After releasing their first full length album on cassette, ‘Composition Fantastic’, and swimming through successful shows around San Antonio, The Parallelephants were glowing with good energy when I met up with the quartet for an interview at Punta Del Cielo Café on the far north side of San Antonio. Through a lifelong pursuit in music composition, Thom Sykes and Aldo Lazcano have found a space within the thriving local music scene bellowing out wide-ranging groovy post-pop funk that sounds way beyond their years.
Sobre Sound: Why don't we start off by introducing yourself and what instrument you play.
-"My name is Aldo, I'm twenty three- I play bass and synth."
-"My name is Thom Sykes I play drums, and sing and I produce the music for Parallelephants."
-"I'm Danny, I play guitar and I am twenty two."
-"My name is Ana I am twenty-four and I play the drum machine and the synthesizer."
Sobre Sound: I want to talk about the transitional period that you guys had because, correct me if I'm wrong, but prior to this project you guys had another band when you guys were much younger and still in high school named So Sweet The Hour, can you give me a timeline of what was going on leading up to where you guys are today. How did you meet Ana and Danny? Would you like to catch us up...?
Aldo: I think slowly we all [separately] started to realize that we were growing up both musically and personally. Danny actually played with us a little bit in So Sweet The Hour near the end, we tried to continue on with SSTH with the "idea" of Parallelephants but it didn't really work out and we all just took a break. Personally, Thom and I didn't really speak to each other for about a year- I still kept in touch with Danny for a little bit and randomly one day Thom just came over to my house around eleven pm and didn't end up leaving until five the next morning and we both realized we really wanted to make music again...
Thom: Towards the end of SSTH I found myself trying to find parts where I could sing because that's what I really wanted to do, and I wanted to write songs too but I didn't think I had that skill. So I just thought 'Oh, I'm just a drummer...' not that there is anything wrong with being a drummer but I felt like that's all I could do, towards the end of [SSTH] it I would try to sneak in parts like 'oh I'll sing here- and play piano here' and I found myself trying to do more and the band dynamic didn't work out like that- that's another reason we kind of drifted away from SSTH.
Sobre Sound: How did you meet Ana?
Thom: Aldo was working at 2-step Cantina.
Aldo: Well, actually I tried for like three days to find the time to talk to her about it during work but I just kept getting in trouble or something wouldn't work out and finally I explained that I was starting a new band and if she was interested in playing. Maybe a week after she came over for practice and she even started recording some tracks we had.
Sobre Sound: How would you describe your music?
Aldo: I think it's funk, soul- but someone told me at our show that it sounded like love-making music and I think that's a really good compliment
Sobre Sound: I would kind of describe it as sultry...it's so good!
Thom: I haven't heard that one yet...
Sobre Sound: Yeah at the show I was vibing out I was thinking this is really good there is not a band that sounds like you guys in San Antonio.
Thom: Thank you, thank you.
Sobre Sound: Yeah it's danceable.
Anna: This is my first time in a band, it's definitely some funk we can't stop dancing when we play.
Sobre Sound: What kind of music inspires y'all? Individually, collectively, whatever works.
Thom: All of our tastes are so different...I think the taste we have closest in the band is Aldo and I mainly because we grew up in the same kind of environment and area so we are inspired by the same things, those things being funk, R&B, Marvin Gaye, Prince...huge influence.
Sobre Sound: Do you write your own lyrics? Are you [Thom] the mastermind behind the poetry?
Aldo: Thom is the main songwriter but we partner pretty well.
Sobre Sound: Anything else in the works?
Thom: We will be releasing a new music video and a single will be released through iTunes."
Sobre Sound: When is your next show and what are the plans for late spring/summer?"
Thom: We don't have anything booked yet we have some shows coming up in May and yeah we just self-released our full-length."