Two weeks ago I accidentally drove through the valet section of the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas and briefly stopped in the no stopping zone to see a slideshow featuring legendary artist that performed at The Joint and this picture (seen below) of Parade of Lights.
(Image courtesy of Spotify)
Michelle Ashley, Ryan Daly, Anthony Improgo & Randy Schulte
As it happens this Las Vegas/ Los Angeles based band played along side The Mowgli’s and Imagine Dragons in an epic show at The Joint just two weeks prior. Before that they had a performance in December which included three new songs and fan favourite “We’re the Kids” that was filmed for the Lexus TV special; Lexus Music Uncovered.
Last week they released their latest single “Golden” which has exploded onto various radio stations such as X1075 Las Vegas and has been described as “ultra-euphoric” by UK radio station XFM via Twitter.
This week “Golden” was first seen in NBC’s Sochi Winter Olympics promotional segments and was featured on American Idol.
This is just a cut into the last five weeks of this band. By the way they have also been in the studio working hard to release the new Golden EP this Spring! Expect the upcoming weeks to bare even more excitement ladies and gentlemen.
When you hear the name Parade of Lights you think of dancing lights such as fireworks dancing across a dark sky. Fireworks are beautiful, magical, and commonly associated with a celebration of freedom, joy, excitement and renewal. In many of their tracks such as, “We’re The Kids”, Parade of Lights exuberates the celebration of life. Let’s go back to December 27, 2013 at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles at the start of their epic five weeks and counting. Interestingly enough when I first met this band they were not only performing for family and fans, they were also filming the Lexus Music Uncovered special; something relatively normal for Angelenos going to see a show.
Downstairs in the Green Room we find out about the origins of the band (turns out there was always a series of interesting events) and find out a few things that only Angelenos would know.
NS: How did the band start?
Anthony: I was actually in a band with that guy. (Indicates guy over in the corner watching the interview)
NS: Does that guy have a name?
Anthony: It’s Jason 71. He’s an amazing musician and designer; UX, UI, All things. He’s brilliant. The band was called Eskimo Hunter and I was in it. Ryan actually sent Jason an email wanting to be in the band. It was just bad timing and everything. Basically that’s how we met; through Jason. Then we started a band called Polus and we had a show with Built to Spill at the Troubadour. Story goes, second song, first song into it, Ryan, dislocated his knee on stage. Sold out. Three hundred people at the Troubadour.
NS: How does that happen?
Ryan: Legendary story.
Anthony: It was a bad twist. I called 911. An ambulance came on a stretcher. Sold out crowd. We sold a lot of shirts that night and all CD’s. Anyways, the point is, we were down for about 6 months. We were broke. We needed touring gigs to make money. So we all kinda just ending up doing touring gigs. So Polus, our first band was put on hiatus. Randy was in that band as well. Then in 2010 we were in Australia and we were just, “Let’s do the band again.” We called it Parade of Lights. We came home started recording and then we met Michelle about 8 months ago.
Ryan: About a year ago.
Anthony: About a year ago now.
Ryan: Well I stalked her for a couple years. Trying to get her to play for the band. She’s been in a bunch of other bands. In her defense, when she commits to something she commits wholly which is great for us. She’s technically handcuffed to this band now.
Michelle: I love everyone though. It’s been awesome ever since I joined.
NS: That sounds good. Or, it could just be the whole stalking after effect.
Michelle: Yeah! I just love stalkers. Just kidding. It wasn’t like that. He didn’t stalk me.
Ryan: I was just hitting her up. I saw her and she just looked really cool and she was clearly really good at what she does. So finally when she decided to jump on board it was like, “Okay. Now we’re a unit.”. We’ve just been going hard since then. Actually, that wasn’t even a year ago. That was like, July.
Anthony: It feels like a year ago.
Ryan: Yeah it feels like a year ago.
Anthony: But yeah. That’s kinda the story.
Ryan: Yeah. And here we are now.
NS: So you guys are a LA based band then?
Ryan: Yeah. Pretty much. Ant lives in Vegas. We actually spend a lot of time in Vegas. He has a house out there and he splits his time between the two. So he driving constantly. For the most part, yeah. We rehearse here, we’re based here, our studio is here and stuff.
NS: How has growing up in Vegas (Anthony) and growing up in LA influenced your music?
Anthony: I used to live in Silverlake.
Ryan: He’s a LA dude.
NS: So you’re still an Angeleno!
Anthony: I just went there…you know…housing’s cheap. We work online a lot. We trade a lot of files so if one of the guys has an idea we share it. Everyone puts their ideas down and we just kinda share and built upon music that way. So it’s been collaborative. But there’s nothing like being in the studio together too. Ever since we signed with Astralwerks, we’ve been under the gun to get this EP out and everything, so I’ve spent a lot of time here lately.
NS: What are things that only an Angeleno would know?
Ryan: How to drive: angrily.
Anthony: Ooh! I know. What’s the age demographic of this blog?
Michelle: We have trivia for you.
NS: I’m afraid. Just say your answer, just just…
Anthony: Okay. I know where the dead bodies are in the lakes; like Echo Park Lake.
(Even more laughter)
Randy: That’s morbid. I thought it was gonna be where’s the next dodgeball game.
Michelle: I know where the shopping carts are in the lake. I don’t think I’ve seen a body.
Anthony: Livin’ La Vida Loca the movie.
Ryan: You know where to get really good Mexican food. Because a lot of ahh..even in Orange County it’s hard to find really good Mexican food. But in LA, you find a lot of really good mexican food. I’m a stickler because my girlfriend’s 100% mexican. Her whole family makes, incredible mexican food so that’s kinda how I gauge it. When I get mexican food that’s sort of my barometer for how good it is.
Jason 71: 9th and Broadway.
NS: I’ll be heading over there. One day.
Ryan: I actually really like Burrito King. It’s off Sunset and Alvarado across the street from Brite Spot. Super good.
NS: Where are the best music scenes in LA?
Ryan: Silverlake and Echo Park always has a really cool vibes. A lot of really great bands come out of there like, Silversun Pickups, Youngblood Hawke and stuff like that. I mean I can go on forever about the really cool bands that come out of there. I think that’s a great area. It’s definitely a breeding ground for cool, innovative, indie rock.
NS: If Parade of Lights were a drink, which drink would it be?
NS: It’s like you thought about that question before or someone asked you that question before.
Ryan: No one’s ever asked us that before.
Michelle: You try to get rid of it but you can’t.
Ryan: If Michelle and I could have coke IV’s, we would. Not cocaine for the record.
NS: When is the next time that fans can see you perform live?
Ryan: We’re playing on December 30th but that’s in Vegas. That’s with Imagine Dragons and the Mowgli’s at this place called the Joint. (Sorry folks, that event has past but hopefully you got to see them.)
And then there’s Sacramento. (January 30th at Harlow’s Bar).
Everything is on facebook. Our facebook is always updated. It’s all on facebook. We always put the newest dates up there. We sort of live on there.
NS: I already liked the facebook page. Are you guys actively on the facebook page?
Ryan: Yeah. That’s all us. We’re constantly on there.
NS: Do you have a concept for the next EP?
Ryan: I wouldn’t really say there is a concept. It’s called “Golden”. That’s what the EP’s going to be called. We’re the Kids, that song that kinda came out late last year and then three new songs; it’s going to be four songs total. With “We’re The Kids”, it sounds so cliche, it’s all about, you know, it’s about being a kid and stuff. The older you get the more responsibility you have. You sort of lose sight of what’s important in your life. I think it’s one of those songs that sort of affirms that you need to focus on the things that really make you happy. Follow your dreams, follow your heart, sort of things. As cheese ball as it sounds, that’s sort of the case, because a lot of people forget to have fun. A lot of people, they get caught up in work and school and everything. Which are great things, you just can’t lose sight of what’s important to you and things that you always want to do and follow your passion.
I think that sort of theme resonates throughout the EP. Especially with songs like “Golden” it’s like; let yourself shine, don’t be afraid to be who you are. Things like that.
NS: That was one of the new songs you perform?
Ryan: Yeah we played three new songs from the EP.
NS:What were their names? I remember…
Ryan: “Golden”, “Burn” and “We’re the Kids”. And there’s another song called The Islands. That’s going to be on the EP as well.
NS:What was is like performing and having your family there?
Ryan: That’s always awkward. It’s better to get play, it’s more fun to play in front of people that don’t know you personally and don’t know your band because it’s a better gauge on how much they like you. Sometimes with family it’s “Yeah it was great!”, even if it was awful. You know.
Michelle: You can win people over.
Ryan: Yeah. Exactly. Playing for family is cool and everything. It’s great to have them come out and see you. But, when it’s an intimate show it’s better to have people that you don’t know.
While their music is currently at a blitz into various media outlets and the fans of POL have tracks on repeat take a chance to listen them while you eagerly wait to see the band live at a venue near you. Truth be told, prior to this interview, I barely knew them and I had never seen them live. I trusted that their good music would mean a good performance. Gratefully I was right! They have won me over as they will probably win over everyone that see’s them perform.
To those that have already been won over by the band, they are constantly communicating with the band via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Quite frankly it seems that the band doesn’t mind the ‘fan love spamming’ by their fans as seen here.
Cheers to a Golden year Parade of Lights!