Interview with The Parlor Mob: American Gangsters

—by , April 9, 2008

The Parlor MobThe time to play it safe for The Parlor Mob has come and gone. The window has been closed. For the scrappy Red Bank based vintage rock-n-roll outfit, the time has come to ride into the sunset as either rising national heroes or cherished local legends. Consisting of Mark Melicia (vox), Dave Rosen (guitars), Paul Ritchie (guitars), Nick Villapiano (bass), and Sam Bey (drums), their quest for rock glory has yielded a critical all-in showdown with destiny. With blaring guitars rattling the American landscape, and a swagger straight out of Led Zeppelin’s mojo oozing handbook, their response is decisive and clear. The Mob will let all their chips ride.

They are conduits into a musical tradition nearly forgotten with the passage of time. They have opened the door into the dwelling of the rock gods; the realm of the mystics. But don’t expect this to be a tale of lore told in Greek mythology of flowing wine by the jugs, and grapes from a virgin’s hand. This is a story of five young musicians on the very brink, with the dank stench of distilled Tennessee whiskey seeping out of their every pore.

The Parlor Mob’s debut full-length pressing, entitled And You Were A Crow, will be released on May 6, courtesy of Roadrunner Records; and from the moment the needle finds the vein of wax, the sounds reverberating off the vinyl record flatlines the listener dead in their very tracks. For The Mob’s toxic blend, overdosing is dangerously easy. People, it’s straight from the stash of “the good shit.”

The audible explosions of hard lined, belly-up guitar riffs melt with the grace of fluent, soaring solos; while the possessed tribal chest punch of slapping skins bull-rides the melodic vocal exhale of dynamic versatility. The conclusion is apparent and undisputed. For the love of all that is holy, keep the number crunching record label suits as far away from these kids as physically possible.

For a band that had to endure adversary at the expense of record company collapses, lineup changes, failed projects and empty wallets, having the opportunity to implement their artistic vision is their lasting reward. The roller coaster process is explored in the record’s opener “Hard Times.”

“It is a song for everybody, it is not just our anthem,” says Sam Bey while traveling through Virginia in the final chapter of a nationwide tour leg opening for Nicole Atkins. “It is a song for everyone who is struggling our age that is trying to do what they love.”

“This was especially true for us,” chimes in Paul Ritchie, “from being signed already, then being dropped. We had to find a whole new team of people to work with, from our manager, to our lawyer, to getting these songs prepared, and making this record. It was a long hard process for all of us. Capitol basically left us hanging when Virgin Records bought them out. We didn’t have a manager at the time and this was right before we started working with In De Goot. They kind of clued us in to what was going on with Capitol. The person who was our A&R guy just basically up and quit; everyone was getting fired and we were completely in the dark.”

“They finally let us go,” continues Ritchie, “and we set out to find a company that was interested in making a record.”

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