Chatting to King Parrot frontman, Matt Young, fills you with that warm fuzzy feeling one gets after reading a good book, or seeing a great movie or for some, having a beer with a good mate. You get the idea. Answering his phone, with the purest of Aussie accents, there was a definite excitement for this when he says, “G’day man! How are ya!” We got straight into it and shot the proverbial shit about the new single, “Disgrace Yourself”, which is pure King Parrot brilliance at its grinding best. When asked, Youngy suggested the difficulty in making this particular track, “That was one of the ones, we kinda struggled to get the structure right, and it was tough and we worked hard, but it came out the way it did, and is probably one of the more powerful songs on the album. Definitely one of the more fun ones to play live.” He went on further to add about the new single, “It’s got a lot of the elements in it that makes King Parrot what King Parrot is.” Youngy added, “It’s got the thrash parts, the grind parts and the chorus and I dunno a bit of that core groove to it, but it also has a weird sludgy part to it that makes it. So yeah, it’s definitely one of my favourites, that’s for sure.”
And on whether we could expect the rest of the new album, ‘Ugly Produce’ to follow the same vibe, Youngy speaks with a cool confidence, “I think so man. I think more than just having one or two standout tracks from the album. It’s a really solid album from start to finish, and the one we are most happy with. All the elements are there. I don’t think we have strayed too far from the path of what King Parrot is.” He adds further, “it still sounds like us; it’s still us in every sense. It’s just better!” He laughs. The band definitely sound like they have stayed true to the formula that has shaped their career to date and seen those kicks huge goals. A solid part of this foundation is the bands line-up that has remained solid and a lovable bunch of blokes too. Youngy agrees, “Yeah, that’s it. I think we’ve had the same line up together for nearly 3-4 years, with Toddy on drums. Youngy proceeds to add a little insight on the wonderful introduction of Toddy to the band. “After we recorded ‘Dead Set’, we’d only had Toddy playing drums in the band for about 6 months, so we kinda threw him straight in the fire, touring flat out and straight into the studio basically, after spending a month writing the album.” The band has certainly cemented a solid foundation with Toddy and extensive touring and recording have made the band stronger than ever. Youngy adds, “In the short time, we toured a lot. Probably in excess of 150 shows every year over the last 3 years.”
That’s a whole lot of touring, and while some may say it’s a dream come true or lucky guys etc., there’s definitely a price to pay and it’s not for the faint of heart, as Youngy continues to divulge on Todd’s introduction to the band, “he’s had the experience of playing a lot shows. It certainly helps out a lot when you get in the studio, which makes it a lot easier.” And one has to wonder, how a band like King Parrot, who play a lot of shows, stay solid as a band? Youngy laughs out loud, “Sometimes it doesn’t maintain at all. You know, when you spend that much time together, it definitely can be challenging. But when we get up there to play live, we all want to put in 100% and just bring as much energy and effort as we can to make it a good show, regardless of what’s happening behind the scenes, or who’s pissed off with who, cause that certainly does happen, but we’re lucky for the most part being good mates and we know what to expect from each other. I think for the most part, we’re there for the right reasons, and we do it cause we love it, so if there’s any differences, they get put aside when we go onstage and try and cut sick and go as ballistic as we can hahaha!”
Backtracking in the chat a little, and wanting to touch on “Disgrace Yourself” a little more, mention of a previous interview, where the explanation of the track touched on the quest for overnight stardom and TV instant celebrity status. “Oh man, we could talk for hours about that haha.” We laughed over the 2 minute noodle style celebrities that frequent the mainstream media with “instant gratification. Oh, well if it’s on TV it must be normal, that must be how people get recognised,” Youngy suggests on the mindset of viewers today, as he further reflected on the past, where bands worked hard to achieve. “Great bands, great songwriters that work their asses off, and got recognised cause they were fucking great, as opposed to whatever happens now.” He added, “I’m not trying to take away from people today, that are great singers and that, I just appreciate people that are the complete package. I think what it’s about. But at the same time, I look at those shows today and think it’s a whole pile of shit.” He chuckles, “I play music that’s certainly not mainstream and never going to be, and I wouldn’t want it to be either, but we just love doing what we’re doing, and if we see something that we think is fucked, we’ll probably point it out.” He laughs out loud, and you have to really admire the honesty and down to earth demeanour of the guy, as he calls it as it is. One of the memorable qualities of this band. Love or hate them.
The laughter turned up more, when we got into the bands unique style and penchant for making truly memorable film clips that raise the bar for unconventional. Especially “Ten Pounds of Shit in a Five Pound Bag,” that saw the band go through all kinds of hell in a bondage parlour, with Bass Lord, Slats delivering yet another stellar performance, even wearing a dildo on his head, “I don’t think he was super happy about walking around with a dildo on his head, but he’s always a sport when it comes to these things” Youngy chuckles and adds, “He’s just a natural performer. He’s really great on the bass and just steps up and is always gets creative. We just always want to have fun as a band. This is our outlet for it.” The band certainly knows how to have fun. “Yeah man, we do.” Youngy agrees. “That last clip was so much fun to make. It was an idea we all came up with, and thought how much fun it would be to go into a bondage parlour and just have a ball with it. We wanted to put a story to it and have some fun. Make it engaging. We had a blast and the Fetish House were great to us. It was just a weird energy there and the girls put so much into the performance. I was just laughing my ass off the whole time.”
From one singer to another, it was also good to get a little insight on how Matt Young stays match fit when playing up to 150 shows a year all over the world too, “Yeah, my body actually holds up really well. I mean like, I haven’t been drinking or smoking for almost 6 years now.” He laughs, “I’m pretty straight edge these days. I don’t do any of that shit anymore. I haven’t had any real problems with my voice, so it helps. The only time I really struggle is when I actually really get sick, because everyone then gets sick. It goes around. But I just try to drink lots of water and stay clear of getting sick.” And with the big tour schedule coming up, that will see the band in the USA, Europe and back here, it was nice to hear such a great attitude when it came to looking at life as a band that gets to play all over the world like King Parrot does. “I guess for us, I think when we initially started, we never really had any huge aspirations, so as the band went on, it just sort of evolved and kept rolling and rolling and rolling. It helped too having people like Max Cavalera, Jesse Leach and Phil Anselmo becoming fans of the band and wanting to help us and promote us. That was something that was really encouraging and gave us the incentive to go tour.” He wrapped up with “we’ve had a little 6 month break to get the new album going, but we’re ready to go hard again and tour. We’re really looking forward to it all. We’re recharged and ready to go!” So now ‘Wall of Death’ again? Reflecting on the infamous moment at Soundwave in Brisbane, when Youngy stood in the middle of the pit and incited a crushing ‘Wall of Death’. He laughs out loud and says, “That was probably one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done in my life. I thought I was going to die. I probably won’t do anything like that again.” As he goes on about the fun of the band, “ We’ve had heaps of fun shit happen, and heaps of dumb stuff and dangerous stuff happen to the band, but yeah that’s the nature of the band and kind of what draws people to get a little rise to it. That extreme element and that extreme nature of the band and that feeling that anything can happen at any time, so I think that’s one of the qualities that the band has that draws people to us.”
This band really has a truly great attitude, and work extremely hard to win over their audience worldwide, “in places like New York, LA, Munich, you’ve really got to really lay the foundations and get back there and keep touring and keep going back to the same places, building your audience up and making sure that you’re covering those bases, cause otherwise, they might see you once at a show and they just fucken’ forget about you, and go ‘oh yeah that was cool’ and forget about you. That’s why you gotta keep going back and reminding them that you’re there and you’re touring and that you’re out there as a working band. Otherwise they’ll just think you’re a bit of a flash in the pan. We always try to make something memorable at King Parrot shows and people whether they love us or hate us, they remember us,so hahaha!” Matt Young. Not just a great memorable front man, but a true character in this colourful and maniacal industry.