This year, guitarist Charles Parker released his first solo album, Bring Back the Sun, featuring such songs as “Social Director,” “I Love to Feel the Rain” and “The Closer I Get.”
Parker, an accomplished musician, plays guitar and sings his original songs, creating a sound somewhere in that Bermuda triangle of rock, folk and pop. He has cut his teeth in tribute bands and cover bands, and Bring Back the Sun serves as his bold step into solo-land.
Recently, Hollywood Soapbox exchanged emails with Parker about his new album. Questions and answers have been slightly edited for style.
When did you first get into music?
I was probably about 10 years old when I got a cheap acoustic from the record store. Couldn’t play it for several years. I taught myself from a chord book and then started learning to play rock songs in my later teen years. Growing up with pop radio was a big influence on me. I sort of made me what my music turned into.
Did you immediately gravitate to the guitar?
Guitar was the cool instrument. Plug it into an amp with a distortion pedal, and you were instantly a rock star so I thought. I originally played drums (snare drum) in the junior high school band, also a little piano around the house. But in the end, if you want to be rock ‘n’ roll, you have to play guitar.
How did Bring Back the Sun begin? What inspired you to record the album?
I guess a few years into playing in cover bands I sat down to write songs. I don’t really know why it [happened]. I had no real plan to do it, but the songs just came out. Strumming an acoustic and humming a melody that later turned into words.
Then I had a handful of songs and took them into a friends recording studio to make a demo. Had no idea what I was doing. That led to a better studio with better production. So I would save up my money, which wasn’t easy on a musician’s salary. Lol. Recorded one song at a time, and in a few years, I had more than enough songs for the album. It kind of turned into an addiction to where I would go home and write another song just so I could go back to the studio and record it. It was quite fun recording all these songs.
What do you hope the audience takes away from the album?
I just hope they give it a chance and listen. The songs are happy pop music with a positive message — love songs, relationship songs. I have found that the songs have different meanings to everyone who hears them. And that is a good thing. So just enjoy, sing along and make them your own.
What’s the future hold for you? Do you like to plan months or years in advance?
Right now we are working very hard to promote the album, get it to the people whether through radio or the Internet. It is very difficult as a new unknown artist, but everyday I am trying a new avenue to find success. If I could plan months or a year in advance, I would like to be touring in support of the album, but until it is well known, there is still a lot of work to do. I am still working constantly in my cover and tribute bands. It’s good to be a working musician and make a living doing it.
By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com
Click here for more information on Charles Parker.