Live & Local with One Horse Parade
Catch One Horse Parade June 23rd, 8pm @ Bearfoot Tavern
One Horse Parade is a band with a knack for layering a profusion of sounds from shoegaze to catchy, sometimes 80s like, electronic beats chill and upbeat enough to channel the soundtrack of Drive. It’s a soiree of sound good enough for dancing or spacing out over a Kubrick film. Mark Griffith (bass/synth) and Jay Proctor (guitar/synth) may have originated One Horse Parade in 2011, but both admit that Matt Daniels’s (guitar) and Wes Cook’s (drums) talents have brought an undeniable even flow to the sound of the band. One Horse Parade explained their progression towards more instrumental music, their upcoming show at Bearfoot, and what gets their songwriting gears in motion.
Did you have a specific vision as far as sound when you first started?
Mark: I guess we talked about it a little bit, but most of it happened organically. The instrumental thing wasn’t something we ever really planned, it just kind of happened that way . . . we just couldn’t find the right person to sing. None of us are really singers. And we’re just kind of like, well I’m not going to not make music or release something live or not play live because we don’t have a singer. There are bands that we like like Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky that don’t really rely on vocals much. Everybody in the band is a writing member. It’s not like one person writes and everybody else just falls in line.
How has your sound changed?
Jay: I think it’s matured. When we first started we were writing songs with the thought of having vocals on them. A lot of the chord progressions and changes were based on that idea. Now we’re more comfortable with the instrumental and we approach the parts we play with just letting them stand on their own and not having vocals over them or on top of them.
Mark: It’s interesting because no matter what we end up doing and no matter who starts, it ends sounding like us. It’s definitely evolved. There was a time where I think we just finally embraced the fact that we’re instrumental, to where things got even more experimental and out there. But now it’s kind of come back to things are even hookier again. It’s like a mixture of everything. It’s hard to verbalize but it’s definitely evolved and matured and taken a life of its own.
You recently released a live video recording of six songs called Inside the Circle. What prompted you to make the video?
Jay: I had the grand notion that I was going to get a camera and start filming stuff [laughter]. So we did a couple of little things that you can check out on YouTube. But this was a pretty massive project for all of us with that many cameras and getting the music right. But just trying to get ourselves out there. When I was doing the editing on the video my thought process was more of what I wanted these guys to see when they’re 80 sitting on their rocking chair.
What head space do you guys have to be in when you write music?
Jay: For me it used to be, and it still probably is, the stuff’s better when I’m down or sad or in my head more I suppose. It’s gotten to where if I’m sitting at home having a beer, or whatever, not in a bad mood I can still come up with something, but emotionally it’s more interesting when I’m not feeling so hot.
Mark: I’ve got three kids and married. Wes has got three kids. Jay works a lot. Matt works a lot. At a certain time of your life you’ve got more time to spend on it. Oddly enough, I think we’re probably more focused now and I spend more time now than I did when I was younger. To some degree as far as our schedule goes, it’s very regimented. You almost have to be able to flip a switch sometimes and go, hey, I’ve got two hours, let me go be creative.
Wes: We’ve all got the same music program as well. We can start with guitar, drums, bass, keyboard and then just hand them a stick and they can go work on it. A lot of it is done in our free time when we’re not as a band.
What are you working on right now?
Mark: We’re rehearsing for this show and rehearsing for Bragg Jam and playing a couple of out town shows with Choir of Babble. Other than that we’re always recording. I love the grand idea of putting out an album, but it’s so hard to do with the time constraints. And then we’ve put out two songs over the past six months. “Sun Shades” and “Her Ability.” We’ve got 30 different projects open. We’ve got about the next four or five songs that we want to release in our heads laid out into different stages of being recorded.