Frontman Will Andersons smooth vocals combined with the bands radio friendly pop rock sound (often compared to Maroon 5 and The Fray), is sure to make the girls swoon, if they havent already. Not to mention, having toured with the likes of Jon McLaughlin, O.A.R., Switchfoot, Duffy, and Matt Nathanson, Parachute is well on their way.
With debut album Losing Sleep hitting shelves May 19th their lives are only getting busier. Read on for my interview with Will Anderson as he chats about the recording process, stories behind the romantic songs he has penned, and what its like being in a band with his four best friends.
What can fans expect from Losing Sleep?
Its a lot of new songs they havent heard yet, new material that weve been playing live but never had a recorded version of. Its the same sound theyve heard live, but its finally put into recorded mode. We have 10 great songs that were all definitely really proud of.
How was the recording process?
It was a little tough because we were in school so it took a while. Once we got out of school we really got into it this past summer. It was good to work with the producers that we did. John Shanks (Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Janes Addiction, Stevie Nicks) and John Fields (Switchfoot, Jimmy Eat World, The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus), to see the body of work that theyve worked on. They took our view of recording and helped us shape what we wanted it to be and what kind of record we wanted it to be as it went along. It taught us a lot about the art of making a record.
Whats the story behind first single, She Is Love?
I wanted to write as straightforward a love song as I could. It really just came to me and took 10-15 minutes to write. We didnt think it was going to be anything and it really took on a life of its own. A couple of people heard it, our manager and friends and said we had to put it on the record so we did, not thinking there would be a reaction. Then Nivea picked it up for their ad campaign and it was a great opportunity. The reaction was so incredible that it segued into being our first single. It was a pleasant surprise and the song definitely had a journey that I did not expect it to once it was written.
What is your typical writing process like?
I have a really weird sleeping pattern so at midnight Ill start writing songs. Ninety-five percent of the time its stupid stuff that I write and I usually give up after about a half hour. But on a night that something good does come up its one of those all-nighter things where at 5 o clock in the morning Im banging on our drummers door, screaming, ìI got a good song! Listen to this!î and wake him up and make him listen to it. Its usually an all night sort of trance where I go into the zone and knock it out as quickly as possible.
Often, Ill come back and rewrite all the words in a few weeks once I realize how terrible the idea was. Usually the music comes first and lyrics come later. But you definitely know very quickly if its a good song or not. Ill have the entire song laid out, the lyrics and the melody and then the guys will add their opinions to it. Its just a matter of they add their little twist to it eventually.
I really like your song, Under Control What was going on in your head when writing it, what inspired it?
Thats a funny song. I used to do this thing where Id advertise for shows and I would go into sororities and sing to the girls. I wrote that song with the melody and I had this crush on this girl for probably about three years all through college. She had no idea who I was. So, I wrote that song in the off chance that she would hear it and realize it was about her. But unfortunately, she did not and she still does not know who I am. I dont think she has any idea that she has that song written about her. It was definitely for that one girl who I met at that one sorority.
How much are your songs inspired by real relationships vs. fantasy?
It goes both ways, it depends on the song. Certain songs are very true to something thats happened to me and other songs I think of something or make a story based off that. For me, it really comes down to a song and the individual. It depends. Sometimes its about me or its about someone I know or about a fictional thing if I happen to think of a good story.
Would you rather someone hear you first live in concert or your new album?
I think live is always the pinnacle for us. Thats what we want people to know us from. We want people to see us. We want to make a great record, but I think in the end, if you can come see us live I think thats where you can get hooked. Anyway is fine in the end. Well definitely do anything to make sure people hear the music and connect to it in some way. For us, its more fun at a live show. To be with people and to be listening to the people and hanging out with everybody and just having a good time, you really cant beat that.
You performed in Times Square for New Years Eve. How was that experience?
It was insane! It was unbelievable. We got a call two weeks earlier saying, "Come to New York and play Times Square." It was really random. We were like, "Okay. Are we playing the side stage?" And they said, "No, youre playing the main stage." For us to sit there, this little college band of guys rolling up in a van and playing with Lionel Richie, the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift. Love them or hate them, those are just huge names and to share the stage with them was amazing to us. We were very fortunate and it felt surreal when we were up there. It was probably one of the most amazing experiences in my life, playing for that many people.
You all grew up together playing in high school and college. What is the band dynamic? Has it changed at all since you started?
You know, in the end its so funny because it really is almost exactly the same as it was. Were all the same people and same guys and were all still the same friends. If you knew us back then and you know us now, its very similar. Obviously weve grown up and things have changed a bit. But, in the big scheme of things were the same guys and we know a lot of stuff about each other that we probably wouldnt know if we hadnt known each other for that long. For better or worse, its definitely the dynamic of five best friends who have known each other forever. I cant imagine doing it with people who werent your friends. Its weird for me to think about that.
Annie Reuter is a freelance writer and music blogger who covers concerts and music festivals around the country. In constant pursuit of the next show to attend and band to interview, Annie keeps up her own music blog, You Sing, I Write.