The country rockers will inject merry tunes into Wilmington.
Gearing up for his Connecticut band’s first concert in Delaware, Parsonsfield guitarist Max Shakun shared his limited knowledge about the First State.
“It’s the second smallest state behind Rhode Island. I know that it borders the Atlantic Ocean and it’s pretty close to Philly,” he said. “I assume that you guys also have Wawa?”
Parsonsfield recorded their 2016 album, “Blooming through the Black,” in an industrial building where they rented a space full of sawdust. Next door to them was a vocal guard dog named Jake.
Shankun and his folk-rock bandmates (along with singer-songwriter Jonah Tolchin) will deliver some warm and fuzzies when they tour with their special holiday show at The Baby Grand in Wilmington on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Since most restaurants are closed after your concerts, where do you normally eat on the road?
As we’ve toured more, and you realize if you don’t buy food ahead of the tour, then you’re literally going to eat at rest stops and gas stations. Everyone in the band has gotten better at going to a grocery store and getting different kinds of snacks, fruit and things like that before the tour, so you’re not going down every grocery aisle of a gas station hoping that you see something that’s interesting.
Also in terms of staying healthy, we try to stop at grocery stores a lot when we’re on tour, because there’s so many better options for eating. If you’re always eating fast food on the road it definitely does affect the shows. You don’t have as much energy and you’re kind of sluggish.
What can we expect from your holiday show?
We’ll do a stripped-down acoustic holiday show. And we won’t have as many instruments as usual, and we’ll kind of play up the acoustic sounds that we have. We’ll have a smaller drum set and we’ll have an upright bass. We’ll sprinkle in holiday flair into our regular songs, and play some holiday songs. There will probably be sleigh bells on almost every song.
Tell us about the story behind recording in an industrial space.
We recorded an album called “Blooming through the Black” in an abandoned axe factory; it wasn’t axe as in the guitars, but more like battle axes. We wanted to try playing in a room that would drastically affect our sound.
And when you play in a really cavernous room like that, where it has so much reverb to the point where you can’t hear the person next to you because it’s so drowned out, it makes you feel like less is more. And you have to play more rhythmically and decide what part of the song you want your instrument or your voice to carve out. I think it really resulted in us making a more thoughtful album with arrangements that kind of made sense with each different instrument and where things were laid out.
Do you ever think about the affect artificial intelligence may have on music?
Facebook is essentially A.I. It’s an algorithm that puts things in your face based on what you’ve already clicked on and looked at. It is generating ideas based on what you are doing. In the same way, I think A.I. could eventually analyze what type of songs a specific person is listening to and develop patterns based off of that and write a song, at some point down the road. And it’s a crazy thought, but it totally could happen.