PROVO — A local band is using its music to help preserve national parks.
Provo band The National Parks has partnered with the National Parks Conservation Association to raise money to protect the parks. All of the profits from its single "As We Ran" will be donated to the NPCA, which has been working with the parks for 95 years.
“We decided we would want to give back even if it’s just a little bit to help them, so decided to donate every penny we make for the first month for the single on iTunes to them,” said band member Brady Parks.
The band's new single is also the theme song for a film called "Love in the Tetons." It tells the story of a couple who got married in the Tetons and is the first in the National Park Experience series of documentaries.
The band became involved with the documentary because of its name — the filmmakers started communicating with the band after they found it on Twitter and enjoyed the band's music. The National Parks will be performing at the premiere of the documentary in Boulder, Colo., on Feb. 8 at eTown.
Through the film series, the band became connected with the NPCA.
“We have honestly just felt like we’ve been very blessed and fortunate to be involved in such a great project and to almost kind of have a partnership with people who are involved with the actual national parks,” Parks said.
The single made it into the top 40 songs on iTunes for the singer/songwriter category within hours of its release on Jan. 28. The group's first album, "Young," made it to No. 13 on the singer/songwriter charts when it was released in October.
The band is celebrating its one-year anniversary of officially becoming The National Parks in February. The members are all students at Brigham Young University and met through mutual friends; they have been playing together for about two years.
“As soon as we all jammed together it just fit like a glove,” Parks said. “We all became best friends and have just been making music and been loving the adventure that we’re on.”
He said there have been a handful of moments that have really stuck out to him as being surreal and almost spiritual. One of those times was when they headlined a sold-out concert at Velour after they released their album. When he got up on stage, everyone started singing along.
“I just kind of backed away from the mic and let them sing and I just almost couldn’t believe that everyone in this sold-out crowd knew every word to the song and it just happened throughout the night too," he said.
"It was one of those moments that I think I will always remember and it made me really grateful to be doing what I’m doing and be surrounded by such amazing people.”
Parks said the band hopes its music can be an influence for good.
“One thing that we try to stand for is that through this whole process of music we want to be kind of examples to the world,” he said. “There is a lot of music out there that is kind of unclean and dirty — we want to be that force that helps uplift people and encourages them and makes them want to progress in some way.”