Stranded In Stereo: The Stranded Local Q&A: Parker House & Theory

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Stranded Local Q&A: Parker House & Theory

This week's local Q&A comes to you from Parker House & Theory on the day of their CD release for their new album, "Automatic Stranger." They're no strangers to the Boston scene, having formed the band at Emerson College, where they (Carlos on lead guitar, Eric-jon on vocals & guitar, Marcos on drums, Andy on harmonica & keys, and Colin on bass) found each other playing open mics and coffeehouses.

When asked about the highlights of their career, Carlos responded: "
ask me that in a few weeks when we come back from tour with OAR and release our first full length album. As of now, maybe a mixture of winning our first Boston Music Award, on our first try, or playing the Tweeter Center with Jurassic 5, The Dropkick Murphys, 311, State Radio, G-love.
Maybe selling out the Paradise main room a few times, maybe playing 150 shows a year all over. Maybe working with a 7x grammy award winning musical genius, maybe all of the above, and then some. Maybe getting to answer questions about music, that seems pretty simple but refreshing in this crazy world of ours."

And so, speaking of getting to answer questions about music, here are Carlos' answers to the same five questions Stranded In Stereo always asks:

Hailing from Boston makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because
"Hello everyone, We're Parker House and Theory, we're from Boston, MA" that is part of every show we have ever played for the last year and a half. It's something to be proud of, sometimes a bit too proud, (this tends to get a boo or 2 when in NYC or any other non-Red Sox Nation blip on the map). We actually have a band member from Staten Island, so we're careful not to rag on his beloved NY teams too much.

The Boston music scene is so interesting, and as much as I would like to say that being from Boston makes us better, I think I would phrase it just a tad bit different, hopefully without sounding like a politician.

Boston is a tough tough scene to crack. I remember when we first got started, Eric-jon and myself taking the T to the Paradise and walking right in to the box office, and proudly saying "Hey, we're in a band, how do we get to play the main room?" The lady behind the window looked at us incredulously, muttered "LiveNation," and put the blinds down.

Welcome to Boston.

We are a historically rich town and music is part of the culture here, it all blends. That's not to say that there isn't a permeating apathetic attitude due to the abundance of music, the vast pool to choose from sometimes makes people wade in the shallow end. But when you take that proverbial leap into the deep end, you find amazing unparalleled talent. We have played some of our best shows with friends from Boston all over the country and we share that common Boston bond. Pride aside, every time I come home I am ecstatic to call Boston my town, wouldn't have it any other way. We have since packed the Paradise 3 times.

Name at least three bands that are still around and touring that you’d love to be on a bill with, and think it fits well

Are the Police touring again?
I'd love to share the bill with Maroon 5, Robert Randolph, DMB, Mute Math, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Juanes, The Roots and Parliament Funkadelic to name a few.

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is
Normally I would say the Paradise Rock Club, but check back with me after we play the Middle East Downstairs for the first time in 3 years. I'm stoked to come home.

Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can’t hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)

For sure, we all (the 5 of us) come from very different musical backgrounds and it's in that small but juicy overlap that our music is created. I've never been one to listen to singer-songwriter type music, or anything that doesn't at one point or another have a thumping driving sound, but some of the guys enjoy that and have brought that into our mix, and the results have pleased me. Conceptually speaking, 2 of us are of Latin descent so it inevitably comes into play when rhythms are created. Jazz seeps into some of our chord changes, whether it's an homage or because we like the way it sounds, we always play with jazzy chords, inversions, voicings etc etc.. Harmony is something we are doing more and more of, and it's nice to listen to awesome harmonies, from all genres, and have that affect our choices. We won an award for best jam and funk band, yet we have never considered it part of our repertoire, just something that organically happened, like most of our sound.

Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is

The Sevens. 77 Charles St.(true inspiration for Cheers) No question. Been going there since college. Stop in and say hi to Lilly and Carlos during the days, they'll never forget your name.


Download: "Hey Hey" [mp3]

Catch them live: Tonight (April 17th) at the Middle East Downstairs with Kill the Alarm, Jukebox the Ghost.

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