Wild Weekend, one of the San Diego buzz bands at South by Southwest, broke up just days after returning from the Austin music fest.
“It was my decision,” says Wild Weekend singer-guitarist Maren Parusel, 26. “I decided on the Monday after South by Southwest. My heart just wasn’t into it when I was onstage.” She says she dropped the bomb to her three bandmates (singer-guitarist Kelly Alvarez, bassist Cara Bowman, and drummer Cody Young) over a meeting at a sushi café. “Everyone was kind of shocked.”
Wild Weekend started out as a Zeros cover band a year and a half ago and began doing all originals about a year ago.
Parusel, a native of Germany who moved here five years ago, says there were no personal issues that caused the breakup. Her decision to leave Wild Weekend may have been motivated by her recent collaborations with local A-list musicians who will be backing her as a solo artist. Louis XIV drummer Mark Maigaard and bassist Jack Reynolds (Vertibird, Hatchet Brothers) have signed on so far. Louis XIV cofounder Brian Karscig has produced five new songs for Parusel, and they will continue to work together in the studio. Parusel says she plays keyboards as well as guitar and will be less punk, more pop than Wild Weekend. “I have a whole pile of songs.”
Mario Escovedo (the Dragons, MEX) organized a SXSW showcase March 21 at the Wave in Austin that featured Wild Weekend, Parusel’s solo set, Lady Dottie and the Diamonds, Triple Cobra, Mad Juana, and the Dogs. Insiders say Escovedo helped orchestrate Parusel’s new solo project and will be involved behind the scenes.
Wild Weekend canceled gigs that were booked for April. Alvarez said in an email that she plans to continue playing with Bowman and Young in a new band with a new name, and she will also focus on her solo work.
Last week, Parusel opened for Anya Marina at the Hotel Cafe in L.A.; she will appear May 2 at Lestat’s.