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A Dirty Dozen with BRADY PARKS from THE NATIONAL PARKS – June 2020

| 17 June 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Since emerging in 2013, The National Parks have quietly grown into an independent phenomenon with roots embedded in blissful pop, cinematic electronics, organic orchestration, and rock energy. The Provo, UT male/female quartet — Brady Parks [guitar, vocals], Sydney Macfarlane [keys, vocals], Cam Brannelly [drums], and Megan Parks [violin] — bloom like never before on their aptly titled independent fourth full-length, Wildflower, the follow-up to their 2017 release Places. The forthcoming 15-track album, produced and mixed by longtime collaborator Scott Wiley, features their best songwriting to date and a variety of sounds and styles, as well as a lot of heart, as evidenced by the title track “Wildflower” and their newest release “Time,” which urges for patience and perseverance through struggle.” We get vocalist / guitarist Brady to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

Photo credit: McKenna Chatterly

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our latest single is “Waiting For Lightning,” off our new album Wildflower coming out June 19th, and it’s a song about holding onto hope and about stepping out into the storm to watch something amazing happen. This was a really fun song to write and record. It starts off with the “oooo”s and I feel like as soon as they hit they hook you into the song. A fun fact about this song was when we were looking for a lightning sound, our producer found the whip crack snare sound and that was one of the factors that sparked our creative direction for the rest of the album aesthetic. We felt like it was a cool western flair and that’s a vibe that we’ve started to run with.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I remember when I was in college and a lot of my friends were going on to intern or work at advertising agencies and I knew that was “supposed” to be my next step too. I was sitting in my car outside of my apartment one night and it kinda hit me. I just took a step back and realized that I couldn’t see my life without music. I knew I had to be all in at that point but I think every experience in music gradually built up to that moment.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

There are many! I think one of the most influential bands for me has been Coldplay. I remember listening to the Mylo Xyloto album on repeat and feeling so inspired. That album has definitely had a large impact on me. I would also have to add Bon Iver as well. Bon Iver has also played a huge role in shaping my music taste.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Coldplay, Bon Iver, Death Cab For Cutie, Fleetwood Mac, and Michael Jackson.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Such a great question. I think it would be amazing to collab with Justin Vernon. He is such a creative genius and I would love to pick his brain and create something with him.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would say we are a folk-pop band with music that can take you places. We have songs that range from really raw and emotional, to songs that are upbeat and dancey and everything in between. And yes! There have been some comparisons that we have disagreed with but I can’t remember the specifics right now. I just know that some comparisons have definitely made us cringe, haha.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I think Sydney is the cook! She’s a mom of 2 kids and she’s also our band mom. She takes care of us and makes sure we have good snacks on the road even though there are some snacks she doesn’t like to share. I’m probably the first to get the guitar out for the sing along!

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I saw Mitt Romney in the airport and I lost all chill. I don’t even know why but I instantly yelled “LOOK, IT’S MITT!” and he was only a few feet away from me lol.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of being a musician is getting to meet all of the amazing people that come to our shows. There is something so magical about being up on a stage and feeding off the energy from a room full of people. We all leave the show feeling uplifted and that is a beautiful thing. I think if I wasn’t a musician I would like to fix up and flip cool old houses. I like watching Fixer Upper. Chip and Jo are my heroes. I want to meet them. I’d be starstruck for sure.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I’ve always wanted to be asked what Office character would I be. The answer – haha I don’t even know. Definitely not Creed. But maybe Creed. And I actually don’t think there is a question I’m tired of answering!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Yes, I’m sure there have been several missteps. Something that I’ve learned is that it’s so important to surround yourself with people who believe in you. We are so lucky to have a great team now that believes in what we are doing and together we all work to make magic happen. It’s the best but that’s something we’ve learned the hard way.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I think Beach Boys, Pet Sounds. That would be amazing. I think that record is so unique and beautiful and is so timeless.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

I miss being able to tour and play music and connect with people. I can’t wait to get back on the road!





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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