Whiskey Angel has been a large part of performing in and supporting the Clarksville music scene since 2011. Singer and guitarist Cody Parson, who is also a senior English major, started the band in January 2011 when he began to get sick of seeing local bands categorize themselves with certain genres. “Timeless bands don’t fall into specifics,” he said.
Parson along with guitarist, Ian Cargill, drummer Cody Suits and bassist Mark Easterling, senior biology major, make up Whiskey Angel and the define themselves as “just a rock ‘n’ roll band.” Parson said when bands focus on a specific genre, they tend to get locked into a sound.
The writing process for Whiskey Angel starts with Parson, who writes the music and then takes it to the other members of the band to alter. “Things will stick with me. We can start playing and things just flow into a song,” Parson explained. Parson said that women are his number one musical inspiration.
Parson explained that there has been a big change in the band from two years ago. They started with fast, small, songs and has now progressed to bigger songs with a louder sound. Cargill said a time period cannot be put on their music. “I can’t think of a way to classify it,” he said. Cargill said a lot has changed in the music in the past two years. “The writing is better; everything is different.”
Cargill said in the two years they have been performing, he has gained more confidence about it. “I would be not be musically where I am without Whiskey Angel,” Parson said. “There is a natural energy with us four.” He explained the family oriented dynamic among the members of Whiskey Angel. Cargill and Parson are stepbrothers and Parson has been playing music with Suits since high school.
Parson said the band gets together to play two to four times a week. “If you can’t play, you shouldn’t play,” he said. As for supporting the local music scene in Clarksville, the members of Whiskey Angel try to go to as many shows as they can or promote the shows. “Whenever a good touring act goes through town, people contact us to try to get them to play for us,” Parson said. He said they try to support as many musicians as they can.
“We want to go see bands, because we love music,” Cargill said. Parson said the key to their success is that they care about what they do. Whiskey Angel is always performing and Parson said it can be hard to get several adults with jobs and other commitments together but they manage to do it because they want to play music badly enough.
Being a college student with a full commitment to a band can be a challenge to balance, Parson said. He said he choose to be an English major because his favorite professors were English professors. Parson said for his major he has to interpret and read a lot of poetry and prose.
“I look at everything from the place of a song writer,” he said. Parson said Whiskey Angel is eager to start work on their first album. He said for most bands performing and recording are two different processes, but not for them.
“We want to capture the live sound,” Cargill said. Parson said when they record they want to use minimalistic equipment to help capture the live sound. He said they want to capture the organic way Whiskey Angel performs.
Parson and Cargill offered advice to musicians who want to start playing or performing. “Play exactly what you want to hear,” Cargill said. Parson said the best advice he could give is to practice and rehearse as much as possible.
Parson said he is really proud of Whiskey Angel and gave one last word of advice, “If you’re going to do it then do it. Don’t half-ass it.”