Maine trio We Demand Parachutes have honed an engaging nostalgic pop-punk sound injected with the band’s own modern take on a wide range of genres. The result offers up a fusion of punk, rock, synthwave, pop, EDM and more in a sound they describe as “energetic, reflective and cathartic.”
The trio of Kevin McCord (vocals and guitars), Seth Richardson (bass and programming) and Ben Shumaker (drums) grew up playing music in bands together in Maine but went their separate ways after high school. In 2017, Kevin was deployed in Africa as a Green Beret, Seth was working as sound engineer for artists like Shallou, The Knocks, Hayden James and Sofi Tukker, while Ben was finishing a degree in Audio Engineering.
And Kevin tells us: “Everybody was successful and happy, still, we all felt the call of the muse and were somewhat unable to answer. As friends reminiscing, we began a conversation and started spontaneously sending song ideas and demos back and forth online. The conversations quickly got more serious, and we started writing our first album between deployments and tours.”
The trio set about honing a sound that sets them apart from other pop-punk bands. As Kevin describes: “I think there’s a bit of a nostalgic pop-punk vibe to the music that comes in the form of the big hooks that we grew up on. We are aiming to modernize our sound by injecting our own take and drawing from a multitude of genres that inspire us all individually. The end goal is a new take on the genre but with the throwback flavors we all love.”
Our latest taste of this is new single Lost Her Mind, which opens up with engaging, slightly dark vocals “I had a girl and she died, She couldn’t stand me and took a high dive, Told all my friends that she lost her mind, Just another one along for the ride” over light instrumentals. The vocals intensify through the second verse as it picks up pace before a dreamy, synthy chorus.
A driving bassline kicks in and supports intense guest vocals from Olivia Castriota, which feed into another synthwavey chorus. That drops into light instrumentals vocals “Thanks for the drugs and having sex with me, I know you’re obsessed Katie, Oh I never wanna take you back.” A cool piercing guitar lick takes over as it builds to a more powerful ending.
On the track, Kevin told us: “We’ve been super pumped about all the feedback and love we have received so far. We love seeing everyone sharing on IG, Facebook, Twitter and in stories! We had a successful couple of weeks in Release Radar and Discover Weekly on Spotify as well, which was exciting as hell! We just hit 10,000 streams and are still climbing; people also really seem to love the video which we are stoked about!
“I think this track is a bit of a departure for us as we lean more into our synthwave influences. This song is also our first ever feature and we are so stoked to have Olivia Castriota on the track. She absolutely kills it!” Check it out in the video below:
That follows on from their edgier previous single 151, which jumps straight into an engaging opening chorus. Light instrumentals support vocals that build towards another chorus, and the pace eventually drops into a light dreamy section that gives way to a final catchy chorus. Check it out in the video below:
Those are the latest two of six singles released since 2019, including the catchy Ketamine and funky Vacationland.
As mentioned, the We Demand Parachutes sound is inspired by a wide range of music. As they explain: “We try to draw influences from an array of musical artists. Seth has toured as an engineer with a bunch of EDM and pop acts and those influences really guide his ear for synth-wave. Ben has lately been really into The Killers and Hot Mulligan. I’m a die-hard Don Broco fan and collectively we all love anything alternative and pop-punk.
“I think we do try to write in our own style but draw from all of our favorite influences and we think/hope this creates a unique take on the genre. We are constantly trying to broaden our ears and our group chat is full of new artist and album recommendations.”
And on what inspires them to write music, Kevin adds: “Typically, me or Seth will develop an initial song idea in isolation and then bring it to the group. We’ve been such good friends for such a long time, and we tend to draw inspiration from our collective experiences to inspire our stories.
“We try to be very open-minded and open to exploration and revision. Most songs write themselves when we get together, we have a great kind of mind-meld and genuinely enjoy creating. Our songs span all kinds of topics from joking about ex-girlfriends who are trying to kill us… to more serious themes of addiction and losing friends.”
The band have just finished up a couple of shows, have more music coming our way soon and release new behind the scenes vlogs every week in their WDP in the WILD YouTube series.
And Kevin adds: “If you are reading this and you haven’t yet heard our sound, our music is available on all streaming platforms! We love to engage and create a community with all our fans, so please come say hi to us on social media, leave a comment or share a song!”