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GIK Acoustics - Europe
GIK Acoustics - Europe
The Moshville Times

Interview: Matt Young of King Parrot – Glasgow, 4th Feb 2016

King Parrot Matt Young Glasgow 2016Australia’s King Parrot were over for a visit recently with Soulfly and Incite. We managed to grab a little time with singer Matt Young in the afternoon before the show.

Your new album, Dead Set, came out in May 2015. How has it been received?

Think it’s been going good man. We did a big tour in Australia when we first put it out back in May (2015) through May, June and it was the biggest sorta one we done to date as a headliner. It was really cool, we sold out in all the major cities and it was really cool just to be able to get a bit of a measure on how much the band had actually grown since when we first put out the first album.

We played a lot in Australia obviously trying to get the band started from when you put the first record out and then putting the second record out, you’re kind of like, going into unknown territory really and it was a good measuring stick for us to see how far we’d come and how much growth had happened for the band in our home country, so that was great man, it was really good.

Since then we’ve been in North America a lot, we’d done two tours there towards the end of last year and now we’re getting the opportunity to come over here and do it in Europe. I think it’s been pretty well received in Europe. I mean we’ve had good reviews and what not, but I think where we excel as a band is, as a live band and I mean, you gotta put records out as a band these days but let’s face no one really gives a fuck about it and no one buys them any more so, (laughs) I mean it’s a necessary thing to do and we love the creative part of it and all that and putting records out but at the same time we are under no illusions that where we’ve got to do our thing is in the live arena and and putting the album out as well is great for us to play a whole bunch of new songs as well. We’ve been playing some songs off that.

It was nice to inject some fresh songs into the set and get it going, a bit of different shit going on you know? Cause, after Bite Your Head Off came out, at first like when we went through three drummers so we had to learn the whole fucking set three times again. We were constantly touring as well so, now we got Todd Hansen and playing drums for us and played on Dead Set, so that was great, you know, it’s been going really good, we got a really good group you know, so it’s cool.

Tell us about yourselves, where are you from?

The nucleus of the band is from Melbourne, Australia, and we’ve all known each other for a long time. We’ve all played in lots bands over the years, like lots of different bands. Myself and Slatts our bass player we sort of come more from a rock and roll sort of back ground played in more rock sort of bands before we started doing King Parrot. Squiz our other guitarist has played in a lot of rock bands – a lot of metal bands as well. He’s like a little bit older than us, so you know, he’s had a lot of experience, done a lot of tours with lots of different bands and Ari our other guitarist, main song writer, he’s a metal head, loves metal.

Yeah I guess, coming together when we started the band we wanted to sort of bring in all different elements from where our background was from so it didn’t slide into your typical metal band. We didn’t really wanna have any intention of being a typical metal band…. It’s just not our thing.

We were really influenced by a lot of the bands that came from the Australian scene in the 90’s, a couple of bands broke out, but not a lot. There’s was a huge scene when we were growing up as kids in the 90’s in Australia that was really awesome and it was really original music and it really had this Australian, sort of…uh, I dunno, like approach… attitude and even the sound it was real sorta ragged and nasty, you know?

Bands like Damaged, Christbait and Blood Duster – I don’t know if you’re familiar with them? A lot of bands man, Abremelin, Alchemist. A lot of bands that never really never made it on to the international scene before us as kids growing up, which were all bands that we really looked up to.

So we really wanted to take a lot of that sound and bring it into our own thing, but take it out onto the international stage and try and get that Australian sound recognised a little bit more. It is what it is I guess, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea that’s for sure, and what with the way we do it, we just go fucking ape shit so, it’s like, we generally always at least piss off a few people in the audience at every show, you know, because they’re not familiar with us or what not, and that’s fun to do you know, because sometimes grind and metal heads take themselves pretty seriously and we just like to have fun. There’s a lot of intensity and aggression in our show but there’s also a lot of humour. If you can’t take a joke then, and have a bit of fun with it, then I think you’re taking yourself a way too seriously. So, we just like to have fun with it and that’s our main thing and just enjoy ourselves you know.

How would you class your style of music?

The three main things I think that are prevalent in our sound are grindcore, and thrash and punk. They’re the three main things and that’s obviously leaving us open to a broad spectrum of sounds and it really doesn’t rule anything out for us.

There are definitely some rock ‘n’ roll structures and things like that we tend to use as opposed to like some sort of complex heavy metal technical death metal structure. You know, that’s not our thing really at all, we’re more into hooks and big riffs and grinding it out. That’s more our style, so we’d like to think that we put our own twist on it and definitely bring that Aussie attitude and aggression, and sort of tongue and cheek thing that’s been sorta prevalent in Aussie bands since back in the day with AC/DC and stuff, back in the early days, so it’s still things we like to bring to the table and contribute to making King Parrot is what it is I guess.

How did you meet/form as a band?

Well our guitarist Ari and our original drummer Rizzo, asked me to sing in the band, but we’d been friends for a long time anyway, and from there we went through a couple of different members until we got Slatts and Squiz who are still with us now and obviously after we put out the first record, Rizzo left and we’ve had a couple of drummers come and go until we found Toddy. We’ve all been part of the Melbourne rock ‘n’ metal scene for a long time like, for as long as I can remember, and I’m turning 35 today, so I’ve been playing bands for 20 years now. I remember going out and sneaking into pubs when I was a youngster and doing all that stuff and I think all the guys in the band have got a pretty similar story about just growing up in Melbourne and doing all that sort of stuff.

It’s a really great music scene in our city, you know it is sort of known. I don’t know how much you guys know about Aussie metal and all that sort of stuff, and the scene down there but Melbourne is really known as the capital of metal and rock in Australia. There’s a lot of great venues and a lot of venues that foster bands to come in and welcome and play your first show here, come and play on a Tuesday night and promote the shit out of it, get your friends here and we’ll give you a Friday night, or Saturday night… There’s lots of cool stuff like that going on in Melbourne and it’s a really good scene to be a part of.

I guess the only thing being from Australia, is you’re so far away from the rest of the world, so to actually be a band that is lucky enough to break out of the scene and start touring internationally is very difficult unless you’ve got very rich parents, or someone financing you or something like that. We have neither of these, it’s quite a task you know.

We’re proud of what we’ve done and what we’ve been able to achieve so far. We’ve been pretty much on the road non-stop for the last 3 years now and it’s been a hell of a ride and we’re really looking forward to being able to do it over here in Europe more often.

How did you manage to get on this tour?

We’ve known Max (Cavalera) for a little while. He started dropping King Parrot in interviews and shit and people had brought it to my attention saying “Max Cavalera is dropping King Parrot all the time” and I was like ‘what the fuck?’ So we ended up getting in contact and whatnot and we met up at Soundwave last year in Australia when he was out there with Killer Be Killed. We were also playing Soundwave, so we met up and hung out and it was a great time and Max asked me to do a track on the new Soulfly album. It was about a month just after Soundwave we were touring in the States, we went through Phoenix and Max came out with the tribe and we had a great night, Max took me down to the car and he showed me the song he wanted me to do on the Soulfly record and had the lyrics written for me and he sang it for me in the car. Two days later we were going to be in L.A and were playing there, so we dropped into the producer’s house and I went and laid down the vocals and put it down and that song is on Archangels called “Live Life Hard”. I think it came out good, man. Its kind of weird hearing my vocals on the same song as Max. It’s cool, it’s like one of those things, you just gotta take the opportunities and take the risks and hopefully some of it pays of and luckily for us some of it has.

How has the tour been going so far?

It’s been awesome! Obviously we’ve just been here in the UK and Ireland. All the shows have been really well attended and I think the Soulfly fans have come to the show with an open mind prepared to give the opening bands a chance and I mean, we do have a little bit of a following over here I guess, but not a huge following by any means. I guess we’re under no illusions of where we sit, you know. We’re a new band over here, we’re kind of established in Australia and we’re getting more established in North America, but over here we’re kind of a new entity, so we gotta go up and put in 100% every single night and try win the audience over and I think so far it’s been going really well, so yeah!

How has it been touring with a legend like Max?

Oh awesome man. Max is just a super chilled out guy and a really nice dude. He and his wife Gloria have always been very accommodating and generous to King Parrot. Obviously his whole family are on tour, they’re all on the bus, Lody Kong and Incite. It’s really cool to be part of a tour and experience the way the whole thing operates. It’s a really cool thing, it’s unique and it’s just one of those things you’re just like ‘holy shit, this is how this all works’ and we just sort of slot in and do our thing and it’s cool.

I think you know when we get up there and do our thing it’s probably not what the audience would expect to a certain degree because we are a pretty extreme band in our right. We’re not satanic or anything like that, we’re just an extreme band who play extreme music and we bring it right to the audience and I think we really like being that main support band warming the audience up and it’s a cool situation to be in with someone like Max who’s been such a legend of the scene for such a long time.

It’s just been incredible. I mean the other night his brother Igor came to the London show, and we got up and we did a tribute to Lemmy. We did “Ace of Spades” and Igor played drums and I sang. It was great, you know just a great show. It was sold out in London, just an amazing excuse to get up there and do that shit. If you had told me that when I was a young metal head, 14 years of age, listening to my Sepultura Arise cassette tape I would never have believed that. It’s cool man, being able to make those things happen.

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