The Parlor Mob Biography
Last updated: 06/27/2012 12:00:00 PM
We are The Parlor Mob.
There are some basic things you should know about us. We're from Asbury Park, New Jersey. There are five of us. Mark Melicia sings, David Rosen and Paul Ritchie both play guitar, Sam Bey plays drums, and Anthony Chick plays bass. We grew up together. 2011 is our seventh year as a band. On October 11, 2011 we will release our second album, entitled Dogs, on Roadrunner Records. We have clawed and fought to get to where we are, and we still have a very long way to go before we're even moderately satisfied.
Satisfaction has proven very difficult to come by in an industry that, since our inception, has only grown more and more difficult to flourish in as an artist. We realize now the parallels between our industry and corporate businesses of all sorts and have struggled, as you may have, to find a way to exist within that structure. We have now made a record that we feel more strongly and more passionately about than anything we've ever done in our lives, both individually and collectively. The struggles to get to this point have bred a fierce isolationism around us and a camaraderie within us that amplifies our united goals beyond what they have ever been. This band, like many others, started out with no aspirations beyond simply writing and playing music that we enjoyed. When we started, we played local shows continuously, writing all the time together. We did not fit in to any scene or any genre. We followed nothing. We made an album by ourselves and released it ourselves. We got a manager and a lawyer we thought we could trust. Through them, we were signed to Capitol Records. We were promised the world.
In retrospect, it seems obvious that it would all come crashing down. We recorded an EP in four days on their dime, flew home and never heard from any of them again. Eventually we were told that in the wake of a major corporate merger, we had been dropped. We found ourselves back at square one, with nothing except this four song EP which we decided to give away for free to anyone who would listen. Our goal was simply to share what we had done, but what ended up happening was Roadrunner Records taking notice and signing us in 2007. We hesitantly agreed, as we were still in the wake of an extremely messy music industry experience.
We traveled to Echo Mountain Studios in September of 2007, and made our first album, entitled And You Were A Crow with producer Jacquire King (responsible for albums by Tom Waits, Modest Mouse, and Kings of Leon). We completed it on Halloween and released it in May of 2008. We toured for the next two years straight. This was the time where we undoubtedly found ourselves as a band. Whether it was what we perceived as a general misconception of who we were and what we cared about, or well-intentioned proponents on the business side of things whose ideals and tastes were at complete odds with our own; it was in the face of what we disliked that our ideals of who and what we were came into perfect focus. Our live show was quickly enhanced as we continued to tour. The more misunderstood we felt, the more we pushed ourselves to make our point as a live band; that we are not who you think we are; we are beyond what you think of us. We found new and different ways to express what we wanted to through performing. We gave everything we could at every single show. The five of us grew tighter and more unified than we had ever been before. Our personal connections translated in the shows, and vice-versa. We were a self propelling machine.
We returned home after traveling the world and began to write again for our next album. This process proved to be more draining than anything we had done before. Going from the 100 mph life of touring to the dead stop of a desolate winter at home was shocking for all of us. After the first few months, we parted ways with our bassist Nick Villapiano. It was amicable and mutually beneficial, but hard on us nonetheless. After the physically exhausting demands of two years of touring in a van with six people, this was a new stress and pressure on all of us that we were growing more and more familiar with... emotional and mental pressure. We knew that we all wanted the same thing. This was a theme we would constantly return to and develop while making Dogs, that we all wanted the same thing, we just had to find the ways to get to it that made us all fulfilled as individuals.
This took us more time to master, and we all ran out of money. We were broke again, living off of scraps and fighting to exist. We each had our moments where we weren't sure we wanted to continue. But we remained loyal to one another. After writing with no bassist for a while, we asked our longtime friend Anthony Chick to help us, just temporarily. We ended up asking him to join the band permanently.
In the winter of 2010, we finished writing Dogs. From February through mid-March 2011, we were at Wire Recordings in Austin, TX recording with our friend, producer Matt Radosevich. Matt engineered And You Were A Crow, and we remained close with him through the three years between albums. We chose to work with him because we trusted him and because he knows us. We had to fight to get Matt to produce the record and he had to fight to get the job. We both did and together we made this album we feel so strongly about.
Dogs is the culmination of everything that has led us to this point, all the internal and external struggles that have made us who we are. To us, it serves the downtrodden of our times, who can feel their struggle reflected in ours. We called the album Dogs because it is a personification of everything we all have become and a wide reaching, never-ending analogy for what we currently feel; a unified stamp of our lives in this moment. We have been beaten to the ground, spit on and kicked, and we have bitten back and clawed at those who are against us. We have felt caged. We have been hungry and fought for scraps. We have been pet and praised in one instant, and neglected and abused in the next. We have formed a pack, and we are fiercely loyal to one another.
There are themes within the album ranging from self-doubt, longing and discontent to rejuvenation, hope and love. Musically it is the equivalent of the turmoil of our lives, shifting as it goes from the desperately immense and cinematic, to the aggressive and powerful, to the quiet and calm. We cannot define Dogs for you as anything other than reflecting ourselves onto a record as best as we can. "Into The Sun" is the first single, and it carries with it a message we leave open to interpretation. For us, it is about us. For you, it may be about you. This is how we would like you to perceive the record as a whole; open to your interpretation. We would not like to be defined for you. We would like you to define us for yourselves.
"This is the start of something. This is the end of who we were, and the beginning of what we will be." - "The Beginning"
- The Parlor Mob