Capturing the sound of fun and sun – with a unique twist – Park Day are taking their craft seriously with the release of their debut album, Punchlines
In the rise and fall of the tides that contain the musical culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, bands come and go, artists rise and fall. It is the way of the world, the way of the industry. Sometimes out of struggle or separation comes union and triumph, and that is the case for energetic indie rockers (though so much harder to define) Park Day.
‘Born From the Ashes’
“One band is born from the ashes of another band, quite often,” shared vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Adam Ravalia. “With Park Day, we used to play in a band called bleu. As bleu sort of dissolved, we talked about starting something different, and I wanted to get a little more into the songwriting side of things. We pooled some the members of bleu together and another band called Sleepy. In our biography we put ‘born from the ashes of bleu and Sleepy and other local acts.’”
The combination of Ravalia, Zakk Sullivan (who joined us for this interview), Daniel Greene and Zach Dalley have sought to harness the sounds of summer, but not in that cliche California Girls sand and surf kind of way.
“When they put out the EP and the RPM, I remember it being described to me as literally trying to emulate a day at Bannerman Park,” says Sullivan, who joined the band following the exit of their first drummer. “Hence the name Park Day.”
“I think that is another element of the band, just trying to emulate what it is like to live here in Newfoundland,” adds Ravalia of the fun yet complex nature of the project. “That tumultuous nature of this rock and how one day like today it could be 30 degrees and the next it could be 10 degrees and pouring rain and the next we could have a snowstorm. I think it comes across that way where a lot of our songs are lighthearted and feel very beachy, like a warm day in Bannerman Park, but some of them get a little darker and more sludgy and heavy.”
Park Day recently followed up their 2017 RPM and EP with the debut full length record, Punchlines. Largely structured by Ravalia and Dalley, both Twillingate natives who have performed together for over a decade, the record sees the band at their most harmonious, capturing a vibe few local bands replicate.
“I feel like we’ve come into our own as this four piece,” says Ravalia. “The four of us have built quite a bit of chemistry together. I think through the whole process of recording the album together we’ve definitely built a whole other level of comradery and team-ship.”
The band is set to perform a series of dates across the island and Eastern Canada throughout August and September, capitalizing on the idea of spreading their unique brand of rock to as many fans globally as possible.
“For me personally, music has always been about live performance,” he adds. “I don’t know much about the ins and outs of recording. I think going into a studio and making music is a fantastic experience, but if I was to sit down behind an audio program I’d be lost. I get my fulfillment from being in front of a group of people and having an intimate sort of back and forth with the crowd. That’s what really ignites the fire within me. I’ve always put my all into live performance. I think it’s that way for all of us.
“If I’m really checking out a band and I go see their live show and it’s lame and unengaging, it ruins the music,” adds Sullivan. “We take a lot of pride into making sure the live shows are not only tight, but exciting.”
‘Feels Like Summer’
Unengaging is not an issue Park Day has had to grapple with. Take their most recent performance in St. John’s, for example. A stage set that included palm trees, lights, pink flamingos (fake of course), and a live playing Skoobie-Doo movie. They’re not just any old band, these guys.
“If you walk into The Ship on a Friday night it wasn’t just like you were seeing any old band at The Ship,” says Ravalia. “The stage looks like summer and feels like summer and hopefully people make that connection with Park Day, so when they think of Park Day they get those vibes of what we want to push forth when we bring it to a live setting. We’ve worked pretty hard to create this brand, thematically, for Park Day. Hopefully when people think of us they think of what we think of when we think of the band.”
Punchlines is available now digitally and wherever local music is sold. For more on the band and their tour dates, including a September 7th performance in St. John’s with Hillsburn, visit their official Facebook and Bandcamp pages.