What is your name, and name your group/band/act?
Dave Parkinson (Dave Parkinson Music)
Who does what …
I compose and record all my own music.
In the past I’ve recorded material with other artists like Gregory Aquila who’s currently based out of Toronto with his production facility AquiLab . He helped with post production and editing as well as performing on a number of tracks on guitar, keyboards, drums and even violin. I’ve just started a new relationship with HitBush Productions, and am now going to be working with producer Ted Bushey who has worked with numerous high profile
recording artists across the musical spectrum in both Canada and the US.
What (who) does your act/art consist of?
I am a solo artist, although I’ve worked with others in the past, and would not be opposed to putting a Band together in the future to explore someof my other musical interests. I’m current networking with local artists to recruit new talent for the current project.
How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen you before?
I explore a number of different genres and continue to experiment with all styles of music. My main preference is Rock or Alternative Rock,but as a keyboardist and vocalist have delved into a wide variety of styles and find darker ambient or electro alternative to be quite intruiging,and am interested in compositions with complex percussion patterns where it’s difficult to distinguish where the instuments end and the music begins. I prefer soundscapes where the listener is overwhelmed with unique sounds as opposed to hearing individual instruments.
How long have you been performing live or making art?
All my life since I was a child. I was always a singer, I remember my grandmother used to
show me off to people When I was younger, in grade 4 I had to sing solo in front of the whole school
in the Christmas play, I remember the song “When A Child is Born” because that year Herve Villachez who played
Tatoo on the 70′s TV Show Fantasy Island was in Toronto promoting the same song as his
contribution to the compilation album “Children of the World” and I got an autographed copy from him.
I also studied piano but dropped out after only getting my 1st grade from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
I dabbled with music on and off throughout school, playing Trombone of all things in the school band.
In highschool throughout the 80′s I again delved into the world of Alternative and experimental music
and sound manipulation, jamming with other friends and artists, as well as making my own bizarre
recordings using everything from short wave or AM radio sounds, UHF Television, automotive or industrial equipment,Fisher Price childrens toys, and a variety of other noisemaking devices including the kitchen sink to make stuff.
What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?
Getting over the wall essentially. All new artists end up coming to that point, just being on the cusp…
Then because of financial restrictions, lack of backing on the part of record companies or promoters, don’t get
that one big break they need to propel their sounds into the mainstream market of commercial airplay and distribution.
There are a wide variety of reasons why artists have so much difficulty breaking through that wall…but with
talent coupled with determination, its possible to get your music out there ! Like with everything else in life – don’t
let anybody tell you that you can’t do it !
You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?
I kept my day job. I have numerous other skills of significant value to society that pay the bills day to day.
Regardless I have been involved in local political and social justice work all along without significant financial compensation.
That’s not what it’s all about. If I ever made a million dollars I’m the type of guy who would buy the country club just to changethe dress code to ripped jeans and T-Shirts, money is not an issue as much as I would appreciate the compensation in recognitionof my work, I enjoy doing it… I NEED to do it, I need to get the music out of my head and into the world, it’s just part of what I do.
Everyone loves a celebrity so what advice do you have for the youth of today?
Stay in school, don’t do drugs ? Just being facetious – I think kids are alot more informed today thanks to technology and networkingand can see it when someone talks down to them. I’d say the same to them that I say to anyone else – I remember someone once told me I couldn’t change theworld, and my response was “Maybe you can’t! — But I have – and I will again !” The message being – never ever listen to people who think you can’t do it.
If you put your mind to it you can do anything you want… the only thing stopping you is you. Don’t let others get you down and compound thatproblem.
What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?
My wife and I have been married over 15 years. We’ve been a team in every area over the years – whether activist,
political, human rights, day job related, or music. She supports my endeavors, in the same way that I have always supported hers. She’s been a huge help in my music, and acts as my manager, and sounding board. More recently when stumbling into “writers block” she has been helping me here and therewith the structure and composition of lyrics…as a writer herself I expect you’ll see her credited in the not to distant future on some of the songs I’ve been working onlately. My extended family has also always shown great support for all my endeavours including this one.
Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?
My Grandfather Herbert Jennings was a cellist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra during the depression in the 1930′s. My Mother Joyce Jennings (Joyce Parkinson) also was a local Toronto talent in her own right in the 40′s and 50′s with a childrens radio show weekendson 1050 CHUM in their early years, as well as local stage performances singing lead in Gilbert and Sullivan classics like the “Pirates of Penzance”and the “Mikkado”. At my parents wedding they even recieved personal congratulations from Canadian Radio Broadcasting legend the late Gordon Sinclair
who was a friend of my mom from her early years in braodcasting work.
Later in life when I found my Birth mother, I discovered that she too was a singer and guitar player. She and my aunt both used to sing with “Up With People ” back in the 60′s. Her father too, my birth-grandfather was a musician as well, so from all angles both “Nature” and “Nurture” music seems to run in my blood.
Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it any different from what you play now?
I like anything unique that stands out from the crowd. I always joke that they stopped making music in the 1980′s
but that’s not all true, there are many new artists out there in recent years that have set new standards, and broken new ground but it seems like most of the material I’m interested in these days is breaking ground online as opposed to through the moretraditional route of radio and MTV exposure. That’s why I joke about music dying off in the 80′s, there’s probably alot more out there avavilable, it’s just not in your face everytime a video or the radio is on, but it’s out there bigger than ever before, the only thing is now you just have to know where to find it!
Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?
I do wedding and parties too, but no comedy…Seriously I’ve been involved in both radio and television broadcasting in the past here in Canada both on air and behind the scenes doing sound, lighting, camera, and even directing both television and radio productions in the 1990s.
What has been your strong influence to continue performing?
As I mentioned before it is an actual need to make music. I have dozens and dozens of unfinished works dancing around in my head that need to be completed and recorded, I just feel the need to share what I know to be amazing concepts I have with others who may have a likeminded interest.
Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?
John Lennon’s influence is indirectly responsible for alot of what I do today, as well as artists like
Peter Gabriel, Steve Earle, in Canada people like Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn…
Those are people who put their heart into it and do something with thier high profiles to make a difference
in the world for the better and don’t get caught up in the materialistic distractions that so many successful
artists do when they reach the top.
Who does most of the song writing/art/literature?
I do everything, except recently my wife Tracy Lamourie has been doing some songwriting with me, as I said you may expect to see her credited along with me on some future work.
If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?
I have thought about going under an assumed name like Trent Reznor did with Nine IncH Nails.
I was pondering just calling the new project “David” but have been bouncing around a few ideas in the meantime.
I wouldn’t ever change my name as an individual like “Prince” or “Madonna” just for the purpose of name recognition
for whatever project i was involved in at the time I’ll always be “Dave Parkinson”
Have you ever had any strange or stalker type fans that you are aware of?
Other than the occasional internet harrassment I try not to lead my life behind tinted glass or undercover.
Regardless of whatever level of success I obtain, I’d keep reminding everyone – I’m only human just like anyone, I’m just an ordinary average guy.
While getting ready to perform have you ever been interrupted by fans who snuck in to the dressing room/rehearsal?
Fortunately I’ve never had to address that problem, but as I said, I’m just a regular guy, i wouldn’t expect idoloters
to wish me any harm unless there was some mental instability happening, but I don’t expect any problems
What are your up-to-date performance plans? New releases? Tours? News?
In the process of recording new material over the next several months, doing some internet promotion having recently updated the website, I don’t expect to be doing any live performances til at least late summer…I’m still in the process of finalizing the project as well as recruiting backing musicians both for the studio and for live gigs. We expect to be rolling out the itinerary by late summer or Sept 2010.
If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive who would it be? Why? (Name up to three)
The question is would they perform with me ? I’d probably say John Lennon, and Joe Hill (a songwriter and social justice activist who was at the forefront of the labor movement before his execution at the turn of century. But what I would really like to see happen is to have the opportunity to perform with an artist out of Philadelphia by the name of
Jimmy Dennis. Back in 1991 he was on the edge of success, just about to make it, when he and local singing group “Sensation” were ready to sign their “big deal”. But then he had his dreams and his life stolen from him when he was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to death row for a crime he did not commit. I became of aware of Jimmy Dennis and this injustice through my social justice and activist work and have even visited Mr Dennis back in 2002 at the Maximum Security Facility in PA where he sits on death row to speak face to face with him about his death sentence and wrongful conviction. I would urge anyone out there who has an interest in these sorts of issues to find more about Jimmy Dennis at jimmydennis.org
and do what they can to help right this wrong, so that inevitably one day I’ll be able to have Jimmy in the studio with me to record some long overdue tracks…
Have you been involved in any benefit performances? What was it and how did you become involved?
Working on local benefits including having people donate money for kids with cancer if i DON”T cut my hair…also as a long time human rights activist there are many causes that I’d donate time and effort to and hope to combine my musical efforts with activism in those areas at least on the benefits stage.
Do you currently have an agent, endorsement, record label, sponsor, etc.?
My Partner Tracy Lamourie is my Agent and Manager. I’m working with HitBush Productions and Producer Ted Bushey to put together my new project.
Is this your first interview or do you have some other articles/stories about you posted somewhere for public viewing?
I’ve done lots of interviews relating to my social justice, political and human rights work over the years so I’ve had a lot of media exposure in different areas in different media — More than happy that for once I can talk about my music for a change as opposed to any controversy or political issues.
Do you have any video links where people can see you?
Do you have a website of any type?
I have several….My daveparkinson.com
website which has recently been updated and will continue to be updated over the coming weeks…Our design team is currently working on new promotional items (posters, tshirts, buttons stickers etc) and we’re encouraging anyone who wants to stay up to date on my new releases, any local performances and any free merch / promos in lead up to the release to sign up on my site or join the street team.
I’d also encourage any Facebook users to join my fanpage for daily updates and to connect with me there.
I can also be found on Myspace, Youtube, Blogger, and most other social networking sites.
We want to thank you for the wonderful interview.
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