Flyer Profile: Messy Sparkles

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it at least two times, “There is nothing that gets me more excited than finding an unbelievably talented, and unique new band that has sprung up in Fayetteville playing amazing and creative music that no one else in town is doing anything like.”

That’s a bit of an awkward sentence, but that’s how it comes out when I say it, and like I said, I’ve said it at least two times. At least.

Messy Sparkles is one of those new(ish) bands in Fayetteville to get excited about. It’s the solo(ish) project of JD Paul, otherwise known as “that bad ass guy playing the floor tom in the Memphis Pencils and Saint Anthony.”

It sounds like big old bass drum, chanting-vocal, electronic, percussive, sample-y, beautiful, loopy mess. In a good way.

We got in touch with JD recently, and he was nice enough to answer some questions for us.

Fayetteville Flyer: What have you been listening to lately?
JD Paul: Bibio, Tribe Called Quest, Stevie Woner, Hula Hoop, El Guincho.

FF: Who is in Messy Sparkles, currently?
JD: Me and my friend Jared who plays with me live sometimes.

FF: What are some other bands you have been in?
JD: Apartment 5, Memphis Pencils, Saint Anthony, Sciences, The Radio Sky, and a lot of others I can’t think of right now.

FF: Weren’t you involved in the drum circle that broke out after the Conor Oberst show a couple years ago? That was pretty incredible.
JD: I was. Tonya from George’s let me come backstage and talk to him for a little bit. I could hear the rest of his band in the trailer making noise so I had to go check it out. We ended up banging around on stuff for about an hour or so. Then we all laughed about it and drank some more beer.

FF: Tell me a bit about your songwriting process. Your music seems so layered. Where do you start?
JD: It all depends. Sometimes I will start with a beat, sometimes a vocal melody, sometimes a piano part. But after about an hour or so of working on the song it already sounds completely different than I intended.

FF: Do you have your own light show that you bring to shows? (that’s badass)
JD: I do! Me and my mom built a sweet light show using the power of box fans. I have a lot more ideas about stuff I am going to build.

FF: How do you perceive the music scene in Fayetteville?
JD: I love it. I like that we have house venues that let smaller touring bands play. I like that there are bars that showcase all different styles of music. I like that people actually listen and dance at shows.

FF: I saw that Brad Hargreaves of Third Eye Blind gave you a shout out in an interview recently. How did that come about?

I played the Third Eye Blind after party at George’s, and so did Brad with his Justbrad dj/drum project. He caught my set and enjoyed it. He gave me his number and we have been talking for the past couple months about recording and doing some shows. Hopefully it works out.

FF: What are some other bands in town that we should check out?
JD: NIALL, Perpetual Werewolf, Memphis Pencils, everyone.

FF: I saw that you guys are playing the Ghostland Observatory / STS9 afterparty at George’s. What else do you have coming up? Any touring or recording plans?
JD: We are playing the after party! Should be great! And right now we are working on getting ready for our summer tour with the Memphis Pencils. We will be out for about two weeks. First Messy Sparkles tour!

Click below to hear Thank God by Messy Sparkles