CVIndependent

Thu12132018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Jeremy Parsons is the lead vocalist of Mega Sun—even though his girlfriend tells me that he hates being in the spotlight. Thanks in part to his low-chugging bass tone and unique vocal style, Mega Sun has become one of the best bands to arrive on the music scene in recent years. For more information on Mega Sun, visit www.facebook.com/megasuntheband. Parsons was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

If you want to call it a “concert,” the first time I went out and saw a show was back in 1994 at Nona’s—I could be wrong about the name—which was out by the Del Taco and AM/PM in Cathedral City. I’d just started playing a guitar that I got from Aloha Music, and The Agents were playing. That was the first live band I’d ever seen. I remember thinking: “Wait a minute. You can just get a band together and go play shows?” I must have been 14 or 15. I heard there was another show they were playing the next week, at some mattress store after-hours. … I was hooked. Life was about finding out where bands were playing and what bands were playing.

What was the first album you owned?

OK, let’s be honest: My mother was quite the garage-sale entrepreneur up in the La Quinta Cove, buying things from other garage sales just to sell at her garage sales. We ended up at a spot where I bought, at the same time, Michael Jackson’s Thriller and the Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits, which became my first cassettes by recording them from the speakers of our record player, so I could take my jams on the road and listen to them on my Walkman.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Lately, not much other than local music. and too many bands to mention. One band I had always heard of and never listened to was Dinosaur Jr. Over the last couple of months, I have been putting them on from time to time, and I’m still trying to figure out if I like them. I may be trying to figure this out for the rest of my life while listening to them for the rest of my life.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Jazz, I guess. I can’t understand how they know where they are in a song (when) they are just jamming with no singer. I have that dog-with-a-tilted-head-to-the-side look trying to figure out what’s going on.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Rod Stewart at Copacabana 1984, from the side of the stage.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Rat Pack stuff.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I really like Pappy and Harriet’s. I haven’t been there many times, but I like the small places with a big history. I think I should go soon.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“He hung himself with a guitar string,” Beck, “Loser.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Def Leppard’s biggest fan right here. When Hysteria came out, it was like traveling through space while listening to it. I vividly remember my dad taking us to Kmart in Indio the day it came out, popping it into the tape player (while) across from Ciro’s in front of that checkered auto store, and saying how different it was from the first three albums. I must have been 7. I’m not sure if it changed my life, but it became a time in my life I look back to as the good old days—back when everyone would buy their Christmas trees at the La Quinta fire station, and you felt cool to listen to a CD with a “parental advisory” stamp on it.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

John Summers of Family Butcher: “You still owe me $20.”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

I love The Dukes of Hazzard theme song.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

The Bronx’ self-titled album. They were the band that really dragged me out of the young melodic punk I grew up listening to and introduced me to grown up music like Truckfighters, Kyuss, Fu Manchu and Throw Rag.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“San Andreas” by Mega Sun! (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

Shortly after the new year, a new band arrived called Mega Sun—and thanks to a great sound that comes straight out of the desert-rock scene, the group has become something of an overnight success.

The band first played at The Hood Bar and Pizza as part of the CV Weekly Music Showcase back in January—and in February, the group returned to The Hood, opening for Se7en4.

Mega Sun consists of Jeremy Parsons (bass, vocals), Chris Rivera (guitar) and Tyler Ontiveros (drums). When I showed up to interview them at Rivera’s home in La Quinta, they seemed astounded by how much buzz they’ve received after only a few shows.

“What’s crazy is our early practices … were so spread out,” Parsons said. “We’ve been kinda making stuff up for months, and it would go for one practice—and four weeks would go by, and then we’d have another practice. Then we decided we were going to start playing shows, and we started getting serious about it.”

That first practice actually led to a police presence.

“I guess they thought it was a big ol’ party happening, and it was literally us three, and my roommate sitting there watching us,” Parsons said. “I blame it on grumpy neighbors. One of the hardest things is trying to find a place to play. I remember for the longest time it was just like, ‘Come on!’”

The band members have already learned about the dangers of equipment failure: Rivera’s amp head blew a fuse during the Se7en4 show. But after borrowing an amp head from Nick Hales of Sleazy Cortez, Mega Sun was back rocking, as if nothing happened.

“The show with Se7en4 had some bumps in it,” Ontiveros said. “But overall, I think it went well, with all of the technical problems that went down.”

So how did Mega Sun start?

“We just wanted to get something going,” Rivera said. “We started looking for a drummer, and Jeremy was actually playing guitar when we first got together. He decided to go to bass, because we couldn’t find a bass player. We found Tyler—and then we knew that was it. Bass is definitely an instrument to learn if you want to get in a band really quick, because it feels like there’s a shortage of bass players.”

The band’s sound came from the members’ influences and what felt comfortable to them.

“It’s naturally what came out,” Ontiveros said. “Initially, we started writing or playing some songs that Jeremy had written already and put our own little twist on them, and then when we started writing some originals together as a three-piece, it kind of went down that alley with that desert vibe and all of our different influences. There’s metal in there, too, because Chris comes from playing in metal bands.”

When I mentioned that the band’s name and logo were actually decent, Rivera asked with a laugh: “Our logo with the three sperms?” Ontiveros then explained the inspiration.

“We were trying to come up with something that (referred to) that three months of being here during the summer,” Ontiveros said, “something that was on the level of the sun being brutal and beating down on all of us. But we didn’t want to be cheesy and throw ‘desert’ into the actual name, even though Mega Sun is pretty cheesy. But those three things in the logo are supposed to be heat waves … and there are three of us.”

Mega Sun did not win that CV Weekly Music Showcase, nor did the members expect to win—it was their first show, after all. However, they were hoping to get some good advice from the judges.

“We knew going in that we had a lot of work to do, but we wanted the criticism to move forward and pick apart what we needed to work on,” Ontiveros said. “We didn’t really expect anything out of it—and the response we got blew us away, plus being asked to play on Se7en4’s comeback show. There was a packed house that night, and we got a great time slot right in front of them.

“We had some promising doors open to us, and we’ve had some people come up to us and offer to record us for free, which is awesome,” Ontiveros continued. “That’s definitely one of the biggest factors: the financial standpoint. But quality is what we’re looking for, too. We don’t want to keep people waiting who really want our music.”

Parsons agreed and said that having music available for purchase is an advantage.

“It’s better when you know what’s about to be played (at a show),” Parsons said. “I can go see a band and be really into it—but after I get their CD, and the next time I go to (a show), that’s where it’s really cool.”

For more information on Mega Sun, visit www.facebook.com/megasuntheband.