Over the years writing for Lemonade Magazine, I have had the pleasure of interviewing a number of artists, including the talented Stefanie Parnell. She was a solo artists then, but now has teamed up with Chris See Hoye to form a new duo, Bound and Tethered. Their sound is a country/folk vibe and focuses on wonderful lyrics and harmonies. Also, thanks to their generosity and graciousness, we are proud to debut their first official video! So without further ado, I introduce to you: Bound and Tethered. Enjoy!
Congratulations on your new endeavor! From your first single, it sounds like a match made in heaven.
First off, how did you guys meet and what made you decide to create Bound and Tethered?
Stefanie: Chris and myself hung out within the same music circle of friends and I actually played with Chris several times singing backup vocals in his previous band, Ben Cardilli Band/Dullboy, before we ever really spoke to each other or had a real conversation. Back in the fall of 2013, I got asked to sing at a wedding and needed to find a backup guitarist. Chris was that guitarist and from that, we had an instant musical connection and we decided to pursue it.
It always seems to work that way, doesn’t it? So I have spoken with Stefanie quite a bit over the years, tell our readers a little bit more about yourself, Chris.
Chris: I started playing guitar at an early age and for as long as I can remember, music was a big part of my life. I’ve played in several bands over the years playing different styles of music. But this is my first time playing roots-y/country music, even though I’d grown up watching CMT and loved country music. I’ve sung all my life, but only in the privacy of my room because I never thought I had the voice to be a decent singer. It was Stef who gave me the confidence to sing in front of people and brought out the most in my singing. I’m happiest when I’m listening to and playing music, whether it’s playing for people or just sitting alone in my room strumming a guitar.
How did you come up with the band name?
Chris: We had been playing and writing songs together for a little over a year before we seriously considered starting this band. As anyone in a band would tell you, it is extremely difficult to come up with a band name that everyone is comfortable with, and that truly represents the music. We spent months racking our brains trying to think of a name, then one day Stef just said “What about Bound and Tethered?” which is one of the first songs we wrote. I’m skeptical about bands whose name is one of their songs, but thought, “Who cares, it’s a great name. If Black Sabbath can do it, why shouldn’t we?”
Bad Company is another! I hear a lot more of a country influence in your first single, what made you decide to go in that direction?
Chris: I remember talking to Stefanie well before we became close friends and her telling me that she didn’t really even like country. Then a few years later I saw her play one of her original songs, “Make Things Right”, and it was TOTALLY country, and I loved it.
Stefanie: And that’s why he’s my best friend! Yeah, it’s the weirdest thing… I wasn’t fond of country music at all about four years ago and then I heard the group, “The Civil Wars” and immediately was drawn into their sound – I was attracted to the country/folk aspect of their music. But once I started showing interest in country, it wasn’t as if I was forcing myself to make country–influenced music, it just sort of happened. It’s funny because since I started performing at the age of 13, people would tell me I had a country twang in my voice. When Chris and I started writing together, this type of music was what naturally flowed out of us.
With your new EP coming out in two weeks, can you tell us a little bit about what inspired it and what should fans expect?
Stefanie: At the point when Chris came into my life – as a friend and someone to play music with, looking back now I realize that I needed him. I’ve released two solo projects in the past, which I am super proud of, but I always felt like something was missing. But this new direction with Chris has really showed a side of me that I’ve been trying to express for as long as I’ve been writing music.
I think that what Chris and I have – on and off of stage – is something really special and raw. Not only has a good friendship come out of working with him, but I feel the true Stefanie Parnell – as an artist, is finally revealed to everyone. It’s kind of a scary thought but the best feeling at the same time. To answer your question, I guess a big part of what inspired the EP is Chris, the music I make with him and the expression through our vocals and harmonies.
Chris: When Stef and I first got together to play, we both felt an immediate chemistry and friendship that made us want to pursue a musical partnership. What can be expected is two individuals who love music and who are expressing their love for music. In terms of our future, lots of shows and lots of music.
I know that Stefanie has done a lot of solo work in the past, so what is it like to collaborate on an official project like this?
Stefanie: I think that a project like this is a good change. Throughout my whole career, I’ve always been someone who doesn’t need the spotlight at all times. I’ve always tried to have at least one person with me up on stage to be able to share the experience. It’s so much nicer getting off stage and going over the performance with someone who’s in it just as much and feels the same about the music. Even off stage, it’s so refreshing to write with Chris and bounce ideas off of each other. I think some of my best writing has come out of this project. He brings something out of me, that’s for sure.
I’m sure not everything goes smoothly when being creative, what challenges did you two run into when developing the songs?
Chris: The biggest challenge is finding the time to get together to write songs between practicing our songs that we’ve already written, planning, booking shows, videos, all the behind the scenes stuff to keep a band running and well in our case right now, to get it started up. Creatively speaking, once an idea starts, the songs develop naturally and easily… at least so far. The hardest part of being creative is coming up with those initial song ideas that inspire us.
And, of course, our famous question: What is your favorite type of lemonade and where can we get it?
Stefanie: Actually, we’ll have our own lemonade stand this summer! It turns out it’ll be up and running on Friday, June 19th at The Montreal Folk Festival and it comes with a CD! Here are the details!
That is amazing! I want to thank Stefanie and Chris for taking the time to chat and allow us to debut their brand new music video for their song, “Bound and Tethered.” Please like them on Facebook and on Twitter. And if you are in Montreal area, please stop by The Montreal Folk Festival on June 19th and check them out!
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