A conversation with singer/guitarist Graham Parsons about a brand new album
Singer/songwriter Graham Parsons founded this band a decade ago. A time period that represents a third of his life, reinforced by a resiliency brought by his bandmates. Guitarist Mike Savina, bassist Drew Tyner and drummer Adam Danis (the latter has been a member since its inception), each have the patience and fortitude necessary to be part of an independent, label-less, manager-less band that hustles to 100 national tour shows per year in the age of the Internet, balancing the progressive experimental-tilt to hop from rock, to folk-pop, neo-Americana, indie-psychedelia, to ambient-heavy kaleidoscopic-sonic soundscapes.
Compassionate and caring musicians
“Speaking highly of their musicianship is one thing, but also, just as human beings….they are some of the most compassionate and caring people I’ve ever know – my brothers, my family,” said Parsons. “And we know why we’re doing it now; it’s been a journey, that’s a simple way of putting it. But I often think, what were the odds of us coming together? None of us are from Kalamazoo, but we ended up there. Without any one of us in the band, it wouldn’t be what it is…”
Parsons migrated down to Kalamazoo in the late 00’s from the Upper Peninsula. The Go Rounds’ initial output surged from a creative awakening that he, and other Kzoo-area artists had, with the now bygone Double Phelix arts collective, empowering their DIY-spirit, and pushing Parsons to write a surge of eccentric, uptempo rock-inclined songs that always sounded uniquely contemplative, a crooner daydreamily drifting off toward beckoning horizons. After three full-length albums, four EPs, and several singles, The Go Rounds just released their most ambitious album to date, titled Whatever You May Be…
“There’s lots of music within each song,” Parsons said, putting it lightly. Let’s just say it rewards the headphones-listeners. Producer/composer Ben Cohen (of Heavy Color) helped produce the album at High Bias Studios in Detroit. He credits the “pre-production” process, making compositional calculations and figuring out the key three elements that each song would need. “Once we were done (rhythm tracking), we started into the overdubs (with Cohen) and just recorded a ton of sounds. Even within that exploratory creative flurry and freedom, (Cohen) was really good at helping everyone focus on the (ambient) essence,” Parsons explains.
A deeper, further reach
The essence of Whatever invites descriptions like “minimal,” “orchestral,” but also “art-rock,” “electro-operatic,”as well as “candid…” This is a band, unafraid to be a bit darker, heavier, more emotional. “I just feel that the times we’re living in call for a deeper, further reach into the darker, more profound and emotional spaces. I think the Go Rounds will always be wrapped up in something that looks like fun. But if you unwrap it, you’ll find something darker there. Not that we won’t always be an exciting and engaging live band…” But after several years together, they’re able to push the music further “and that deepens the spiritual and emotional context”
“We feel blessed with our fans, because I think it’s beyond a single song for them, in terms of simplifying an understanding of our music, everyone who keeps coming back says variations of: ‘…I love that you guys keep changing; I never know what I’m gonna hear…’ I think the majority of our listeners are invested in the longview…(The fans) are our buoy. We let go of the “pillars of success” that society holds up and realized that our power is intrinsic. Despite the trials of this endeavor, I still feel resilient because of the diversity of our experiences and backgrounds.”
The Go Rounds are scheduled to play on Sunday, June 30 at The Ark. Find the new album at: thegorounds.com