King Parrot are swiftly becoming one of Australia’s greatest metal institutions, their crazy mix of grindcore, hardcore punk and sludge has granted the five piece the chance to tour the world with their heroes and play their mental music to thousands. To find out more about the band, working with Phil Anselmo and touring with him, their upcoming appearance at Bloodstock, new music and their music videos, I spoke to vocalist Matt ‘Youngy’ Young.
Jack: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you doing?
Matt ‘Youngy’ Young: Doing well thank you very much!
Jack: King Parrot formed in 2010, how did you all meet?
Matt: We’ve all been around the Melbourne music scene for a long time, and we just identified each other as dudes that wanted to try and take a band to a level that most other Melbourne bands don’t get to. We all wanted to commit to touring and playing a style of music that is important to us.
Jack: You play a mixture of sludge metal and grindcore, what bands are the main influences?
Matt: Everything really, we are all guys in our mid-thirties and older so we are influenced by everything from The Travelling Wilburys to Impaled Nazarene. That being said, our sound is derivative from our sound that came out of Melbourne in the 90’s and bands like Damaged, Beanflipper, Abramelin and Blood Duster have been a huge influence on our sound. We really wanted to take that sound to the international stage because we always thought that is where these bands belonged. Other than Blood Duster a couple of times, those bands we mentioned didn’t really get out overseas at all. So we are flying the flag and bringing an Australian styled extreme metal sound out of the country.
Jack: Your music is hard to pin down to one genre, do you think metal fans are too obsessed with categorising bands into genres?
Matt: We don’t really bother ourselves with that too much. We don’t care for being categorised, we just play what we like to play. We also just put on the kind of live show that we would like to see, and how anyone else tries to pigeon hole us isn’t really important.
Jack: What’s the music scene in Melbourne like?
Matt: It’s busy, and recently there has been an influx of bands branching out overseas, so this has been great for the scene in general and gives musicians some hope. There is a diverse scene and heaps of different music to sink your teeth into. I would liken it to any other major cities music scene, as there are many different venues and literally thousands of bands.
Jack: Your album Dead Set came out in 2015. Are you happy with the feedback it got?
Matt: Yeah it was great and it helped further launch our band out around the world. We got nominated for an ARIA award which is like the Australian equivalent of a Grammy, so we were shocked by that and it was the first time that a band that plays ‘grindcore’ as we are usually tagged, has been nominated for such a thing. It was funny being on the red carpet at the awards ceremony with Kylie Minogue and The Wiggles. We were certainly out of place.
Jack: Dead Set was produced by Phil Anselmo, what was it like recording with Phil?
Matt: It was awesome, we had a ball out at his place and they are the kindest and most generous people. They really appreciated that we were a long way from home on the other side of the world and did everything they could to make us feel at home and welcome. Phil has an extraordinary knowledge of music and had a hand in making some of the greatest metal albums of all time, so we soaked everything up while working with him. There’s things I learned from him regarding vocals that I will always take with me. Little tricks, techniques and song writing tools that you can’t just learn anywhere.
Jack: What did you learn from touring the US with Down, Orange Goblin and B’last?
Matt: We learned that they like to party hard, but they are all world class bands and have earned that right. We have a long way to go to have the kind of history and dedication to the craft that those bands have, but we are committed and it gave us a great insight into how things operate on the next level up. We also got to play some incredible venues and theatres that was a major spin out for us back then. We have since done many more tours, but that one was killer.
Jack: What was it like going on stage with Down to perform Bury Me In Smoke on some nights?
Matt: Pretty surreal really, but we got out there most nights and thrashed it out with them. They are the friendliest band and have a great sense of camaraderie amongst whoever they are touring with. We first did this with them at Soundwave back in 2014 and that was truly a trip, but doing it every night on tour through the US and Canada was super cool!
Jack: How did touring with Superjoint go? Did you approach this tour differently to any other tours?
Matt: Superjoint was great, it was their first tour back in years and it was only a 3-week tour but it was killer. People had been waiting a long time for it, and it was awesome for us to be able to see those songs being played live. We didn’t approach anything differently though. We are consistent with our live performance I would like to think.
Jack: King Parrot are a very active live band, is it hard fitting the band around day jobs?
Matt: Most of us don’t have day jobs, we’ve just tried to find things to do that fit around the band schedule, so everyone seems to be doing okay with it at the minute.
Jack: You’re returning to the UK where you’ll make your Bloodstock debut. Had you heard about the festival before getting announced?
Matt: Yes of course, we have lots of great mates in the UK and I believe there was even a bit of a petition of sorts by some of our diehard fans to get us on the Bloodstock line up. We know it’s the biggest metal fest in the UK and we are totally honoured to have the chance to come over and play there. It’s incredible really, we honestly didn’t have any of these sorts of aspirations when we started this band, but the things that have happened have made us believe in what is possible if we apply ourselves properly to life and the band.
Jack: Are you doing any other UK dates around it?
Matt: I believe we are coming over around August to spend about a month in Europe and the UK and there will be more announcements regarding this very soon.
Jack: What do you like about the UK and what makes it different to other places to tour?
Matt: The UK really gets King Parrot more than anywhere else I believe, and there is a connection there that we don’t have in other places. Probably because they feel guilty about deporting us to a giant paradise island about 200 years ago. I mean really… Wouldn’t you just leave the convicts in England? [Laughs]. In all serious, we love it in the UK (pardon the weather), and our approach to the band and sense of humour is understood very well.
Jack: Did you have a good time touring over here with Obituary, Exodus and Prong?
Matt: For sure. That tour was incredible for us. Touring with three bands that we have looked up to and respected for pretty much all our lives, was an amazing experience.
Jack: What are your plans for after Bloodstock and Brutal Assault? Any new music on the horizon?
Matt: We are going into the studio very shortly to record our new album, and I’m guessing with that there will be new songs, new videos and new merch! We can’t wait to get these new tracks out there and amongst it.
Jack: King Parrot make really good music videos, how do you go from a blank slate to the finished product?
Matt: We have a pretty awesome team that we work with. Our video guy Dan Farmer and our main art guy Boyd Synnott are heavily involved in the process and we just take it from there. A lot of brainstorming and back and forth conversations and meetings before we come up with a concept and idea that we are happy with. It’s a great opportunity for us to take the focus off the music and push it towards film. We’re always going to try and push the envelope with that stuff. It’s too much fun not to.
Jack: Finally, what is the best music video of all time?
Matt: Ohh gee that’s tough. Well going back to when I was a youngster my Grandma use to make me watch all the Michael Jackson videos and regardless of whether you like his music or not, they are incredible videos. Die Antwoord‘s videos are amazing and any of theirs could be up there with the best too. Die-hard King Parrot fans would say ‘Shit on the Liver’ is the best, but they are probably a little biased. I really do like the Red Fang videos too, but it would be too difficult for me to pin down one favourite…
Jack: Thank you so much for your time and I’ll see you at Bloodstock!
Matt: Thanks Jack, see you in August!