King Parrot Talk Getting Robbed And Working With Pantera’s Phil Anselmo

Australian masters of thrash King Parrot have been pretty busy of late for a “bunch of old dudes out of Melbourne”, following up touring with this year’s Soundwave festival with a trip to the States and now a brand new album release and their own local headline tour.

Known for their irrepressible metal sound littered with an idiosyncratic and delightfully putrid sense of humour, the quintet have also just been put through one of the shittest thing that can happen to a touring band, having recently gotten their van broken into and looted, whilst in Chicago.

Ultimately a feel good story however, definitely one to tell the grandkids that’s for sure, King Parrot have bounced back into the country and continue to kick dicks at the prime of their careers. Ahead of this week’s tour launch we got the chance to chat to vocalist Matt Young to talk about the shortcomings of the Chicago police force and the wild ride that was working with Pantera’s Phil Anselmo on the new record.

Watch: King Parrot – Shit On The Liver

Music Feeds: So the King Parrot Tour is about to kick off, new album about to drop, how’ve you spent the day?

Matt Young: Actually just at the label picking up the vinyl and CDs and seeing all that for the first time. They’ve come up real good, it’s all very exciting. Bout to head to rehearsal and we’re all fired up to hit the road this week. Songs have been sounding good in rehearsal and we’re all ready to go. Not much more to do really.

MF: Let’s quickly chat about the Chicago incident were a bunch of shit got stolen from your van. What actually got nicked?

MY: Basically we had a weeks worth of cash and stuff in the van stashed in a safe under the seat. An iPod and GPS was stolen as well. It was pretty fucking shit man, just one of those sinking feelings when you walk back and see the window smashed on the van, in one of the wildest cities in the world.

It’s hectic like that around Chicago. We called the police and they’re just like “Ehh whatever. Someone only stole into your van and stole your money and shit, you’ve had it pretty nice then.” A bit like that. We were really lucky, ultimately, cause we had a chat with our manager and they said “why don’t you just chuck something up on Facebook and see if anyone will donate”.

MF: It looked like you did alright with that too?

MY: Yeah we put the call out and people started donating straight away. Before I went to bed that night we’d already gone pretty well and by the time I woke up we’d nearly hit the target and I was like “Jesus fucking Christ” and we made a call on the Facebook saying that’s enough.

It was a really nice feeling, nice to know so many people around the world have our back and are happy to give whilst we’re sitting there going “Fuck how are we gonna pay these bills”. Obviously touring internationally is hugely expensive and to have that strain, not just financially, but on our personal lives… We all make a lot of sacrifices to do it but our faith was restored and the rest of the tour was great.

Watch: King Parrot – Bozo

MF: Did it change the way you tour at all, are you a bit more trepidatious out on the road now?

MY: Yeah it was one of those things though, like, we had to load up our set up these stairs and there’s no parking in Chicago, so we had to park ages away and then get straight back to do sound check and we just overlooked leaving the fucking safe in the van.

One of those mistakes where you go “Aw fuck this happened” and, you know, we’re just people and we learned from our mistake and have changed the way we do things. Small error, but it doesn’t change the fact that the people that robbed us are fucking cunts!

MF: Yeah, fuck those guys. I saw you were giving out prizes to fans who donated what are they gonna be?

MY: Yeah they’re getting their goods this week, they’re getting the first ownership of the new album. We’re stoked to give back after their generosity.

MF: Year so far has seen Soundwave, then the States, now a headline tour. How do you guys keep the energy up on such back-to-back tours? Any yoga routines or anything?

MY: I try. I have done yoga a couple of times actually, it’s fucking great! But it’s one of those things if you don’t do it more than a couple of times it fucks you up [laughs]. It’s crazy.

You know I tend to look after myself, I don’t drink or take drugs or anything, I try to drink lots of water and eat healthy, which is fucking tough in the States, I tell ya. Kept an eye out for Whole Foods, they’ve got some good healthy stuff there. I guess you just try and get as much sleep as possible. Sleeping in the van and under tables anywhere you can get an extra kip I spose.

But once you get into a week or so and you try and get into the swing of it all you’re fine. After the first week I can run on no sleep or 4 hours or so and I can run on that. It’s not ideal but we get through it. We do alright and we love doing it and love playing live and that’s what drives us to continue touring, you know?

Watch: King Parrot – Like A Rat

MF: Now I don’t mean to dob him in, but I was listening to triple J earlier today and Lochlan Watt referred to you guys as “a bunch of old dudes from Melbourne”. You down with that descriptor? Is there a preferred way to describe King Parrot. Veterans perhaps?

MY: Mate I’m in my fucking prime! Maybe I’d prefer “elder statesman who’ve peaked late” [laughs]. Look we’ve all been round the scene for awhile and this is our latest band. We all identified each other as people who really wanted to make a run of it before we keel over and die and we just went, well fuck, what else are we gonna do, work a shitty job we hate for the rest of our lives or start a band we love performing in and trying to make a fucking go of it!

So far it’s been going great we’ve been on tour fucking heaps and we’re out on the road with musicians we look up to and, you know, we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s been a great experience so far and with this new album we’re hoping we can open some new doors.

MF: Let’s talk the new album Dead Set, which is out Friday. You worked with Phil Anselmo on the recording, how’s he as a collaborator?

MY: He’s great man, he’s awesome to work with. He’s got such an extensive knowledge of music like I’ve never met in anyone. He’s the sort of guy who’s always got music playing in the background and he’s very committed to it.

He loves the whole recording aspect of music and tries to get the best performance out of whoever he works with. We just learnt a lot from him, obviously he’s worked with some great producers in the past, with his Pantera stuff, and he knows a lot of studio tricks and has a lot of recording knowledge that only comes from having worked on those massive fucking albums that have sold so many million copies.

There’s a reason he’s got shitloads of gold records hanging off his wall. He’s an amazing musician and a natural talent. And that voice is something to behold!

MF: How’d you get him to spoon Slats in the Like A Rat vid?

MY:Well that was the challenge! I wrote the script for that video and sent it out to the boys and we all laughed and thought it was a funny thing, but he would never go for it.

MF: I always assumed he’d be an unfuck-withable guy?

MY: Yeah but we fucked with him and he went with it! We couldn t believe it! He was like “when are we fucking shooting this” and we weren’t gonna argue with him. It was a lot of fun, I’ve never laughed so hard in my life watching those two in bed together.

Watch: King Parrot – Home Is Where The Gutter Is

MF: Home Is Where The Gutter Is is the latest, another instant classic King Parrot video. Who’s the mastermind behind most of the videos, is it fairly collaborative?

MY: We work with a guy called Dan Farmer and he’s done all our videos, apart from the one in the states with Phil, so we went back to him, like he did Shit On The Liver and Dead End and all our others, so of course we wanted him again.

He’s such a great film-maker and does some great work with music videos. He understands the sense of humour of the band and gets the sense of direction we want to go in. I think he enjoys working with us as much as we do with him. It’s always a hoot working on the shoot, oops sorry about the rhyming there. Always a hoot on the shoot!

MF: I’ll let it slide

MY: Ha, yeah but it’s always a blast. He always has a weird take on things and asks us to do things where we go “what the fuck are we doing” and ultimately gets the best out of us and it’s great. The way he edits and the way he chooses his shots and angles is so fucking good. We cant wait to work with him again, hopefully before the end of the year.

MF: Final question before I let you go. If you could rob any band or artist from history what would you nick?

MY: [laughs] What the fuck? That’s a really fucking tough question.

MF: Ok well for example I’d go back in time and nick Bowie’s, no doubt jizz-encrusted, Ziggy Stardust onesie.

MY: HA! Oh ok, I’d go one of Ozzie Osbourne’s jumpsuits from the ’70s. I fucking loved them with all the tassles and shit. I thought they were so fucking funny I’d go and nick some of his shit, I love Ozzie he’s one of the greatest. All his outfits from that time just crack me up I’d pinch one of those for sure.

King Parrot’s Australian tour is on now, grab the deets below, and new album ‘Dead Set’ is out today.

Watch: King Parrot – Dead End

Gallery: King Parrot – Soundwave 2015, Melbourne / Photos: Brett Schewitz

King Parrot Australian Tour Dates

Friday, 15th May 2015

Fowlers, Adelaide, SA LIC/AA

Tickets: Oztix

Saturday, 16th May

The Corner, Richmond, VIC 18+

Tickets: Oztix

Sunday, 17th May

Wrangler, Footscray, VIC AA

Tickets: Oztix

Thursday, 21st May

Magpies, Canberra, ACT LIC/AA

Tickets: Oztix

Friday, 22nd May

Corrimal Hotel, Wollongong, NSW 18+

Tickets: Oztix

Saturday, 23rd May

Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW 18+

Tickets: Oztix

Sunday, 24th May

Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW 18+

Tickets: Oztix

Thursday, 28th May

Tatt’s Hotel, Lismore, NSW 18+

Tickets: Oztix

Friday, 29th May

Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast, QLD 18+

Tickets: Oztix

Saturday, 30th May

Crowbar, Brisbane, QLD U18

Tickets: Oztix

Friday, 5th June

Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, WA 18+

Tickets: Oztix

Saturday, 6th June

Amplifier, Perth, WA 18+

Tickets: Oztix

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