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GREEN BACK
The busy boys of Paris Green are home for the summer—and ready to play!
By Marc Lee

After the release of their latest record and a whirlwind spring tour with screamo-metal pals Flyleaf, the guys in Paris Green finally get to rest a bit. And that’s welcome news for a band that likes to take its time.

After all, Paris Green has been together for a decade, and it’s a band based on friendship and compatibility—all those kinds of things that take time to grow. And it’s that kind of evolution that has allowed the Woodlands-based quintet to thrive in Houston’s jungle of a music scene.

But don’t get the idea that this means the band is just sitting back. They’re talking to ABC and Disney about licensing songs for the fall TV season; one possibility could be the ABC Family sitcom Kyle XY. Plans for the summer include a spate of Houston and other Texas shows to push Rambling Yellow Paper, says guitarist and founding member Justin Peña.

“We’re gonna play a lot locally and do things like festivals and showcases. So far, the record’s doing well. My favorite thing to hear is when people say they’ve stuck it in the car CD player and just left it there.”

Paper brings together the band’s almost ridiculously diverse group of influences in a way that their previous records haven’t captured. Justin and bassist Matt Gosney, guitarist-vocalist Jason Self, drummer Josh Broussard and singer Matt Patin, lay claim to everything from hardcore Sweden’s Refused to Patin’s taste for the sweet sounds of Al Green. They all agree on reggae and The Police, however, and you can hear it on songs like “Nowhere to Go” and “A Way to Breathe” with bright and chiming guitar lines that hover over heavy, choppy chords.

Paris Green’s primordial stew began to boil in the late ‘90s. “We started playing together in high school,” says Justin. “Matt and I liked the same bands, so we just started playing together. We didn’t take it too seriously at first.” It turned out that the high schoolers’ love for Def Leppard and “whatever” attitude came in handy. Because the band’s first gig would have made lesser persons focus more on the SAT.

“It was on the roof of a local movie theater for the opening of the movie That Thing You Do!,” says Justin. “They dressed us up in Beatles suits, and we had to play songs from the movie.” It’s hard to determine what’s more cringe-worthy, Tom Hank’s sappy movie about doo-wop, or the idea of 14- to 16-year-old aspiring rockers outfitted in skinny ties and pipe-leg pants. “We stayed up there and started playing Alice in Chains and stuff, but we had to play the title song a lot,” he says. “Even today when I hear the song on the radio, I kind of want to throw up.”

Thanks for not doing that from the roof, dude. The oddness of the rooftop gig aside, it gave the band one more thing to add to the mix. And now it’s part of their appeal. “We have a lot of diversity in our fan base,” says Justin. “We can capture the emo crowd and the Austin kind of crowd that listens to straight-ahead blues.”

So go check them out when they’re around this summer. You’re bound to find something in them you like.