The Parry Sound Project

What’s going on in PSP Land?

I will start by apologizing for the crappy iPhone photos below, but I did want to provide some evidence that we are in fact working at getting it all going!

For for those of you in the GTA, we’ve been practicing over at a place called The Rehearsal Factory, and man is it a great place to practice! They have some crazy ass rooms, like Hell’s Pit from above, but also some really great non devil worshipping rooms as well for those of you that aren’t into ritual sacrifice the way we are…. But in all seriousness if you’re looking for a great place to play I would definitely recommend it, rates are reasonable, they have some great equipment and the place is clean and very comfortable…

I will completely admit to the process being a humbling one, I haven’t played with other people in over a decade and it really shows. Some of the other guys are in the same boat, though not as long I don’t think and not as rusty. That being said you there is already progress and I fully expect that we will begin ramping up content here over the next month or two. I think we have some pretty fun ideas lined up and can’t wait to share them with you guys… Hey speaking of sharing….

We had the family over yesterday during the day for my sons birthday party, and the topic got brought up by my lovely wife (*cough*thanks for throwing my under the bus dear 😛 *cough*) that I would not be home that evening because I had band practice…. Now I don’t know about the rest of you out there in bands, but for me this was like chumming the water for the inevitable shark feeding frenzy that would follow. The next half hour or so was a series of jokes about head banging, when and where were we playing, would we be writing our own songs, how they would follow us around and be our groupies, dress up as god knows what when doing said groupying (is that even a word?) and on and on and on… Which in the back of my mind started convincing me more and more that really what we need to be doing is starting a Rammstein cover band:

It's good for the skin dear

But it’s good for the skin dear

Well on the plus side it’s out there now and I don’t have to worry about that any more, now I just have to figure out the right way to scar them and dissuade them from their aforementioned “groupying” project. And that is it for now my friends, we will talk in the near future 🙂

– Rob

Alright So What Is The Parry Sound Project?

Growing up as a teenager, I like a lot of other people had dreams of one day becoming a famous musician. Also like the vast majority of other people, for me that dream never became a reality, but somewhere in the process I discovered that was never really the point. Making music was the opportunity to spend a few hours every week escaping the reality of the daily grind we all face and doing something that was good for me. What I mean by “good for me” was it got me bouncing around and moving instead of flicking through the channels, it helped release any aggression I had built up in a positive manner, and it gave my the opportunity and excuse to spend time with friends which inevitably became increasingly difficult to do as we grew up into adults with adult relationships.

Sadly, growing up does happen to all of us, and there are casualties in the process, making music and “the band” became one of them for me as I and my friends got married, bought homes and had kids. My guitar became just another item occupying space in the closet. My love of music however never went away, in actuality it developed more over the years. Age has a way of softening the absolutes I once knew in genres and musical artists and tastes, and I found myself looking forward to my commutes to and from work when I had those brief little escapes into bite sized five minute realities some musician had created for me. I would try to coax friends into going to see these acts because that was the next best thing to playing myself, plus they had way cooler toys than I could ever afford!

As my tastes broadened I discovered a couple of acts that really spoke to me on a musical level in a way that I had never experienced before, those bands being Porcupine Tree (anything Steven Wilson for that matter) and The Devin Townsend Project. I got lost in their music for a couple of years honestly listening to very little else, rotating between the two and being thankful that I hadn’t stumbled upon them earlier because now I had their respective huge catalogs to keep my addiction well supplied. Of course as I’m rolling along in my car with Anesthetize (wait did I say bite sized? Maybe not always 😉 ) or Deadhead blaring on the stereo I’m fantasizing that it’s me and my non existent band jamming out those tunes, simultaneously thinking who I would invite to play in that band and how there was no chance in hell we would ever be able to play that stuff, and then the final push came from an unlikely source I never saw coming.

My wife and I were sitting down on the couch one night flipping through the channels and stumbled upon a documentary series called Sonic Highways by Dave Grohl, for those of you that haven’t seen it, the gist is that they go around to eight cities to look for inspiration to record a song there and speak to musicians from that city about it’s history.  What completely captivated me and honestly endeared Dave Grohl to me, was the immediate recognition of the “geeky love” this guy had for music. I understand that type of love perfectly, it’s the kind that frees that inner child we all have from it’s “being an adult and all the responsibilities you now have” prison and let’s it run wild screaming “that’s sooooo cool” and “oh oh oh, oh my god”. Want an example, watch the LA episode and Taylor Hawkins response to recording with Joe Walsh.  I was right there with guy yelling at my poor wife “I know how he feels and how cool would that be”. Yes I’m an idiot, yes I’m OK with that, thankfully she is too.

Geek love aside and finally reaching the point of this post, how that show totally affected me was the message that was buried in every episode. “You don’t have to be a great technical musician, go out and make your music”.  My music. I want to calling something “my music”. I want to feel the rush that brings again. I want my fingers to be calloused again, I want the comradery of a bunch of sweaty stinky friends piled together in a small room making sounds only ever heard during a monkey gang bang in some South African rain forest, during rainy season. Stinky, smelly, moist monkey sex, ya, that’s rock and roll. So I took the first step, I opened the door to the cage that little KISS loving nine year old Rob was trapped in. And in his shy little voice he asked this nice women who had been taking care of him for the last twenty six years if she would be ok if he went and asked some of his other friends if they could come out and play. She was.  So there was these two other old grumpy men he knew, and he really respected as musicians and more importantly as friends, and asked them if they wanted to play. You could almost hear the click of a door opening somewhere in them and most certainly you could hear it in their voices and see it in their eyes. That was the beginning of the Parry Sound Project.

Parry Sound is a place where the fourth member of the band has a cottage, where we all go to escape reality twice year with the guys and then again with all our families during the summer. It’s a place where we are happy and enjoy each others company even if it’s only for a few brief moments before we head back to reality. It’s a great place that means a lot to us, so it seemed only natural that we should try to capture the feelings that place brings. Throw a Project at the end and you’re  ripping off paying tribute to Mr Townsend’s band that I mentioned earlier. Plus it sounds nice, retro sounding, which is good, because we’re old, err retro I mean. One of our guitar players knew a drummer and bass player, and this past week five out of the six of us got together to talk about this all and fart around on our instruments. Our first official practice will be February 1st.

What this blog will be is a record of the whole process, we’ll talk about gear, about setting up a website, getting logos made, recording, practicing, learning, playing, all the stuff that goes into making a band. But this is about having fun, and we’re gonna have a ton of fun, learn a lot and hopefully make some great music. We hope you join us on this road because the experience is better when it’s shared, and I do believe this will be an experience worth sharing.


– Rob


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