Latest release: Dead Set (EVP)

King Parrot have unleashed another assault on the senses as their Regional Rampage tour tears its way around the country. Before they headed off, we caught up with frontman Youngy as he reflected on the amazing, surprising but well-deserved meteoric rise of this unlikely Melbourne lot.

You mustn’t get much time to do much of anything else except King Parrot these days.
I do a lot of the organising for the band, so it’s pretty hectic a lot of the time. It’s been great being able to tour a lot over the last couple of years. It’s a bit of a dream come true for us and some of the things that have happened… When we started this band, we didn’t think all this stuff was going to happen. We’ve worked pretty hard for it. We’ve pretty much given up our lives to be in this band so it’s nice to get a bit of a reward.

Dead Set has really gone off.
It’s been beyond our expectations, how well it went. We had great labels behind us who were willing to push it. Especially here in Australia where we started the band and we’ve been trying to build up our fanbase, the last shows we did when we put the album out did exceptionally well. To see people getting into it from the very first note was just insane and I can’t wait to get back out there again on this tour.

You’ve done regional shows before, and this time you’re getting into some places that probably wouldn’t normally get to see a band like King Parrot.
We’ve taken ourselves all around Australia. We’ve been all over the joint. Especially in the early days of the band, we did places that bands don’t go like Mildura and Renmark… we’ve played all over Victoria and NSW, places like Orange, Blue Mountains, stuff like that. It’s gonna be good to get out there and play to the people that don’t get the metal bands there as much – they might have local shows, but bands that have a following like us don’t often get out to places and we still like to do that and we’re really grateful that people out there support us and it’s worthwhile for us to go out there and do it. We’re stoked to be able to go out there and do it again between our US tours.

How many tours have you done over there now?
That was our fifth US tour. Our last one was with Superjoint Ritual, and that went really well. They hadn’t played in ten years, and obviously we just had our new album out and it went much better than expected. It was great to see people starting to get used to the band and beoming more accustomed to what we do. It took a little while in Australia for people to get used to the way we do things, and now we feel like the audiences really get it, and it’s starting to happen in the States now too. It hasn’t been an instant thing. It’s taken some time. We realise that it takes a lot of hard work just like any sort of career in this industry. Especially playing Australian metal (laughs). It’s really tough work out there. We just keep at it and do what we love.

It does seem that extreme metal is coming into its own even at a commercial level. Even two years ago, I would have never predicted a band like King Parrot going Top 20!
Yeah man, that was unbelievable! (laughs) For a band that plays the sort of stuff we play… heavy music has probably become more kind of trendy and fashionable, but we certainly aren’t that, either. It’s testament to the hard work we’ve put in, and probably having a bit of a crossover audience as well. While some people refer to us as a grind band or a thrash band, there’s certainly elements of rock and we just want to try to have our own style and our own sound as opposed to a lot of the bands that are new these days… you couldn’t really tell them apart. Nothing against it – some of the bands that do the deathcore thing are really good, very talented – but a lot of it just sounds the same to me. You couldn’t tell the bands apart. There’s literally hundreds of them, and you can’t really tell one from another. I don’t think there’s too many bands out there that sound like King Parrot. And we’re proud of that.

King Parrot has been around now for quite a while so is it getting easier to put new material together?
Well, yes and no. After we released our first album… since [Matt] Rizzo was playing in the band we’ve had three drummers since the start. We’ve had Skitz, we had Rob Brens playing with us for a while and we’ve had Todd Hansen playing with us now for the past year. We really hit the groove with Toddy and we knew he would be the guy after doing one short tour with him. He’s someone who’ll do it for life. He loves playing, he loves music, he loves being in the band, he fits in with the personalities and it’s just great! No complaints. As soon as he got in the band we started writing the new album and it just came together really easily. I’m pretty excited about the future and I’m pretty excited about how we can develop it, because that was our first crack at writing together and the results are pretty good but I know that we’re capable of so much more. We’ve already started writing a few new songs and they sound great – already better than Dead Set, in my opinion. We’re really keen to keep writing and push it out sometime soon. Obviously there’s a lot of touring to do on the back of Dead Set first (laughs) but now that we have a solid line-up we wanna keep being productive and creative.

Sounds like you’re in the old hardcore cycle of release, tour, release, tour.
We like touring. We don’t like sitting still for too long. A few weeks off here and there is fine, but any more than that and I just get restless. I wanna be out playing and travelling and meeting people and having a good time. It’s a lot of hard work, but we just love doing it. It’s been a while now since I’ve had to work a job that I hate! (laughs) I’ve done that for most of my life, so not having to do that is great, and I wanna hold onto that opportunity as tightly as I can and continue to do it for as long as we can.