AN INTERVIEW WITH: Parker Armstrong – Conspire

We got to talk to the lovely Parker Armstrong of the upcoming band Conspire about their latest album ‘The Scenic Route‘, the doubts that come with music and getting that fateful message from InVogue Records.

So you have just released your new album ‘The Scenic Route’. Are you finally excited that the album is out there?

Absolutely. We recorded these songs almost two years ago so it feels great to be able to share them with others. I had listened to them enough times to grow sick of them. Receiving feedback has definitely given a bit new life to these songs and has made me eager to continue performing them live.

What song off that record would you say encapsulates the message of what Conspire is all about?

That’s a tough one, there are a few that I’d like to choose from. Personally, I believe “Row” and “Congruency” give the listener a solid idea of what we’re about. Throughout the album there are a number of ideologies being tossed around. Amidst the unrest it’s possible to completely miss a resolve, or the need for one. Songs like “Row” are there to remind us that any hope of redemption starts with mending relationships regardless of opposition.

Your first music video was for the track ‘1971’. What is the song about and who came up with the style for the video?

That video was a lot of fun. We actually shot it at a brewery in Florida called 81Bay. A friend of mine, Sebastian Coolidge, had created the artwork on the walls behind us. I felt it was a very fitting setting for the track. David Borges filmed and edited it all himself, somehow. We didn’t give him much to work with. We had a small window of time to film, we’re not experienced in front of the camera, and also had a couple of equipment issues that made filming a bit more complicated. But somehow David was able to make something beautiful out of next to nothing. Very stoked on how it turned out, as we were hoping for this to be more of a simple play through to introduce Conspire. Next one will certainly be more along a storyline.

When or where you were born never justifies the carrying on of hate for the sake of traditional values. ‘1971’ suggest that we learn from the mistakes of our past and put to rest a cycle of bigotry. The title itself is the year in which Liberty University was founded. All throughout the song you’ll hear reference to my experience attending this institution.

What was it like getting the call/message from InVogue Records saying that they wanted you to be a part of their label?

I was thrilled to hear that InVogue had expressed interest in us. I recall eating Thai food when I received word via text from our manager, Daniel DeFonce. That night we met as a band to discuss our options. After spending an hour or two on the phone with Nick Moore (IVR Owner), I knew this was the proper fit for ‘The Scenic Route’ to be released.

You recently toured with Everyone Dies In Utah, what was that whole experience like?

It meant a lot for EDIU to give a new band a shot on their CD release tour. Overall that was a really fun tour that provided an opportunity for us to get our feet wet a bit. However, meeting up with the tour was quite the ordeal. A hurricane was rolling through at the time, so our hometown tour kick-off show in Tampa, along with Orlando got cancelled last minute. On top of that I contracted a rare viral disease that was passing around Florida. In case you’re unaware, a lot of strange things happen in Florida. Due to the illness being highly contagious we had to miss the first half of the tour. But we definitely made the most of it and hit the road as soon as possible!

What was the most enjoyable part of that tour for you?

Oh man, I don’t know. I really enjoyed getting to know the other bands on a personal level. Each  from a different part of the country, with a unique sound that sets them apart. Convictions, and Glass Houses were the other bands. They’ve both got so much energy live, being a part of that each night was something special. We capped off the tour with a visit to Dallas, TX at So What?! Music Festival. I’ll never forget playing the Tree’s stage as we opened up for Citizen. A whole lot of people were there, it was awesome getting to make a lot of new friends and run around catching sets from an outrageous line-up.

So what got you into music and made you want to be in a band?

I’ve always had a slight interest about being in a band. I believe that got stirred in my brain as I was captivated by Elvis Presley and his chilling stage presence. I don’t emulate an ounce of that, but still admire from afar. Aside from playing (I wouldn’t call it playing, as I was god awful) clarinet in the middle school band, I had owned an acoustic guitar and knew a few chords. But I had nothing worthwhile to sing about, though I’d pretend to know a thing or two about love and write some embarrassing material. It wasn’t until I was 22 years of age that I realized I wanted to pursue music as I felt I had somewhat of a story to tell. I was in college at that point where I had recently met our guitarist, Ryan. One night we drove a few hours to see For Today, Impending Doom, Hundredth and a couple of other acts at a show the next state over. That night allowed me to rediscover my appreciation for heavy music, and years later led to the start of Conspire, as Ryan and I moved  back to our hometown and began writing music with friends.

Have you ever had any doubts about continuing with the project and if so, what made you overcome?

As I stated earlier, we’d been sitting on this record for quite some time. There were some hiccups on the recording side of things as some personnel we worked with turned out to be less than reliable in the end. We thought we’d never see the end of it. But the whole time our phenomenal producer Ricky Armellino assured us that things would get situated and we’d have an album that we were happy with. He was right. And the unanticipated time it took turned out to be a blessing for me as I was able to focus on my health. Sitting around drinking and waiting for the album, I had gained a stupid amount of weight. I didn’t have much confidence to push on with the project. But instead of calling it quits, I decided to see things through to it’s full potential. Got back in shape, physically and mentally and didn’t look back.

What advice would you give to fans who are in a band and are going through those same doubts?

I’m not the most experienced guy to give that sort of advice. But from our own trials as a band, all I can say is that patience is a friend. In an industry that’s heavily reliant on constant use of social media, I imagine it’s easy to get discouraged if you’re sitting idle for a bit. But as long as that time is used crafting quality music, or making sure everyone’s personal life is in check, it’s worth it.

What are the plans for Conspire in 2017?

We’re currently figuring that out. Definitely another U.S. tour and Music Video in the Spring. I don’t have any reservation with where Conspire goes. As long as we’re playing shows and building a compassionate community, I’m happy. Just along for the ride, hopefully a stop in the UK is included 🙂 

Any final words to your fans?

Thanks for taking a chance on new music. I really appreciate you taking the time to listen, and read if you’ve gotten to this point in the interview. My final words are interwoven somewhere in the lyrics. But to summarize, as individuals we’ve got a whole lot of power. We can’t control everything in this world, but we can control how we perceive it. May we not lose sight of reconciliation. Erase fear and make exploitation a way of the past. Let’s build something beautiful!

Conspire – The Scenic Route [REVIEW]

Within melodic hardcore and post hardcore there are a lot of different nuances bands have that help themselves fill the cracks between each specific song and genre. That goes for Florida based band Conspire and their upcoming release ‘The Scenic Route’. Compiling some of your favourite artists into one, it is certainly a record that you will want in your music library.

Their main single is also the leading track off the record. ‘1971’ opens off quite soft, but once the rest of the band kicks in and the more aggressive style of spoken vocals channel through in the foreground it comes into its element. The choruses flow like something out of a Being As An Ocean album with low octave singing that fits into the palm of the rest of the band and bring something especially enjoyable, including with odd structures of the guitars/drums during parts of the verses. Going into ‘Rescind’, the intensity rises a lot more and the spoken word style is utilised a lot more. The bouncier chorus does a scream/clean call and response for the first part of it before focusing more on Parker Armstrong’s vocal lines. This track also features the first guest spot of the record from Silent Planet’s own Garrett Russell, bringing his craft during the first breakdown of the record. The palm muting alongside the soft higher tones in the background make for a great blend alongside Garrett’s voice.

Within the entire record, the same themes musically are cast through from massive sounding production from the bands chords structures to the bare-knuckle bones of just the vocals getting more of a show off. ‘Thousand Oaks’ is a great example of this as every member gets a chance to show themselves off. The bass grumble from Stephen Shuler during parts add a lot of intensity, especially during buildups and breakdown, providing an all rounded sound to each speaker. The faster paced tracks like ‘Worth Walking’ that show off more of Ryan Sullins’ drumming and gives off that massive post hardcore flavour to it. The fact that it doesn’t try to go overboard and it flows superbly within the entire track, let alone the entire record.

Another great side is the emotional train ride this album can take you on. The album’s closer ‘Enola’ is very minimalistic out of the gate with single guitar notes and some subtle drums/programming elements added. This and ‘By The Sword’ are the two interlude-esque tracks which take two different paths in terms of sound and pattern, once again showing a bit of diversity within the album. The melodic elements are again a very noticeable and great touch to the record, most utilised in tracks like ‘Captive Son’ for its choruses and ‘Row’ which blends it really well with the cleans vocals and the guest vocals by Ricky Armellino from This Or The Apocalypse.

From front to back, this record has so much to give and throws its entire body into the piece. Adding power, emotion, blood, sweat and tears to create something special and pleasing, Conspire have maybe inadvertently created an album a lot of people could class as their Top 10.


Conspire release music video for ‘1971’

If you’re a fan of strong melodic/post hardcore that tugs at your heartstrings, then Florida’s own Conspire  will definitely make that happen for you. With a new album coming out next month, they will definitely be an up and coming band that you will need to keep an eye on. Check out their latest track ‘1971‘ below!

They are currently on the homestretch of their tour with Everyone Dies In Utah, to which you can can check out below!