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A Dirty Dozen with RYAN PARRISH from IN PARALLEL – August 2020

| 27 August 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Nashville, TN’s In Parallel have dropped another track off their upcoming new EP “Fashioner” mixed by Ken Andrews (Failure, Year Of The Rabbit) and out September 4th on Wiretap Records. The band, which consists of members of Celebrity & Hopesfall, released their debut album “Broken Codes” in 2018, which yielded seven songs – touching on themes of power, control, and human connection. The new Fashioner EP was recorded over the course of 2019 in the band’s home studio. The seeds of In Parallel were planted late at night almost 5+ years ago in the back room of a picture frame shop. With nothing more than a looped electronic drum sample and a few guitars, the first notes became the framework of the song “Bridge and Tunnel.” This particular song and its lyric “walk through waves and wade where others won’t – choose your words, say what others don’t” became a mission statement of sorts – a musical rebirth for its four members.” We get Ryan to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

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?

Fashioner was written and recorded over the course of 2019 in my basement recording studio. Due to the studio being in my house, we had the luxury of time to pursue all of our creative ideas. Something that was important for us on this release was the EP’s sequencing of songs. We really wanted it to feel like one body of music, which is why each song carefully flows into the next one with no audio breaks. That might be something that a listener glosses over the first few times, but we hope it helps them flow with the different moods of each track. Lastly, a fun hidden nugget – we included audio recordings of Saturn’s rings in the second verse of “Leave It With the Ghost.”

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

I loved music from an early age. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I always gravitated toward it. My first experience playing music was in elementary school. In 4th grade the teacher asked our class if anyone would like to be in the school band, and I jumped at the chance. My first instrument was the saxophone, and I played it through my 10th grade year. By that point I was fully immersed into alternative rock and had always been interested in learning the guitar. I asked my parents for a guitar, and they bought me a cheap acoustic. From that moment on something clicked in my head and I knew I wanted to write my own music.

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

There have been so many musicians who’ve inspired me through the years – I could talk forever about this subject. For the sake of brevity, my world was shaken when I heard the album Siamese Dream by the Smashing Pumpkins as a young teenager. I’d never heard guitars sound simultaneously so huge and so dreamy. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Again, there are so many. But if I had to point to bands / albums that shifted my way of thinking about music, I’d distill it down to a few of the following: Smashing Pumpkins: Siamese Dream; Hum: You’d Prefer an Astronaut; Strongarm: Advent of a Miracle; Karate: In Place of Real Insight; and Failure: Fantastic Planet.

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

That’s a tough one for sure. From a vocal melody perspective, I think it’d be interesting to work with Chino from Deftones. I’ve always loved the fluidity of his voice and his ability to be both delicate and aggressive.

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?

Lyrically, our music deals with themes of light and dark. Sonically, there’s a driving and cinematic feel to the arrangements. We enjoy leaning into the lush and dreamy side of things, while still carving out plenty of room for a great vocal melody and hook. I feel like we blend sounds from the 80’s and 90’s, while trying to put our own signature on the songs. Honestly, I haven’t seen any comparisons that make me cringe.

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?

Pre-pandemic, we all enjoyed hanging out together in the studio. Overall our music is pretty serious, but when we’re hanging out things are pretty light hearted and we’re generally laughing quite a lot. There’s no set process to breaking out a guitar – we generally just show each other our ideas and craft the songs from those conversations.

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

I went to see U2 with my wife a few years back and Oprah Winfrey sat directly behind us during the entire concert. Pretty surreal to hear her voice over your shoulder for a few hours.

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 writing and creating with your friends. There’s no other feeling like it in the world. The sense of accomplishment you feel when a song is complete is pure joy. There are no rules and no one can tell you what to do. It’s pure freedom. I hope I never have the unfortunate opportunity of knowing what it feels like not to play music. Because I don’t fully rely on music to pay my bills, I envision playing for as long as I’m able.

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 geek out over guitar effects pedals, which is something a lot of interviewers don’t touch on. My current favorite pedal on my board is the Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run. It has a really nice shimmery / glacial delay and reverb combo that I just love. You can hear it all over our new EP. Questions to avoid – how’d you come up with the band name? It’s usually not as purposeful as it sounds.

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?

I think it’s important to be really thoughtful and strategic with who is on your team – especially for young bands. The music industry can be a challenging place, and it’s crucial that you listen to your gut when making those big decisions you’ll be faced with. If something feels off, it probably is off. However, I wouldn’t change any of the decisions I made. I’ve learned a lot.

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?

In an effort not to repeat any of the albums I’ve already mentioned above, it would’ve been pretty wild to be a fly on the wall while The Cure were making Disintegration. I wonder if they were aware that they were making a perfect album? I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. The pacing, sequencing, and song choices are all perfectly placed. The title track is my favorite – it’s a perfect example of how a well written melodic bass line can be looped again and again and still draw you back in. I love moments like that in a song – never wanting a melodic passage to end.

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?

Simple – hugging my family and friends. Stay safe out there.



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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