Music, // November 8, 2015
William Caleb Parker — MUSICIAN
Interview with Musician William Caleb Parker —
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am William Caleb Parker, a Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer, Engineer, and producer currently living just outside of LA. I just recently released my own solo EP called “Marie.” Its a blend of folk music and good ol’ rock n’ roll.
2. Why music?
The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that art has real intrinsic value. Art
has a way of making humans aware that they are humans and connecting humans with other humans. As to why music in particular… I’ve always been drawn to music. So many songs give me a visceral reaction and honestly, I feel like I’ve learned so much about people through music. I want to create sounds and stories that communicate that kind of beauty and truth.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be involved in music?
I remember sitting in the car with my aunt who must have been babysitting and telling her how I really liked hard metal…
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and style(s)?
I really like writing story songs. One thing that I do pretty regularly is write songs based on stuff I am reading. Often, there are little stories that are embedded in novels that make great song material. That’s fun because you can focus on framing the story with out worrying so much about the content. You get to ask yourself questions like, “How does this melody serve this text?” There is something freeing about not starting completely from scratch.
5. How do you work and approach a new piece that you are working on?
Usually I’ll start working from a lyric or a melody idea… but anything goes. I try to write as fast as I can and then go back and strengthen the weak points. If I’m really stuck, I’ll put it away for a while. A lot of times, distance has helped me with my approach to a song. When I wrote Portland I couldn’t figure out what the last verse needed so I took a break. When I came back to it, I immediately realized that the narrator needed to give his opinion, hence “don’t listen to the papers.” Stuff like that happens all the time when I just forget about what I’m working on for a while. I’ll revisit it and realize, “Oh! This was here all along, I just didn’t see it!” I love when songwriting feels more like discovery than creation.
6. Who are your favorite musician(s), singer(s)?
James Taylor, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Sting, and Fleetwood Mac are some of my biggest influences. I would love to write songs someday that might stack up with these guys.
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
I always enjoy when people tell me they’ve woke up with my songs in their heads…. But I guess my favorite thing is coming off stage and a bandmate telling me how much they enjoyed playing. I really respect the guys I play with and their opinions mean a lot to me. Its fun to make music that other people like to play.
8. What do you like about your work?
I love working with people, especially during the recording process. It is really fun to be around smart creative folks who have really good ideas that I would have never thought of. I always learn so much.
9. What advice would you give to other musicians?
Work on more stuff than you should. Get exposed to as much music as you can. If you play guitar, pick up a mandolin or figure out how to record or something. Breadth of ability creates unique opportunities and also gets your creativity working in ways you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Also, quit worrying about whether the stuff you are creating is quality – especially when writing. Too many people cripple themselves by worrying too much about whether a thing is good. Just make a thing and move on. Especially when you are starting out, quantity trumps quality. At some point quality will come, but that wont happen until you’ve made a lot of terrible stuff… My one caveat is that you’ve gotta surround yourself with quality if you are going to pick any of it up.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Writing songs and making records.
The album “Marie” can be found on most major digital music stores including – Bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes.
Website – www.williamcalebparker.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/williamcalebparkermusic?fref=ts
Twitter – https://twitter.com/wcalebparker?lang=en
Instagram – https://instagram.com/wcalebparker/
Youtube (Channel) – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFmA8_x_1udoHIUvJezBcmg
Youtube (Portland) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfwWc-ny9Ak