“Belvedere is a song about not feeling ashamed of being who you are and making sure you stay true to yourself 100% of the time. Life is too short to worry about what other people think. Always do you and be proud of who you are.” – @dangerparkermd
December 3 1:00 pm et
Episode #278 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax
GETTING TO KNOW DANGER PARKER
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
In the beginning…
Nick, our drummer, was playing in a band with a few friends from high school when Cody (vocals and guitar) was invited to play bass with the band. After months of fiddling around with covers of Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and Saves the Day, the band stalled. However, Cody and Nick still wished to pursue music further. Cody had written a few demos of songs and asked Nick to add his ideas for drums. After getting together a few times, Nick asked his old friend, Greg, to join a practice to lay down some bass to complete the songs. Nick and Greg had tried to start bands on their own through middle and high school. Cody, Nick and Greg originally formed Danger Parker as a power trio in October 2013. They spent every Saturday working together and perfecting the original demos Cody first sent. These songs would go on to become the track listing for Danger Parker’s debut EP – “Ready As We’ll Ever Be”. After recording the EP, Danger Parker added Eric to play guitar alongside Cody.
Music was a really integral part to each member of the band’s life and a connection through similar tastes in music had Danger Parker embarking on their journey.
lyrically was essentially inspired by me coming out back in May of this past year. In a more general sense its a song about not feeling ashamed of being who you are and making sure you stay true to yourself 100% of the time. Life is too short to worry about what other people think. Always do you and be proud of who you are.
We took this song into the studio about 80% of the way complete. Originally, the song had this long instrumental outro that was kind of broken into two parts: the first part was a little heavier before exploding into this kind of faster paced, intense part. We had a piano arrangement written for both outro parts as well. Once we got to the studio and started working on it, it felt kind of ‘off’. While Nick was laying down drum tracks for other songs on the album, Cody, Eric, and Greg began reworking the outro. With help of our Producer, Eric Taft, we all collaborated to create the current version of the outro – this short, punchy and emotional close out to the song.
The song name ‘Belvedere’ came from our friend, Paul, who helped us in the studio. Originally, the song was just called “that new one”, as it was the most recent song we wrote before hitting the studio. After a pre-production day, Paul just said, out of the blue, “you guys should call this song ‘Belvedere'” – no rhyme or reason to it. And we kinda of just ran with it.
Abandon is an album about moving on…
abandoning any fear, abandoning preconceptions about moving on in life; about feeling abandoned; and about exploring morality. We dove headfirst into the unknown territory of life hoping to tackle whatever next great adventure awaits .
Songs explore emotions of getting over relationships, losing friends, failed plans, tackling life on the road, growing together as a band, establishing self-identity and mourning the loss of a dear friend. The songs cover a broad spectrum of the human existence that fans from all walks of life can feel.
This album was written as we were all establishing ourselves as musicians and in life, so we feel that years from now we can look back and be proud of it as it represents who we are at this point in our lives.
Fans of our music have compared it to a early-200s emo, alternative sound – which we are quite proud of and wear proudly. Our biggest musical influences – Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, The Used, Brand New – all came out of that era and we hope to carry on their legacies in the rock genre. An emo revival if you will.
We hope people find this album and can relate to the emotions addressed. We hope it helps them cope with anything they are going through in their life. It was such a great feeling when we got feedback from people outside out little county who really enjoyed our music and posted positive feedback. We want to inspire others the way our idols inspired us – as cliche as that sounds, it’s true. music is a beautiful thing that can bring so many people together and it’s an amazing feeling when people enjoy what you’ve created.
We’ve marketed it heavily with facebook posts that are boosted and targeted at a specific demographic; we rely on twitter and instagram for other social media promotions; we market our Spotify channel, our music being on iTunes and available on our bandcamp site; we’ve done a music video and host other songs on YouTube; and we have sent emails to countless record labels and radio stations.
We are 20 miles outside Baltimore Maryland….
The local scene in our town of Eldersburg has certainly died down since the early 2000s due to a lack of space/venues. It’s hard booking shows and getting people outside Eldersburg to go to Baltimore for shows we are able to book. There hasn’t been a community of bands in our area that are trying to work together to make it.
We’ve played at the Ottobar in Baltimore, Baltimore Soundstage and the Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge in Annapolis.
We are all huge fans of random YouTube videos…
just to make everyone laugh. We all watch a lot of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Bob’s Burgers”, and “Arrested Development”, so we quote that an awful lot when we’re around each other.
We’ve gone to every Taking Back Sunday show that’s come through Baltimore – in addition to tons of other shows: The Used, Bayside, Senses Fail, The Story So Far, Say Anything, The Menzingers. Beer festivals are sweet.
It’s a really freaking hard industry to break into. We’re hoping our hard work and perseverance will pave the way for us and future local bands.
Pros – meeting new people, making friends, positive feedback from friends and new fans
Cons – Expenses, limited exposure
Hurdles and pitfalls…
we continue to self-market our work and learn and grow as musicians and a band.
Cat Videos! just kidding (kind of) – the fact that we can reach people in so many different parts of the world. The easiness of being able to spread our music and see feedback almost instantaneously (especially in this generation of kids). The freedom to say and post things that we want. Mainly – a means to staying connected to our fans.
Challenges to overcome…
Maintaining a presence (posting enough to remain prevalent) Attracting more followers who truly care about what we’re doing. Reaching the right audience and engaging them.
Singles vs an album…
Since we’ve done both – it’s certainly fun and different. A single is a neat way to kind of give a quick snapshot of where the band is at in that moment, whereas an album can really cover a wide array of emotions and experiences. We certainly feel singles are a good way to promote ourselves quickly (not asking people to listen to an entire album, just a three minute song), but albums are a better way for people to understand us more fully.
Marketing the single – we made a music video and accompanying artwork to support the release of our single, “Search, Search”. We posted on social media and shared the video everywhere we could.
Marketing the album – tons of social media pictures beginning with our time in the studio, shows, and then artwork previews. We did a lot of ‘teasing’ to draw in our audience’s attention and peak interest. Once the album was released, we all posted on our individual social media channels to raise awareness.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Greg – Freddie Mercury: that man had an amazing voice, he was an amazing front man, & is a super influential singer/songwriter who never feared anything when it came to writing music. He inspired a lot of my more current favorite bands and myself.
Cody – Taylor Swift because I would love to marry her and I’m confident I could get her to agree to that in just 5 minutes.
Eric – Vinny Accardi: most influential guitarist, I get a lot of my vibes from him. love his style and tone – it’s far out.
Nick – Paul McCartney: think of the life he’s had and all the people he’s met, musicians he’s played with and inspired, man what a cool life. It’d be so cool just to hear him talk about all that he’s experienced, even if it was just for five minutes.
Trendy things are fleeting. we try to stay away from all that and just be true to ourselves.
I am most afraid of…
Greg – not accomplishing everything i set out to do in my life
Cody – failure
Eric – drowning (literally) and spiders. or drowning in a pool of spiders.
Nick – losing people that are close to me
My personal definition of success is..
Greg – being happy with where i am in life. just life, being comfortable with who I am. It’s a success because i’m happy living life the way I want to.
Cody – success for me is being able to live not only my dream, but the band’s dream, together. One success story I have would be convincing Nick and Greg to actually make the band an official thing. I didn’t think it would actually happen and I achieved it by constantly pursuing it. It’s a success because we’ve all grown to be best friends and we have the opportunity to do what we love together.
Eric – being able to do what i love for a living. joining Danger Parker and having an opportunity to chase my dream.
Nick – making a positive impact on a person’s life. doing something that inspires someone to do something good for someone else. Making sure people are having a good time wherever they are. Every Monday night, I have friends over to watch Monday Night Football, it’s not to watch the game, but the opportunity to spend time with close friends and just enjoy the time we have together. I think my friends enjoy it, too. Just seeing everyone laugh, be free and enjoy themselves is important to me. I achieve this by always being open for fun opportunities like this.
My overall goal for my life & career is…
Greg – inspire someone
Cody – inspire one more person than Greg and live in outer space when the technology becomes available.
Eric – develop gills.
Nick – make people happy. and hunt down the tiger that stole my wallet in 2004.
3 Ways that I challenge myself…
1) we challenge each other to push harder at practice – which helps us become better musicians, friends, people and better as a band
2) Being open to any opportunities that life presents us – which helps us experience a more full life
3) 75 push-ups every morning which makes us stronger.