The only way Jason Parkes could return to the spotlight was with a muddy English accent and the help of some whiskey.
It’s all part of the persona he has created for himself as the frontman of Proper Man.
“I was writing (music) to The Cure and The Psychedelic Furs while trying to create a new wave style … my voice wasn’t working so I had more whiskey. Then this accent came out to take me to this character. I was able to shut off my brain and then I was running to do vocal tracks,” said Parkes.
The band named his alter ego Norm, after his grandfather.
“I had to go to a different place to make that happen, I need to leave who I am as a winemaker and how I used to be as a musician to create the music I wanted to.”
The winemaker at The Hatch Winery, Burnt Timber Winery, Indigenous World Winery and Perseus has always approached life in his own way and then reaps the rewards. Proper Man is no exception.
“The goal is to combine the music with wine, we want to have that combination,” said Parkes. “Pairing wine with music and not cheese, that’s what sings. I am trying to find a way, I don’t know if I can pull it off.”
In a house on a winery, with his friend and bandmate Petri Nieminen Parkes returned to the microphone for the first time in 15 years. Parkes had been part of a punk rock band, Glasshead that ascended to its own fame that he credits to the band’s demise.
The rest of the band, Nori Wentworth, Travis Saunders, and Massimo Campoli then quickly came together in 2015 and they became five men chasing their dream.
“We are already a successful because we get another kick at the can,” said Parkes.
Recently the band released a music video for their song Kleptomaniac, the theatrical piece is set in the 1920s and features landmarks from the Okanagan including the Kettle Valley Steam Railway and the S.S. Sicamous that sits on Penticton’s shore.
The video was born through support of friends, family and locals that believe in them said Parkes.
“A lot of people put a lot of effort into the video, in the real world it would have cost $100,000 but we didn’t have to spend that,” he said.
Parkes says that the band has lots of new music coming for fans coming in the near future.
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