What does yr band name mean?
The convergence of parallel thought. Maybe. In Latin, it has something to do with birth.

What do y'all sound like?
Nobody else. Fucked up pop-music. Post post-punk. A touch of shoegaze and goth. Perhaps a bit of prog. We're not naming influences. We like a wide range of music, but we don't copy nobody.

Who y'all be?
Eriq - vox, gtr, bass, synth, noise
M - vox, gtr, bass, synth
Tommi - Drums & Percussion

How's it done?
We make music that is real. It comes from the three of us collaboratively. We use real instruments and machines. Our SUNN amplifiers are loud. The computer is merely the fancy reel to reel tape deck. No autotune, no sample replacement, no rhythmic correction, no post-programming crap. We don't fuck around with fake shit. We do it old school, in a small room, surrounded by metal bands (and the constant noise of Dr. Weird), a drunk janitor, and the crackheads out on Turk street.

What's this Crystal Venom record?
Crystal Venom is our 5th album release since 2008. It is our first album with M, who joined the band in late 2011. She and Eriq each sing half of the songs, and there's a lot of vocal interplay between them on this record. The album is a bit rawer sonically, as while we pushed ourselves musically, we didn't want to over-polish the songs with too much production. We kept it natural, and even recorded a couple of them live in single takes. There's definitely a pop feel to some of the tracks (Cry Wolf, Playing with Fire), but we're moving more towards weirdness and being more experimental (Going Galt, I Genderfuck). Thematically, the songs cover such topics as: super lame ex-boyfriends, pre-teen abortion, inverted objectivism, the corruption of the music industry, drug addiction, gender-queer identity, and something about a Black Thumb.





PARAE 2.13

Some context: We are PARAE from San Francisco CA. The band is currently comprised of Eriq, Tommi, and Maryann. Our new rock opera ORESTEIA is primarily an Eriq and Tommi record, with Maryann and eight of our friends helping out on vocals. Our debut album with Maryann as a full time member of the band - CRYSTAL VENOM - is in production and will be out in late Spring.

So a ridiculous rock opera? And it's based on an Ancient Greek text and full of old english phrases and dated linguistics?

Back in the summer of 2011 the band, as it was - Eriq, Tommi, and Jimo - basically imploded as Jimo unceremonious quit to pursue other endeavors. We managed to salvage the record we had been making, which became POST-CAMP / NONPLUSSED? I suppose it's a common experience for a band to fall apart or for a band-member to leave right as their best material is coming together and are perhaps gaining some momentum in their local scene. Unfortunately, we had what we felt was a great album and were unable to properly promote or tour behind it. What would you do? Get involved in a local theater project and start writing a Greek Rock Opera.

ORESTEIA began as a project for John Wilk at City College San Francisco. I was in an acting class and he mentioned off hand that he was planning a production of Aeschylus' The Oresteia, and that it would combine song, dance, and multimedia. When he said he needed someone to help him with the music, I casually offered up my services. Two months later, after his initial choice fell completely off the face of the earth, he hit me up.

Tommi and I had only two months to create what would be 12 vocal pieces, and 11 instrumentals for John's adaption, entitled ORESTEIA FRACTUM. The vocal pieces were all written very quickly, in the course of about 3 weeks. The instrumentals came together over the following two weeks. We then refined what we had and recorded proper versions, just barely finishing in time for tech rehearsals in the first week of March 2012. The resulting show, though enjoyable and a blast to experience, was a bit of a narrative muddle, as it only adapted the the first 60% of The Oresteia. Already by this time I had decided that I wanted to expand the material into a rock opera adapting the full text. Nearly every vocal piece from ORESTEIA FRACTUM was reworked or re-recorded, and the instrumental dance pieces were either discarded or rewritten with lyrics. Additionally, at a less vigorous pace we wrote another dozen vocal pieces. All said in done, the project ended up with 28 vocal tracks, and 4 instrumentals.

I find opera, and especially rock operas simply ridiculous by nature, and often find them narratively incomprehensible. One solution that I felt would benefit our attempt would be having each character sung by a different vocalist. Thus we recruited a few of our friends, such as Buffie Roseanne, Heidi Alexander (The Sandwitches), Violent Vickie, San Cha, Tyler Holmes, our former bandmate Jimo, and our new bandmate Maryann.

I've always enjoyed Greek Mythology, having read a great deal of it as a child, however I was not familiar with the story of The Oresteia at the onset of this project. Using a 19th century translation that I found online for free, and the vast resources of Wikipedia and the Internets, I ended up delving head first into the world of Ancient Argos and finding it filled with vengeance, matricide, incest, sexism, and the origins of the modern judicial system. Adapting the text into lyrics came quite naturally, as I pulled from the text, variations in character mythos, and added a few thick dabs of imagination.

My goal was to interpret the story honestly, while also giving it a feminist update. Much of the ideals present in Aeschylus' text have a misogynistic bent to them, and I felt it important to not dilute these aspects, but instead offer a subtle and fair critique to the proceedings. I felt Queen Clytemnaestra ought be presented as more sympathetic (rather than straight out villainous). That Princess Electra, as an accomplice to murder (though she goes unpunished), was nearly as culpable as her brother Orestes, (and I chose to have her dispose of Aegisthus herself). And finally I felt that the Furies ought to have more nuance, as they are truly the one character in the story who manage to learn something by the end and transcend the cycle of blood feud and violence. At it's core, this is a story about the meaning of justice and asks the question of how does one right an un-rightable wrong without creating greater damage in the process? Is it possible to divine judgement without the influence of personal bias? Do constructs of civilization actually work to improve to public good, or do they merely hold inherent chaos at bay?

-Eriq / PARAE
Feb 3, 2013