An Interview with Bobby Girard from Mad Parish

Here at Bucketlist Music Reviews we recently fell in love with the latest Mad Parish album, Procession. When the opportunity presented itself to yarn with the affable Bobby Girard (drumset player and founding member of the band), well, we just couldn’t help ourselves:

Yo Bobby! Thanks for taking the time to chat with Bucketlist.

Not a problem you are very welcome, thank you for the opportunity on behalf of the whole Parish crew.

Could you give me a brief history to the machine that is Mad Parish? What brought such a potent mix of musicians together? And what is the overarching purpose to the band?

Mad Parish (MP) has and always will be a live band, Singer/songwriter Josh McConnell and I formed MP in 2006 and have kept the fires burning since its conception. Over the years we have been very fortunate in having many talented musicians join MP, each of them with a passion for one thing – heavy metal. MP are all about performing our hearts out and keeping the true spirit of heavy metal alive.

So, Josh writes most of the music then?

Josh wrote everything on Procession, with the exception of “Red Baron”, which was written by our former guitarist Darren Navin.

Did Josh write Procession as a concept album? And if so what is the concept and what is the storyline?

There’s no intended concept really, just a collection of songs strung together with various themes. “A Stitch in Crime” was inspired by an episode of Columbo that Josh watched about murder, treachery and competition in the medical field. “To Build a Fire” is about the Jack London short story with the same title, it’s about being stranded and dying in the arctic. All in all, I would say that the concept of the album is a testament to the title “Procession” itself. It’s about how this record came together with the help, support and united effort of friends, fellow musicians and people from the Montreal music community.

The album was launched three months ago to widespread acclaim. Personally, I was hooked as soon as I heard it and I haven’t listened to power metal for quite some time. What has life in the Mad Parish camp been like since the album dropped?

Thank you. We are extremely happy that Procession is getting the recognition it deserves. We all worked very hard in making this album. Things have been getting a little busier and a lot more interesting, that’s for sure. Since the album’s release we have gained more of a serious following and have had the chance to play for larger crowds. Over the last few months we’ve opened for Grim Reaper, as well as Skid Row, so it definitely didn’t hurt that’s for sure.

What else can you tell me about the behind-the-scenes to this album? It has obviously had a lot of work put into it from everyone involved. Tell me about the time you all spent writing, preparing, recording and releasing this juggernaut of an LP?

The band spent a good month in pre-production before setting foot in the studio. We really wanted to make an album that would make us proud, something that could stand the test of time so to speak. There were many talented engineers involved behind the scenes in making this beast, such as Rod Shearer and Ryan Battistuzzi. Record producer and long-time friend Jonathan Cummings was a big part in the making of Procession, the man is a tone wizard and knew exactly what we were aiming for. He helped with song arrangement and getting us in top shape. JC was also there the whole step of the way to crack the whip in the studio. We spent a couple of weeks recording the ground tracks under his watchful eye at Breakglass Studios here in Montreal. The rest of the work was completed within the span of about a year. The most difficult parts were working within a tight budget without sacrificing quality, finding the right people for the job, and accommodating everyone’s busy schedules. Once everything was completed, mixed and mastered, we all just sort of collapsed and let out a sigh of relief. We released the album digitally as quickly as possible. Some of our long-time fans were starting to get a little impatient with us, haha!

I understand that you’re in the process of creating a video for lead single “A Stitch in Crime”. What can you tell me about that? And what does the band hope to achieve from the music video format?

This will be MP’s first music video and should be released on or around Halloween. We are very fortunate to be working with local director/videographer Amy Torok. We left the whole project in her hands and I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised to say the least. She had an ingenious vision and we just ran with it, and we’re extremely glad we did. This video will be epic. We are hoping this video will help to promote Procession as well as give our fans a little glimpse into the world of Mad Parish.

So what touring plans does Mad Parish have at the moment?

At the moment we are working hard to get funding for a North American/ US tour for Summer/Fall of 2015. Nothing is confirmed as of yet but we are all planning on hitting the road in the near future.

Sounds like a great reason for fans to get online and buy a copy of the album! Thanks again for chatting to me, Bobby. I just hope that I get a chance to see Mad Parish play live real soon.

Thanks again on behalf of everyone, Scott. Hopefully we will cross paths eventually.

Written and Compiled by Scott Andrews
Photography by Eric Brisson 
Eric Brisson Photography

About Scott Andrews 40 Articles
Scott is an alternative music punter since 1990 and performing musician since 1998, currently located in the most isolated capital city in the World; Perth, Western Australia. Omnivorous of music and addicted to the atmosphere of the gig, Scott writes from a love for music and online community. Check out his band Shock Octopus here.

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