The Messenger Birds
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The Messenger Birds

Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Rock Alternative




"The Messenger Birds Share "Big Brother" from Forthcoming EP"

The Messenger Birds are back with new music. Comprised of drummer Christopher Williams and guitarist/lead-vocalist Parker Bengry, the duo debuted with Everything and Nothing last year. The 5-song EP showcases their fuzzy punk and blues rock sensibilities, and they treated “Sunlight” to an acoustic version live at Third Man Records last November.

Now with “Big Brother”, the two continue to cultivate their sound with a more soulful touch while still shredding out. This track comes as the first single from their sophomore release The Good Years, slated to come out on August 13th. Bengry says most of their inspiration behind this release is fueled by global, local, and personal conflicts. “The Good Years is almost an ironic title in itself because there is so much wrong with the world. You’ve got to take what you’ve got and do with it what you can to make the best of it. Find some small way to help make this a better place.”

The Messenger Birds celebrate the release of their new EP at Detroit Duo Fest at The Loving Touch in Ferndale. CDs and shirts are available for pre-order here. - Assemble Sound

"Catching Up With The Messenger Birds - The Duo Behind Detroit Duo Fest"

Over the past few years, two piece acts have become more and more common. Maybe the idea started with The White Stripes and then became even more popular after bands like The Black Keys came out. Whatever the reason, time and time again two piece bands have proven that you don't have to have 4 or 5 people on stage to make awesome music!

Detroit is lucky enough to have some amazing duos, one of those is The Messenger Birds. Made up of Parker Bengry and Chris Williams, this band classifies themselves as a fuzz rock band. They're getting ready to release a new EP, The Good Years. The album will be released this Saturday, August 13th, but in the meantime you can check out their past releases here.

The first chance that you'll have to pick up this new album is at The Loving Touch during a fest that The Messenger Birds are putting on. They also caught on to the fact that there are some amazing duos in the Detroit music scene. In fact, there are so many of them that they are putting on a fest featuring only two pieces. Detroit Duo Fest will feature 9 duos on two stages. The lineup includes The Kickstand Band, The Boy Wonders, The Messenger Birds, Tart, YUM, Rogue Satellites, JUNGLEFOWL, Boogie Knights and The Sugar Bombs. These are all great bands that you've probably seen quite a bit and never really thought about the fact that they're making rockin' tunes with just two people.

We caught up with Parker and Chris to find out more about the fest and the new album. Check out what they had to say below.

Admission to Detroit Duo Fest is only $10 and tickets can be purchased in advance here. Doors are set to open at 7 p.m. and once the music starts, it won't stop until the end of the night. This is going to be an awesome fest that you won't want to miss! To get you even more pumped, check out The Messenger Birds' first song off their new EP below, then get your butt to The Loving Touch Saturday night! - Hip in Detroit

"Messenger Birds' Parker Bengry Reflects on the Nature of Duos"

If Parker Bengry and Chris Williams of the Messenger Birds are asked to describe their sound, the first thing they admit is that it's loud. But if audience members come up for post-concert chats with guitarist-singer Bengry or drummer Williams, the word they choose is “heavy.”

On their new EP, "The Good Years," the message suggested by their band's name arrives through lyrics and a sound that encompasses woeful blues rock, Americana protest tunes and even defiant punk. Still, during a recent interview, Bengry talked less about sending messages by way of songs and more about the nature of duos in the music world.

For Saturday's Detroit Duo Fest at the Loving Touch, Bengry and Williams, both 25, have curated a lineup of current duos, including the Kickstand Band, Tart and Rogue Satellites, to celebrate the growing prevalence of twosomes in music of all genres. Duos, Bengry noted, have to figure out a way to fill out their sound and give it the fullness of a four-piece or even a five-piece group. Each band in the Duo Fest lineup, he said, does something unique, including utilizing interesting instruments, gear or effects-pedals.

QUESTION: Before we talk about the Duo Fest, let's talk about how the Messenger Birds got started and the meaning behind the name.

ANSWER: (Williams) and I met 11 years ago when we were coming into our first year of high school at St. Mary’s in Orchard Lake. We met at a hockey camp and eventually realized that one of us played drums and one played guitar, so we just started jamming in his parent’s basement and recording everything onto cassettes. Now we practice out of my house in Auburn Hills. (Williams) lives in Rochester, so that’s just a 10-minute drive. About our name: While we jammed in high school and played together in jazz band, we didn’t actually form (Messenger Birds) until 2014. But it felt like, all along, it always came back to that brotherly bond that began at hockey camp, so it was that idea of a messenger bird always returning and coming full circle. Our first performance was in the Russell Industrial Center, part of an art show raising awareness about water rights. For Duo Fest, artist Kimberly Tomlin designed posters for sale to raise funds for the Flint Water Crisis, so that’s sort of a full circle thing. too.

Q: Compared with four-pieces, groups of your size have to approach everything, and think about everything, differently, when it comes to music.

A: Mainly, my conversation with other duo groups is: ‘Hey, how are you doing this?’ Or they ask us, ‘How are you doing that?’ What are you using to make that sound? What is it? The Rogue Satellites have eight different synthesizers going on, while I use an octave pedal and a looper split between a bass amp and a guitar amp. The Kickstand Band and Tart have drum machines. So everybody fills the space differently, but it’s all just great songwriting. For me, I’m constantly pressing around my pedal board and having to be very aware of changes coming up within the songs, whereas before, in other bands, I’d be just a guitarist or just doing backup vocals. Now I’m singing the whole time and switching off the pedals. It feels like I have to be three humans at once sometimes. It can be a whirlwind if I’m not properly prepared. But before every show, we get a good amount of practice. And we’ve had to, especially, for the new stuff (on "The Good Years"). There’s been a lot of prep going into our new live set.

Q: Until you split your amps, you used to just blast your guitar through a bass amp. Clearly you were drawn to the mean, guttural sound of that low-end bass. What's up with the loud, heavy intensity you’re aiming for?

A: Intensity is definitely what we’re aiming for more than anything. We want to be able to deliver a set that makes people walk away just feeling overwhelmed by what just hit them. It’s fuzz-rock; it’s blues rock. … But I don’t like trying to compare it to other bands when I describe it. We grew up listening to a lot of Dead Kennedys, some Rage Against the Machine and a lot of Brand New, even if it might not sound like they’re directly influencing our sound. It’s just the intensity. On ("The Good Years"), I’m definitely calling out some issues a bit more directly regarding the government or even the music industry or the status quo, just all the inconsistencies and hypocrisies in our world today. I want to write in a way that people can take away whatever message they want, but I will also, when I feel it, cut directly to the point.

Q: What about the challenges of pulling off a live set with limited personnel, and what about the collaborative bond between you and Williams?

A: (Performing) is therapeutic. It’s fun. It’s a release of all the tension or anger or anything that we’re dealing with at that moment. I wanted to expand the sound because looping the rhythm (bass) parts and then playing solos over it was harder to hear with just the bass amp. Plus, I was going to blow the cap on that amp if I didn’t split it. I needed to give the high end and low end more space, even if they’re both still coming out of each amp. It’s much more blended now. And also, it’s just so easy for me to jive with (Williams) because we’ve been playing together for so long. ... (Williams) is one of the goofiest people you could meet. He’s often the driving force behind any silliness in this band. And when you put the two of us together, the conversation’s basically a montage of obscure references, almost like an "SNL" sketch.

Q: What inspired the title of "The Good Years"?

A: We just wanted more this time. We wanted more fuzz, more grit, just a little bit more in your face. It’s an ironic title because these are supposed to be the good years for a lot of people, you know, in their 20s, and it just seems like they aren’t, for various reasons. Especially in this day and age, you see more people just complaining about their lives on the Internet rather than doing anything about it. So I think that’s also where we’re starting from with this EP, saying: "Well, what are we going to do about that? These can be the good years if you make them the good years instead of choosing to just sit around and complain." So, yeah, definitely going into a bit more of a protest vibe this time.

Detroit Duo Fest

7 p.m. Sat.

The Loving Touch

22634 Woodward, Ferndale



About the lineup: In addition to the Messenger Birds, the Detroit Duo Fest bill includes the Kickstand Band, YUM, Boogie Knights, the Boy Wonders, the Sugar Bombs, Junglefowl, Tart and Rogue Satellites. - Detroit Free Press

"(Premiere) The Messenger Birds Stream "The Good Years""

Back in July, Detroit two-piece rock outfit The Messenger Birds released “Big Brother” as the lead single from their upcoming sophomore record, The Good Years. Now they’ve offered up a stream of the entire EP ahead of its release this Saturday.

Album artwork by Kimberly Rose Tomlin.

To open the record, it’s just vocalist Parker Bengry and his guitar on “Pay No Mind”. This rugged tune sets the tone for what’s to come on the rest of the EP. Moving into the title track and “Big Brother”, drummer Christopher Williams joins in and the two begin to really shine as a duo. Their brand of blues rock is substantive, the level of charisma these two demonstrate is rare for such a fledgling band. “Everybody Knows It” cranks up the grit and fuzz to go out with a bang.

The Good Years is essentially a call to action. You can remain complacent to the turmoil in your life, or you can challenge it and rise above it. It’s your choice to live out the good years.

The Messenger Birds are slated to play this year’s Detroit Duo Fest at The Loving Touch in Ferndale, accompanied by The Kickstand Band, Rogue Satellites, Tart, YUM, and others. This show serves as the release party for The Good Years, so if you liked what you heard above, mark your calendar to come celebrate with them. - Assemble Sound


Still working on that hot first release.




"What you hear is a duo that in the same vein as rockers Royal Blood manages to create a sound so huge and immersive, you think you're hearing a four-piece at the least. They are raucous live, with a raw stage presence and a fuzzy garage rock sound reminiscent of Nirvana's live On the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah album. In fact, The Messenger Birds often give off a '90s alternative rock vibe, but in a thoroughly modern way. Every song the band has is solid, but "Everybody Knows It" and "Big Brother" stand out as examples of their absolute best work." -Debbie Miszak, Detroit Metro Times

Band Members