Rain_Parade_and_Jim_Hill_control_room_Rain_Parade_25th Street Studios in Oakland CA

For the first time since the 1980s and the heyday of the Paisley Underground Rain Parade are touring the UK. They’ve joined forces with their old spars Dream Syndicate who, for this tour, are augmented by Vicki Peterson of The Bangles. Playing as a duo Matt Piucci and Steven Roback have featured a mixture of old and new songs as well as paying tribute to both David Crosby and Tom Verlaine in company with, respectively, Starry Eyed & Laughing and Dream Syndicate.

Matt and Steven have been writing songs together since 1981, and co-founded Rain Parade, along with Steven’s late brother David. On this tour they are selling a limited edition 7” single of ‘Late Rays Of A Dying Sun’ b/w ‘Forgetfulness’ which turn out to be two new songs from an upcoming new album. This first new Rain Parade studio album since 1985 is titled Last Rays Of A Dying Sun and scheduled for release in May 2023 on a brand new label Flatiron Recordings. Flatiron is co-founded by Bill Hein who helped launch Enigma Records back in the day, San Francisco and Boulder radio vet Andy Zicklin, and veteran music industry lawyer turned entrepreneur Fred Goldring.

Rain Parade’s 1983 debut album, Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, was released by Enigma Records in the US and Zippo Records in the UK. Jim DeRogatis has stated, “Emergency…is not just the best LP by any of the Paisley Underground bands, it is among the best psychedelic LPs of any era.” The follow up 1984 EP, Explosions In The Glass Palace was recorded after David Roback left the band and garnered the same high praise; its reputation has been increasing ever since.

Sid Griffin, author and leader of The Long Ryders says: “We were in the Paisley Underground with Rain Parade back in the 1980s… Explosions In The Glass Palace is and will forever be the BEST recording from a Paisley Underground band, be it us, The Dream Syndicate, The Bangles, The Three O’Clock or whomever.”

Matt and Steven have since worked together on various projects, including several albums by Viva Saturn and the Hellenes; as well as 3×4 (Yep Roc 2018) with their friends The Bangles, The Dream Syndicate and The Three O’Clock.


Live photo from The Fleece, Bristol 07/03/2023 (L to R Peterson, Piucci. Wynn, Mark Walton, Dennis Duck, Roback) courtesy of Mike Brewer

Matt Piucci provides more details on the new record:

We recorded basics in downtown Oakland at 25th Street Studios, owned by David Lichtenstein, a pretty well known musician and surfer. His father is the famous pop art artist Roy Lichtenstein. My Dad taught with Roy in upstate New York and my brothers went to kindergarten with David. I wish my parents had bought a painting back then!

The overdubs were mostly done in Oakland as well, and also at producer Jim Hill’s studio in Los Angeles. Jim produced our second record, Explosions In The Glass Palace, our live in Japan album Beyond The Sunset, as well as our songs for the Paisley Underground collection 3×4. Jim is basically in the band; we don’t do anything without him.

Joining Steven and myself is long-time Rain Parade guitar whiz John Thoman, who has been with the band since 1984. David Roback jokingly referred to John as the David Gilmour of the band. John has contributed heavily to side projects, Viva Saturn and The Hellenes, as well as Chris Cacavas’ Junkyard Love.

Also in today’s band is Derek See, The Gentle Cycle / Chocolate Watch Band / Dean & Britta (Galaxie 500) guitar maestro who has played with all of us since his appearance on The Hellenes album I Love You All the Animals from 2018.

Drummer and percussionist Stephan Junca has played for years with me in other projects, including The Hellenes, Boatclub, and The Billy Talbot Band. A few of the Billy Talbot Band recordings appear on the 2023 Neil Young and Crazy Horse LP All Roads Lead Home. Our friend and neighbour multi-instrumentalist Mark Hanley plays in those groups and also plays and sings on our new album.

And appearing with us on the record are the Peterson sisters, Debbi and Vicki from The Bangles, singing on a couple songs. Vicki Peterson is on the UK tour with us playing lead guitar with Dream Syndicate, and we hope she will join Steven and I on a song or two.

Also appearing on the album are the Moore Brothers, Thom and Greg, a Northern California duo who are amazing singers. They sound kind of like The Everly Brothers doing XTC.

We were lucky to have a couple of guys from the modern Beach Boys/Brian Wilson group sing, Darian Sahanaja and Rob Bonfiglio. Darian is best known for assisting Brian Wilson in assembling the pieces of music that became the re-release of Brian’s post-Pet Sounds masterpiece Smile by The Beach Boys in 2011, some 40 years after its incomplete 1967 release.

Other guests include our drummer Stephan’s brother Marcus Blake, Jim’s son Mac Hill, and Aryeh Frankfurter, who plays strings, and Meena Makhijani, who has played tabla with The Bangles.