So you want to be in a rock & roll band? Plan on spending lots of time in a van traversing the continent. Park, Springfield's up-and-coming modern rock group, has logged about 60,000 miles in the last year, playing some 100-plus shows in 34 states, in an attempt to spark interest in their music.
The quartet, all in their early- to mid-twenties, formed in 1996, then went through a few personnel changes. They got a break in 1999 when they signed with Lobster Records, a California label distributed by Sony Records. Last May, the band recorded It Won't Snow Where You're Going, their second disk for the small company. After a few months on the road, they're back in the capital city to play for the hometown crowd and sell copies of the new recording. The multi-media CD contains 10 studio-recorded songs and three videos, two of live performances and one from the studio experience. The foursome hopes for a radio breakthrough and bigger and better things ahead, including CD sales.
"My dad was at San Francisco's Tower records checking out the new CD," says Miles Logan, Park's drummer. "The next day he went back and all 10 copies had been sold." Lobster Records signed, recorded, and promoted Yellowcard, a current MTV favorite, before they moved up to the larger, Capitol Records. As in baseball, the music business relies on the little independents as a minor league farm system to see what talent rises to the top. "The major labels let the smaller companies push groups to see how far they go," Logan says. "Then the majors step in and sign the bands that are doing well."
With a little luck and lots of perseverance, Park may soon take the bus to the big leagues. In the meantime, it's in the van for a month or so, a return to Springfield, then back on the road again, playing songs, selling CDs, and making fans along the way.
Park's CD release party, with The Junior Varsity and Mock Orange, takes place at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, at the Route 66 Hotel, S. 6th St. and St. Joseph. For information, call 529-6626. $8 (advance tickets available at 217 Skate Shop); $10 (door)