After 4 1/2 years of playing together, Belleville-based band The Parlor Knights had garnered a strong local following and produced a well recieved EP and an album. The Knights’ future was looking pretty rosy — until lead singer and guitarist Gavin McNutt decided to split from the band and focus on performing solo.
The band broke up after McNutt’s departure and the remaining members went on to pursue different projects.
“To certain extent it was amicable. As cliche as it sounds, the creative vision of each member was very different and there was a lot of internal conflict — it was very passive-aggressive at the time,” McNutt said. “I wanted to create my own version of Bob Dylan or a Ryan Adams or a Damien Rice, Jackson Browne.”
A lot has changed for McNutt, 28, since he left the band. He got married last October, lives in Swansea and works as a specialty sales manager at Best Buy in Fairview Heights. He credits his wife and his job with providing him the time and support to be musically creative.
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You can see and hear Gavin perform the song “Necklace” in his basement studio on bnd.com. The song is about his wife, Alicia.
“I wrote that song four years ago when I met her,” McNutt said. “Within three months, I knew she was the one.”
McNutt’s time as a solo artist gave him time to reflect on his feelings about being in a band.
“I left Parlor Knights because at the time I thought ... I wanted to become a solo act. But now I’m here and I’m starting a new band with the previous members.
“I’ve grown up. I’ve seen what’s truly important. Being alone was needed for me to see the bigger picture — that best work that I have yet to do will be the group of guys I’m working with.”
His new, as yet unnamed band, includes his former Parlor Knights bandmates Chris Garner, Danny Newgent and Dylan Doughty, and a new drummer, Jacob VanOteghem.
“The solo albums will be more relaxed and chill stuff and the rock ’n’ roll stuff will be with this new band.”
McNutt will continue to work on his solo career and perform locally as Gavin M.
For more information about upcoming performances, visit https://www.facebook.com/gavinmmusic?fref=ts
Gavin M. performances
8 p.m. June 12 — The Abbey, 5801 W. Main, Belleville.
8 p.m. June 19 — The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar, University City, Mo., with Emily Wallace.