Q&A With Green Key Performer Parrotfish
The band discussed their performance at Green Key and excitement for future projects and performances.
From left to right: Trace Chiappe, Joe Cadrecha, Conor Lynch and Matty Rodrigo
Parrotfish, a Tampa, Florida based band, made up of members Conor Lynch (vocals), Joe Cadrecha (guitar), Trace Chiappe (drums) and Matty Rodrigo (bass), recently performed for Dartmouth students at Phi Delta Alpha fraternity’s block party. The band kicked off the Green Key weekend with an electric performance that drew a massive crowd and packed Webster Avenue. The Dartmouth sat down with Parrotfish to discuss their history as a band, their Dartmouth performance and their many plans for the future.
How did the band first come together?
JC: Connor, Matt and I all went to high school together, so Matt and I have been jamming together since freshman year — working on music — and then formed the band with Connor at the end of our junior year. Parrotfish formed and then the three of us went to Belmont University together where we met Trace the first day, in our dorm — he was on the same floor. Us four have been together ever since, since day one of freshman year at Belmont, in 2015.
How would you describe your creative process when writing music?
JC: Very collaborative.
CL: Yeah, that is what I would say too. We all write and we bring everything together; we will take what the other people have and expand on it. In everything we do, we pretty much all have a say in everything that happens.
TC: Most of the writing, like wherever the song starts, we will bring it together and try to flesh it out. Try one thing on the verse, try another thing on the chorus and then just edit everything. Our writing process mainly makes it to real life, like when we’re just playing in a room together and hashing it out.
JC: Oftentimes too, sometimes for a song, someone will have something written and someone else will have something, and we can transpose them into the same key and then create a song from there. We’ll combine songs— be like “the chorus from your song works for the verse of my song,” and merge them that way.
MR: There’s not really a set way we do it either. Every time it is a little bit different. It is never the same.
How did you come to play at Dartmouth?
CL: Time to shout out our boy, Gill Gomez ’19. He was in Phi Delt, and we played their afterparty in 2019. They asked us to play again in 2020, but that is when COVID-19 happened.We’ve been trying to get back and play that slot for the past two years but it was canceled. Then we finally got to come back and it was more than we could ever have dreamt of.
As the Phi Delt Block Party is one of the first events of Green Key, how was your experience kicking off the weekend?
JC: 11/10. It was so much fun.
TC: It was awesome. It was honestly one of the best shows we played in a long time. How was the experience? It was fantastic.
CL: I would say it was pretty surreal because we’d really never played a show like that. That was the biggest crowd we’ve played at and everyone was completely engaged and having a great time so it was easy to get into it, because the people were responding so well. It made it easier to play and feel confident.
Was the energy at your Dartmouth performance any different than at previous concerts? How would you characterize what made it special?
TC: We play a better show when the crowd is giving us a lot. It is hard to play for people who are not receptive, but when they are giving us more energy, then we put out more energy. here is an energy cycle, if you will.
MR: It was like that, but on a mass scale. Usually when we play shows, like frat shows, maybe 20% of the people there are super enthusiastic and down to really support and rock out. At Dartmouth, it seemed like everyone there was down to see what we had, to give and support our show. It was a very music-loving crowd.
Following COVID-19 and the decrease in concerts and performances, how has your return to the stage been?
CL: This year specifically, we’ve probably toured and played more shows than we had before COVID-19, and it’s been awesome. During COVID-19, it was fun — we were writing. But when you’re not playing your songs live, with people, it gets a little depressing. You’re not able to see the reactions of fans and share the moments with people. When you get to play live and see the reactions of people, it is so much better.
JC: We’re lucky that we all live together, because even when we weren’t playing shows, we were still on the band grind, writing, practicing and working together. We were able to keep that connection.
CL: The band still felt like we were working, but one of my favorite parts of being in the band — and I think all of us agree — is playing the live shows. So it’s super nice to get back to playing live.
TC: And we came out hot, as soon as restrictions started coming off. I feel like we were really good at being proactive and getting shows, booking as much as we could. Full force return.
What future performances or plans are you particularly excited for?
TC: Bonnaroo — probably the best answer and the easiest answer there.
CL: Definitely Bonnaroo. But other plans, we actually have an EP coming out in September and we have two more singles coming out. We just released a song called “Coolest Taste in Clothes,” it just came out everywhere and there is a video released for it on YouTube.
MR: It came out the day before Green Key.
TC: Then June 30 is the next release, “Everyone Else.”
CL: Our EP is going to be called “Something’s in the Milk” — have we announced that yet, for sure, or no?
MH: I don’t know, you may have just announced it.
JC: Dartmouth heard it first.
TC: Yeah, you heard it here first.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.