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Interview with Paravell.
This week's interview is with the band Paravell. I talked with lead singer and founding member Eric Kennedy. Paravell puts on a great set, but most importantly, their album is called "An Evening of Stars and Dreams." I'm from amongst the stars, so I was instantly a fan. However, I have come to find out that the song "Star Queen" from the album is not, in fact, about the leader of my planet. Regardless, I'm sure you'll enjoy this interview.
Brax: Can you tell me about the name of your band?
Paravell: Our name (Paravell) was derived from C.S. Lewis' books “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Cair Paravel was the name of the kingdom of Narnia's castle. We all thought Cair Paravel was interesting. It wasn't until we dropped the Cair and added the “L” at the end that we really felt like we found our name. We had way too many problems with promoters and venues misspelling the name of our previous band August Moons. Paravell was easy to say and seemed to make perfect sense when spelled out (I'm sure someone will find a way to spell it wrong on a marquee someday).
Brax: How did you get started in music?
Paravell: The birth of Paravell occurred at the end of the sad disintegration of August Moons, a band I had started up in college with a few other students. Around 1999 Matthew Harber joined the band as well. Over eight years, we had many amazing shows with many amazing bands, but by the end, our visions for the band were divided and therefore August Moons was reluctantly disbanded.
After a few months of soul searching and praying I still felt the band life was where I was supposed to be, so Matthew and I decided to start a new band. We started songwriting with another good friend of ours, Joe Maurer, and with the help of a couple of other friends began to record and develop songs. Our current line up (includes) me and Matthew playing (plus) the incredible talents of Kiran Kumar, Christopher Bright, and Rick McDonough. I love all of them and the music that happens when we are all playing together.
Brax: What project are you currently working on?
Paravell: We (recently) released our first full length album, “An Evening of Stars and Dreams.” It was a very exciting accomplishment for me since I had never had an album released for any of the other bands I had been in previously. We are currently discussing some options for music videos and hope to start filming a few in the near future. We have begun working on some exciting new songs that should be on our sophomore album to be released sometime next year. We may pre-release some of the songs as singles on-line even before then.
Brax: What makes your band special?
Paravell: One thing I really love about Paravell is that we value the lyric of a song and really try to interpret the lyric through the melodies and dynamics of our music. I love that “Haunted” sounds so scared, that “Sea Phantom” sounds tragic and menacing in the verses and hopeful and compassionate in the chorus.
Another thing I love about the band is that none of us are super educated musicians. We have talent but we are just normal guys contributing what we have into something that ends up being so much bigger than anything we could ever do on our own, and then let God use it any way He wishes.
Brax: What’s your favorite movie and why?
Paravell: Well personally I love “Lawrence of Arabia.” I find the cinematic expression of that movie really captures the vastness and the harshness of this desert world we live in. It's scary and fascinating to me, but I think I see a bit of myself in Lawrence as well. A close second for me would probably be “Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.” Why? One word: “Excellent!”
Brax: Describe your dream concert.
Paravell: Hmm… Any stadium, arena, or other venue packed to overflowing with people who want to experience the music of Paravell with us. (We) would be able to play a long, creative, inspired set feeling God, the ultimate Creator, is right there with us pouring out his love into the room. I know we would love to play with mega bands like U2, the Cure, The Killers, Coldplay, or Radiohead. That would be amazing. One thing I have experienced and love is playing with bands of a like mind and vision whom we believe in as much as our own band. I think that breeds an amazing concert vibe that (the audience) and the bands playing can all plug into. If that could happen on a large scale I think it would really be amazing.
Brax: Where do you see your band in 5 years?
Paravell: Still writing songs, still playing music, playing where the doors open up, whether that be locally, nationally, or even internationally. We would love to be playing to much larger crowds. Of course making a living on our music would be optimal, but the main vision of seeing the lives of those who hear our music encouraged and blessed would still need to be our heartbeat. It would also be great to hear our music on the radio and even on the small and big screen.
Brax: i Pod, CD, Vinyl, or other? Why?
Paravell: I'd have to say ipod for now. When it comes to CDs I always scratch them to pieces, but I love having the lyrics and the artwork. As for Vinyl, for me, they just take up space. I still have all my tapes though!
Brax: Tell me about your best live show ever.
Paravell: There have been so many, from our early days playing over at the old Sing Sing Band Nights at the Irvine Spectrum, to playing our shows at the Orange Circle, and even playing a show in Mexico. I would have to say that one of our best live shows for Paravell was actually our last show at Fitzgerald's Bar in Huntington Beach. We really felt like we reached a new place of musical confidence on stage and we felt the music reflected it.
Brax: What is your opinion on robots?
Paravell: They should not walk around like little people. Have you ever seen the little ASIMO robot over at Disneyland? That thing is scary!
Brax: Any advice for others trying to “make it” in music?
Paravell: If it is a dream that has been put in your heart, go for it. If not, think about staying away. It’s a hard business and even on the bottom rungs of the music industry ladder there can be a lot of disappointment and frustration, especially if you try to start a band. If it is a dream in your heart though, you will find great satisfaction in those moments of breakthrough and you will feel at home on that stage. It will all make sense.
Brax: Anything else you’d like to add?
Paravell: God has given our lives purpose, the greatest one of all is to love. Whatever deep down purpose you feel you have in your life, live it out in love. It's hard, but if we all can do that this world will be a much better place.
Tell them Brax sent you!
Thanks to Paravell for the interview. If you're in the area, please check out their show this Friday in Big Bear, California.
Up next week is an interview with Slings.