Wolfgang Parker cut his teeth in Columbus, Ohio during the mid-nineties Punk explosion that was spearheaded by indy bands like the New Bomb Turks, Gaunt and Pet UFO. He divided the punk scene and became a "love 'em or loathe 'em" staple until late 1997 with release of his debut CD, Hep City Swing. The combination of drummer, James Oberlin’s virtuosity and guitarist, Anthony Yates’s invention, gave Wolfgang Parker the perfect platform to deliver an underground classic. The album marked the payoff of constant gigging and self-promotion as Parker graduated to larger venues and the album was positively embraced by college radio and independent press alike.
The following year, the West Coast Swing Invasion sparked a tidal wave of interest in Wolfgang. He and his band found themselves shoulder-to-shoulder with the hit makers of the day and playing everywhere there was a stage. Unfortunately, the Swing scene became less about musicianship and song craft and more about playing covers for dancers. Water-gulping dancers scorned the Punk Rock fervor and frenzy that the boys brought to the stage and Parker became disenchanted by a scene he had helped create.
In 1999, the change of guitar players, as Anthony Yates stepped down and Alan Mauger settled in, brought creative vision into reality . A new, harder sonic dynamic was formed and in the fall, this energy was captured by producer Frank Aversa (Spin Doctors, Pocket Full of Kryptonite) on Octoboure. This album became a testament of Wolfgang Parker's determination to make Swing a legitimate music genre and not just a gimmicky cartoon of itself. The album captured the explosive passion and fury of those shows that found the band sometimes defying even their own audience.
Fast forward six years and we find Parker reinvigorated by the newfound fan base via Myspace.com and Aaaron Apter taking over the drum throne. The myspace interest culminated in a freshly inked deal with London, England’s Roadstar Records and a forthcoming European release, Room Nineteen, due out in Spring of 2007. Renewed interest in Wolfgang’s music is showing that his vision might have been a little ahead of it's time. With Swing going totally underground again, the sound is finally being appreciated for what was once viewed as fault: innovation. However, time shows bravery and an adventurous spirit are never faults.
Punk-Swing pioneer, Wolfgang Parker and his band have been plying their trade for 12 years, trailblazing a new genre of American music; injecting the slick tricks of ‘30s and ‘40s Swing Jazz into powerhouse Rock ‘n’ Roll. And doing so without a horn section. Forget what you know about “Swing” music…Forget what you know about Rock ‘n’ Roll. A new era dawns!
“People need to realize that there are still barriers to be broken!” Parker says. “I mean, that’s how we ended up with Rock ‘n’ Roll in the first place. My style has never existed before so it is essentially its own genre. It transcends the Swing parameters and pushes the envelope of anything established in the Rock world and it will only continue to grow. Artists like me keep proving that we have not arrived at the end of the line. I know it’s hard to believe when you listen to the radio or watch MTV and you are inundated with an endless procession of copycat artists. But believe me; original music is still possible!”
In those 12 barrier-breaking years, Wolfgang Parker has gone on to appear on a dozens of Swing CD compilations including the famed “Swing This Baby” series from Slimstyle Records, in the independent films, “Bullethead” and “Bottom Feeders” and was even immortalized in “The Swing Book” (1999) by Degen Pener.
Brilliance is difficult to keep hidden and the utilization of the popular web site Myspace.com proved as much. It had become obvious from the CD orders flooding in from around the world and the fanatical reaction of myspacers that time had finally caught up with Wolfgang. Among the messages from newfound supporters was the offer to sign with London based, Roadstar Records. The result of which is the forthcoming full-length release, “Room Nineteen,” a hybrid of Parker’s two previous independent efforts that features as staggering 19 original tracks.
Now is the time for that moment we all wait for from each new release and each new artist. To be electrified by those first few notes. To be taken by storm. To have all that we know about music turned upside down. Brace yourself! Because that moment has arrived!