The Story So Far’s Parker Cannon Talks New Album

June 11, 2024
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Anger is an emotion Parker Cannon knows well. It’s what punches through the first three albums from his California-based pop-punk band, the Story So Far. It’s what carries his deeply personal lyrics into full-throttle screams, and it’s what compels throngs of fervent fans to fling their bodies toward the stage during the band’s live shows. But for the Story So Far’s first album in six years, I Want to Disappear, the lead singer and songwriter was forced to reckon with a feeling that ignited his anger in new ways: grief. 

“Grief was incredibly fresh for me in terms of writing,” Cannon says over Zoom. It’s barely a week after his 32nd birthday, and Cannon is calm as he sits on his couch, wearing a black T-shirt and navy blue baseball cap to recount everything that led up to the band’s new release.

Since forming in Walnut Creek, California, in 2007 and rising to niche fame as one of the leading voices of pop-punk’s burgeoning fourth wave, Cannon and the Story So Far have learned to listen to themselves when they need a break from all the noise. They immediately churned out 2015’s self-titled LP after their breakout 2013 album, What You Don’t See, and took three solid years to develop their sound further. Their fourth album, Proper Dose, followed in 2018 and saw the band experimenting with Britpop sounds. The record received critical acclaim and charted on the Billboard 200 at Number 19. But just when they were finding a new stride, the band went through several life-altering experiences that made them hit pause once more. 

In August 2021, Cannon’s father died from throat cancer after a three-year battle. The timeline is muddied for the singer, who couldn’t face the harsh reality in real time. “I blocked a lot of it out,” he says, before adding, “I’ve done [that] with a lot of feelings in my life to compartmentalize and keep going.” However, he vividly recalls the impact his father had on his music. Cannon’s dad always listened to the Story So Far demos and gave honest feedback. “He was music to me,” Cannon says, remembering his father’s presence fondly. Looking down and shifting his tone, he adds, “When he left, it was really difficult for me to push forward and do it again.”

The following year, in March 2022, founding bassist Kellen Capener left the band. Capener shared the news in an Instagram post that March, saying, “I’d like you all to hear it from me that I am no longer a member of the Story So Far … I have been a part of this band for the greater part of my life, but I’m at peace with moving on.” The ambiguous message and lack of official statement from the band left fans wondering what had actually happened. When asked about what caused the lineup change, Cannon chooses not to comment. “What I will say is I love Nik Bruzzese,” he says, referring to the Man Overboard bassist who has joined the Story So Far in a touring capacity. 

With so many changes following their most successful album, Cannon and his bandmates considered calling it quits. “We almost honestly broke up a couple times,” he admits. “I thought, what better way to go out than to go out on top? I felt like I had achieved every goal that I had set for the Story So Far.”

In the years that followed, though, the remaining members of the Story So Far — drummer Ryan Torf, lead guitarist Kevin Geyer, and second guitarist Will Levy — helped Cannon grapple with these changes by giving him the space he needed to return to songwriting. “Ryan and Kevin and Will, they are my brothers,” Cannon says. “We may not be related by blood, but we sure as fuck are bound through another type of blood on the road and sweat.” 

Cannon realized he had to keep the Story So Far going to honor his father’s memory and tap into his painful feelings in his music. “The big thing was learning how to channel grief in terms of writing about it,” Cannon says. He’s always been personal in his songs, but the level of honesty that he felt after his father’s death proved difficult in the studio. “There were so many first drafts of these songs that will never see the light of day,” Cannon says with a laugh.  Even through difficult writing sessions, the Story So Far managed to create one of their most visceral pieces of work, transforming the brute force of earlier records like What You Don’t See into the resigned frustration of adults who have grown up and gone through some shit. 

Touring as an opening act for the European leg of Blink-182‘s Rock Hard Tour was another watershed moment that helped Cannon move on. “It was a dream come true,” says the singer, who was inspired to start a band as a teenager after seeing Blink on television. While in Europe, the Story So Far quickly raised their profile, playing to the largest audiences of their careers and getting tagged in an Instagram story by Travis Barker’s wife, Kourtney Kardashian.

The real success was the sense of camaraderie Cannon developed with Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge. One moment in particular stands out for him with Hoppus, who is in remission from lymphoma, and recounted his experience each night in a speech ahead of “Adam’s Song.” 

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“There were many times I couldn’t even get it together before our set. Just being like, ‘Fuck, man. I wish my dad was here to see this,’” Cannon says. “I had a real-ass moment with [Hoppus] where I was like, ‘Hey, man, I went through the same thing with my dad, and unfortunately, he didn’t make it, but he did in a sense that I’m still here and I’m going to do this as best I can.’ And he hugged me like a brother — not as just some person.” 

It was a full-circle moment for Cannon that helped crystallize the future of the Story So Far for him. “Our biggest goal is to keep playing shows, to play them well, and to continue being friends,” he says, breaking into a grin.





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