By BRUCE DENNILL
Outside The Lines, a locally produced online series, explores the life and career of Parable Fifteen. During Season One, ten episodes focus on what it means to be a rock band recording an album in South Africa in 2022.
In a time when physical music is scarce and social media rules the music world, footage shows everything that goes into recording, writing, and producing a new album.
For years, the band struggled to get recognition, but in the last two years, Parable Fifteen has achieved success. In the middle of the pandemic, they released the lyric video for a song they had recorded on YouTube, In less than two months, the video received more than 60,000 YouTube views and over 20,000 Facebook views. After releasing their third full-length album Bioluminescence, the band had five songs chart in the top 10 of the SA top 40 charts and three songs in the top 50 of 2021. Frontman Marc Skarda fills in the details.
What is your first and most important goal as a musician – to tell a story (literally via lyrics or metaphorically via music); to inspire an emotion; to lift a mood; to get people moving? Perhaps it’s something else, or a mixture of these?
In our music, we strive to tell a story, which is why we are called Parable Fifteen – parables are stories with principles. We want our lyrics to have a message that people can relate to, and most of the lyrics on our upcoming album Within The Margin Of Error are written as stories, showing the band’s depth and vulnerability.
Does your style reflect that of the artists you love or respect most?
Yes! Our biggest artist influences are The Foo Fighters, U2 and Goo Goo Dolls to name a few.
Do you write music, and if so, what sort of mix is involved in terms of discipline and inspiration?
I write and produce the band’s music. One of my biggest disciplines is to push the boundaries of production and songwriting every time we go to the recording studio. Besides taking inspiration from real life, heartache, hope, and emotions, I also incorporate production influences from music icons into the songs that are within the Parable Fifteen framework, sound and direction.
Name an artist or band who is, in your view, criminally underrated, and explain what it is about them or their sound that excites you?
Choosing just one is difficult, there are so many. But maybe Daughtry. He deserves more recognition than he has received for his unique voice, his music and clever songwriting skills, as well as his world-class production and quality.
How do you keep up or improve your skill levels? Is it all about practice, or are there other factors that help you to get better at and understand more about your craft?
We as a band are continuously pushing our limits and boundaries. We never want to be static. We want to grow and learn and to do that we push ourselves as individuals in our music and as a band. We have evolved over our 12 years from acoustic music to modern country, country with a rock sound and finally the rock music you hear today. It’s more than just practising to be the best; it’s about adjusting the mindset to always be the best we can be. To always push our limits and to push our growth.
What is your most recent release? What is the story behind it – the genesis of the songs, the people involved, and the muse behind its creation?
Within The Margin Of Error, our fourth full-length album, will feature our latest single Tattoos, released in 2021. It was inspired by how, on this journey of life, we suffer. There are highs and lows, and each experience leaves us with a scar, like a tattoo of who we are. We view each scar as a lesson to learn and grow from. Just like a tattoo imprinted on our bodies for a lifetime, scars, moments and memories will be with us forever. Ultimately, we’re grateful for how each scar has made us into who we are today.