You may have seen their name in the papers because, to paraphrase the brothers Wilson, they get around. In the last 12 months the Parson Red Heads have made the trek from LA to SF numerous times to headline gigs at the Hemlock, Amnesia, the Hotel Utah and Kimo’s, not to mention their support gigs at the Independent touring with Earlimart and, most recently, Blitzen Trapper. I had a chance to speak to Evan Way, the lead singer and songwriter of the group, which also features his wife Brette on drums and his sister Erin on keyboards, before their gig last week at the Independent.

[audio:] The Parson Red Heads – “Crowds”

The Bay Bridged – It’s been a year since I first interviewed you at the Hemlock when we talked a little about your goals for 2008. Has the band exceeded your expectations for the year?

Parson Red Heads – I think we’ve done really well for ourselves. I think we’ve basically accomplished what we have been setting out to do. We put out a new record, which we are really proud of. And we have got out on the road more than ever before–three tours this year. This tour we are on now [Blitzen Trapper] is the biggest tour we’ve been on. I think we have been continuing to make strides. Of course, we still have a long way to go in some sense. We would love to get overseas and play shows.

TBB – What do you gain and what do you lose as a band while you continue to tour and find greater levels of success?

PRH – We definitely gain a great sense of the work involved. Touring isn’t easy. It’s fun and we love it but it is a strange way of life. It’s really impossible to explain to people who haven’t done it. I didn’t understand what it was like until we started really doing it. But we also gain a bond that you can’t get when you don’t tour. We are closer than ever. The road really brings you together like a family. It’s also the best practice you can get.

What do we lose? The first thing that came to my mind was money! We don’t make a lot of money. We get by, but you have to factor in taking time off from work. It definitely doesn’t equal out yet. But that isn’t a huge issue for us. At this point, everything is new and exciting so it’s not like we’ve lost our innocence or anything.

TBB – I’m digging “Something Good” on your Myspace page. How did you arrive at a Herman’s Hermits tune and will you be releasing it officially?

PRH – There won’t be any official release of that cover. We recorded it because our publishing company, Zync, was putting together a few compilations of their artists doing covers of famous songs. We thought that song was great for us we were able to add a definite Parsons spin on it. We added a different style of harmony and a pedal steel–made it more country, more psychedelic. That was really fun to do.

[audio:] The Parson Red Heads – “Punctual As Usual

TBB – If you were to put your MP3 player on shuffle right now what are the first 4 songs that play?

PRH – I don’t have an iPod, believe it or not!

TBB – Is Parson Farm Records a serious bid on having your own label? Have you committed to self-releasing albums over the long haul?

PRH – Parson Farm Records is definitely not a serious bid for our own label. It has been a great way to get this music out for now, but we’d love to be able to find a new label to call home and to take some of the work load off of our shoulders.

TBB – Has the economy affected the band at all?

PRH – It hasn’t hit us TOO hard as a band. We had some troubles with gas money during a tour we did with Earlimart. Gas was up around five bucks and it was just killing us. But now the gas is so cheap that it has been really great. We feel the economy in our normal lives, but it hasn’t hit us as a band too much.

TBB – What do you want for Christmas?

PRH – I need a new guitar. I’ve been borrowing our bass players guitar for a LONG time, and it’s about time I grow up and buy my own. So that’s what I need. Whether or not I’ll get it is a different story. I may end up just getting money from my parents to help pay off all my parking tickets!