Interview: Parallax 3-22-21

(l-r): Clayton Gossett, Jason Catlett, Mike Reed and Nick Hale of Parallax. Photo by Isaiah Eldridge, courtesy of Parallax

Interview by Levi Yager with the members of the band Parallax.

First off, how was your album release show last month? I’d imagine it was a little different than usual, considering the pandemic and everything. I saw that you guys did a separate livestream the day after as well; how did that go?

Clayton: It was amazing. The turnout was far greater than expected. We scheduled a livestream event assuming quite a few people would avoid attending. Both were great experiences and a much-needed welcome back to the performance side of being a musician.

Jason: Clayton nailed it. The turnout was mind-blowing. We spent the past year grinding it out in the studio, so we were just happy to finally be playing shows again. The bonus is that people seem to be hungry for live music, and they came out in full force. The livestream was something that we talked about for the past year, but we really wanted to make sure our presentation didn’t come off like some terrible cell phone footage and audio. However, at the same time we didn’t want to overproduce it. We’re a live band and tried to capture that. I think we accomplished that. We avoided any kind of issues you can have with a traditional livestream by pre-recording the session. It’s raw with imperfections. We didn’t fix anything. If you want perfect, listen to the album. When we mixed it, I approached it like I would at a real show. I didn’t use any kind of EQ, compression or effects that I wouldn’t have when mixing a band in a live setting. The beauty of live music is that you can hear the human aspect.

Can you go into detail about the concept of Awaken? And how did that story come together?

Nick: The idea came from a mesh of sci-fi shows and movies. It really just kind of solidified itself during my tryout process. The concept is both spiritual and science fiction melded into one, where your protagonist is also the antagonist. I see it as trying to create a whole world where I, as the writer, really become the character. I used the idea of the parasite as an analogy to the pandemic we are going through as well as the inner struggle.

Jason: It was really great that Nick came into the project with a concept story. As a band, the other three of us were pretty deep into the production of the music. Musically, the album is based around a motif that plays throughout the course of the album, helping to tie everything together. It all came together very naturally. Nothing was forced.

Do you think we might get some sequels to the story down the line in the form of follow-up albums? Or is this just a one-off concept for now?

Nick: Yes, the plan is to make the next album a sequel from a different perspective, but I don’t want to spoil it.

Nick, I understand you’re new to the band, handling vocals. How and when did you get connected to Parallax, and what has your time in the band been like so far? Also, what would you say you try to bring to the group?

Nick: I’ve known Jason for years, and I had worked with him at his last recording facility, recording one of my previous projects. When I found out they were doing tryouts, I knew I wanted to try out. It’s been really different but really good. I’ve always been in bands where there are co-writers, and the fact that I got to handle writing all of the lyrics was really awesome. I feel like I’ve known these guys for years now and consider them all friends.

I heard that Awaken is the band’s first release on Fine Swine Records. How did you guys end up signing with them, and what has it been like being part of their roster?

Jason: The label is actually a partnership between my business Magnitude Creative Recording Studio & Fine Swine Productions. We are currently the only band on the roster, but the label is looking to expand this year.

The idea of sci-fi parasites reminds me of the Alien film franchise. Assuming you’ve seen some of those movies, which one would each of you say is the best, and which one would you say is the worst – and why? Not including the Alien vs. Predator series.

Jason: Aliens was the best, hands down. That movie came out when I was 10 years old. At that time, I was really into big, ‘80s action movies. My least favorite is probably Covenant. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure my old ass fell asleep during that movie.

Nick: Prometheus was definitely my favorite, but I really didn’t like Covenant. I like the story, but I hated the ending of Covenant.

Clayton: I prefer Spaceballs.

Mike: Has to be Aliens. Growing up, the first one was always talked about by my dad as being one of the scariest movies, and I had to be older to watch it. So, when Aliens came out, I was still at that age where it really wasn’t appropriate for me to watch it, but I watched it with my dad to get a feel for it before I could watch the first one. It’s one of those movies I still reflect on to this day. I will always share a memory about my dad and I watching it together. Tons of action for that time. James Cameron was just crushing it and continued on with this film. CGI was still so much in its adolescence that they continued with full-on animatronics and guys in suits for special effects – just awesome. Least favorite was Resurrection ‘cause fuck that one.

What’s the plan for Parallax in the rest of 2021?

Jason: At the moment, we’re just trying to play some shows wherever shows are allowed. We’d like to get out as much as possible to play the album live for everyone willing to show up. We’ve added some additional production to our set like the light panels you can see in our video [for] “Hands,” which we released back in December. We’re really pumped for people to hear and see what we’ve been working on.

Clayton: We’re ready to get back in our groove, play rad shows, write more cool music, [and] play shows with our homies.

Well, that’s all my questions. Thanks for talking with me, guys. With that, are there any final things you want to add?

Jason: Everybody reading this, please go buy our album and visit us at Thanks, Levi; we appreciate you!

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