Parachute Musical
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Parachute Musical

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Parachute Musical finds unlikely inspiration"

It was inside Fido’s bathroom that Parachute Musical’s Josh Foster found the words that would become the name of his band’s sophomore album and title track.

“I was in the bathroom stall, I was reading the graffiti, and I saw one that said, ‘Everything is working out fine in some town,’” said Foster, who drives the rock quartet with his piano playing and songwriting. “I thought, ‘Wow, that’s potent,’ and I stewed over it for a long time.”

Foster was fresh off four years of dealing with the collapse of his family — the aftermath of his parents’ divorce, his mother’s downward spiral into alcoholism and the dissolution of his relationship with his fiancé.

The stranger’s scribbles seemed to take a jab at both his heart and his sense of humor. And, ultimately, it was the perfect phrase for summing up his collection of songs of family turmoil, addiction, mistakes, pain and lessons learned.

“It’s kind of a sarcastic reminder that not everything is working out — it’s a facade — and if you think you can pick up and run away from your troubles you are wrong. You have to face them,” Foster said. “A lot of this record is about me making a big life decision to move to Nashville. The big moral is you can move anywhere and your stuff will follow you. I moved everywhere — to Jacksonville a couple of times, I took all these vacations to Utah and Costa Rica, I blew my life savings I’d saved my whole life for [his fiancé and him] to get a condo. I thought it was going to make me forget. But I was broke, beat up and I realized my problems were right there waiting for me.”

In the album, which debuts Thursday with a show at Mercy Lounge, Foster brings closure to “that hell.” The songs have literal, in-your-face lyrics that say “everything but people’s names,” yet at times material of hardship is coupled with light-hearted bouncy music.

Foster’s backed by the rhythm-obsessed drummer Ben Jacoby, the nonchalant genius of bass player Kyle Cornett and dynamic rock guitarist Tom Gilbert. The album was produced by Derek Garten.

The band’s commitment to telling Foster’s stories is what makes the record so powerful, Jacoby said.

“I wholeheartedly believe the best songs and the best performances are a group of people conveying one message. When you have four people conveying four messages it’s hard to connect,” Jacoby said. “I know Josh, I understand his background. It’s easy for me to provide the emotional backdrop for those songs.”

For the song, “Everything is Working Out Fine in Some Town,” Foster’s vocals take a more classical sound against the sweeping background of a 17-person orchestra; then in songs like “Jacksonville” and “Back the Same,” the band’s pop influences shine through while “One More Song” has Foster screaming that he’s done lamenting what happened and with his futile attempts to fix things with music marked by a harder rock edge and striking drum beats.

A dissonant four-note theme ties the record together, creating a non-linear timeline, Foster said. It’s an ominous, odd melody that rolls the listener through the 10 songs. There’s a clear end to the album, but Foster never really resolves the theme except in “Flashback ‘83.” It’s meant as a message to his mom.

“I ended up writing a bunch of songs [in the first self-titled album] that in a roundabout way hurt her. That wasn’t my intention. It wasn’t my mom’s fault — she was sick and I couldn’t comprehend that. I sang them for me to get my stuff out. I don’t live with any guilt but I know she does. She’s made her amends to me. We are way past it. ‘Flashback’ is my attempt to show her that it’s put to bed. It’s the end-all, be-all.”

While Parachute Musical’s material may sound dark and heavy, the band’s name reveals a different side. Foster was set on having “musical” in the title to reflect his childhood love of Broadway plays. His family took regular trips to New York and indulged the youngster.

“Andrew Lloyd Weber was my dog,” Foster said.

Parachute was tacked to reflect the band’s penchant for genre shifting among styles, jazz, Latin and poly-rhythmic music.

“Parachute encompasses a large space. It’s a big mass. I think that fit our sound so well. Therefore it was born,” Foster said.

For the CD release party, Parachute Musical will be joined by Heypenny and Modern Skirts.
- The City Paper

"Orchestra amplifies Parachute Musical's 'Town'"

Numerous Nashville indie-rock acts have flirted with string and horn arrangements on their recordings, but it would be quite the understatement to say that Parachute Musical's song "Everything is Working Out Fine in Some Town" is a cut above.

Leader Josh Foster spent four months arranging the song for an orchestra of 20 string, brass and woodwind players.

A stroke of luck earned him the charitable aid of Jocelyn Sprouse and Alison Gooding, a former and a current member of the Nashville Symphony. Foster took us through his long, intense process of getting "Town" from his head to music sheets to disc.

When you first wrote the song, did you always have an orchestra in mind?

Absolutely. The day that the song was written, I decided that I wanted it to have a full-blown orchestra, so I immediately started scouting players because I knew we didn't have the budget to pay for the amount and caliber of players that I wanted. I knew I had to start finding the right people right away.

How did you go about finding the string players?

I started looking on Belmont's Web site and Craiglist. I composed a list of about 250 people and started e-mailing. The day before the string session, I had, like, six people quit on me.

I basically just lost it and I called a string contractor. I asked this kind woman if she would help me find names of (players).

She charges for that sort of thing, but she heard the desperation in my voice, I guess, and she gave me a bunch of names. Everyone replied, and everyone played on that session. They were all (typically) $350-an-hour players.

What were the recording sessions like?

The string session was the most hectic day. It was the most players in the room at one time, and they were on the clock. They got there at 12, and I told them we'd be done by 2.

We hadn't even finished the first song by 1, and the power went out at 1:30. We had to backtrack, and by the kindness of their hearts, they stayed a little longer for the same amount of money.

We finished up within three hours.

What was it like having to conduct professional classical musicians?

It was very scary. . . . To conduct somebody of the caliber of Jocelyn or Alison, that was terrifying. But they knew that I knew what I wanted. That's why I think Jocelyn and the people like her were so integral, because they're masters of their instruments.

All I would have to say was "I want it to sound like this," and I would sing it to her and mimic it, and she would say, "Oh, he wants it more 'tenuto'," or "he wants it more slurred," and solved a lot of the problems.

Is this something you'll consider taking on again any time soon?

Um, no. I don't think I'm going to do this again. . . . When I did this song, I wanted to do it so traditional, to have that traditional orchestral feel.

But I don't think there will be another song that will call for that (laughs).
- The Tennessean

"A Long Strange Trip"

More than a few (thousand) bands have relocated to Nashville to chase their serious shot at a musical career.

The equation, typically, is simple: Band members pack up and leave town "A" for Nashvegas, for better or worse. The story of how Parachute Musical made its way to Music City is different, though, and a bit like one of their heady orchestral piano-pop arrangements: rewarding, but requiring a number of pieces to fall precisely into place.

The band started in Maryland, with singer/pianist Josh Foster at the helm and guitarist Tom Gilbert and drummer Ben Jacoby among its rotating cast of members. Eventually, Jacoby left town to live in Milwaukee and Gilbert moved to Tennessee to attend MTSU. Foster was left with a group of sidemen who were all committed full-time to another band.

The turning point came in the summer of 2006, when Foster attended a Jamie Cullum concert at The 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

"He had that sold-out club in the palm of his hand," Foster recalls. "I knew that Parachute would never be able to attain that in the group setting we had."

That night, after returning home from the concert, Foster text-messaged Gilbert, who had been urging him to come to Nashville, and booked a flight.

The day Foster flew into town, Jacoby was flying out of it, having just checked out the city. The two soon began talking on the phone and agreed to move to Nashville from their respective cities to re-form Parachute Musical with Gilbert.

They arrived in Nashville in the first months of 2007, recruited Gilbert's MTSU friend Kyle Cornett on bass and headed straight into the local club scene.

"As soon as they got down here, it was work time," Gilbert says.

A good chunk of the band's first year in Nashville was spent recording its new full-length debut album, Everything is Working Out Fine in Some Town, which took more than a year to record.

Foster says his expectations for Town have a lot to do with why its recording took so long, and he makes the breadth of his ambition known immediately. On the opener and title track, he goes from being backed solely by thoughtful piano plinks to a staggering 20-piece orchestra — creating one of the most elaborate and expansive pieces the local independent rock scene has produced in recent memory.

The song's arrangement and the acquisition of its 20 players were huge undertakings for Foster, who managed to wrangle together a string section that included a former first chair of the Nashville Symphony.

Town's seven brass players came out of an on-tour run-in with a member of Auburn University's marching band. She was able to round up six more musicians to travel to Nashville to record with the band.

In a spirit of Southern generosity, the band is letting 150 fans attend the concert for free if they e-mail the group or send a message on MySpace.

"We just need people to take a chance on us," Gilbert says.

After the release show, the band will hit the road with local rockers Heypenny for a June tour. Foster says they've reserved June as an "off" month, craving the kind of downtime they haven't had since the band first re-formed in Nashville.
- All the Rage

"Perfect pop songs"

"The quartet crafts perfect pop songs, with a bouncy jazz-inspired sound to go with Foster's stories. "


"One of the most elaborate and expansive piece..."

"One of the most elaborate and expansive pieces [Everything Is Working Out Fine In Some Town] the local independent rock scene has produced in recent memory."
-Dave Paulson, All the Rage
Nashville, TN

- All The Rage

"Parachute Drops In To Nashville"

"Parachute Musical is among the rare pop bands where the piano defines and drives the direction, rather than the guitar. But Foster and Gilbert have a chemistry that's featured in fluid, challenging and structurally unusual tunes. Their music is personal and intense, a reflection of such Foster favorites as Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright, and his desire to pen tunes that recall events from his life."
Cover Story, 9/13/07 - Nashville City Paper

"The band is becoming one of Nashville's best kept secrets"

"The band is becoming one of Nashville's best kept secrets."
-Sean Phipps, 7/20/07 - The Chattanooga Times Free Press

"Parachute Musical Shares Their Recording Process"

"If there's another indie-rock band with a conducting-capable member among its ranks, we'd love to meet them. Bananas."
- Nicole Keiper, The Tennessean, 11/12/07 - The Tennessean


+Kill It Cut It Down [full length] - Summer 2011
+New Love [single] - February 14, 2011
+Little Did You Know [single] - August 3rd, 2010
+No Comfort [single] - January 8th, 2010
+Seasons Greetings [EP] - December 2008
+Everything Is Working Out Fine In Some Town [full length] - June 2008
+Parachute Musical [full length] - 2005



Parachute Musical isn't what it used to be. Since it's conception in 2003, the Nashville-based, piano-fronted indie rock quartet is building a better city with perfect song-craft, highly energetic performances, and a hearty work ethic. Since the sold-out show for their sophomore release, Everything is Working Out Fine in Some Town (2008), these charmingly handsome brunettes have been touring the U.S. coast to coast for four years now and have built up quite a loyal following in the process. It's the good looks really, though.

D.C. natives Josh Foster (vocals/piano), Tom Gilbert (guitar/vocals), and Ben Jacoby (drums) deposited themselves into Nashville just a year before releasing Everything is Working Out, and work out it did. The guys settled in place after discovering Tennessee music man Andrew Samples (bass/vocals). Foster's soaring voice and detailed compositions are the perfect home for Gilbert's unique, artistic style on guitar, and Samples' driving bass sparks a fire under Jacoby, setting ablaze a well-matched rhythm section.

New songs are now pouring out of them! In 2010 and into early 2011, Parachute Musical put out three single releases, "No Comfort", "Little Did You Know" and "New Love".

The new sound is a step ahead in the right direction. Foster's lyrics remain heartfelt while the music becomes stronger. It is original and well-rehearsed; they're so tight you'd swear they were all wearing girdles. These guys are having fun, no doubt about it, and there isn't another band in Nashville more ready to be taken seriously.

Look out for Parachute Musical's third full length album to release in Summer 2011. The record is produced by Jim Wirt (Jack's Mannequin, The Rocket Summer, Incubus, Fiona Apple) and was completely fan-funded after the band raised $17,000 via