Editor’s Note: On June 19th, folk-influenced indie pop band The National Parks will be releasing their fourth full-length album entitled “Wildflower” and they have recently released their new single “Waiting For Lightning”. Here is what guitarist/vocalist Brady Parks said about the single:
“Waiting For Lightning was a song that started pouring out of me late one night, “I remember sitting in my room with my guitar and this visual of lightning kept coming to my mind. At its core, this song is about feeling like you are waiting for something so rare and spectacular. It’s about setting the fear of the unknown aside and stepping out into the storm. It’s about holding on despite challenges that arise. We hope this song can be a reminder to hold on to hope and to not let go of the things that matter most to you.”
The National Parks is composed of Brady Parks on guitar/vocals, Sydney MacFarlane on keyboards/vocals, Cam Brannelly on drums, and Megan Parks on violin. “Wildflower” is their follow-up to their 2017 album entitled “Places” and was produced by Scott Wiley. In this interview with Madness To Creation, Brady Parks of The National Parks discusses almost getting struck by lightning, their very first gig as a band, and coping with their mental health through the Covid-19 pandemic. Fans can find The National Parks at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: You recently released the single “Waiting For Lightning,” take us into the song and how much do you like thunderstorms? I almost got struck by lightning a few years ago.
Brady: First of all, we love thunderstorms. There’s something so magical and thrilling about them. “Waiting For Lightning” is about waiting for that moment that lights up the darkness. It’s about chasing something so elusive and unpredictable, something so beautiful and powerful. It’s about stepping out into the torrential downpour because you believe in what you’re searching for and you want to find it no matter the cost.
Madness To Creation: Based on that, what’s the scariest thing that has happened to you?
Brady: Crazy that you said you almost got struck by lightning because I kinda almost did too and it was terrifying. It was July 24, 2014 when a group of friends and I decided to hike Mt. Timpanogos here in Utah. We started the hike at about 1 AM so we could get to the top of the mountain by sunrise. As we were about to reach the top, it started to rain and as we reached the peak we were pretty much in a cloud. There were a few groups around us and they started to laugh and take pics of themselves because their hair was standing straight up. Flashback a couple of weeks, I was reading a story on Twitter about some people who were literally doing the same thing because their hair was all static-y and boom, they were struck. I read that when the hair stands up like that, the electricity is looking for a connection and it’s mother nature’s last warning before striking. So, I was really scared. Luckily, nothing happened and the sunrise was amazing after the little storm passed by.
Madness To Creation: You’re releasing your new album Wildflower June 19th, take us into the writing process of the record.
Brady: Writing this album was an incredible experience for me and felt like a breath of fresh air. In the past, I have felt myself chasing a trend or trying to find a sound of some sort. With Wildflower, I just wanted to write and be authentic to who I am as a songwriter and who we are as a band. I wrote about 40 songs for this album and we took 18 to the studio and kept 15 of those for the album. This album has a lot of variety to it from songs like “War Cry,” which is a super stripped down, raw, voice memo song, to the title track “Wildflower” with its driving electric guitars to a song called “Mother Nature,” which features electronic beats with banjos and harmonicas. We explored so many different parts of who we are on this album and I think that’s why we feel so proud of it and excited to share it with the world on June 19th.
Madness To Creation: The part of the studio that you love and the part of the studio that is a grind is….(complete this sentence)
Brady: The part of the studio that I love is watching the songs transform from the demo to the completed version with new ideas shaping it along the way. It’s not really a grind, I think being in the studio is one of my favorite parts of being a musician, to be honest.
Madness To Creation: How are you adjusting your social media accounts through this pandemic?
Brady: We’ve had to call a lot of audibles with tours and festivals getting postponed or cancelled but in a way it’s been fun to try new things with our socials and find creative ways to interact with our fans. We’ve done a lot of live, acoustic concerts on our socials as well as creating dance challenges and collaborative song challenges. It’s a unique time and we’ve seen it as a chance to engage with our followers on a new level.
Madness To Creation: How are you coping through this pandemic?
Brady: These are crazy times for sure. I think one way that’s helping us cope through this is being able to release new music. Releasing this album has been something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. So, even though our plans have changed, it’s been nice to have these songs go into the world.
Madness To Creation: We cover mental health awareness at Madness To Creation, what helps you get through the tough times and what makes you happy?
Brady: A lot of our songs on this album deal with getting through tough times and relying on faith and hope for the future, knowing that when times are dark, the best is yet to come. Being able to chase the dream of music alongside my amazing wife, Megan, is something that makes me incredibly happy. Being in a band with 3 of your closest friends and working towards a common goal is another motivating force in my life and when I find myself getting down, I try to focus on all those things and everything else that I’m grateful for.
Madness To Creation: What’s the first thing that you want to do when this quarantining is all over?
Brady: I want to play a concert. I miss it. I also want to go to a Utah Jazz game.
Madness To Creation: Fun question: take us into your very first gig in this band or as a band. Memories from it.
Brady: Our first show as The National Parks was actually at an outdoor mall in Provo. We threw it ourselves and tried to make it a big deal. We involved stores from the mall, hung up fliers all over town and invited everyone we could think of. In my head, I pictured 10,000 people showing up. There was probably 40 that came. The sound was terrible. But it was the start of something special and we had the best time.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add that we haven’t covered?
Brady: Unfortunately, we’ve had to postpone or cancel a lot of shows due to the pandemic but luckily here in Utah, people are now able to gather in groups of 50 so we’ve decided to do a small run of shows in backyards. We’re calling it the Campfire Tour and we can’t wait to be playing these shows to support our new album. So stay tuned because we’re hoping to take the campfire show on the road to other states as soon as we can.
And there you have it! Check out “Wildflower” by The National Parks on June 19th. Here is the track listing below:
- Waiting For Lightning
- Blue Moonlight
- War Cry
- Mother Nature
- Painted Sky
- I Can Feel It
- Mad Men
- Many Moons
Pick up or download it at your favorite digital service stream on June 19th!