result of listening to Bene Des music which is like a afro funk style and it was really weird listening to that kind of music and then being in Russia and somehow this song came out of it. It'€™s a great song in my opinion but it just was very weird to write a song about breaking up with somebody when I wasn'€™t broken up with anybody in a style that was totally literally exact opposite of the place I was actually in. So very cool how that worked but very strange indeed.

And then this is like the dream tour question. Doesn'€™t have to be bands you'€™ve toured with?
Will: Okay got it. Alright, we'€™ll each do one. Weezer!
Kit: She said only three.
Will: Oh we'€™ll do five! Weezer!
Big tour!
Nate: Yeah big tour. Package tour!
Will: Some hippy band.
Nate: Yeah. Arcade Fire!
Will: I wouldn'€™t stick around.
Johnny: The Killers. When they get back together.
Alex: Wilco.
Kit: U2!

Perfect and then maybe not on the road because I'€™m sure you'€™ve seen plenty of crazy things but what'€™s the wildest thing you'€™ve seen at one of your shows? Like in the crowd maybe?
Will: There was a dude the other night in New York who was crazy. He was just signing along.
Johnny: He wasn'€™t from around there, he was foreign! Where was he from? I talked to him after! Was it the guy going '€œPARACHUUUUUUUTE'€?
Will: He was a cool bro but he was crazy. He'€™s awesome.
Nate: He was very nice. I'€™m not even going to guess what country he'€™s from because I don'€™t want to offend an entire country.
Johnny: This guy was bizarre though. Big fan.
Will: Parachuuuuuuuute.
Kit: Ay ya ya.

Then maybe personally for this one, what'€™s your favorite song to play live?
Johnny: Um-
Off the old album to maybe not leak anything.
Will: Yeah!
Johnny: Okay! I love playing '€œShe'€ parentheses Liz. That'€™s a grooving tune!
Alex: I'€™m going to have to go with '€œBack Again'€ because it'€™s coming around back again.
Kit: '€œBack Again'€ is a great tune. It'€™s got, for me, all the parts.
Will: Sax solo is what you'€™re trying to say.
Kit: Sax solo is what I mean.
Will: Hmm I would say '€œGhost'€.
Nate: I would also say '€œGhost'€.

Alright then you guys have done a lot of stuff. You'€™ve played in Time Square a while ago which was crazy on the New Year'€™s Eve special, you played arenas. What'€™s been like the biggest moment for you? Like your favorite moment?
Will: Wembley.
Nate: Like Wembley, London. Scratch that off the list of places I want to play.
Johnny: To be able to yell '€œHello Wembley!'€.
Will: Exactly.
Johnny: Check. Oh the kids there were nuts. Like it felt like were in a little club. Like the energy of a little club but there were a lot more people in the little club.
Will: Yeah, we'€™d like to do it again. Headlining.
Headlining Wembley. Next month!
Will: And we'€™re gonna!
Johnny: And Kelly Clarkson will be opening for us.
Will: JK Kelly.
Nate: Jk!

What can fans look forward to with in these next few months? Are you going to be back on the road?
Will: Ooh yeah! We'€™ll be out! We'€™re doing another tour in January with a band TBA. Let'€™s just say it'€™s going to be a great package bill. Co headlining tour so we'€™re back out in January and February .You'€™ll get the new single in December, finish the record after the tour so lots to look forward too!
Well thank you so much!
All: Thank you!
Will: That was a fun interview.

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