If you haven’t already heard of Byron Bay’s Parkway Drive then you have either been living under a rock or been in a coma. This young band has already accomplished so much and their future looks brighter than ever.
Arguably the biggest heavy band in Australia, Parkway Drive are about to release their very first DVD and frontman Winston McCall was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
Thanks for the interview Winston.
Let’s get the big question out of the way first, when can we expect a new Parkway Drive record?
We’re actually writing at the moment. We started a little while ago and are starting to get down to it. It’s hard touring so much and trying to focus on writing at the same time. Seperating you tour brain from your writing brain is pretty hard. It’s a complete change of mindset. This is our third album album and to put it simply, we don’t want to fuck it up. We’ve always been happy with what we’ve put out and the last thing we ant to do is be one of those bands that just puts out a release for the sake of it. No point in making music if you don’t actually like it anyway. Wow, that was a long answer.
Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam D produced your last two albums. Will you be using him again or do you plan to switch it up this time around?
If he doesn’t hate us, yeah we’d love to work with him again. To be honest he just fits what we want to do with our sound and music and mainly as people. He gets us, so it’s a fucking fun experience to record with him. As far as we figure if we want a change in sound or feel of a recording, then its up to us to tell the producer what we want, not just get another producer. Just a theory though.
You guys are about to release your first ever DVD, aptly titled ‘Parkway Drive the DVD’. How did it come about? Is it something you’ve wanted to put together for a while and just haven’t had the time?
It’s something that we’ve thought about since I think the 2nd or third year in of our existence. We didn’t exactly film with the idea of a dvd in mind, we just filmed everything, and every once in while we would say, wow we could make something interesting out of this. The amount of shit we’ve filmed is seriously insane, and I think the outcome of the dvd is really something that has a different feel to the other band documentaries I have ever seen. Fuck I sound like an idiot saying that.
‘Parkway Drive the DVD’ was edited and put together by the band. Can you tell us who in the band had a major role in putting it together and why you guys chose to do it yourselves as opposed to getting a third party involved.
Gaz (Ben Gordon) edited the whole thing. We all had a hand in the concept and idea’s within the story, but gaz handled the actual editing and shit. The idea behind getting gaz to do it was basically control. In the end we felt that if we gave control over to another producer we would end up with their vision, not ours. Not to sound like an idiot but I think as people and as a band we wanted to put out a story that was kind of different from anything we had seen done by a band before, and we didn’t really trust anyone to do that. DIY I guess hahaha
Parkway Drive are touring Australia nationally with August Burns Red (U.S) and Architects (U.K) in August. Are these bands that you have become friends with playing overseas? Or are you just bringing them out because you are fans of both bands?
We’ve known architects for a while now. They actually played our first ever London show with us 3 years ago, then we bumped into them on the road a couple of times and finally toured together last time we were in Europe on the never say die tour. They’re legends, but with funny accents and funny haircuts, plus they are INSANE on stage. We’d heard good things about August Burns Red as people, and for some reason they have never toured Australia, so we just thought, why not see if they want to come over?
And a follow up to that, what kind of thought process goes into selecting international bands you bring out to Australia?
It starts with friends. We like touring with friends. And we like touring with bands we actually enjoy. Apart from that there’s not really a criteria to our tour selection process.
You guys have been consistently bringing the right international bands on tour (in Australia), do you think that’s helped maintain a fresh approach to touring, for both you and your fans?
Maybe, I’m not sure. I think it makes a difference with the amount of kids coming out to show, but then again we thought nothing would top the sweatfest bill hype wise, but so far this next tour looks like its going to actually go better, which just throws a big question mark over the whole concept haha. AS for keeping it fresh, I think we’ve toured with every different kind of sounding band we can, except for maybe brokencyde or something
The band spends so much time on the road, do you look forward to coming back to Australia and hanging out with your friends? Is there much time for anything else besides touring these days?
Yes! I love home. Byron is great. Seriously still the best place I have ever been in the world. We try and do a month on, month off tour schedule so we stay fresh for tour, which means we have a little “time off”, which for most of the band still entails working in some way or form. We have a little time to do other shit but the reality is, it never stops completely.
What’s it like playing shows in the U.S at the moment given the state of the economy?
Fine. The last tour we did over there we we’re a little nervous. We had other bands warning us saying that less kids are coming out because of finances, but to be honest it was probably the best US tour we have done so far, so I’m not sure what they were on about. Actually if you look at the trends of the last big recession, the last thing to go under is always the entertainment industry. People always want an escape from whatever is going on in their lives.
Is there a big difference between audiences in Australia and the U.S? Do you find that kids are generally the same in most cities in say the U.S or Europe?
There is definetly a difference between Australian audiences and everywhere else. There are so many ‘randoms’ coming to Aus shows these days its just ridiculous. Everywhere else is still largely ‘hardcore’ or ‘scene’ or whatever the fuck kids want to call it these days, although it does seem to be heading the way of the Australian crowd diversity. Very strange
Considering the band gets virtually no radio or television coverage, what do you think the secret is to Parkway Drive’s success?
I have no idea. That is still the biggest question we have to answer about this band. I don’t get were all these people come from and what they see in us. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fucking amazing, but we are very aware of how many bands there are out there playing the kind of music we do. It’s a strange situation to be involved in.
Are there any Australian bands coming up that you’re backing right now?
50 lions new record will smash your head. Word Up. Sink or swim. BBHC! Hahaha.
Any young bands that you’ve seen whilst on tour in Europe or the U.S that kids should check out?
Architects obviously. I’m hoping kids back that band because they are seriously going to blow some minds when they come over. Rise and Fall, still. If you havn’t heard this band yet you need too now!
What does the next 12 months look like for Parkway Drive?
Write, tour, write, tour, record, tour, tour, tour, tour. Surf.
That’s about it, any parting words?
Not really, I talk to much anyway. Just thanks. Always thanks.
Parkway Drive‘s new DVD hits stores on August 7th via Shock Records. and you can pre-order a copy here. The band hits the road in August to promote the new DVD with August Burns Red & Architects. For a full list of dates and venues click here.