Interview: King Parrot’s Regional Rampage

King Parrot are one of the biggest and best Grindcore bands in Australia and are about to embark on their massive Regional Rampage Tour. Shannon-Lee Sloane of GC Live had a chat with Matt Young today about the upcoming tour, how far the band have come over the years and what Matt likes to do to chill out after a big tour…

So only a few days until The King Parrot Regional Rampage Tour begins! Kicking off at The Download Festival in Melbourne, you must be keen to get started?

Matt: Yeah, we’ve been kind of laying low over the Aussie summer due to a few things but we are really fired up to get moving for 2018! Download festival is going to be amazing and it’s an amazing line up. We just found out that we are playing from 7pm to 7:30pm on the Dog Tooth stage now, rather than earlier in the day which is great. They sort of switched it around for us and we’ve got a much better time slot now which we are really stoked about. Playing at these sorts of festivals is always heaps of fun and great crowds and big stages.  I think the King Parrot show is sort of adaptable you know we can play in small clubs or at bigger festivals.

After just doing the Ugly Produce tour last year, this is a huge regional tour, with 19 shows already announced and more dates to be announced soon?

Matt: I think it is going to be 24 in total by the end of it yeah; we’ve got to hold off until our Download commitments are complete until we announce the rest of the shows. So another 5 shows being added to what’s already there. So it is definitely the biggest Australian tour that we’ve done and it’s a bit of a massive undertaking for us but at the same time you know, we want to keep pushing the envelope and setting the bar a little higher for ourselves and trying to do new things, different things and keeping it fresh and exciting for us so that we’re not getting bored. Undertaking things like this is really great for us, you know, we love doing it. We’ve got our really great mates, Child Bite coming out from the US too, so we are really happy about that.

I saw you guys twice in Brisbane last year, at Crowbar and at The Triffid; Both awesome gigs and both great venues. What is one of your most memorable gigs to date?

Matt: Ohhh wow, we’ve had a lot.

Hard question I know…

Matt: Yeah, Soundwave was amazing. We were lucky to get the opportunity to do that because you know, not many Aussie bands got the opportunity to play at that festival.  Playing in Scandinavia was always a highlight for me because being a black metal fan and being into that stuff since I was young, I loved going to Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Playing in Indonesia, we played at Hammersonic festival, maybe 4 years ago and that was pretty cool, playing in front of an audience in a third world country with a predominantly Muslim audience while we are running around flashing our asses and stuff, they really got a bit of a laugh out of us. I think sharing the stage with bands we have looked up too and playing in venues like The Fillmore in San Francisco and The Wiltern in Los Angeles was pretty amazing. When we toured with Down back in 2014 and being able to share the stage with guys like Phil Anselmo and Max Cavalera, Chuck Billy from Testament, it has been an incredible journey for us and we have come such a long way from when we started. When we started we never sort of had any aspirations for any of this stuff, it was just for fun, but the way it has taken off and gone ahead has far exceeded our expectations, we are really grateful that we have had the opportunities we have had.

So I think you have already answered my next question there somewhat, but my next question was in relation to the awesome bands and musicians you have toured with over the years, what are some other bands you loved touring with?

Matt: In 2016 we did a tour with Obituary and Exodus and Prong in Europe and that was amazing, amazing guys, fantastic to get the insight and close up view of how the bands have been operating and successfully doing it, you know, it’s incredible and amazing to just be there and be amongst that and be around those sort of people and to be asked to be a part of those sorts of things, that was really cool. Like I mentioned before, the opportunity to tour with Max Cavalera and do the Soulfly stuff and we’ve done many different tours with Phil Anselmo with Down and also his hardcore band, Superjoint, which is really great and I think having the chance to be exposed to those sorts of audiences and bands was a great opportunity for us. It seems like these opportunities have been coming for us and we’ve had bands putting their hands up and seem to want to go on tour with us and we really can’t complain about anything! *laughs*

That is so great you having these opportunities with these bands and then on the flip side, you are giving smaller upcoming bands an opportunity to tour with you guys. I’m a huge supporter of local music and on this tour; you guys have selected two local bands from each town to support you, which is awesome. But there is so much talent around; it must be tough trying to choose your support bands?

Matt: Oh yeah it is, it’s tough and you know, someone has always got to miss out, at the end of the day we try and spread it out as much as we can and I think for us having the opportunity to be able to pass on that experience to the younger bands coming up on the local scene and stuff, that’s what it is all about. You know I think when I look back to my younger days when I was a kid and playing in bands and stuff and getting really stoked with the Melbourne bands, getting the opportunity to play with those bands and what that does for your motivation and to see the way that these bands have been doing it and how they operate is great.  I guess for us it is great having the opportunity to be able to give back a little bit and that is really what it is all about for us. We could probably sit there and organize a tour package and not have any local bands play and people would still come but I think having two bands touring and a couple of local bands at each place does take a lot more time to organize but I think it is our duty to do that and it is something that will pay us back in the long run. I just love being able to get in there and check out new bands, new music and meet new people and you know just work together to keep the music scene going.

The band is well known for your incredibly witty and amusing film clips, who comes up with the concept for the clips?

Matt: Well, between myself and our video producer Dan Farmer and our Art guy and good friend Boyd Synnott, he’s done the last two covers and albums and he is heavily involved in the video process as well, so the three of us usually get together and come up with some sort of idea or concept and then just sort of brainstorm on what we think would or wouldn’t work and sometimes it ends up being something completely different to what the original idea was. But yeah there are constraints for us, like our budgets aren’t huge for our videos so we have to try and do something really creative and different within the budget that we have to work with, so I always find that a really good challenge. It’s always lots of fun and it’s been another way for us to be creative as a band. The Ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag clip is probably my favourite, at the bondage and discipline house with all of us getting the treatment from the mistresses at The Fetish House down here in Melbourne, they were very hospitable and very naughty *laughs*

Would have been a real tough day at work that one I can imagine…

Matt: *laughs* Oh yeah it was a lot of fun, we had the best time.

So after the Download festival you’ll be on the panel for the ‘Mastering Music, Mastering Life – Mental Health Summit’ which focuses on mental health issues in the music industry. Such an important topic that is not often talked about, can you tell me some more about the summit?

Matt: So it is being run by my friend Tony who is probably better known as Jack The Bear and he is a mastering engineer here in Melbourne, he has been doing this stuff for a long time and is a very talented man. He started doing his podcasts over a year or two ago that are aimed at helping people in the music industries and others with issues that they may have. I think he always has had guests come in and do podcasts and speak to artists about their experience with mental health and their challenges and any issues. I guess with the summit, this is now a broader thing, there is going to be a few of us on the panel and we are all going to be talking about our experiences. It is good opportunity to hear people bounce their ideas off each other and talk about their experiences and how they have dealt with some of the challenges they have had with being a part of the music industry. And just in life in general.

So since 2010 when King Parrot formed, you’ve released an EP and 3 amazing albums, toured your asses off, been interviewed and supported by big names such as Phil Anselmo of Pantera, seen a few band members leave and new ones join, and in my mind you are arguably the biggest and best Grindcore band in Australia; after this massive regional tour, what’s next for King Parrot?

Matt: Oh thank you for your kind words there!  We have some international stuff coming up, I think it gets announced tomorrow, we are heading back over the US for a bit, so keep an eye on our pages and all that sort of stuff, social media and . I really want to start writing again, we actually secretly recorded a little EP at the end of last year when we were over in the US. We had some downtime, so we wrote and recorded an EP in a week, so it is like 4 songs and it is about 8 or 9 minutes of music so that is going to get released sometime later this year as well. So I guess we will keep scouring and planning tours and try and do some interesting stuff. We are doing a house show on this tour which will be our first ever house show we have ever done and it is in conjunction with a company called Parlor. We are going to test the house show out on this tour and if it goes well, we might do some more of that kind of thing. It seems like a really fun idea and if it is done in the right way, and these guys seem to have their shit together when it comes to this sort of thing so we will try and do it again and maybe do a house party tour or something *laughs*

Wow, pretty sure you’d have a lot of fans keen for that idea!

Matt: Yeah you’d have to be pretty stupid to let us play at your house but I think there are enough people out there in King Parrot land who are crazy enough to do it, so you know, it is just another thing we are thinking about that we could potentially do that would be lots of fun.

One final question: Can you tell me one random thing that your fans wouldn’t know about you?

Matt: One thing? Hmmm well, I don’t know… I like surfing,  I live near the beach and I try and go surfing a lot, yeah I have been doing it for a couple of years now and have been getting right into it. I really love it and I love getting out on the water. Gets a little bit cold down here in Victoria but I am stupid enough to get in there and give it a crack *laughs*

I have heard surfing is a great way to get into that sort of meditative state, you know, out there on the water, where it is quiet and still and peaceful, I guess that would be a nice change compared to when you’re out on tour?

Matt: Oh yeah, as soon as I get back from tour, it is the first thing I will do, just grab my board and get out there and don’t even unpack my bag, just get out there in the water and wash all that tour filth off *laughs*

Life is all about balance, so you need that hey…

Matt: Yeah, you don’t get a lot of balance on tour *laughs* It is nice to come home and just enjoy a surf, I love it.

Big thanks to Matt for chatting with GC Live today. The King Parrot Regional Rampage Tour kicks off this weekend at The Download Festival, Saturday the 24th of March in Melbourne. This is not a tour you will want to miss! You can catch King Parrot at the following venues on these dates:

28th March – Albion Hotel – Albury, NSW

29th Of March – Transit Bar – Canberra, ACT

30th Of March – Dicey Riley’s – Wooloongong, NSW

31st of March – Long Jetty Hotel – Central Coast, NSW

1st of April – Small Ballroom – Newcastle, NSW

4th of April – Hotel Gollans, Lismore, NSW

5th of April – Miami Tavern – Gold Coast , QLD

6th of April – Sol Bar – Maroochydore, QLD

7th of April – The Back Room – Brisbane, QLD

8th of April – The Northern – Byron Bay, QLD

11th of April – Tattersalls Hotel, Maryborough, QLD

12th of April – Railway Hotel – Bundaberg, QLD

14th of April – Dalrymple Hotel – Townsville, QLD

15th of April – Edge Hill Tavern – Cairns, QLD

19th of April – Spotted Cow – Toowoomba, QLD

20th of April – Parlour House Show – Port Macquarie, NSW

21st of April – UTSC Fest – Bald Faced Stag – Sydney, NSW

22nd of April – UTSC Fest – Bald Faced Stag – Sydney, NSW (All Ages)

More dates to be announced soon!

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