Parker Gispert is a rarity in the rock 'n' roll world. He's a golfer, and his passion for the sport puts him in the same company as Darius Rucker, Alice Cooper, and Iggy Pop.
"I grew up playing golf, and it's one of those things where you start playing in a rock band, and for a long time, I didn't know anyone else who played, because it's not the thing you do really," says Gispert, vocalist and lead guitarist of garage-rock band The Whigs. "Everyone from the other bands couldn't tell if I was serious or what. As I get older, I have been able to meet more people in the music world who play golf, and I love it. I played when we were on tour in Dublin."
Gispert may relax on the green while on tour, but in-between golf swings, he's busy making music with his band in Athens, Ga. The Whigs' are touring now in support of Modern Creation, an album they worked on with famed producer and engineer Jim Scott. Scott has guided the sounds of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rolling Stones, Wilco, and other big names in the industry. Modern Creation was recorded in Scott's PLYRZ Studio. "He has been making records since the '70s, and he's worked on a lot of favorite albums of mine through the years, so it was a cool experience," Gispert says. "We learned a lot from him and got to hear some cool stories, like about AC/DC and Tom Petty."
The Whigs went into the recording process for Modern Creation knowing they wanted to come out with a rawer, unpolished sound. "With every record we make, we try to move closer and closer to trying to be as similar in the studio as we are live. On this record, a lot of the time, I wasn't necessarily wearing headphones, because I was trying to play in the room with the band," says Gispert. "You typically find yourself on edge a little more in the studio, because you just want to be on your toes and you know that the performance you're about to do is the one that will forever be on the album. It can either make you nervous or force you to step up and play it better."
Gispert and drummer Julian Dorio have known each other since junior high. "When we started putting the band together, we knew we wanted it to be a rock band kind of thing," Gispert says. "It's very steady. We've spent so much time together that you more or less know each other very well."
The two are able to easily sweep petty disagreements under the rug, so the bond has remained tight. The third member, bassist Timothy Deaux, joined the group when Gispert and Dorio snatched him up from his former project, Velveeten Pink. "He's very adaptable," says Gispert. "He's good at walking into a new situation and being comfortable in that scenario. So, in a weird way, I don't know, I think it worked."
Currently, The Whigs are on a winter tour before Modern Creation drops overseas. When asked if there are any collaborations on the horizon, Gispert says, "You know, when I think about it, we don't really collaborate. I remember Jason Isbell in 2007 or 2008 getting up and playing with us. It's pretty rare. I don't know why. But we sort of do our thing, the three of us." And so far, it's working.