Q&A with Marvin LeeBrad Parsons is a musician who has played in many bands, including the Villains, aka the Rose City Thorns, which made the move to Portland, Ore. Soon after leaving the area, he started a folk/Americana band called the Bellboys with former Lewiston-Clarkston Valley musicians Jay Cobb Anderson, Keith Simon, and Tyler Thompson. After the breakup of the Bellboys he continued on into the unknown with his solo ventures and playing with Horse Feathers. Here is a recent interview explaining the past, present, and future of the “Bear” and his musical honey.
Marvin Lee: How did you get into playing music?
Brad Parsons: It has been something I have always been interested in since I was a very little boy. My grandparents bought me my first drum set when I was like 5 years old. I started playing in school band at around the age of 10. I started my first rock band around the age of 13.
ML: I like it!
ML: You moved to Portland a few years ago. Did you do that for musical reasons?
BP: Absolutely, and just to expand my horizons in general. It’s nice to live in another place for a while.
ML: I know that you can sing, play guitar, and bang the drums. Out of the three, which is your favorite to do and why?
BP: That’s a hard one. Man, if I had to choose, I would say sing. The reason why is because the voice is the most easy to do. Everybody has a voice and it’s the easiest way to connect to an audience.
ML: Like a barbershop quartet?
ML: Tough question here. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers?
ML: Why TMNT?
BP: TMNT because that’s my generation. That’s when I grew up. Power Rangers … I was a little bit older when they came out. I was too cool by the time they came out. TMNT is the old school.
ML: The word on the grapevine is you are recording a new solo album. Would you mind telling Inland 360 readers what you are shooting for with this release?
BP: I’m going to move into a different direction with more of a rock sound and probably a three piece. Maybe a bit more psychedelic. A little bit more electrically driven. Electric guitars, keyboards, synthesizers … more sounds like that.
ML: Would you mind talking with us about another band that you play in called Horse Feathers?
BP: Well, Justin Ringle, who started the band, and I have known each other a long time and we were in our first band together in Lewiston. Then we went our separate ways. He was doing his thing and I was doing my thing. Then we started hanging out in Portland. We started playing music together again. Then he asked me to come on tour with Horse Feathers.
ML: Do you have any shows coming up in the area?
BP: Well, the closest show I have coming up is in Spokane with Horse Feathers. The show will be on Halloween at the Bartlett. I hope to come out to the valley when my new solo album is released.
ML: Why do your friends call you Bear?
BP: Bill Finch gave me the nickname in regards to my fridge-raiding capabilities.
ML: Well, Bear, is there anything else you would like to say to the peeps reading this article?
BP: The Lewis-Clark Valley is a place where a lot of people are doing very cool things in the art community. They have been for a very long time. It would be nice to see some of that community get nurtured a bit more in the valley so they wouldn’t have to move to other places to do it.
Marvin Lee is a musician and aspiring poet who resides in Lewiston. He can be contacted at email@example.com.