There’s something you need to know about The Whigs frontman Parker Gispert: When speaking with an interviewer, he is very polite, using “ma’am” at the end of just about every sentence. That’s not typical rock ‘n’ roll talk, but guitarist Parker is a good Southern boy. We like that. (Thank you, Mama Gispert.)
The Atlanta native and his bandmates–Julian Dorio and Timothy Deaux–released their fourth album last week and tonight make a return appearance on Letterman. Not bad for guys who recorded their first album in a fraternity house at The University of Georgia (Parker and Julian are alums).
Their new album–“Enjoy The Company”–is full of the Southern garage rock that’s charmed fans since they started playing in Athens in 2002 while still UGA students. Produced by John Agnello, who has worked with acts from Sonic Youth to Drive By Truckers, the new album borrows from familiar influences in Georgia music.
“When I was in high school, I used to go down to a record store in Athens called Schoolkids Records,” Parker says. “Shopping for records I listened to the local music they played in-store, groups like R.E.M. and The Glands. It’s always been interesting to me that for a town its size, Athens has such a wide variety of music–psychedelic, folk, jam, and heavier rock. All of these definitely inspired me and shaped The Whigs’ sound.”
Though Athens fans love their native sons (and lined up for their album release gig last week), they’re not the only ones. The band has toured with acts such as Kings of Leon, The Hold Steady, and Jason Isbell (who performed for us recently during an exclusive Biscuits & Jam session).
After finishing up on Letterman, Parker (who now lives in Nashville) and his bandmates will return to the road, starting with dates in the South and continuing nationwide. “Julian tries to order sweet tea everywhere we travel,” Parker says. “It’s interesting to see how far the radius of properly prepared sweet tea extends outside the South. Not far.”
Check out Parker’s Ultimate Southern Playlist via Spotify: