The Parasites perform at the Elmhurst Pride Fest on June 26, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Logan McNichols)
The Parasites perform at the Elmhurst Pride Fest on June 26, 2021.

Photo courtesy of Logan McNichols

Under the Monocle: The Parasites gear up for a busy summer

July 2, 2021

Up-and-coming student band, the Parasites, have been catching the eye of local organizations, and the York student body is no exception.

Consisting of sophomores Logan McNichols, Andrew Prather, Turner Hardin, and Owen Widuch, these four met while in elementary school. 

“We [all] met in first grade, and then Logan moved here in fifth,” drummer Andrew Prather said. “And we’ve been friends since.”

Other than Prather on drums, McNichols plays bass and sings, Hardin plays guitar and sings, and Widuch plays guitar and sings as well. They’ve been playing together since sixth grade, and have built their music repertoire over the years.

“We don’t carry over songs that much,” McNichols said.

“Yeah, we try to spice it up,” Prather said.

Since they have basically a different setlist every time they perform, this has allowed them to grow as musicians and bandmates. 

“They have really good onstage chemistry, you can tell that they’re good friends behind the scenes and that they are legitimately having fun when they play,” said junior Laney Toffler.

Toffler saw them perform at the Elmhurst Pride Fest, which was held on June 26. 

“Pride fest was definitely our biggest [gig],” Hardin said. 

Other than pride, the Parasites have performed at block parties here in Elmhurst, are lined up to perform at even more block parties, and even played a few dances at Sandburg Middle School.

“They played at the eighth grade dance, and it was really cool to see them grow from then too because obviously they’ve improved so much from when they were in seventh grade,” Toffler said. 

The band’s opinion of that same dance is pretty similar to Toffler’s. 

“The seventh grade school dance was really good, because that was our first gig ever, and that one went really well, there were a lot of people there,” Hardin said.

“We practiced those songs so many times,” Prather said, adding on to Hardin’s statement.

And the Parasites haven’t stopped there. With gigs lined up for the rest of the summer, it’s safe to say that they’ll be pretty busy.

“We’ve also done block parties, and we’re doing a few that are coming up this summer,” Prather said.

“I’m excited because our next two shows we’re going to get paid for,” Widuch said in reference to the block parties.

These block parties come with some song requests, which usually isn’t the norm for the band.

“We normally have gone by our judgement [for setlists],” Hardin said.

No matter what the setlist is, the band can pull through and make the songs their own. They are able to play a large variety of songs, which could be suspected as they tend to do different songs for every concert or gig that they have. 

“My favorite songs they did were probably Boys Don’t Cry (by the Cure) or 1979 (by the Smashing Pumpkins),” Toffler said. “You could tell that they really liked those songs and they had fun with them, and they just did a really good job too, I wouldn’t exactly say that those are easy songs either.”

In addition to the Cure and the Smashing Pumpkins, the band really enjoys playing music from the discographies of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“Personally, I find inspiration based on taking the songs that we like to play at a concert, and then trying to find ones that will appeal to other, different people,” Widuch said.

“Trying to match the scale, not too easy but not too difficult,” Hardin said, chiming in with Widuch.

So what’s in store for the future of the Parasites? Fans of the band would like to know.

“I hope that they’ll get more involved with music at York, I know I saw them in York Live and they were great,” Toffler said. “Hopefully they’ll do the album project and just more Amatuer Musicians Club events and hopefully some originals on the York Album Project or release an EP on their own.”

The band certainly plans to become more involved with the music program here at York. They want to put some music on the album project next year, both as a band and individual artists. 

Whatever the occasion, the Parasites are loved and are an exciting band to keep your eye on. 

“Their ambition and chemistry makes them really fun to watch,” Toffler said. “You can tell that they want to become better musicians and performers, and that they are willing to take the steps to get there.”

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