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King Parrot on Phil Anselmo and Classic Oz Metal | Interview

When we first clapped ears on King Parrot, they brightened our day.

After all, good grind with a dash of self deprecating humour just does that.

Though their name is a bit wick, they’re plenty tight.

So we thought we’d have a word. Especially as they’ve got some high profile supporters who’ve been in the news of late – though we didn’t know that at the time.

Metalireland spoke to the band’s amiable vocalist Matt Young.


What’s In A Name?

First up. You’re about to go out on tour with Soulfly. Nervous?

Well, not so much. We’ve done a lot of touring in the last few years – we’ve only done one European tour so far, and obviously we didnt make it to Ireland on that one. But we’ve done a lot in North America, about seven or eight tours there, and a lot in our home country, Australia. We’re really excited about it, especially coming to Ireland because that’s somewhere I don’t think any of us have been.

Does the name King Parrot help or hinder the band? Because if I hadn’t been so impressed with the video and the tracks, I probably wouldn’t have otherwise checked you out, with a name like that.

I think if you get the origin of where we got the name from – in Australian slang a parrot is an annoying arsehole, so we are the most annoying arseholes and the best at it [laughs]. So that’s where it comes from. It’s a very Australian name and we’re an unashamedly Australian band.

The fact that we’ve been given these opportunities to play and tour, it comes as a bit of a surprise to us. When people see the band, they understand a bit more and it begins to make sense, I guess. But obviously it’s not a typical heavy metal band.

Saluting Oz Metal

When I heard your first album what struck me was the intensity of Brutal Truth with the energy and fun of Overkill. Who were your inspirations?

We draw from so many pools of music. Some of the band came from a rock background, we all love grind, thrash and punk, so we just melded those influences in. Just tried to create our hybrid style, I guess. We were heavily influenced by a lot of the Australian scene in the 90s.

There’s a lot of great bands here that never got the international exposure that they wuold have liked – I’m talking about bands like Blood Duster, who probably did a little bit of stuff overseas, but another great grind band called Damaged.

There were others like Beanflipper and Christbait. So we were heavily influenced by those bands, and when we started out we really wanted to tip our hats to those guys. Thankfully I think we’ve been able to do that on seven North American tours now.

Seven? Isn’t that really expensive for you to get there – doesn’t that cost a band like yourselves a shitload of money?

Yes. Indeed it does! Haha. It’s a bit of a juggling act. We’ve built up a really loyal following here in Oz, but we try and tour smartly, not oversaturating because that’s not going to benefit anyone. We do well here, we’re one of the more established bands, and we pull a good crowd. So we try and reinvest that into touring internationally.

We’ve had some great high profile supporters like Phil Anselmo, who produced the last album. We toured with Down and Superjoint Ritual over there, and being good friends with the guys from Cattle Decapitation and Killswitch Engage.

The Other Phil Anselmo

NB – it’s been an ‘interesting’ week for ol’ Phil, after much discussion about his meathead behaviour at the Dime show. This interview with Matt was done before all that came out, which is why it didnt come up.

So what did Phil Anselmo actually bring to producing your album?

Well, he brought the studio for a start [laughs]. We did it down in Louisiana. We finished touring with Down in late 2014 and then we stayed over, had a New Year’s Eve party at Phil’s place, and then started recording the album in January.

He was there for pretty much every single session when we were recording it, and before that we were sending him demos, sending stuff back and forth and getting feedback from him. He actually wrote a couple of things, we collaborated on some songs. He had input into the structures and what not. He really did help me.

In terms of the vocals and phrasing and pronunciation. We went through every line in every song just to make sure and get it right and perfect it.

When it comes to producing an album, people will know Phil over many years as a front man. But what is he like behind the scenes when you’re one on one?

Obviously for the most part, being a lot younger than Phil myself, and someone that I’ve always looked up to, it was kind of a bit strange for me… like he was someone I idolized as a teenager and now we’re friends.

So it was strange for me to get over that at the outset. But we’ve been friends for a few years now, so by the time it came to recording… he loves music, loves extreme music, has a great knowledge of it and is very passionate about it. He’s very supportive of bands that are trying to do something and step outside of the box a bit.

I think that’s maybe why the more recent signings to Housecore records, like ourselves, Childbite, Author And Punisher – he’s taken bands on that are thinking outside of the box. I really respect that, and appreciate it, because sometimes some of the bigger booking agents and labels, they’re like ‘oh yeah, King Parrot, maybe, maybe not…’ it’s a risk. The whole thing’s a risk.

Video Nasties

Your video for ‘Shit On The Liver’ was fantastic. Whose idea was it?

It was a collaboration between myself and our video producer Dan Farmer. He’s a really creative type and he really gets our sense of humour, he knows where the band’s coming from. We pinched a few ideas from a couple of hip hop videos that we like, taking a little bit of this and that.

It reminded me of the black metal photos done around Norwegian towns by Peter Beste, only more of a piss take…

I know them, yeah. ‘Ablaze In the Northern Suburbs’… yeah that’s a homage to Darkthrone. I think Australians are well renowned for taking the piss. We don’t have snowy forests – we’ve got The Bush. But you know, we just do what we do. We have fun and we dont take ourselves too seriously. Especially when you’re spending such a long time in close quarters with five of your close friends, you’ve gotta make it fun. Otherwise it could be miserable.

An Actual Demolition Man

Good extreme metal really is the antidote to a shitty day. I think you guys do it quite well.

Thanks – I guess we can all relate to that. It’s a great outlet and something I dont take for granted. I get to just spew all my frustration and crap into, you know, this music and get it out because it’s legitimate. It’s a legitimate way to just fuckin… spew forth hate, and I love it. [laughs]

Speaking of the daily grind, you used to be in the demolition industry, is that right?

Yeah. Look man, I did demolition… we used to make pretty good money. I’m just over four years clean and sober now, but back when I was doing that I was drinking and partying alot because I had all this money coming in. So I was going to work hungover, coming down and what not, and it was tough. It’s tough when you’ve been drinking all night and you go to work three or four hours later and sit on an air compressed jackhammer and sit there from 7am til 4pm hammering concrete. [laughs]

I actually have a tattoo on my arm of a skull exploding with demolition tools as a reminder never to go back to that.

Interview by Earl Grey ::: 01/02/16

This show is currently being advertised on MI. This has no impact on our editorial. This is not a sponsored post. MI tells you this. Other sites don’t. You can trust Metalireland.

  1. Funny buggers..

  2. 21 years working in Australia and always with Aussies and I’ve never heard anyone described as a parrot. They just picked a stupid name, simple as that.

  3. Black Shepherd Carnage Says:

    Maybe they only say it when they know you’re not listening.


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