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INTERVIEW: James Galvo Parker

Hi James, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi guys, honestly up and down – up because the art is starting to get seen, but recently my dog passed away, so it’s been a bit bleak. She was very much a part of me and my heart, but life always shows you a bit of darkness before the first rays of the new light.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “The Weight”?

It’s my debut solo single, which has taken a while to get here. I’ve been in a few bands which have gotten close and I have recently reformed my last band, A Dark Horse.

As I tend to feel a lot and I am very open at times, relationships and events hit me quite hard, and become a weight that I carry. As time has gone on I have gotten better at carrying it, but I came to an understanding of what the The Weight was, and that I no longer need to carry it. Now it’s basically about living my life for me. There are no more people or events to carry, unless I consciously want to. Not having to do it out of obligation has been a major revelation for me of late.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

The song came about a few days after the hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland. As I was processing the day’s event of it hitting, I woke up with a pain in my stomach that something was off with my dogs, I couldn’t get them out of my mind. My mother had gone away and left them in the care of her partner, and as the storms of 160 mile per hour winds hit, I couldn’t sit still with this feeling and left to go find them in it. When I arrived around to the house, after my car being blown all over the road and debris hitting it, I found her boyfriend had chained them up outside in the storm one had escaped the other frightened out of her wits. He does that type of thing when my Mother would be away, he has a mean temperament in regards to my family. So, long story short I found one of the dogs chained to a fence, I managed to get her in the car safely and then myself and my brother went back out into the storm as trees fell all around us, it was hard to walk even a foot as the winds pushed us back, was a bit like a movie scene, we searched for hours in that,  till we found the other dog shivering in the middle of the road, she never recovered from the event, her health went down hill and then died two days after I put out this song, nearly a year to the day of the said event, all very odd and heartbreaking to be honest. Sometimes other people’s life choices add a heavy weight to you, especially if you are a person who tries to live through their heart. And you have a giant love for your family, but sometimes you don’t need to carry that weight, and sitting at home with the dogs in my house I felt all these feelings, and then boom the song fell out of me.

The video is stunning. Can you take us through the creative vision of it?

Well the footage is from a short art piece I have been making, of a man re-living a fragment of a memory of his life. It’s shot over four seasons, at one point, as you can see, we got snowed in down in county Wexford. It was more than a bit dangerous driving in a snow storm, but it’s kinda summed up the last year’s events of my life. Trying to find a way through despite what life throws at you. You just gotta keep going til the path clears.

What role does Ireland play in your music?

As Roddy Doyle said in the commitments, ‘ The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin.’ We as a nation have a very expressive way of expressing ourselves through word and sound due to all the pain and sorrow that have mixed with our blood through the generations of hardship. I grew up in the Ballymun flats on the Northside of Dublin, which is considered the rough side of Dublin but it really is the genuine side of it. It was tough but it gave a whole other way of at looking life, being working class. It also showed you not a lot of doors would be open for you here, mainly cause you had an edge, and a lot of people who control the doors here are mainly looking for conservative people as Ireland has low self esteem in regards to itself. That’s why most of the best leave. I love Ireland, and yet I have found my opportunities limited being from where I am from and just the fact I’m not willing to give up my heart for crumbs. But slowly that’s changing with the new generation coming up.

But that’s the way it is here for a lot of us, though not all. We are not many generations post the Famine. My own great grandfather James Parker was born in one of the workhouses set up in that time post and his mother died in there. So for us as a people, art and conversation, it’s a huge deal here, to express the sorrow through having a laugh and deep art reflection, but also so is addiction, and there aren’t many families here that are not effected by that sorrowful affliction, mine included. It’s an I love you but you need to leave here to be loved sort of place. It’s packed full of great people and artists who should be but don’t get seen or heard, which is a great shame, the play it safe way needs to die out here and taking a risk and being adventurous should be the motto, cause we are a warrior nation, hopefully in time that will come back, I hope it will.

How does your acting background influence your music – or is it the other way around?

I don’t view myself as an Actor nor a Musician, I dislike cliques. I like to do it my own way. I find nature and life show me the truth of what is, and sometimes sorrowfully so. Acting is almost like a shamanic thing for me, it’s to get lost for a moment. Music is to channel my feelings. When I’m low, I let go and songs just come out, I don’t try and make music, I just kinda channel whatever is going on in me and let it come out, The Weight came out like that, a full song, music and lyrics, and then I just shaped it thereafter.

All that matters is trying to express truth. Be it in Acting, Music, Life, Conversation etc. That’s what makes me… me, and in a world where everyone is trying to be someone else, it’s a fight to be that, but it’s worth more than gold to be honest.

Does the new single mean we can expect more new material – how’s that coming along?

Currently as I’m writing this I am in the studio recording the next single which I am hoping to put out in Feburary 2019. The group I’m in, A Dark Horse, are also putting together the finishing touches on a single so hopefully all going well both will be out close enough together.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, I have my setlist done and ready, but I’m holding out for a nice support tour, so I’m all ears if anyone out there needs a support. I also kinda want to build a small base, I’m here to win people over in bars, I’m here to open my heart and show all that’s in there, so that’s kinda the mentality towards that at this moment in time.

What else is happening next in James Galvo Parker’s world?

At this minute, I’m just sticking to the plan to be consistent, get music done and out, and just not stopping come hell or high water, I have albums upon albums worth of songs, now I just gotta keep this level up, which I don’t feel pressured by. The only pressure is having to work to pay for all that comes with doing it on your own, but that’s ok, because ultimately I have the final say over my destiny and really I have been gifted with these songs so I take guiding them out there very seriously, as one should. Aye

Watch here

Find James Galvo Parker at facebook.com/jamesgalvoparker, on Twitter @galvoparker and on Instagram at instagram.com/james_galvo_parker now.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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