‘Parachute’ humble despite fame


Parachute will perform at Rupp Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 9 along with NEEDTOBREATHE, Mat Kearney and Welshly Arms.

Their heads may be in the clouds, but the music of Will Anderson and Parachute resides deep within their hearts. The trio from Charlottesville, Va. hopes to captivate the crowd at Rupp Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 9 when they join forces with NEEDTOBREATHE on their Tour de Compadres along with Mat Kearney and Welshly Arms.

Parachute’s story began when the trio of Anderson on guitar, drummer Johnny Stubblefield, and saxophonist and keyboardist Christopher “Kit” French started gathering in Anderson’s basement in the afternoons during high school mixing together pop, soul, and rock influences to cook up a signature sound that’s garnered them massive success both in the U.S. and beyond.

“It’s gone farther than any of us could’ve dreamed, but I believe you’ve got to make that call early on because so much can go wrong in the music industry that it can be very easy to give up otherwise,” said Anderson.

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According to Anderson, the group recently travelled to Amsterdam to perform for three nights, leaving the group with one of their most memorable international touring experiences to date. Anderson went on to add that Parachute hopes to make it to Japan to perform one day, citing a few missed opportunities in the past.

Parachute’s trip to Lexington is in support of their latest record Wide Awake which debuted at no. 1 on the iTunes pop charts and no. 40 on the Billboard Top 200 earlier this year. In the couple years leading up to the record’s release, Anderson wrote roughly 70 songs, which was dwindled down to a dozen on the polished product. 

According to Anderson, close to 80 percent of his new compositions were “terrible” or just rough sketches of ideas that failed to materialize until one track titled “Jennie” helped set in stone the record’s central theme.

“During the recording process we always felt like we had another song waiting to be written, and ‘Jennie’ was the one that came about that made the most sense,” said Anderson. “It felt like the bow to the whole project, so to speak.”

Of the many tracks that missed the cut for Wide Awake, Anderson says one track in particular will pop-up on the band’s future projects, if not more.

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While Parachute sticks to their tight three-man lineup in studio, the group extends out to a five-person outfit for their large live performances, including their upcoming show at Rupp Arena. 

Despite Parachute’s success, music has taught Anderson to always remain humble and willing to learn.

“Being in the music industry helps you notice your strengths in a lot of ways,” said Anderson. “It quickly becomes apparent what you’re good at and what versus what other people are better than you at. It’s humbling in a way, because you always understand that there’s someone better than you at pretty much anything you think you’re good at, and that’s ok.”


What: NEEDTOBREATHE, Parachute, Mat Kearney and Welshly Arms

When: Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

Where: Rupp Arena – 430 W Vine St.

Tickets: $25-45