For Badge and Purpose:
Conquistadors for a Pure Path to Survival with the Parlor Mob
Words by Martin Halo — Wilmington, NC
“You never really get a good dry at the hotels,” jokes Anthony Chick, the newest arriving member to Asbury Park’s gang of grit-laden outlaws, the Parlor Mob. “We are at a venue that has a Laundromat in it. If it wasn’t the third day of the tour this would be a godsend. Laundry can get pretty expensive when you are on the road and I would imagine if we needed it, we could have got some quality washes done here for free.”
The release of the Mob’s sophomore LP, Dogs, was on the horizon for an October 11th release – and the road to get there was hardly easily traveled. After two years of writing, breakups, marriage proposals, lineup changes and the drag of waiting out record cycles, the wheels of rock n’ roll finally began to awake from its slumber. The freak folklore was gearing to turn over a new chapter. “We are just doing a few East Coast dates before heading out to Los Angeles,” says Chick. “We cut the record in Austin, Texas back in the winter. Our drummer, Sam Bey, has a family ranch in San Marcos. We decided to stay there and travel into the city of Austin proper every morning. We spent two weeks doing pre-production before we headed over to Wire Recordings with Matt Radosevich.”
The writing sessions for Dogs took place back home for the Mob, in the seaside community of Asbury Park, New Jersey. Rodosevich, who helped engineer the sessions for the band’s debut And You Were A Crow and known for producing the Hives, worked in tandem to craft 21 songs over the course of the summer of 2010. “We knew what we wanted to accomplish,” says Chick. “We knew what we wanted it to sound like. Matt was a big part of the writing process and going into the sessions we knew what songs were going to make up the record.”
The summer of 2010 saw the Parlor Mob face one of the biggest tests of their short career. After an opening slot appearance at Lollapalloza 2009, and full-fledged treks across Europe and the United States, the band was largely overlooked by the mainstream rock press. Record sales were tough to come by and the resilience of five childhood friends, hell-bent on a rambling existence draped in purity and vintage artistic salvation, was directly in threat. The brotherhood was beginning to fracture and founding bassist Nicholas Villipiano chose to depart. What fans heard on And You Were A Crow was the exploitations of young boys beginning to realize their dreams. The writing sessions for Dogs bared the scars of the trepidations of men. Filling Villipiano’s shoes was long-time friend Anthony Chick who was a founding member in NYC’s Sikamor Rooney. For Sam Bey [drums], Mark Melicia [vox], Paul Ritchie [guitar] and Dave Rosen [guitar] the chips were stacked, the cards were being dealt and the very purity of their souls was forced onto the table.
“We are one of the last five piece American rock n’ roll bands together and we are trying to fight the good fight the best we can,” Chick explains. “We poured our hearts into this record and we are more frequently finding ourselves in situation where we don’t fit into to what is going on around us. We sometimes fall short within the music industry today. We have no intentions to mold ourselves to fit into it,” says Chick, “our records and our sound is just that, ours.”
“We titled the records Dogs to be a literal representation. The symbolism of a Dog is to be super faithful, loyal and courageous,” Chick offers. “These are the traits that each and every one of us can relate to and can get behind. It is how we show terms of endearment within our family. We stand up for what we believe in and all of the ideals we share.”
The LP is forward leaning and filled with hope. Songs like “Practice in Patience,” “The Beginning,” “Hard Enough,” “American Dream,” and the single “Into the Sun” exude a universal message of breaking free. Whether personal or political, Dogs is a call to free ourselves from the chains that bind us.
“Mark’s lyrics are meaningful and the content is heavy on Dogs,” continues Chick. “You can listen to Mark’s lyrics and how they have changed over the years. It is about being a man and landing on your own two feet. It is about doing what you believe in. We intended for the message to be straight forward, real and universal,” Chick says. “Anybody that puts their blood and sweat into what they do – and believes in what they do with a positive message behind it – deserves to be recognized for it. Especially in our industry, what we do is like pushing a boulder up a hill.”
“Musically it is amazing to think about the things this band has accomplished and to wake up every day and be a part of a continual drive to better a body of work. It is tough for us to make ends meet but it feels good to be able to hang your hat on living a life that you have always dreamed of. That is something no one can take away from you, and that is especially true for myself.”
“We realized how important this record is for us as a band. We want to progress and musically grow together. We all believe the five of us together create better than individually. When we are on it is like nothing else on earth.”
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