Let no Luddite or Terminator fan tell you different, technology is our greatest physical gift. Machines can save our lives, make our lives easier and, more importantly, allow all of us to produce fantastic art, adding our individual voices to our vast, swelling culture.
Of course, without innate talent or skill the individual voice may simply join the cacophony of mediocrity that makes it impossible to find exactly what you want on YouTube. Parades do not join that mediocre crowd. Taking the path now more often than before travelled, Parades are producing beautiful music from the comfort and safety of their own DIY studio.
“We have a sweet set-up in a suburban garage. We can record, write and rehearse all in the same place as well as sending off emails and doing our own art. Why would we do it any other way?”
Why indeed? The DIY approach has many benefits. Visual artists have been doing it for years and now it is possible for musicians to realise a true, unfettered vision. This means, though, that the band must do all the work – no recording the sounds and then letting the mixer get to work for DIYers.
“Basically, we get to do whatever we want, whenever we want with no unnecessary hassles along the way. As a band we’re pretty controlling so by doing it DIY we get to have the last say and are involved with every step of the process. Although it keeps us busier than most bands, we find that it works best for us.”
Though Malcolm McLaren was a dab hand at marketing, one wonders what The Sex Pistols might have produced were it not for his meddling hand. The clarity of Parades’ vision is evident in their music.
Lonely melodies band with swift drums and haunting vocals, reminiscent of Radiohead’s Kid A album. They say they’re controlling, but the word I would use is ‘precise’.
“I think the one thing that sets us apart from other bands at our level is that we try really, really hard. We make very sure that everything we do that represents us as a band is exactly how we want it. When we’re writing we try to go beyond writing three minutes worth of music and calling it a song. It needs to have the spark and it needs to be forward thinking. At the end of the day, if you’re just writing really good stuff then it transcends musical tastes and anyone can find something good in it. I can’t say how successful we’ve been, but we’re trying to get it right.”
Critics certainly think Parades have got it right. Dick Kingsmill gave a rave review.
“These guys are fantastic. Simple as that. Five out of five.” The group have received national attention and playtime on Triple J but despite the favourable reviews Parades remain ambivalent about critics.
“It’s nuts to think that a handful of people (or just one person) can have so much influence, but a lot of the time it’s for a good reason. The rest of the time it’s because they’re total arseholes. I don’t know if you could ever change the fact that people are always going to think the way they do. I hate heaps of music but that won’t stop the next guy loving it. As long as you can say something constructive and intelligent then you can say whatever you want. I would definitely say we’re lucky to have certain tastemakers enjoying our stuff though, very lucky.”
At Music Feeds we’re pretty sure luck has nothing to do with it. The single Hunters, from the forthcoming EP, is out now.