[INTERVIEW] Parlour Suns talks ’What Else Can I Do Wrong?’

If you haven’t checked out Parlour Suns yet, this is your sign to do so. Over the course of 2021, Plymouth’s alt-rock quartet have slowly dropped various singles hat have oozed talent. Their tracks are perfectly calculated, using instruments to heighten the intensity and construct a build-up that explodes into a volcanic-like display of ferocious passion. If you haven’t quite guessed it yet, Parlour Suns music has left a lasting impression since I first checked them out with ‘Figure It Out,’ and ‘Embers,’ a few months ago. Since then, the band has released two extra singles, ‘What Else Can I Do Wrong?’ and ‘T-Shirt.’

A few weeks ago, I got to chat to chat to Parlour Suns regarding ‘What Else Can I Do Wrong?’ that I previously reviewed as “another demonstration of chemistry between instruments that compliment the vocals,” via On The House Music. And I’ll say it again, what’s really special about ‘What Else Can I Do Wrong?’ is it’s deep, pulverising bass that contrasts and compliments the clean, melodic guitar riffs. 

Q – Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you on your recent release! It’s absolutely brilliant and you’ve made a fan out of me – but the first question is, how is a band that’s been together for around a year so established already? What experience did each of you have before this project, and how did you end up forming Parlour Suns? A- Thank you so much! We have actually been playing music together for a few years. Greg, Lewis and Aiden met at college and were in a pop punk band for a year. Following that we found Rob to be our new lead singer and from there we worked on songs for 2 years trying to find our sound under the name of ‘With Notion’, where we played some gigs and went to The Ranch Production House in Southampton to work with Daly George on our debut EP.

However, following on from these releases we weren’t happy with our lack of a solid direction and over the first lockdown decided to sit down and have a chat about our sound. We decided on a new direction and that we should rebrand ourselves under a new name ‘Parlour Suns’. As soon as we were able to practice again we got writing and started to bring together new influences and ideas we thought would produce a sound that we hoped a lot of people who are fans of many genres would enjoy.

Q– ‘What Else Can I Do Wrong?’ has been out for awhile now, how has the reception been to it’s release? Is there anything that has happened that you didn’t expect? A- In terms of streams and the amount of listeners, ‘What Else Can I Do Wrong?’ has unfortunately had the poorest reception out of our three singles so far. However, in terms of radio broadcasts, it has had the best reception, featuring on the most stations including BBC Introducing South West.

So overall the release has had pros and cons, however we hope our next release ‘T-Shirt’ will be even better.

Q- So far as a band, you’ve released three very promising tracks – are there plans for an EP, album or further track releases in the near future? If so, do you have a game plan for your releases?

 A- Thank you very much. We have two other singles ready to release in 2021, but we’ve done the whole EP thing when we were With Notion and it just didn’t receive anywhere near the reception we’ve seen releasing our Parlour Suns tracks as singles. I think for now we’re just gonna keep the singles coming and try to maintain the standard they’re at whilst constantly learning and practicing our writing.

QIs there a difference between your personal music tastes compared to the music you produce? Do you take any of your personal inspirations into the writing process?

A- Of course, our music tastes have a huge range from Boston Manor to Sam Fender, Rise Against to Aitch. I think in order to write original music and not just recreate what others have done you have to have a range of tastes, writing and production methods. A lot of pop artists are fantastic at writing catchy melodies and lyrics which you don’t always find in rock music, so it’s about finding balances across genres to write something that excites you, but at the same time it’s important to just let the music take you and not think about the end result too much.

QSince you’re a pandemic born band, what have been the biggest challenges for you and how have you worked together to overcome them to achieve what you have done so far?
A- The truth is we aren’t a pandemic born band, although the pandemic was definitely a chance for us all to hit a reset button and spend time thinking about what we really want from this. It’s definitely been a challenge not being able to spend time together as a band struggling to meet. It’s tested our relationship as a band. However, It feels like we haven’t worked to overcome anything though, our chemistry means that even after a long time apart we can still get in a room and have an amazing time, writing, playing and performing. If we’ve done anything it’s probably not give up.

Q-Is there any advice you would give to bands to help them achieve the kind of quality you have? Are there any shout-outs to the people you’ve worked with on these tracks?

A- When writing we always like to have a conscious idea of how the finished track will sound, so even though you may start out just jamming we really think about our song structure and how different sections go into one another aiming to create the best emotional response, we’re often careful with tempo as even slight differences can really change how the song feels and what vibe it gives off.

 It’s easy to get lost in the process of writing and end up with a whole product of bits you like and bits you don’t, so we really try to have a well thought out process after finding a starting point to work off. If we ever end up with a song that has parts we’re unsure of, we often put it aside and move onto writing another song to ensure we’re constantly excited by our writing. Occasionally we go back and use good ideas from songs that didn’t make the cut and rework them into what we deem better songs.

We’d suggest getting a producer to listen to your demos and work with you to record a high quality recording as one of our main downfalls was our lack of knowledge surrounding the use of synth and not knowing how to implement it into our songs effectively. Working with our producer Josiah Manning at Momentum Studios really helped add that extra quality to our songs using his amazing production skills.

Q-What would you like to achieve in the next couple of years with Parlour Suns? What’s the most extreme thing you would have on your bucket list as a band? A- We hope that if we work hard enough it may be realistic to support a fairly well known ‘big band’ on all dates of their UK headline tour, not necessarily playing to massive venues but smaller ones. Once we are able to do this we hope that it may be possible to embark on our own UK headline tour after we have hopefully impressed a bunch of fans supporting another artist. From there we hope to get on smaller stages at ‘big’ festivals and keep working our way up and up.

The most extreme thing we hope to ever achieve would be to headline the main stage at the likes of Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds etc.

Q-You have to put on a show, what bands / artists would you choose and what venue? If you can explain why you would pick these, that would be amazing too! A- As of where we are as a band now, our dream show was actually on September 23rd. We put on our first headline hometown show at The Underground, Plymouth. Our first hometown show should be special for us, with lots of our friends in the crowd and The Underground being a basement venue really creates an amazing atmosphere. The support artists for the show are some of the biggest pop associated bands that regularly gig in the South West and are friends of ours, HaytorQuorum and Rhys Hurd. It should be a fantastic night of music and the tickets are in the link in our bio’s on all our social platforms.

In terms of an all time dream show, we would love to headline the O2 arena in London with the likes of The Hunna or The Band Camino on the bill as well.

Q- Is there anything you can tell / hint towards for your fans?

A- We have one song left to release this year. If you have been to any of our shows, our favourite song that we close with, comes out mid-October.

We are also starting to look into some merch and hope to go into the studio again as soon as we can.

Parlour Suns are putting on a show tonight at The Millbridge Inn, Plymouth.

Words by Jess Morgan.

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