Local band Parasite Diet is ringing in August by celebrating the 10th anniversary of its self-titled first album.
Made up of guitarist Josef Rumsey, 31, and drummer Corey Richard, 35, the group has been playing their brand of fizzy, joyous power pop-meets-punk for longer than a decade in west Kentucky.
They rip through 13 tracks on that taut, eponymous record in just over a half hour.
“It just makes me feel super old. It’s hard to image that it was 10 years ago really,” Richard told the Sun. “Josef and I recorded that whole album in our apartment above a law office in Paducah, and we just had a lot of fun making it.
“It’s probably my favorite thing that we’ve done.”
For Rumsey, who has sharpened his production skills in the last decade, the set still has charm.
“We really had no idea what we were doing when we originally made the record, and we just kind of got lucky. Even though in a technical sense it’s not the best recording in the world, it just has a nice feel to it.”
What was originally supposed to be a blowout anniversary show with friends and fellow local rockers on the bill has been reduced to a livestreamed concert set for Saturday because of health concerns and closures over the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s obviously a bit of a bummer that we don’t get to play a full-on show or anything,” Rumsey said. “As cool as it would be for us, in the grand scheme of things it’s kind of a trivial event to put people at risk for.”
Richard was on the same page, even finding a potential upside to the e-event.
“It’s tough. We had put together a big event. Teenage Rehab was going to be on the bill and it was going to be huge,” he said. “It was difficult, but I think of there’s a lot of opportunity here, too. This livestream and the resulting video that’s going to be on the internet forever is going to be a neat little artifact.”
The stream will be available via the band’s Facebook page and starts at 7 p.m. Saturday. For the video, bassist Ronnie McCoy and guitarist Sam Acree will join Rumsey and Richard to run through the entire album front-to-back.
McCoy played bass during the recording of “Parasite Diet.”
“I was so excited to be on it. I was very, very proud of that album,” McCoy said. “I didn’t do any of the songwriting, but I just thought it was amazing. The songwriting was miles above anything that I had been involved with before then.”
California’s Outloud Records will be issuing the first North American CD release of the album in the coming weeks, which only ever saw a physical pressing via Japan’s Be A Primitive Records.
Matt Bennett, the founder of Outloud, has worked with the band on two other releases and called this release process “a real treat.”
“Parasite Diet, to me, is a kind of super group jam-band that you might’ve seen in the 1960s but instead of patchouli and paisley they smell like pizza and punk rock,” Bennett told the Sun. “Their songwriting is fun. Where a lot of bands (of the power pop punk genre) stick to simplified structures, their arrangements are dense with well thought out layering.”
A Rumsey-remastered and expanded version of “Parasite Diet” featuring 15 new tracks — including demos, songs from the cutting room floor and covers — will be available for order on www.outloudrecords.bandcamp.com immediately following the livestream.
“I think it’s kind of held up over the years, and I’m excited to see it getting a new release,” Rumsey said.
A lot has changed since the pair made their first record. The band’s lineup has changed, they’ve put out three more albums and life’s brought its own unexpected developments.
“That record was made up of some songs that Josef wrote in high school and lot of fun things we wrote together — just a bunch of goofy pop stuff. When Josef and I made that album, I really think that we just made the music that we wanted to listen to together,” Richard said. “When we made that record, Josef and I lived together. We were best friends and spent all of our time together. Now I live in Nashville and have a career. I started and lost a family.
“It’s just a totally different world.”