1. The Holy Parachute - brief history please, discography, etc.
Well five friends were together messing around, jumping into bushes, fighting, breaking and setting fire to stuff, general teenage anarchy, i.e. fun, when we were talking about music, and how we all liked similar music but everyone liked something a bit different to the others. We then noticed that we all played instruments and could start a band. So we did. We spent the first practice attempting to learn some Reel Big Fish and writing a song about a girl we knew who fell down a hill and lost her pants. We carried on writing for about 4/5 weeks and then had our first gig at a friends party where we went down pretty well (though it was most likely due to the audience being wrecked out of their faces). From this we started to gig around the general area of Oldham and Manchester. We entered a battle of the bands in May and ended up getting to the Manchester final at Carling Academy 2, and coming third, which was a great achievement. We had a celebratory BBQ and got wasted off some cheap champagne after that. It tasted a little like piss but did the job. The hottest week of last year we spent 6 sweaty days in the studio to record our EP (plus an unreleased track), and have carried on gigging around the North-West. We’ll be recording our second EP in July.
2. Describe your local music scene as you see it? What are its good and bad points and who are the best bands from the area?
The local music scene is amazing, both in Oldham and obviously in Manchester. In Oldham there are a key core of bands and only really two venues (unless you include a pub whose audience usually comprises of old alcoholic perverted men who try hitting on anything which moves…literally) but the music scene is pretty good, and you can have quite a fun night out, though the taxi’s rape you for money on the ride home, even though its under 3 miles. The bands around Oldham include The Cassettes, The Children, Downtown Rag, Honeymagic etc.
Manchester is amazing for gigs, as probably most Mancunians would agree. I go to a lot of gigs in the Carling Academies, though recently I found out that Academy 1 no longer has a roof due to renovation. I also love Bomb Ibiza gigs, the promoters are the nicest most genuine people I know, and they have put on some amazing gigs and international bands such as RX Bandits, Big D And The Kids Table, Planet Smashers, Mustard Plug, etc. and have seen the rise of some brilliant British ska and punk bands including Howards Alias, Sonic Boom Six, King Blues, Catch it Kebabs, Grown At Home, Random Hand, etc.
3. Describe your fellow band members in 5 slanderous words apiece!
Not sure if you meant each word had to be slander, however they are all quite true.
David – lazy, greedy, cheese sandwich lover
Michael – often gets his penis out
Mark – in love with Will Farrell
Richard – slum who drums on bums
4. Dried Goldfish Excrement is the latest aphrodisiac being sold by Mike Scab aka San Miguel of The Scabs. This guy is unhinged and hellbent on ripping off the public. I have tried to use this latest sex drive enhancer and now call everyone Bob and breathe through slits in the side of my neck. I can hold my breath for 45 minutes but what use is this? The question is do you know of any undiscovered aphrodisiacs and would you sleep with a guppy?
Holding your breath could be quite useful if you were a secret agent spy and had to escape from being held captive through only a toilet in your room. However I have found that dried goldfish excrement is a too effective aphrodisiac and even after the job has been done the effects are still present. Even two weeks following, which isn’t really what you want. The most effective, yet obscure aphrodisiac is bats ears, which also gives you the ability to hear ultra sound. Although the taste is a little waxy.
5. Best and worst gigs to date please - relate all the sordid details?
We’ve had a few gigs which we could call the “best”. The Carling Academy 2 gig was amazing, because it was in a legendary place where we had seen so many of our favourite bands play. The sound there was amazing and it was packed out to around 600/800 people, and there was some dancing which is good.
Though personally I think the best gigs are those unpredictable gigs, where so many people turn up that the stage is almost taken over by the audience. We’ve had some crazy gigs in the smaller venues where people have ended up climbing up the ceiling supports and crowd surfing in a room with a height of 7 foot, where their head almost hit the roof.
Usually the worst gigs are those which don’t get a proper response from the audience. The worst gig in my eyes that we ever played was a local party when we were starting up, the audience were all around 4 or 5 years older than us and we had no friends or people who have heard us before. We were opening the night, which is always a problematic slot, and the audience were just stood around the edge of the room, leaving a large gap in the middle. Then mid-set our guitarist snapped a string. He didn’t have a spare set and we weren’t prepared for this, so he ran looking for other band members to get a spare string, when someone stepped up and gave him their guitar to play, it was a sexy white classic strat, so Mark wasn’t that bothered. Though still the audience were unresponsive. We just got totally leathered after that.
6. THP have a rather distinct edge and the melodies are really effective as in the fact that they seem to be borne from really well versed musicians. How is this and how much work as a band do you put into the end result?
Well we are all varied in our musical backgrounds and our likes and dislikes, but we just like to make fun music to which we hope people will find catchy and get it stuck in their head all day long. We prefer to practice quite often, to get things like really snappy and together, sometimes its impractical, but we still try our hardest. Usually it takes us quite a while to write a new song, i.e. 3 practices, but the result is worth it if it’s a good song. This is why it’s a little shame when some songs are forgotten for new songs, though we want to keep and play the best songs that we can. Our practices are often very extreme and we come out sweaty, mmm. Actually practices are the opposite and quite laid back and fun and we have a laugh in it, that’s probably why it takes so long, but its better in my eyes. We dance around, drink some beers and play our music. We like to practice until we can play songs without consciously thinking about it, though its sometimes quite a shock when you think “wait a second, I’m playing…but I was thinking about beer” and you get confused about where you are and let yourself play until you know where you are.
7. Heroes and zeroes in life and music please?
Heroes in life are everyone who just does their thing without giving a damn about what anybody else thinks of them. Quite similar to music. I have quite a lot of respect to those who worked and achieved off their own back, such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates, as they weren’t really fed with a silver spoon. My personal heroes though are my friends, (soppy slow music in background) my band (even if they do like to get naked a lot and play music regardless of who is in the room) and my girlfriend.
Zeros in life are those losers, who feel that they are the best thing to happen to earth, and are totally egocentric and in love with themselves. Usually these people are actually the least respected people in any social sphere. They are usually the ugliest people with the worst personality. Get a grip, if you stop looking in the mirror you’ll soon realise that you suck and everyone hates you!
Also those chavs annoy me who sit around all day in random towns and shout abuse at any person who passes by, and with any retaliation they attempt to start a fight.
Heroes in music are just those who can be themselves and play music that they love, without adhering to any popular demand. I love a lot of ska and punk (the UK scene is so great at the moment) while I do enjoy jazz, and some alternative music out there (such as Radiohead, Muse and Brand New).
I wouldn’t be so unprofessional to announce who is a zero in music; you can take a few guesses.
8. Back to Mike Scab - he has recently called me trying to flog me some kangaroo porn. 'The passions of the pouch know no bounds' he states as well as raving about the magnificence of marsupial members? Would you subscribe to this filth and would you let a wombat eat your scrotum?
Oh that sounds right up my ally, a secret passion I have for kangaroo pouch, I often dress up as a roo and hop around before making passionate kangaroo love. Wombats would be a tickly scrotum eater, which may be quite pleasurable, or unbearable. Though the question is the semantics of “eating” my scrotum, would the wombat just pleasure my scrotum, or would it actually remove and devour it?
9. Best Holy Parachute song - why, what is it about and what makes it so special?
I’m not sure about the best song, we’ve been writing a lot of the new songs for recording in July, which all sound really good. So I’m quite excited to go record now, although when you get there it becomes quite a laborious and tiresome process. I really like the song ‘of mice and men’ though because last year for Mark’s birthday I did a short video of random clips of the band, which is also on our myspace profile and youtube, so that song brings feelings of nostalgia. And I enjoy the reggae bit of ‘Top of the World’ too, that’s fun to boogey to.
10. 'Holy Parachute', 'What Did Broccoli Ever To You?” - strange names - where is the inspiration from?
Everyone asks about the name of the band, and each time the response gets no better. The name just came really, we couldn’t think of anything then Michael had a good idea of The Holy Parachute, so we kept it. Its meant to be abit ambiguous and slightly ironic, because of the play on holy (i.e. divine and sacred) and holey (i.e. with holes ) as if your parachute is holey then you will become holy. Sorry that was a pretty lame response. I wish we could have some cool story like, it has been rumoured that there is a sheet of ancient cloth which a prophet used to float down from the skies to spread the good word of holiness. Who knows it could be true, maybe Dan Brown will write a new book about it, the THP code? Nah.
The title of the EP inspires from a different time. We were in a very strange mood and were having a drunken conversation about vegetables when one member (yes that’s right Michaels penis, when drink is involved it often likes to get some ‘fresh air’) exclaimed he didn’t like broccoli, to which Richard shouted at him “WHAT DID BROCCOLI EVER DO TO YOU”. There was laughter and we thought of the cover art. Though we weren’t certain so we put an online poll on myspace, direct democracy at its best, and although there were some other close contenders, it was decided through the people that “What did broccoli ever do to you?” was the title of the EP. All the difficulty though is going to be worst with the second EP in July.
11. Edwin Xylophone - man of music has had his ribs replaced by a series of flutes. Along each of his flanks there is a line of holes into which one can blow. The sound range you can get from his abdomen is amazing and he now plans to have his kneecaps replaced by two horns. How can Mr Xylophone improve his overall body band and would you consider eating a drum kit?
To improve his band then his head must become a bass drum, though obviously one arm should be a trumpet and one a trombone, just for the ska horn section. And his legs should be a bass on one side and a guitar on the other. His genitalia could become a piccolo or a melodica. Though personally I would not like to blow down that, no matter how sweet and beautiful the sound is.
12. Finally push The Holy Parachute - for all they are worth?
We like to party, if you like to party, then come and party. WHOOO PARTY!