“We’ll Never Change”: Behind the Lyrics with PARKWILD’S Austin Zudeck

By Rhiannon Levengood

It’s already March, which means that if you listened to me back in January, PARKWILD should be back on your music radar. The alternative rock duet has returned with their brand new single “We’ll Never Change”.

PARKWILD’s second track is reminiscent of their debut single “Too Late”. It begins with a serene voice laid over a soothing beat, and lyrics that describe a carefree relationship between two people who have an open road ahead of them. The verse easily fades into the chorus where lead vocalist Austin Zudeck declares that neither he nor bandmate Justin Thunstrom will ever change to fit into the box that society has built for us.

The second verse tells another story of the main character using their songs as therapy for their day-to-day struggles, and how their father feels about choosing a music career over one that would be more promising. Zudeck claims, “I would rather die than not pursue” before the next chorus.

Lyrics are always the most important part of songs, even if they seem meaningless as you sing along to them in the car. And because of that, I spoke with PARKWILD’s own Austin Zudeck regarding the lyrics and message behind “We’ll Never Change.” Check out what he had to say below and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter and on Instagram.

Can you tell us about the stories behind your new single “We’ll Never Change”?
“We’ll Never Change” depicts a conflict between societal pressure and someone who knows what they want deep down, despite how difficult the journey might be to get there. The first verses sets the scene of a young couple living free, going against the wishes of society, almost in a sense describing themselves as misfits and rule breakers, and wondering where they’ll end up. The second verse blends into that concept as the main subject tells a story of defiance to the other character, in pursuing their dreams. Both of us have had to overcome a lot of societal pressure of what people want and expect of us, which at times, vastly differ from what we believe in and what our desires are. The lyrics come from many of those instances throughout both of our lives.

Is there one lyric that means the most to each of you?
For both of us, it would have to be, “I would rather die than not pursue” because we would rather try and possibly fail than not try at all. Music is hard, there is no denying that at all, but if you don’t follow your passions and your dreams, you could end up regretting it, and we both want to say we at least gave it our 110%.

If you could create a music video, or lyric video, for this song, how do you envision it?
I don’t think either of us would be in the full music video, and it would pretty much depict a fun carefree night, with some flashbacks/context to a juxtaposition of having to conform to societal norms.

What do you want your fans to take away from “We’ll Never Change”?
If you believe in something, pursue it. It’s your life and what do you have to lose by at least trying. Stay present in the moment and enjoy now.

If you could get a tattoo, permanent or temporary, of any lyrics that have inspired you or helped you in anyway, which would they be?
My favorite song is “(Sitting On) The Dock of The Bay” by Otis Redding, however I don’t know what exact lyric I would pick! Too many to decide.

Nat and Alex Warm Things Up in NYC

By Paula Araujo

Last month, Nat and Alex Wolff formerly known as the Naked Brothers Band played a show at their old stomping ground, Nuyorican Poets Cafe. The little venue was filled to the brim with warmth as fans in the crowd included their parents, and even former band mate Qaasim came out to support.  Joining the brotherly duo on stage was another brother, Jack from the band AJR. The setlist included a few debut songs such as “Glue” and “All Over You”. They even took suggestions from the audience and made up a song called “Apple Waffles”.  Fans were treated to favorites such as “Lullaby” “Passing Through” and “Tenderly”.  The show was incredibly intimate and felt as though you were just catching them jamming in the comfort of their living room with friends.

Nat and Alex are not only extremely talented musicians, but incredibly down to earth human beings. You would have no idea that they’re currently rising stars on the big screen. They could easily be making much more money off their music if they wanted to by playing larger venues and charging more for tickets plus meet and greets. There’s a reason they keep coming back to this cafe and why they happily stick around after the show and really take the time to chat and meet their fans. Their kindness and hospitality radiates and resonates in way that is hard to find elsewhere in the industry. Their love and craft of music is pure and their appreciation of their fans doesn’t go unnoticed. If that’s not love, then what is.



Aly & AJ’s “Ten Years” Breakthrough

By Rhiannon Levengood

It has been ten very long years since we had a solid release from sister duo Aly & AJ, but the time has finally come as they debut their brand new, appropriately named EP Ten Years. This record features four tracks that give us an inside look at their new synthetic rock sound. And yes, in case you were wondering, ten years was definitely worth the wait.

Ten Years opens with Aly & AJ’s first single “Take Me”, a powerhouse theme that’s driven by a synthesized piano melody as the sisters demand attention from their unnamed subject. The vocals are reminiscent of their sophomore album Insomniatic, while the instrumentals push forth a new vibe entirely. They are not the same Disney Channel girls that we fell in love with back in 2005; and after this first track, you forgive them instantly for evolving.

The next two songs are much more serene. “I Know” and “Promises” are both powered by a beat laid out on keyboard. Their electronic sound is refined and elegantly produced, but with these songs specifically, the focus is more on their voices and lyrics. AJ’s best vocals on Ten Years come in “Promises”, giving the song a dreamy, light sensation with her soft falsetto voice. “I Know” touches on mental health in a gentle, compassionate way that easily makes this song one of my favorites. The very first verse holds my favorite lyrics on the whole EP:

“It’s a state of mind that’s bringing you down
So tell me what will get you out
You haven’t left your bed in days
And I know we’ve all seen better days.”

Ten Years concludes way too soon with another upbeat track entitled “The Distance.” Altogether, this EP embodies the right amount of nostalgia for long-time Aly & AJ fans and the right amount of growth to bring new listeners on the ride. It’s been ten years, but the girls hit the bullseye with this record. We can’t wait to see what else they’ve got up their sleeves.