Interview: Lonely Joe Parker
Published on June 7th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
He writes about science…he writes computer programs…he’s an activist involved in various campaigns…and he still finds time to make delightfully skewed pop music. Visit www.lonelyjoeparker.com for more of and about each of the aforementioned, or read on for Rocksucker’s interview with this intriguing talent, another splendid component of the really rather wonderful roster of Southampton-based label Sotones..
How long have you been writing, performing and recording music for?
I’ve always written music because I’m really bad at learning other peoples’.
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
I’m just trying to make sense of the world. I haven’t managed very well. As a result the music’s all over the place. So if pushed I’d describe it as ‘a mess.’
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
The UK. I demo on Garageband. I don’t know what we do records with; Pro Tools or Logic or whatever, I suppose. I used to be an engineer but stay well away from mixing desks these days.
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
Sotones. I used to help out so I suppose they can’t really ignore me cos I know where they all live.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like!)
Last year we recorded an album in Furnace, Bulgaria and Abbey Road, UK. We also did a balafon in Valley Studios Winchester which I enjoyed a lot. Three great places to work in different ways; the countryside at Furnace with Tom and Rysia was really relaxing; Ben at Valley is super-experienced and nothing fazes him at all, he loves to play around (hence the balafon); and Abbey Road was very special obviously. Florence was in there at the same time and a bunch of film soundtracks too.
James Ewers was a great producer, he can magically refine everything you do to sound more like yourself but a better version. You can hear what I mean if you compare the other records with this one.
Where can we hear your music online?
Just google ‘Lonely Joe Parker’ I guess. Whatever people do nowadays.
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
Most years we do a tour where we travel around between the gigs by bike – those are always a little bit special.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
Going to Germany / Denmark this summer, health permitting.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
No, I’m obscure enough as it is, and not really coming-up at all. Listen to (Moneytree vocalist) Campbell Austin’s solo project T. S. Idiot when that comes out.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Joe Strummer cos there’s so much to get through and it’s all really personal. Björk for the same reason. Pavement to remind me of younger, happier times. Regina Spektor (I’m not really a fan but there’s one song that cuts me up a lot). Moneytree or The Beaux Hardts (I’d have to toss a bottle-cap to work out which).
Lonely Joe Parker, thank you.
For more information, please visit lonelyjoeparker.com