By Candice Anne Marshall
Two nights ago, I told Gary Parks, Frontman for Texas-based band Wall Of Orange (WoO) these words, ‘I’m going to be honest with you Gary, I see you guys going through the roof with your music. It’s exceptional, and when I say exceptional, I am talking Grammy Award winning music. I really mean that. It’s been a very long time since I’ve listened to music comparative to Pink Floyd (I am a David Gilmour fan), or even Peter Gabriel, that affects me deeply and makes me excited about music again. Your music makes me excited about music again. You have our (SMC’s) support with anything. Don’t stop. Just keep going, keep creating. I know you are going to get to that status and you know what I mean when I say that. It’s not even really about that though – it’s that you are going to keep bringing something lovely to this world, and this world needs that. We have lost so many important musicians recently. Hearing your music is like that tiny seed that begins sprouting up out of fresh soil and you see that burst of bright green. It’s like that, and it’s so refreshing. I know where Wall Of Orange is going, and I’ve never been wrong…’
My summation above merely scratches the surface of what this band deserves to hear and after viewing the new music video for ‘Small Hour Crimes’, I am satisfied in my declaration. Take a Jimmy Hendrix, Tame Impala, Pink Floyd, Woodstock-themed acid trip and maybe throw in a tambourine for good measure and that pretty much describes this video. Lux, brilliant colored kaleidoscope visuals, blended with shots of the band performing is what you see throughout – It’s exquisite visual in relation to the ecstasy audio. Th song itself SHINES in terms of showcasing the deep bass sound and wicked shredding throughout (those guitar skills – WOW!) in combination with Parks gentle, soothing vocals. Add video to this scenario and you have yourself a truly magical psychedelic adventure.
I hope you all have great speakers – you’ll want to play this LOUD!
Watch the video here in this post (see below) or as it is showcased on the front page of Starlight Music Chronicles.
*Exclusive Interview* with WoO frontman Gary Parks, February 22 2017
SMC – Hello Gentlemen! This is probably the quickest back-to-back Numbered Series Spotlight feature we have had! There has been some exciting new developments on the Wall of Orange front including your World Premiere of ‘Small Hour Crimes’ on the front page of the Starlight Music Chronicles (SMC) website today! We are thrilled that you chose us to launch your new video. Can you tell us why you chose SMC as the platform?
WoO – SMC has been wonderfully supportive of Wall of Orange from the very beginning. We definitely feel like part of their amazing family of artists. What you do for emerging talent really does make a huge difference. Music can be a nasty business, so I really value the close and trusting relationships I’ve made in the months since the album was released. We’ve gotten some great traction and response to the Series No. 1 review and interview SMC did on us, so I wanted to offer SMC the chance to premiere the video exclusively.
SMC – The video is simply gorgeous. I fell in love with the ‘Sweetest Blue’ video after my friend David Somerville sent me the link and this one is a continuation of awesome! Can you tell us about the creative team behind the creation of this video?
WoO – I approached a good friend and former Tomorrowpeople bandmate of mine, Erich Scholz, about directing because I knew I wanted to do something psychedelic and he has a knack for that kind of stuff. He’s a walking encyclopedia of film. I showed him some old experimental film from the early 70s and we discussed some basic concepts, but really didn’t storyboard anything. It was all done pretty much improv. We shot some stuff of us playing in the studio, then of me walking around Dallas at night. In keeping with the retro psychedelic feel, I asked Sallie Mood, who sang on the song “Lost by the Sea” on the album, if she would do some interpretive dancing. I wanted it to look like Woodstock meets a Ralph Bakshi cartoon or something. She has a background in musical theater, so of course was amazing. I kept telling Erich: trippier, more layers, more grit. This song isn’t as emotionally deep as “Sweetest Blue”, so I wanted a more easy going vibe; just a barrage of evocative images and lots of pretty layers.
SMC – We noticed that Sallie Mood shared our World Premiere video clip from the SMC page onto her Artist page and she mentions in the share that she is the girl dancing in your video – she’s an Artist as well! What is your affiliation? After hearing some of her music I was very smitten!
WoO – She’s amazing. She’s got one of the most heavenly, unique voices I’ve ever heard. She’s also an amazing actor. I invited her to come be in the video because I had seen her own videos and loved her on-camera character. She’s just cool. Erich would say stuff like, “Uhhh… here, play with this plastic tommy gun.” and she just turned it on. She really brings it in everything she does. She was recommended by a mutual friend for a commercial music project and when I heard her sing I was blown away. Her voice has a very rich, timeless quality. She’s on the very top of my list for session vocalists. I see more Wall of Orange and Sallie Mood musical collaboration in the future for sure.
SMC – I know that your videos are always something exquisite in terms of art creation – can we expect all your videos in future to be just as creative? I really look forward to watching them as they are so in sync with the theme of the song: brilliant!
WoO – I’m very calculated with the imagery that surrounds Wall of Orange. Maybe because I have a graphic design degree. It really is critical. It all works together to create your brand. Even though the “Sweetest Blue” and “Small Hour Crimes” videos (and songs) are dramatically different as far as the emotion, I think what ties them together visually is the explosive use of color. I’m really into that. And I think that will be very evident at our live shows as well!
SMC – We will always have your music on our hit list and have recently begin adding SPOTLIGHT Artists to our Spotify playlist. What are your thoughts on being on this playlist – we have some pretty stellar talent on it!
WoO – Thrilled! Since people seem to stream music as their primary source for listening these days, play listing is huge and can really help build an audience. Of course we are honored!
SMC – You had mentioned to me recently, Gary, that there was some pretty exciting stuff coming up. Of course, for the purpose of our readers they should know that I am asking this question only one day before your press release hits The Chronicles and by the time this interview is published, they will have an idea of what’s to come, but can you tell us here what fans can expect coming up?
WoO – After a couple minor hiccups, we are ready to hit the stage. Our debut show will be at The Kessler Theater in Dallas on April 29th with more shows being announced soon. To debut at such a respected venue is huge, and we are thrilled. The Kessler is an amazing place and the team there is very supportive. We’ve been working very hard to deliver the goods live. Fans can expect the band to sound like the album, with a few little extras here and there. Plus, we’re working on some exciting visuals for the show. My vision from day one included a dramatic visual experience. Along with Wall of Orange live making its debut, I can say that exciting things are happening behind the scenes as well! I’m almost in disbelief at what’s going on and hope to be able to go public with some exciting news very soon.
SMC – You recently released vinyl! I am very excited to receive mine! Can you tell us about these and what one can expect when they receive your self-titled album?
WoO – 180-gram vinyl, gorgeous cover art, exquisite sound. It’s thrilling. To have this music committed to actual vinyl is surreal. You can hear all the glorious detail that I worked my ass off on in the mix. It really does sound amazingly better than MP3. It’s a crime that so many people listen to music on their phones. I’m guilty too, though. I’m so glad vinyl has made a comeback. Erich Scholz, who directed the video for “Small Hour Crimes”, has a killer setup at his place and when I heard the test pressing there I just about cried. To be able to sit back and hear the vinyl, and hold the cover art in your hand and examine it… that’s how it’s supposed to be. That brings value back to the experience of music.
SMC – What kind of reception have you received from your fans since our last Spotlight feature?
WoO – It’s been great. So much has happened, actually it’s kind of staggering. We got a lot of shares of the spotlight article. I still get messages every day. What’s most meaningful to me is when people tell me how they can relate to where my head was in writing the songs and how they connected with them.
SMC – I saw towards the end of last year that several Entertainment platforms put Wall of Orange in some top ten lists and gave some nice credo to your album! Are there any you would like to give a shout out to?
WoO – Rotation 11! They named our album #5 in their top 11 of 2016 and the amazing thing is it came right out of the blue (no pun intended). David Natan and the gang over at Rotation11 are very passionate about music, and it shows. Thanks again, Rotation11! If you aren’t following those guys, you’re missing out. We also made KXT 91.7’s Best of 2016 list, about halfway up their list of 91. To have shared the list with the likes of David Bowie and Radiohead was incredible.
SMC – Have you received radio play yet? I think that’s what is happening with this press release correct? There’s a radio campaign? Are there any stations you would like to give a shout out to?
WoO – Of course KXT 91.7, who has kept us in rotation for a good while. We’ve also been invited to do a live session on KXT, details coming soon. Also, big thanks to DJ Debbie Sexxton at The Eagle 97.1, Mark on the Radio at 1310/96.7 FM The Ticket, DJ Ian Hales at Acacia Radio in the UK and DJ Brody Ramone.
SMC – I watched a time-lapse of the album art being created and I have to say again: WOW Danny Rix has some serious skills! (time lapse video included in this feature – see below) Has Danny been a part of the video creation with The Sweetest Blue video? Will he be creating anything in terms of video for the band in the near future?
WoO – Yeah, the dude is a badass. I thought the time lapse video was pretty spectacular myself. Danny creates most of the design for Wall of Orange, including our logotype, and has always been an important voice when it comes to our visual style. His Illustrations are truly incredible. I’d also like to mention that there’s all kinds of Wall of Orange swag available at redbubble.com You can get album art throw pillows.
SMC – Since we’ve last interviewed you, what country has been your biggest supporters in terms of fans?
WoO – We still get a lot of love from the UK. I am dead set on a European tour at some point. “Lost by the Sea” was written about a trip to the Isle of Skye in Scotland, as a matter of fact. It’s a true story. I felt deeply connected there as well as, well… lost. Like seriously lost. A wonderful English family there on Holiday had to rescue us with hot tea. I think the love at home has grown quite a bit, though. I do love Texas. It’s weird, you know Jimmy Hendrix had to go to England to become a star because nobody here really cared. Funny how that works.
SMC – What has been the biggest compliment you’ve received so far for your art?
WoO – I’ve gotten several that have totally blown me away. One guy said we were his favorite band of all time. I mean… wow. Just reading the comments sometimes, and knowing that people are really, truly listening to what you are saying – that is everything to me.
SMC – If there was one word or phrase to describe your music, what would that be. I saw on your Facebook page that you pinned ‘The Sweetest Blue’ video with the phrase: New Atmospheric Rock’, which is really fitting! I could almost say that you boys are in a genre of your own the music is that original!
WoO – Space Rock, Neo Psychedelic, Shoegaze, Acid Folk, all those terms have been thrown around. How about “Honest”.
SMC – TOURS! What’s coming down the pipe and when? Coming to Canada ever? (laughs)
WoO – As mentioned, our big debut show is in Dallas at The Kessler Theater on April 29 with The Angelus and Sudie supporting us. We will be in Forth Worth at Lola’s Trailer Park on May 19, with more dates being announced soon to include Austin, Houston, possibly Tulsa, Ok City, etc. Then we’ll begin to venture out! Canada? Sure. I hear Edmonton is nice. If only we knew someone to tell us where the good restaurants are…
SMC – The Starlite Room Gary – The Starlite Room! Come on up! (laughs) We are so excited for the next part of your journey! Have you already been working on some new music?
WoO – Funny you should ask. Coming soon is a new song, “What Day Is It”, to be made available to everyone who gives us a Facebook share or joins the email list. I think it would have fit onto the album nicely, and who knows maybe it will end up on a deluxe edition release with a live track or two. I write daily. I have volumes of half-written songs in various states. The next album is already taking shape.
SMC – You’ve recently connected with legendary Producer Stuart Epps – what did he have to say for your album? When I spoke to him, he sounded very impressed with everything!
WoO – Stuart is indeed a legend. It was thrilling to talk with him and get his thoughts on the album. We had a very nice email exchange, and he seemed very impressed. He thought the drums were a little dirty, and I assured him it was intentional. I even added tape hiss to the album because I wanted to smear it all together a bit. Digital cleanliness is sterile and boring. I found myself really “roughing things up” in the mix because I thought it sounded more exciting. I’m honored someone like him even gave it a listen.
SMC – I never did get to ask you this in our last interview and I do like to ask this question because it’s kind of telling of the kind of music you are digging – what are your favorite songs on your most recently played playlist?
WoO – I really love Temples and the new Flaming Lips. I tend to go back and revisit old music as much as I do seek out new stuff.
SMC – I do know that in our last interview you had mentioned that you are a Music Producer and have your own recording studio. You also mentioned that your band was assembled after the album was recorded. It looks as though you have your band together now with yourself Gary, Matt Hunt, Danny Rix, Jay Spence, and Aaron Long. Are you all ready to hit the road for touring?
WoO – The band has graduated from “learning phase” to “polish phase”, so, yes we are!
SMC – In our last interview, you mentioned that you are a dreamer and that it comes out in your lyrics – can we always expect euphoria with upcoming new music?
WoO – Making the debut album was kind of a purge of emotions for me, some of them not so great, but what felt like a huge triumph personally. I do feel like I’m in a different place now. My most successful songs tend to be about memories of experiences instead of speculation or making a statement of some kind, political or otherwise. I have no desire to get overtly political in my writing right now, but I guess that could change. I’ve just never really connected with those kinds of songs emotionally. I really just don’t give a shit. Let your vote do the talking and shut up already. We have that luxury. It’s all identity-based, weaponized bullshit nowadays it seems. At the end of the day we all want the same thing – to not feel alone. That’s what I want my songs to do for people. I like to write about deeper human emotions and experiences, things I think every person can relate to on some level.
SMC – Alrgiht, last question: What does success mean to you all individually and as a band?
WoO – Being able to do what you love and afford to eat. Screw the rest.
SMC – Ha ha ha! Love it! Thank-you guys!
To see the brand new ‘Small Hour Crimes’ music video that has launched today, see below or head on over to the front page of our website where the video will be posted for one week! Simply go to: www.starlightmusicchronilces.com
Wall Of Orange has also been added to our Spotlight Artists Spotify playlist – click here!
Wall Of Orange’s Social Media (click to view)
**PRESS RELEASE FEBRUARY 21, 2017**
WALL OF ORANGE WELCOMES YOU INTO THE FUTURE WITH NEW SHOWS, SONGS AND SOUND
Experience the neo-psychedelic band’s self-titled debut onstage at The Kessler Theater on April 29
(DALLAS, TEXAS – February 2017; source: CultureHype) – A former member of Dallas space rock legends The Tomorrowpeople, prolific musician Gary Parks is trying something new – in the form of a brand new neo-psychedelic band called Wall of Orange. With a newly released album, the now full-time music composer is turning heads with brilliant lyrics, stunning instrumentals and crisp production on this self-titled debut. The band will make their debut on Saturday, April 29 at The Kessler Theater. Two Dallas-based musicians are joining Wall of Orange onstage: experimental group The Angelus and female vocalist Sudie. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here online. The Kessler Theater is located at 1230 W. Davis St., Dallas, Texas 75208.
Parks, a commercial music/indie film composer by day, had an HBO Sundance Award-winning movie under his belt before venturing out to start Wall of Orange. While Wall of Orange is a psychedelic pop group, their sound extends into new worlds. Heavily influenced by Shoegaze and Neo-Psychedelic giants like The Verve, Spiritualized, My Bloody Valentine, MGMT and Tame Impala, Parks is striving to capture a sound that encompasses both his love for layered, dreamy soundscapes and the pop sensibilities he honed during his years in the TV and film industry. To capture this, he needed bandmates as innovative as him—and he got them in the form of longtime friend and bass player Danny Rix and drummer Matt Hunt.
After an extensive demo process, recording for eight songs that would become the debut album began in the spring of 2016 at Pure Evil studios and continued into the summer. The album dropped in August, after which guitarist Jay Spence and keyboardist Aaron Long joined the band—the Wall was complete. Now, the group is prepared to hit the stage and bring avant-garde, sci-fi-infused psychedelia back to the major venues of Dallas.
Parks’ former band was known for its innovative use of 16mm film, projections and electronics. Wall of Orange continues that tradition with a full multimedia experience, to include projections and dramatic lighting onstage. At their debut, the band will headline The Kessler Theater on Saturday, April 29. But if that’s too long to wait, fans can sample their style with the stunning video for their new single.
The forthcoming video for the song “Small Hour Crimes” was directed by former Tomorrowpeople collaborator Erich Scholz and contains a cameo from local artist Sallie Mood, who also sings backup vocals on the new album. Parks and Scholz were inspired by old Ralph Bakshi cartoons and some experimental films from the early 1970s for the look and vibe of the video. It’s all in a day’s work for Wall of Orange, as the band typically draws inspiration from a myriad of artists when they set out to write a new song. The most important source of inspiration is you: The audience.
The single “Small Hour Crimes” is already in rotation locally on KXT 91.7, and made the local NPR station’s “Best of 2016” list. The song and others from the debut album have also gotten rotation on The Eagle 97.1 and The Ticket as well as UK radio airplay.
“My influences are all over the place, but the vision from the beginning was big, dreamy and lush with a focus on lyrics people could relate to and want to sing along with,” Parks says. He’s weathered personal storms to bring his unique art back to the Dallas music scene, and now his mission is to lift up the audience—and take them into the future once again.
To purchase Wall of Orange’s self-titled debut EP, visit iTunes or the artist’s website. For more information, please visit www.walloforange.band.
What people are saying about Wall of Orange:
“Wall of Orange can best be described in one word and one word only: EUPHORIA. The album is consistent across the board in its execution through brilliantly written lyrics, soothing vocals that are very easy on the ears, meticulous production, and otherworldly instrumentation.” – Starlight Music Chronicles
“Wall of Orange has created a barrage of a magnificent sound, taking the best of Shoegaze, Synth-Pop, distorted guitar, and Alternative Rock, marking a truly unique new standard to be admired. In a word, this album is dazzling.” – Hunter McLeod, Brody Ramone’s Dirty Glitter
“Your music collection needs this album. Wall of Orange possess a freshness often lacking in today’s rock music.” – Rotation11.com
“‘Sweetest Blue’ is an intriguing song. Some might say it’s unusually dark for pop music, and it could equally be argued that the band is unusually pop centered for such dark moody music. Either way, score one for both the colors orange and blue.” – Ghost of Blind Lemon
“Wall Of Orange ‘Sweetest Blue’ reminds me very much of Nothing’s ‘Guilty of Everything’ album in regards to its shoegaze tendencies and overall warming feel, which basically means it’s absolutely stunning.” –1forthepeople.com
“Wall of Orange has an anthemic shoegaze rumble. Lovely.” – glofimustdie.com
- “Sweetest Blue” (4:54)
- “Small Hour Crimes” (4:17)
- “View from a Broken Couch” (4:17)
- “Monster” (4:17)
- “Lost by the Sea” (3:58)
- “Little Destroyer” (4:21)
- “New Medicine” (6:26)
- “Hellogoodbye” (5:13)
Cell: (469) 877-1533; [email protected]
Kali Ah Yuen
Cell: (808) 321-3754; [email protected]