Being able to travel the world doing what she loves is a dream come true for Samantha Parks, lead singer of the genre-bending musical collective Wargirl. The Long Beach-born band’s self-titled debut, out now on Clouds Hill, is a refreshing assortment of its members’ diverse influences, which includes everything from classic rock to afrobeat, and like the frontwoman’s love for touring, it’s a dream come true for music fans.
We recently sat down with Parks to discuss blending backgrounds, snack bribery, and why we would all be best served to pay attention to what is already in front of us.
TrunkSpace: The band just recently dropped its full-length debut on the masses. What kind of emotions do you juggle with as you release new music into the world, particularly something like a debut where for many people, it becomes their first introduction to Wargirl as a whole?
Parks: We feel a mix of nervousness and excitement. We’ve all been playing music for a long time and we’re grateful for the opportunity to share our experiences along with the experience we’re creating as a band with the world. We’re just trying to enjoy each present moment as they come. So far, it’s been one hell of a ride.
TrunkSpace: There’s so much going on with the album in terms of sound and overall feel that it’s really difficult to lock the band into any kind genre or sub-genre. Does the eclectic nature of the music reflect the eclectic mix of the band in terms of what they’re bringing to the table as individuals?
Parks: Absolutely. We all stem from various backgrounds and share a diverse taste in music. Our musical interests range from classic rock and roll to jazz to punk to afrobeat, and the list goes on from there. We’re very open to learning from one another and I think the fact that we come from different backgrounds only lends more exploration and fun to our creative process. It’s nice to feel limitless. We aim away from restricting ourselves too much.
TrunkSpace: One of the things that we pointed out in our review of the album is that it would be impossible to imagine what your full-length follow up would sound like because we get the impression that the band goes through a musical metamorphosis with each new track that’s brought into the fold. Do you envision each Wargirl album to have its own identity as the band and sound continues to grow?
Parks: Sure. Our chemistry and the way the six of us work together is extremely organic. Sometimes, we’re not even certain where we’re going to land and we end up surprising even ourselves. We’re extremely looking forward to evolving even more throughout the process of writing and recording our next album.
TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Parks: Honestly, all of it. But, I can say something that consistently blows my mind is how talented yet humble every member of Wargirl is. We’ve been able to juggle so many facets of creating our EP and LP by using the skill sets that exist just within the six of us, and outside of that we have incredibly supportive and talented individuals helping to fill the gaps along the way. Everyone on the Wargirl team feels like family and I believe that’s super valuable and unique.
TrunkSpace: Many of the songs that make up the debut have probably been with the band for some time now. Creatively do you feel like you have already moved on to the next chapter of Wargirl, and if so, is it difficult to take a step back and support the music of the past while you’re already thinking about the future?
Parks: Not at all. We’ll always have a consistent under current in every song that makes it distinctly Wargirl, so it’s not ever really about reinventing ourselves as much as it is about evolving who we already are. We’re constantly creating and pushing ourselves to dig deeper. Our first EP and album will never stop holding a special place for us because it was the beginning. I think, if nothing else, we’ll look back on our older stuff in the future as a reminder of some of the best times we may have ever shared together.
TrunkSpace: Wargirl is six members strong. How does the band manage individual ideas and creative expectations to ensure that every voice is being heard?
Parks: We bribe each other with snacks until we come to a happy compromise for everyone. We’re a band who loves snacks, so in the end, it all works out.
TrunkSpace: What do you get being in a band that you can’t achieve in a solo capacity? Does the creativity of the other members fuel your own creative fires?
Parks: Without a doubt they do. It’s invigorating sharing a stage with these five individuals and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We all have a lot to bring to the table, respect one another and travel well together. They also totally get my “dad humor” and love snacking just as much as I do. What more can you really ask for?
TrunkSpace: Are you more at home in the studio or on the stage, and if one feels more comfortable to you, why do you think that is?
Parks: They’re two experiences that I don’t quite view as comparable. They’re equally two of my favorite places to be in the entire world. They both make me feel like I’m where I belong.
TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Parks: That’s a tough one because we’ve had so many wonderful experiences thus far. Overall, the amount of traveling we’ve done overseas is pretty wild. It’s incredible that we’ve received the opportunity to share our music all over Europe. I definitely don’t hate being able to travel in the name of doing what I love. It’s literally a dream come true.
TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Parks: Nope. We’re just riding the wave, man. I’ve found that if you’re too occupied with constantly worrying about what might possibly happen then you’re missing out on appreciating what’s right in front of you. Wargirl has a damn good thing going and that’s enough for me.
Wargirl’s self-titled full-length debut is available now on Clouds Hill.