Female friendships can be pretty intense, especially when you are in a folk band together. Danni Parpan and Molly McCormick are best friends who started their band The Fruit Flies in Chicago in 2011. It was platonic love at first sight,” says Danni. The two pride themselves on combining musical harmony with witty stage banter, making them a versatile duo who can play anywhere from a 300-seat theater to a dive bar comedy show.
Danni and Molly’s love for each other is so apparent that I can’t imagine how they are could ever stand to be apart. But they do. While Danni just moved to Los Angeles, Molly won’t be moving here until March. During the tortuous two months apart, The Fruit Flies are playing solo shows (and hating it). “I’d always choose to play with Molly instead of alone,” says Danni. “We do a good job yes-and-ing each other.”
We all know how powerful a female friendship can be, especially when you also work together. Danni and Molly admit that their friendship can feel a little weird at times. While Danni is gay and Molly is straight, Danni says it is not the kind of situation where she is always hitting on Molly. If anything, Molly will jokingly say, “If I were gay, you’d be into me, right?” These ladies are certainly in their own form of long-term relationship—the platonic, all-consuming kind. I had a chance to interview them about their relationship over Skype, and it made for an extremely delightful afternoon.
AfterEllen.com: How would you describe your band to people who have never heard your music?
Molly McCormick: We are a two-man band. Danni plays ukulele, I’m on the guitar and we both sing. We have a tendency to do comedy splashed in.
Danni Parpan: We are a spiritual reawakening.
AE: You’ve been playing together since 2011. Does it ever feel like you’re dating?
MM: We are together so much that when we aren’t it’s like, why aren’t we? You get a little jealous. We hang all the time and we play together so in that off time, I’m like, why wasn’t I invited?
DP: I think there’s a really special thing with female friendship. It can be tough because I mostly have females in my life. Molly and I work together all the time, and then we get jealous because we also have other friends. It’s clear to see that Molly’s sexual relationships are with a man and I understand what she gets from the man in her life—
MM: Oh you do?
DP: —but it gets complicated because everyone is like, “are you guys going to live together?” and we are like, “no, definitely not.”
AE: Is this the longest relationship you’ve ever had?
DP: Yes, in any sense that is not family. It’s the longest chosen relationship I’ve ever had.
MM: I agree.
AE: Any pet peeves about each other?
DP: Sometimes I can be seasonally depressed all the time. And Molly is pretty Even Stevens. Sometimes if I’m a little like, “What’s the point of anything, really?” and Molly will be like, “OK.”
MM: I don’t mean to be sassy about it. I’m just the polar opposite and that is why we click.
DP: For example, I have epilepsy and I was going through a medicine shift and the meds were making me so depressed. I went to Molly’s house and she had just got these candy-coated vitamins. I put them in my mouth and she was getting excited watching me eat them. And I said, “If you need to have this much fun eating a vitamin, you need to reevaluate your life.”
MM: Then I yelled at her about my vitamins and she ran into the bathroom and cried and then I felt bad.
DP: I think I needed to hear that cause it was like, “Girlfriend, you are bringing me down.” We help each other meet in the middle.
MM: Yeah, like now I cry for no reason.
AE: How do you balance band and personal life?
MM: It’s hard. When Danni was still in Chicago, I had a strict nine to five job, but Danni made her own hours. I would just want to get home from work, do rehearsal and go to bed. I had to prioritize and say “I’m not super old, I need to go out and hang with friends.” Danni is always up for a good time so I was like, “I need to be more like Danni.”
DP: From dating a stand-up, I know that stand-up is a very individual thing. But for us, we need each other to make it work. Not only do we have to be together to create new material, we also rehearse new material, and we also do shows. There are not enough hours in the day. We end up being together every single night. You add in other life things, like a new romantic relationship, and it gets tricky.
AE: How has it been since Danni moved to LA? What are you doing to keep the band alive?
DP: Molly wrote a beautiful song about moving to LA- the gist is “I’m gonna be there soon, I’m gonna see you soon.” She recorded it and sent it to me. She took a video of her walking around in the snow and I’m going to take video of me walking around out here. We are going to record them over each other and make a music video from opposite sides of the country.