Music Spotlight: Babe Parade
We'd like to introduce you to LA-based indie rock band Babe Parade composed of Jon on drums, Raul on bass + vocals, Matt on guitar + vocals, and Angel on vocals, guitar + keys. The band released Fortune back in June, and we still have it on repeat (trust us, it'll be your new summer soundtrack). We caught up with them on the story behind the EP, how they inspire each other + what's next.
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on your recent EP Fortune! You mentioned it's loosely based on the Greek myth, Pygmalion. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Babe Parade: For those who are unaware of the myth, it’s about a sculptor who falls in love with one of his creations, a sculpted woman. Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess, brings her to life, and the story goes on. Having this concept wasn't something that was planned, and though it is a pretty common trope, it helped with the writing. Fortune is an adaptation of Pygmalion, starting right at the moment when his creation, the Lovely Lady, comes to life. In the four-track EP, we explore the four stages of the sculptor's relationship with his new found love. Track one, Good Time, is the honeymoon period where our once lonely sculptor expresses his excitement for the future with his Lovely Lady. Track two, Chubby, blind faith—though there are naysayers towards their relationship, our sculptor is confident that his new found love is solid. Track three, Divisions, trouble in paradise. He may have created her, but she's not totally sold on him and his ways. Track four is Honeycomb. After the love has perished, our lonely lover seeks therapy for the reality he's face—to have been rejected by his own creation.
AM: How would you describe your sound?
BP: We call it 'Goldilocks Rock'. It’s not too hard—not too soft—fits perfectly in that sweet spot. A little in between indie rock and alternative rock with some surf and shoegaze influence. We take those genres, blend it with groovy bass lines and rhythmic percussion, and then top it off with jangly guitar interplay, melodic leads, and sly vocals.
AM: What's your biggest inspiration as a band? What themes do you typically pursue through your music?
Raul: To be able to create with my friends is more than enough inspiration since we all share the love of music—it’s in our DNA.
Jon: I get inspired by my bandmates when we come up with new music—it pushes me to make something fun and original. I just want the music to be fun but have substance/true emotion to it, so those are themes I dig.
Angel: Personally, I get inspired by visuals—it can be a picture, a painting, or a film. Also, phrases or words—I like to build off that when writing lyrics or when trying to capture a tone for our songs. As a band, I think we are inspired by other artists we listen to and each other. We all bring a different flavor to the table so when we meet; it’s kind of just us feeding off one another.
Matt: I think we lean on each other for inspiration. If one person in the band is stoked on playing a certain guitar riff or a beat, we all feed off that energy and then build a song around it. I don’t think we typically pursue themes, but we definitely do our best to create a type of feeling through our music. On our first self-titled EP, we experimented with synth-pop grooves, funky guitar rhythms, and some sampling. I think we wanted the songs to feel chill, laid back, and dancy. Our second self-release, Lush, was a short three-song EP with sounds of lo-fi synth-pop, indie/alt rock, and dreamy/shoegazey guitar riffs. With Lush, I think we wanted our audience to feel like they’re on a vacation. In Fortune, we solidified our sound with groovy/aggressive rhythms and clean jangly guitar tones. Each song on Fortune carries something different. The transitions from track to track feel like you’re on an adventure.
AM: What other musicians are currently inspiring you?
Jon: Right now, I dig Joe Henderson's Black Narcissus—heard it on the radio, and it may me feel some type of way.
Raul: Currently, I’ve been listening to a few artists: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tame Impala, Toro Y Moi, and Mac Demarco.
Matt: Mostly friends that are in bands and have been in the game for as long as we have. The Bay Area homies, Commissure, have been together for years. They’ve been killing the post-rock scene up north and always put on a great live performance. Also, LA bands like the War Toys, Thriller Party, and Good Ruin. We’ve played a couple shows with these bands in the past—it’s inspiring to know they’re still creating and writing new material year after year.
AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
BP: LA is home. It's definitely full of artists and bands—a lot of great ones and welcoming venues. The music industry is massive in LA. It plays a big part in networking with other musicians, playing shows, and collaborating with like-minded artists.
AM: Where is one place that you feel completely in touch with your creative self/music?
Angel: My room or with my bandmates.
Matt: For me, I have to be in my own personal space. It can be anywhere. I come up with the best ideas when I’m in the shower, in bed, on a walk—I just need to be isolated and away from distractions. But it’s different when we create as a band. When we’re all in the same space, it’s easy to get into a realm of creativity.
AM: What can we expect to hear from you next?
BP: Right now, we’re working on two music videos: One for Good Time and one for Divisions. You can expect to see those videos within a couple of months. Also, we’ve recently spent time in the studio and recorded a few new tracks which we plan on releasing in the fall. We aim to play more local shows and then possibly go on a short west coast tour at the end of fall. After that, we plan on making a full-length record.