MTS Management Group is at it again. Last week they sent me an email showcasing Jeremy Parsons. I had never heard of him, but was immediately impressed. The dude has talent and I love his voice. Jeremy is from Texas, has a new album out titled Things I Need To Say, has won a Texas Music Award and has an incredible voice. Knowing that he has something to say, I wanted to learn more and requested an interview. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Jeremy Parsons.
You are originally from San Antonio, Texas. Has being from the Lone Star State helped inspire you as a musician?
It absolutely has. Texas is such big state and there’s dance halls and venues spread out far and wide. Music was always around and I always took full advantage of it even before I realized I wanted to be a part of it myself. Every show was just another inspirational step towards me realizing my dream.
Texas is a big state, but what is the live music scene like where you grew up?
I’d say it was definitely at its peak when I was in high school in the early 2000s. The Red Dirt scene was flourishing with acts like Cross Canadian Ragweed, Randy Rogers Band and Jason Boland and the Stragglers. It was a very exciting and super inspiring time to be around. I got to see everyone when they were starting out and then after. It was awesome to watch them grow. There wasn’t a lot of venues super close to where I lived but there were a few and the ones that weren’t close were close enough to drive if the show was worth it. I spent a lot of time at historical places like Floores Country Store in Helotes, TX and Gruene Hall in Gruene, TX. It hasn’t seemed to be as hopping as it was back then but it’s still a phenomenal memory.
You’ve toured in Europe in the past. What are some of your favorite places to visit overseas?
I have only had the pleasure of going to Norway and that was an absolute delight. I would go back in a heartbeat. I would love to see more of the UK in general and definitely spend more time in London specifically. We were at the London airport for our layover and I was extremely bummed that all I got to see was out of the airport window. I hope to go back very soon.
Tell me more about Things I Need To Say.
Things I Need To Say is an absolute passion project through and through for me. The title sums it all up and I knew as soon as I wrote it that was going to be the statement I wanted to make. Music for me has always been a form of therapy and a way to cope. This album was written around a time of big change in my life. My parents were getting divorced after forty-eight years of marriage and it shattered my world quite a bit. I lost my management deal that I worked on and with for 3 plus years. It was a low point for me for sure. So I turned toward my friends, the family I had left, and my music. All three things got me through and Things I Need To Say is the somewhat documented process of me working through that. I discovered new things about myself as a person and as an artist. It’s my favorite thing I have ever made and I hope people can enjoy it as much as I enjoyed being able to make it.
It looks like you spend a lot of time in Nashville. I’ve never been to Nashville, but have heard it is one of the best places to see a show. Where do you like to go when you just want to see a good band perform?
Nashville is most definitely one of the best places to go for live music. They have bands playing around the clock on every street corner and in between. My favorite place to go is Swingin’ Doors Saloon on 4th Ave South just off of Broadway downtown. My second favorite is Robert’s Western World. It’s the best place to go to get that great traditional country fix and also a really awesome bologna sandwich. If you ever need a tour guide when you’re in town let me know!
Tell me more about your Kickstarter campaign.
The Kickstarter campaign was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. It’s so crazy to set out on a project thinking that you could raise money by initiating people through a platform like that. You find yourself constantly doubting and wondering why in the world anyone would want to even consider to do that for you. It was the most flattering thing in the world to reach my goal and even more so to exceed it. I highly recommend it to any and everyone. If you’re good about social media and have loyal followers and friends who just want to be a part of helping you succeed in your endeavors it makes it a bit easier and really fun. I can’t thank everyone enough who contributed and helped me out.
I love the video for “Burn This House Down” Who is the girl?
Thank you very much. Her name is Bari. She’s a singer/songwriter and we were talking at the time and ended up dating for a bit after the shooting of the video. I remember her asking me after the video came out what would happen if we actually broke up? I laughed and told her the video would make even more sense then. I thought that was hilarious… She did not. Relationships don’t always work out but you usually walk away with some kind of life lesson. No houses were harmed.
Tell me more about your relationship with MTS Management.
It’s great. I’ve just recently signed on but I love the progress and the energy. It’s always great to work with people who are just as excited to be working with you as you are to be working with them. Michael Stover is a great and really on the ball individual. I look forward to seeing where we go and what we do next.
What is your songwriting process like? Do you sit down and write a single or do they just come to you?
I’d say it’s a bit of both. When I’m writing by myself I wait for an idea to find me and just get it all out right there on the spot. When I’m co-writing, it’s a different story though. I usually go in open to whatever my partner in crime that day is feeling like writing. If we can’t finish the song that day or we feel like we’ve written as much as we can we’ll take a break and come back. Both are different but each process has some overlap once the idea is formed. I feel like I learn something new every time I write. It’s such a fun craft and such a gift to be able to call it a career.
Modern day country music is pretty much pop music. What are your thoughts on the current state of the industry, and who are some of the artists you like to listen to?
Country music is pretty much pop music and its not my cup of tea. There are still some great people coming out and putting out some really great stuff but the numbers are significantly lower than they used to be in the mainstream. This is purely opinion of course I know its popular because people love it I just don’t get much from everyone writing the same song over and over again with very little to say. Some of my favorite artists to listen to are Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams, Lilly Hiatt, Phoebe Bridgers and John Prine. I love and respect all these people for their originality and their passionate delivery of songs that you can tell are very important to them. They inspire me to want to be a better artist and I know they inspire tons of others too. That’s what it’s all about.
I know you just released your second artist album, but have you already started working on your third? I am always curious at the speed in which an artist produces new material.
As far as production goes I have not yet begun my third album but I am always writing and preparing for it. I will say that I already have a solid thematic idea for the next and pretty much have all the songs already written and ready to go. This is a process I like to take my time on and it’s always worth it. I did this with Things I Need To Say and it turned out exactly how I wanted.
Do you ever make a mistake on stage?
All the time. Everyone makes mistakes and I’d say I make more than most. It’s something we all do and you just play through and around it and learn to laugh it off and at yourself.
What’s next for Jeremy Parsons?
I’m actually pretty pumped for 2018. We’re starting it off by working on a new single release and new music video for the last track on the record Why Is The Bluebird Blue. We should have it filmed here within the next month and out shortly there after. I’m really excited to share it all with y’all. Keep your eyes and ears open.
Thank you for doing this. In all of the interviews I do, I always give the artist the last word. Go.
I’m going to use my last word to say thank you right back. This has been a pleasure and I look forward to catching up again down the road. Thanks so much for your support and interest and keep on being awesome.