Q&A: Jed Parsons, a standard Eggs Benedict situation kinda guy

Friday 28 May 2021

Celebrating the release of his sophomore album 'Brunch', Jed Parsons is bringing his show to Tauranga, featuring songs from both his latest effort and 2018 Debut Release of the Year finalist 'Midnight Feast'.

'Brunch' has been a hit with listeners, critics and many publications including Rolling Stone Magazine. RNZ calls the closing track Breathe one of the best songs of the year! We had a chat with Jed about those songs and his upcoming show.

Brunch. We love brunch. What’s your favourite brunch spot? What’s your go-to order?

Jed Parsons: We've got a place down here in Christchurch called Little Poms - it's really good. I'm definitely a savoury guy so a standard eggs benedict situation will do me fine, although I'm always intrigued when there's a fancy word like "dukkah" in one of the menu items. It's a good idea to eat out - I'm not to be trusted in the kitchen. I once tried to run a promotion on my social media where I cooked scrambled eggs and sent them in a zip lock bag to a lucky winner... They wrote a false address and it came back a couple of weeks later. 

Now that we have got the important stuff out of the way… your brilliant sophomore album, 'Brunch', was released earlier this year! Our favourite song is ‘Playstation & Porn’. Tell us about that track.

JP: Thank you! Playstation & Porn tells the story of a man whose life can be defined by his addiction to two of the world population’s favourite past times - playing PlayStation and watching questionable material on the internet. It was one of those songs that wrote itself pretty quickly and was never intended to be played live or even released, but since I played it at a drunken party one night in its early days, it's been a crowd favourite.

Your music has been described as “upbeat indie-pop.” How would you describe it?

JP: I would say that's 100% accurate, 50% of the time. My writing is very observational, so a lot of the time I'm commenting on pretty light-hearted and funny situations that call for upbeat production, but I've got a sentimental side too that is heavily influenced by the likes of Neil Young, Paul Simon and Villagers among others. I like to think that all of my music is very hook-laden, and the lyrical content is quite thought-out, whether it's silly or sentimental.

We can see your humour in your music and videos as well as your more sentimental side. Tell us about how those two aspects of your personality work together in your music.

JP: Thanks for noticing. I love a good laugh over everything else, but also get pretty deep in my thoughts from time to time. It's a privilege to write songs for people to enjoy and hopefully resonate with, so I try to make sure that my messages have weight. But at the same time, I believe we all need a laugh just as much as much as we all need to feel understood. It's a bit of a conflict for me as a writer, but I think the confusion might be becoming my brand, so I'll just keep doing whatever I want for now (haha).

What/who inspires you right now? What are you listening to, reading and watching?

JP: I've got two young children, and while they're not the direct inspiration of many songs, they're inspiring me to be creative and keep doing what I love. Musically, I'm currently loving listening to Villagers, The Phoenix Foundation, Phoebe Bridgers and Gareth Thomas (who is opening for me in Tauranga on June 10th, and is phenomenal).

You’re playing in Tauranga on June 10. Who are you playing with? What can we expect from the show?

JP: I'm playing with Gareth Thomas (of Goodshirt) who is bringing Amelia Murray (of Fazerdaze) with him. I can't wait - they have both been genuine idols of mine since I started seriously listening to music as a teenager, so it's a bit of a 'pinch-myself' situation. The shows so far have been real story-telling affairs, and have pretty much all ended up descending into interactive comedy nights. I will of course be playing my sad songs too.

What’s next for Jed Parsons?

JP: I will be recording my debut children's album under the alias 'Jeff Parsnips'. I'm not even joking. Featuring unheard hits including 'Why Does Grandma Want To Eat Me' and 'Tomato Tamati'.

Thu 10 June, 6.30pm
Jam Factory, Tauranga

LATEST: New album 'Brunch' out now!