Latest release: Bite Your Head Off (Impedance)
King Parrot is one of Australia’s busiest bands in any genre. In just on two years since their EP surfaced, they’ve criss-crossed the country more than half a dozen times, bringing chaos wherever they go. Bastardfest, Dead of Winter, Hammersonic, supports with everyone. These guys don’t know the meaning of taking it easy. With their tour with Psycroptic imminent, bassist Slatts got on the phone recently and here’s what happened:
You must have been on the road more than any other band I can think of over the past year or so.
I reckon you’re probably right, mate. We spend a lot of time sniffing other people’s farts.
How much touring have you done? I’ve lost count of the number of shows I’ve seen you on.
Shit! ‘How many shows have we done?’ is a very good question. We just did thirteen shows with Thy Art [is Murder] and Cattle Decap[itation] across three weeks. And before that… fuck, we did another tour! And before that, at the start of the year we did, what was that stoner rock thing called? Devil’s Kitchen. We done a couple of boring things like tour with Obituary (laughs). And we’re just about to fire up again. We’ve got Psycroptic in a couple of weeks – well, we’ve got the Dead of Winter Festival up in Brisbane.
I was going to ask about that, because you are headlining there and you’re on after Gay Paris, so I’m thinking there won’t be much of the place left for anyone to play once you’re both done.
(Laughs) I’ve seen Gay Paris… well, sorry, I haven’t seen Gay Paris yet but I’ve heard about some of the things they get up to! I think we are on after them… thank fuck for everyone else that there’s no one after us.
Anyone who goes on stage after you must always find it a bit difficult.
They definitely need to strap on the plastic, mate.
Never mind the plastic, I almost had to wear a cast the first time I saw you play when your guitarist kicked the wedge off stage onto my foot.
Oh, you gotta be careful of that mate. You gotta be careful of a lot of things when King Parrot is playing.
Have you ever been banned from a place because of what you do onstage?
Umm… I believe so. I couldn’t give you a name – oh, we’re not welcome back in Warrnambool, I don’t think. And we had to pay from dry cleaning of one venue up in Newcastle. We have been drawn into a situation where a guy broke his… needed a knee reconstruction and he sued the actual venue for letting it happen. Some of them have gotten wise and said, ‘Ok, you can play, but you’re not doing this or this.’
And do you take any notice?
We take it under advisement. (laugh)
In amongst all this, you’re going out with Psycroptic soon but has there been a highlight from the last two years? You’ve done so much that it’s probably hard to pick one thing.
This year has just been amazing. Going to Indonesia was fucking unbelievable. Such an amazing, underground DIY scene over there, where they’re hugely appreciative and for other bands out there I’d recommend you just do it. It’s a wonderful rock n’ roll holiday. You get to pretend you’re a rock n’ roll star. It’s great. We got to play in front of about 300 kids every night in the weirdest and wonderful venues. A high school car park with a generator. At a chicken shop. That was amazing. Highlights like signing to Candlelight Records in the UK. We were released worldwide probably about a month and a half ago now. Things are filtering through for that. Interviews in Terrorizer magazine. Just shit happening and lots of stuff coming up in the future. There’s an American tour coming and a few things next year which are really exciting.
What’s the reaction been like from overseas to your music so far, because, for example, the UK hasn’t seen you live yet. America hasn’t seen you live yet.
It’s been amazing. In terms of reviews of our music, it’s been fantastic. I mean, obviously that’s the most important thing. We’re in a band to play songs, and the songs – we’re pretty proud of ‘em. I think it definitely stands up, that’s for sure. In terms of live shows, obviously we’re massive fuckheads and we love havin’ fun but we rehearse, we practise a lot so that we can be dickheads onstage and manage to hold a tune together as well.
Well obviously that’s important as well, but how many dicks have you drawn on yourself over the last year and a half?
(Laughs) I’ve been through a few Toscas mate.
You’ve done so much already, but an American tour is a pretty big thing. They’re pretty gruelling. It’s not going to be easy.
Not at all. At the moment we’re all working very hard on getting visas and stuff sorted, but it’s thirty shows in thirty days across the east and west coast of America, so it’s going to be fucking hectic.
And I guess they’ll all be show-to-show every night or something like that?
There’s no breaks at all. A lot of two and three hour drives, six hour drives, things like that. It’s going to end up being who stabs who first, really.
You’ll need to keep your health up too, and considering the show you guys put on…
That’s true. That’s true. You know, booze and drugs are good, but you need to consider things in moderation.
When are you going to find time to make new music?
Well, that’s always happening. We’ve now got, officially, Skitz as the drummer in our band but he’s currently on tour with Hobbs Angel of Death in Europe. Ari’s hard at work writing a lot of the music at the moment so we’re really hopeful to be demoing stuff early November or December. The songs are still getting written, that’s for sure.
And Skitz is a pretty busy guy so he’s going to fit right into the King Parrot ethic isn’t he?
He’s being brutal, man. It’s what he does. He plays music, it’s what he’s always done. He’s always been a hero of mine and I guess some of the other dudes in the band as well. He lives for it. I only sort of met him when we started rehearsing together. When you go to someone’s house and they have a rehearsal space underneath their bedroom filled with upside-down crosses and shit likethat… I found out where he takes his inspiration from, anyway!
So will he be doing these shows or have you got someone else along?
We’ve got Rob Brens filling in for us at the moment. He’s done a bunch of shows while Skitz has been busy as well so we’ve worked with Skitz whenever we can and Rob’s been amazing to fill in. He came to Indonesia with us. We’ve been really lucky.
1/8: Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW (+ The Seer + Viral Millennium)
2/8: Bald Faced Stag Hotel, Sydney NSW (+ Bane of Isildur + New Blood)
3/8: Crowbar, Brisbane QLD (+ The Schoenberg Automaton + ROME)
4/8: Norville Hotel, Toowoomba QLD (Lic. A/A)
10/8: Brisbane Hotel, Hobart TAS
18/8: Metal & Hardcore Fest, Mordialloc, VIC
29/8: Hot Damn, Sydney NSW
30/8: Black Market, Adelaide SA
31/8: Bang, Melbourne VIC
6/9: Sands Tavern, Sunshine Coast QLD
7/9: Thriller, Brisbane QLD
20/9: Amplifier Bar, Perth WA (+ Claim the Throne)
21/9: Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury WA (+ Claim the Throne)
27/9: Railway Hotel, Cairns QLD
28/9: Molly Malones, Townsville QLD
12/10: Tote Hotel, Melbourne VIC