Me: So, first thing, Andy, what part do you play in The Parish Music Box? Give me a rundown of the band.
Andy: I co-write the songs with Clive and generally run around making a nuisance of myself. I promise this is the most boring answer of the entire interview. The band is a 6 piece comprising assorted refugees from bands that did, almost did and never had a chance. The Dylans and Longpigs feature in certain members’ pasts (as well as a 2 stretch and a year as “Mr October” on a US porn site, charmingly named “Slutwife99”). I sing, Clive plays guitars, James plays guitars, Pete plays drums, Jimmy plays bass and Luka tinkles the ivories. The album was produced by Colin Elliot at Yellow Arch in Sheffield. They get a certain sound there. It’s an old factory, shabby as hell but has a great feel. Really added something to the songs. We are on a mission to bring Lounge Country to the good people of Great Britain. We like it mellow and slightly retro in a late 60’s kind of way…think the early days of colour TV, the AA side 7” single and the soundtrack to a badly dubbed French detective movie. Our album is out in April 09!
Me: That's a very unusual name for a band, The Parish Music Box. Where did that name originate from?
Andy: We wanted a slightly quirky and very British name. The Parish kind of fitted, but it seemed a bit too Indy or Britpop (shudder). I love old wind up gramophones and jukeboxes so the idea of a music box appealed. A gramophone, a Dansette or an iPod – take your pick. So, Music Box kind of stuck. Put it all together and you get The Parish Music Box.
Me: So, Andy, are you the guy in the fancy red suit?
Andy: Just give me a white beard and a big sack I am good to go! Yup that’s me. Gene Pitney on a bad trip. I wasn’t dipped in Cuprinol by the way; I had just come home from vacation. That was a great night. Any show with the words “sold out” is a good one.
Me: Your new CD is called "Paradise Is Pocket-Sized". Is that a reference to a vagina? Or do I have a sick mind?
Andy: You are sick, sick, sick! I like the way you think! (A chorus for a Ting Tings song if ever I heard one). If I say, “Yes, Pocket-sized is about Vaginas”… I have to say that it is about taking pleasure in small things or my girlfriend will make a hasty (and incredibly violent) exit. It is in fact the idea that pleasure comes from the simplest things in life. We want to make simple, lush, filmic music that helps people everywhere get laid, or fall asleep after.
Me: I looked for your album on iTunes but can't find it. Most Phile Phans know I get 99% of my music by downloading from Apple. If the CD is not on iTunes will it be soon?
Andy: Sore point! We are working on it. But anyone who wants the album can contact us and we will get it to you by plane, train, download or gentleman’s conveyance without further delay. Watch this space!
Me: I know a little about Chiswick, where the band originates from, but most of my readers wouldn't have. Can you tell us a little about it? I am originally from Balem.
Andy: Chiswick is a suburb of London, in the west, by “the dirty old river” Thames. It was home for a while to another hero of ours Steve Marriot of The Small Faces. The area is not the most rock n roll area admittedly, but it’s surprising the trouble a single man, a suburb and a bad attitude can get into…as our tune Chiswick Green explains….”Oh Cathy, I caused such a fuss, I was touched by a friend on the top of a London omnibus. Oh Mother, I’m in such a mess, I was touched by a girl, from Page 3 of The Western Daily Press. On Chiswick Green I’ll kiss them all, close my eyes and hear them call, but they never write or call at all”. The Streets video for “Your Fit (but don’t you know it)” was filmed in Chiswick. Everything you need to know is right there in that 3 minutes…watch it with the sound turned down and Chiswick Green playing!
Me: I looked at your influences on your MySpace site, and was fascinated by you mentioning Brian Wilson. He is the best thing to come out of the Beach Boys. Have you ever met him? He would seem fascinating to interview.
Andy: I agree. Think about all the things he experienced and the times they lived through. I’d love to sit in the sand pit and play a few numbers. I saw him play “Smile“ in 2004. He sat behind an electric piano all night but never played a note! I am not sure he would have known if you were talking to him; he seemed to have this other worldliness about him. Just say NO kids!
Me: Also, have you ever met Nick Cave? I went through a period when I listened to a lot of Nick Cave, back when I was a lonely miserable bastard. Your music seems a lot more upbeat then his.
Andy: Never met him; would love to though. I think there is a huge vein of humour running through miserablists like his and Morrissey’s work.
Me: How often do you tour the United Kingdom and have you ever played in the States? If so, where and how was that?
Andy: We had some label issues last year that keep us off the road, but you can expect to see the band out and about in the UK in the spring. We’ll also be doing a “coffee shop” acoustic tour where folks can come along, meet up, have a cup of hot brown and hear us do our thing.
Me: What is your favourite Foghat song? I ask all my interviewees that?
Andy: Take it easy….. Check ‘em out on YouTube…the fella on the bass looks like he is about to spontaneously combust in a supernova of cholesterol!
Me: On your MySpace page you have a video of one of your songs... "Bring It On". Tell me about the video, and is that the first one the band did? I was expecting the band to show up in it.
Andy: We do…the eviscerated organs are all ours! The director is an Italian film maker who fell in love with the song and re-cut a short film he had made using it. We were blown away. That’s why we aren’t in it. You’ll be able to hear us doing our stuff in the new movies 2,000,000 Stupid Women and The Last Paradise both out in 09.
Me: Your music reminds me of Wilco. Do you know much about Jeff Tweedy (Wilco's singer)?
Andy: I love Wilco. “She’s A Jar” is an all time favourite of mine. If we remind you of Wilco I am a happy man! I loved Golden Smog, without knowing he was part of the band. He got two Grammy Awards, didn’t he! I’ll take that compliment thanks!
Me: Do you have any websites you would like to plug? Also, if any of the Phile readers would like to purchase your CD (me as well) where would we get it from?
Andy: Sure thing and thank you! CD launch will be announced on one or all of these… www. myspace. com/theparishmusicbox, www. theparishmusicbox. com (live soon), http://indiestore. 7digital. com/theparishmusicbox/, http://www. caffenero. com/musicdatabase. asp?Section=News.
Thanks, Andy, for a great interview. Well, phans, that's it for the interviews until Saturday when it's Bryan Eden's time. He is the singer for the band Tribe of Eden. The regular entry of the Phile will be posted Friday night, so until then, spread the word, not the turd.