The Wireless presents the premiere of Mel Parsons new video 'Get Out Alive'.
The story behind ‘Get Out Alive’ was almost too harrowing to write about, says Mel Parsons.
The singer-songwriter had been driving home after a day out skiing on the mountains when she rolled her truck four times. She walked away from the crash without injury, but writing about it wasn’t something that had crossed her mind.
At the time of the accident, Parsons was piecing together Drylands, her third album which came out in April this year. Someone had suggested to her that she write about the ordeal but she laughed it off. “How you could possibly write a song about something like that?” she asked herself.
But after going up to the studio everyday and working on some new ideas, she ended up writing ‘Get Out Alive’.
She says the song is about the “weird feeling” she had following the accident that led her to question what really mattered.
“I was (probably still in shock) looking around the house at all my stuff everywhere and realising if I had died that afternoon, which I quite easily could have, most of the stuff around would be meaningless junk to everyone else.
“At the time it made me want to become less materialistic,” she says. “I’m not sure if the feeling has lasted!”
‘Get Out Alive’ has also just been announced as one of the five songs in the running for this year’s APRA Silver Scroll Award.
Parsons is up against a diverse range of contenders including Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lorde, Marlon Williams and Anthonie Tonnon for the prestigious songwriting award, and says that she couldn’t believe it when she heard the news.
“I was really stoked just to make it to the top 20, so hearing that news was very surprising and exciting. Mostly I’m glad that people seem to be enjoying the song.”
Parsons is known for touring extensively here and overseas. She says that it feels like she’s hardly stopped over the past few years and the influence of being on the road came through on Drylands.
She doesn’t always get a chance to write while on tour, but does “a fair amount of idea-gathering.”
“I realise how cliché it can be writing songs about ‘the road’, but I guess it’s reality for me. When that’s how you spend most of your time, that’s where the inspiration comes from,” she says.
Parsons also plays with Fly My Pretties and she previously teamed up with comedians The Bitches’ Box for a woolshed tour around the countryside – two distinctively different productions that she says are equally as fun.
“The woolshed tours I have done with The Bitches’ Box are totally DIY. We’re out on farms which are often quite remote, we set up the sheds ourselves, run our own bar and even cart 150 chairs around the countryside with us. Whereas with Fly My Pretties, it’s playing big beautiful theatres with a big crew and really high production values,” she says.
Next up, she’s heading out on a theatre tour around the country with Fur Patrol/The Adults songwriter Julia Deans.
“There’s something about being away from home and touring a lot which brings things into perspective. It’s a great time for inspiration.”
Mel Parsons ‘Drylands’ theatre tour
Wednesday October 28 – Tauranga Arts Festival, Tauranga
Thursday October 29 - Theatre Royal, Nelson
Saturday October 31 – Crystal Palace Theatre, Auckland
Sunday November 1 – Paramount Theatre, Wellington
Thursday November 5 – Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch