banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

A Dirty Dozen with CASANDRA CARSON from PARALANDRA – May 2024

According to a recent press release: “PARALANDRA, a hard rock band from Missouri that will delight fans of Alter Bridge, Queen, and Shinedown, have shared their new single “Love of My Life.” The song lives on the band’s upcoming album The Body Electric, out April 4. The independent band will be on the road as much as possible in 2024. All currently confirmed dates are below, with more to come. Paralandra formed in the summer of 2013 when Casandra Carson and her dad, Paul Carson, began writing songs together to play a one-time event at their local county 4th of July celebration. The response was so positive, and they enjoyed it so much, they decided to continue booking shows and writing songs. They recorded and released a homemade CD titled Rise Up, which sold over 1,000 copies at local shows. Shortly after, friend and local musician, Sawyer Rikard, joined the band on bass guitar in 2015, bringing their stage sound and performance to another level.” We get Casandra to discuss new music, influences, and 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?

Our extra diehard fans will notice that the track “Better Days” is a vastly different structure now than how it was originally written. We’ve been performing this song live since 2017 I believe, so there are tons of fans with bootleg videos that have been begging us to record this song for years at this point. In pre production, Elvis had us add an extra verse at the beginning before the 1st chorus, we turned the original chorus into the bridge, and added an extra solo section that wasn’t there before. A lot of our diehard fans will love this album because of how many years we’ve been playing these songs already.

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

I grew up in a very musical family. My mom’s side of the family are all singers, so breaking out in spontaneous four-part harmony at any given family function or holiday was 100% normal. Also, my dad has always played guitar either in church, with an original band, or with a cover band, so watching him play and perform as I grew up was really what piqued my interest in becoming a guitar player myself. When I turned 11 years old, I got my first guitar for my birthday, and immediately began learning as much and as fast as possible. The first thing I wanted to learn was Eruption, and my dad said “If that’s what you want to learn, I’ll show you how.” Two years later, I got to be a special guest with my dad’s cover band at a Cinco de Mayo party at the local Qdoba, and had worked up Hotel California. Not only did my dad and I play all the harmony parts throughout the song, but I got to play the entirety of the outro solo, and it was at that moment that I realized this is what I wanted to do forever. I’ve never looked back since.

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

Alter Bridge’s second album, Blackbird, was extremely influential in my life. Myles Kennedy’s voice was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. His lyrics and melodies paired with the heaviness of the riffs made me feel like an unknown switch within me had flipped, and this was the holy combination my soul had been waiting for. It still remains one of my favorite albums of all time.

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

If I could collaborate with anyone in the world, it would have to be Paul McCartney. I love that he never really stays in a stylistic box, and just lets his creativity take the song where it needs to go. I’ve always admired that eclectic approach to songwriting, and try to apply that toward my own work.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I love playing volleyball! I always play at least a couple times a week when I’m home. It’s a really fun way to stay in shape, be social, and give myself a mental break from work.

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 typically describe it as high energy, heavy riffing, lyrically uplifting, and unafraid of guitar solos type music. I’ve been told I sound like Janis Joplin multiple times, and I couldn’t disagree more. 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’d say the indoor cook is Sawyer, the grill smith is either dad or Dakota, and the drinks person is either Sawyer, Dakota, or myself. And this may come as a shock, but there are very few things I hate more than someone breaking out an acoustic guitar, so that never happens. Lol! We’re more Bluetooth speaker type people.

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

It was 2019 on the KISS Kruise! I was on the pool deck in the artist section watching The Darkness, and noticed that someone had been standing next to me for a while, but I wasn’t sure who. After a couple songs, I look to my right and at the exact same time, Paul Stanley turned to his left and we locked eyes. I froze, didn’t say a word, and after about 5 seconds (what seemed to be an eternity) proceeded to run away.

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 is getting to travel! I love exploring the world and seeing new places. If music was no longer an option, I would probably opt to coach a sport; like volleyball, gymnastics, or track & field.

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 don’t think there’s one in particular I wish someone would ask, but in general, I enjoy being asked deeper questions that involve some thought and reflection. I could live a happy, fulfilling life without being asked “what’s it like being a female in a rock band” ever again.

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?

One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the years is to always have a signed contract for every show. There have been times that we’ve made a “handshake deal” with a venue and everything works out great, but there have also been multiple instances where a deal has been made in good faith, and we’ve been severely lied to and taken advantage of.

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 would choose Abbey Road, hands down. Not only for the songwriting aspects, but to see how they created the sounds, and to watch them piece together that whole B side medley. It’s another one of my favorite records of all time, front to back.






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.

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad