INTERVIEW: Parachute

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Photo by Daniella Weiss

Originally from Charlottesville, Va., American pop rock band Parachute has come a long way in the last decade since the band formed in 2006. A year after releasing their fourth studio album in March of 2016, the band has embarked on a new headlining run, deemed The Getaway Tour, for April of 2017. Keyboardist and sax player Kit French talked with WTBU Radio DJ Daniella Weiss about the band’s new tour and their latest album, Wide Awake.

After touring for most of 2016 post-release of the new album, the band’s next endeavor—a month-long headlining tour—is well underway. When asked how the tour’s name came to be, French referenced the track “Getaway” on the Wide Awake album.

“The song was one of our favorites on the album. It was a really fun experience recording it with the producers. We just kind of matched that with this fan-voting concept [for the setlist] and turned it into this throwback, getaway kind-of thing,” said French

In preparation for this tour, the band engaged fans by offering the chance to vote on the setlist via a link on their website. Each night the setlist is altered a bit based on votes from fans. According to French, a lot of the same beloved songs pop up on fans’ lists. Yet, there is a good deal of new songs being thrown into the mix. Among the new songs being requested are “Lonely With Me,” “What Side of Love,” and “Without You,” which is the first single that was released from Wide Awake.

The Wide Awake album, according to French, was a chance for the band to go back to the way they recorded and co-wrote songs in the past, similar to their first album in particular.

“We wanted to have it feel a little more like our first record while having it be more progressive as a band,” said French. “The process was really streamlined. Figuring out the parts was a lot more simple and it was just a really fun experience.”

Despite having the new album to play, Parachute has been touring and making music for over ten years now which means there are several old songs in their catalog that are tried and true favorites to fans.

“We love to take these old songs into the shop and reevaluate them and see how we can change them up a little bit and present it a little differently,” French said. “You will always hear a new, fresh variation of [our older songs] which is cool for us and hopefully fun for fans, too.”

In the last decade for the band, they have played countless shows both in support of other bands and on their own headlining tours.

“Luckily, it is something that we always look forward to,” French said. “We are so comfortable with the whole process, everything that needs to happen, and it really is what we work towards – being able to go on tour and play shows in all these cities. There is so much to look back on, whether it was getting to shows in everyone’s random cars or on a tour bus. The whole process has been rewarding.”

Every tour the band has been a part of has enhanced their knowledge and preparation going into another headlining tour.

“When we open up for other bands, our eyes are wide open looking at everyone. All the operations, behind the scenes, on the stage, anything that makes it all run more smoothly, more efficiently or makes it more fun or more entertaining,” said French. “We are keen to all of that, we are paying attention, and we implement things, if it makes sense for us.”

French remarked that the whole process of bands learning from each other is a give-and-take. Speaking of supporting acts, Parachute takes singer-songwriter Kris Allen along with them for the whole of The Getaway Tour.

“He is the absolute best. We have always wanted him to come out on tour with us,” said French. “He was the only support in our heads that we wanted to try and get. And we finally got him. It’s a perfect match. He’s a great guy and his talent is undeniable.”

As for what’s to come after the band finishes The Getaway Tour in Nashville, French added that they have a lineup of projects to attend to immediately upon getting off the road. For now, Parachute takes the stage at The Sinclair in Cambridge on April 17.

-Daniella Weiss