Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Parkway Drive Interview

It still blows me away how big Byron Bay's Parkway Drive have become in 2010. Sold-out 10,000 plus shows, multiple worldwide headlining tours, gold and platinum record sales etc. I used to watch these guys perform in shitty pubs in front of 10 people, now look at them. This is an interview that I did with Winston McCall back in 2005. This was just after their first full length CD, 'Killing With A Smile' came out. I kind of lost interest in the band to an extent after that album and the follow up did nothing to reignite my interest, but the new album that's come out this year, 'Deep Blue' certainly has some catchy stuff on it. For fans of: moshing to open chord break downs. These guys are what you would probably call 'rock stars' now, but they still seem quite down to earth. Anyway, this interview seems a little nooby I guess, it appeared in the second zine I ever did, TheShaprEndZine #2. Read on if you give a shit...

Your hometown scene of Byron bay seems to blowing up at the moment. Why do you think it has been Parkway Drive to rise out of the scene?

I think mainly because we’ve been around for the longest, although I wouldn’t call two years an age. I would say that’s probably it. Hometown pride!

What other bands are you dudes in from that area?

Myself and Ben, we are in xChuck Norrisx, but we’ve put that on hold for a while.

What’s happening with xChuck Norrisx? Will they be continuing on? That band seemed to have such a short life.

Not to sure hey. We all had super fun playing in that band but due to time constraints with Parkway we had to stop. We might hit it up again in the future. There is also talk of getting a new drummer and singer and continuing on, we’ll just have to wait and see.

You guys have just released your debut long player ‘Killing With A Smile’. For the album you chose to go to the US to record with Adam D of Killswitch Engage fame. Can you give us the details on how all of this came about? How was the trip funded?

Pretty much we we’re in the car on the way home from Adelaide and we said ‘hey, wouldn’t be cool if we could get Adam D to produce it’. We all kinda figured it would be too hard but when we hit him up he said yeah and it pretty much went from there. We financed the whole thing ourselves, via band savings and parents loans (thanks guys). I’m still really surprised it all came together.

What was recording with Adam like? In general how was your experience in the US?

Adam is a fucking genius. That’s the only way I can put it. He can play pretty much everything and just has a really good ear for music. He had a huge influence on the way our cd has turned out. Pretty much exactly what we wanted and needed for this cd. As for our experience in the States, well it was stressful. We spent 12 - 13 hours a day recording so we didn’t really have much time for anything else. The food over there is very fast and I couldn’t find shit to eat cause i’m vego, so I pretty much died.

Does the album have distro overseas? On what label?

Not sure just yet, we we just have to wait and see. Hopefully.

This is the bands first full length release. What was the writing experience like? How long did you spend writing the songs etc?

We wrote the majority of the songs over about four months. Some of them came together super quick, some took ages. It was kinda hard because we wanted to make a cd that isn’t just the same sounding songs over and over. We just tried to be really conscious of how all the songs sounded together as a whole without compromising heaviness and the way we really wanted it all to sound.

You guys have been heavy tourers for a while now. Most recently and notably with Bleeding Through. Can we still expect to see Parkway around these parts?

Yes, yes, yes!!! More tours. Tours everywhere. We love touring so keep an eye out for us cause we are going to be on the road heaps.

With the new album being more of an international affair can the rest of the world expect to see a Parkway tour?

Hopefully next year we’re going to try to get overseas.

So what is the full Parkway Drive lineup at the moment?

Winston (me), Ben, Luke, Jeff and Cashy. We just recruited Cashy on bass to replace Steegy so that’s the only change.

There was alot of shit talking when it was announced that Steegy was leaving the band. Can you set the record straight on the whole topic?

Sweet, I sure can. Here it is. Steegy is our friend and a fucking great guy. He just lacked either motivation or something else. In the months that we were writing the cd we just kinda drifted apart. It was obvious that he cared about the band but in our eyes he just didn’t seem to understand how much his actions were bringing us down so we had to split. It was heavy and pretty sad cause he’s an awesome guy but we had to do it. No bad blood. So yeah, now we have Cashy.

These days it seems that the main content matter of alot of bands lyrics is love, hate etc. What do you like to write about?

I like to write about stuff that effects me directly or through someone else’s actions. The new album is a hell of alot angrier than our older stuff. Mainly because I see alot of bad shit going on in the world and within our scene. I’m not good at writing love songs haha.

When writing as a band who are the key contributors? Does everybody play an important role?

Everybody plays a role. Jeff generally writes the riffs so he’s pretty much the core of it but everybody is important which is really good.

How do you describe the sound of Parkway Drive?

Heavy and large. Like Jed.

When writing, what bands do you guys rate as your biggest influences?

It varies from person to person. I know Ben loves Unearth but I gotta say we have no real band that we strive to sound like or emulate. We just want to sound heavy.

I know you have probably had to answer this one alot but where does the name come from?

Hahaha, fuck this one again. Nah it’s cool. Parkway Drive is the street that Ben lives on. His family has let us and pretty much every hardcore band in Byron before us use their house as a jam space and hang out. Pretty much gave all bands a home. We just wanted a name that stood for something so this is it.

With what would seem alot of your goals as a band achieved recently what other goals have you yet to achieve?

Really we never had to many to start with. We have been lucky enough to have a bunch of opportunities thrown our way. I guess I would really like to go overseas, that would be cool. To play in another country would be something we would never had dreamed could happen. I think we just want to play the heaviest music around and we will see how we go. We have a way to go yet.

Any good bands you dig at the moment?

HER NIGHTMARE. Holy fuck. When these guys blow up people are going to fucking die. Seriously awesome shit. Also 50 Lions and Powerslam. Home town pride!

Any thanks?

Yeah. You for doing this zine, and anyone who reads this and supports hardcore and sees it as something more than just ‘heavy music’.