Five & Five: Parabelle
Since the days of Evans Blue, Kevin Matisyn has continued on with creating new music for old and new fans with his band, Parabelle, but what is Kevin Matisyn really about? In this exclusive interview, our fellow writer, Shane, finds out more about what makes Kevin the musician he is today.
Shane: What artist/bands/songs/album influenced you?
KM: I personally grew up listening to Metallica and Pantera quite a bit. My favorite album all time is Master of Puppets. I wore that tape out as a kid. As I got older, I got into a Canadian artist named Matthew Good. His lyrics really are what got me excited about writing. He uses a lot of imagery and clever spins on familiar subjects. My all time favorite band is a group called the Prayer Chain, quite obscure but their album Mercury was life changing for me in a way that I experienced a very different sound than what I was used to and even though it wasn’t heavy musically, it had a huge emotional impact that gave it a different kind of heaviness.
Shane: What are you listening to right now?
KM: Just bought the new Flyleaf and also been digging In This Moment’s new stuff.
Shane: What’s your favorite show/performance been as a band?
KM: Any CD release show we do is exciting. The crowd is usually big and we get to play the songs people haven’t heard yet. The CD release for Starry Eyes was a really great show and I also proposed to my girlfriend which made it even more special all around.
Shane: If you could give emerging artists any advice, what would you tell them?
KM: Don’t try to make it by the mainstream standards. It’s cool to have that as a goal but don’t let it be your only one. Never stop writing music! With every album you make you gain new fans so keep trying and one day you might realize you don’t need a label or even better a label might think they need you and then you’ve got all the control.
Shane: If you want people to remember one song from you it would be…
KM: I think Rise is a song that sums us up. It isn’t crazy heavy but it’s got all the elements of a great song. Very relatable lyrics and it’s got that sing-a-long chorus. I think if you get into that song you can also appreciate the other stuff we do whether it is heavier or lighter.
Shane: In the song “My Line of Fire” the narrative takes the unusual point of view of the kidnapper / stalker. Was your intent to write a love song as seen through the villain’s eyes?
KM: It’s more of a love song for someone that likes that darker side. It’s kind of tongue and cheek but it does touch on the whole not having control in a situation but liking that ability to let go. It’s not having a choice but trusting that whoever is in control will keep you safe.
Shane: A number of your songs involve rocky relationships with women. Do you draw upon true experiences when you write the lyrics or are these all fictional?
KM: They are a little of both. Some songs are straight up from my life others are twisted to be a little broader. I also talk to lots of people about their relationships and I get a lot of inspiration from that as well. It’s something we’ve all experienced so I think it connects with everyone when they get into it.
Shane: When you compose music do you write the lyrics first and then add the guitar, bass, and drums, or do you record the music tracks first and let them inspire the lyrics?
KM: It happens both ways but lately we’ve been doing music first more often. I’ll usually just play the music through my car stereo while I drive and just sing off the top of my head. I usually come up with a lot of cool ideas and fine tune them over time.
Shane: I read in your bio that this album was partially funded through Kickstarter, a crowd funding website. What challenges did you face getting this album made as an independent band?
KM: Cost is always the biggest challenge. A good sounding album costs a lot more than an independent band usually makes so the Kickstarter really helped us get over the top and do the record we wanted. Our fans are amazing and I kinda like to consider them the label. They really decide if we make more music and I think that’s the way it should be. I think the struggle is what makes the music solid. You go in thinking this might be your only chance so you know you gotta nail it every time. There’s no room for crap so if you don’t really feel every song you need to keep writing until you do and in the end the fans get an album that is great ’cause the band put everything they had into it.
Shane: What can the fans expect in the coming year from Parabelle?
KM: More music! We’re planning a DVD with some live stuff and a little making of documentary and possibly some new songs this year. It’s our 5 year anniversary and we want to do something really special for our fans.