Nothing pleases Aussies more than seeing our fellow countrymen succeed on an international scale. Byron bay lads Parkway Drive have not only succeeded, they’ve totally dominated. Arguably reaching the status of a household name following a rise to the ARIA charts with virtually no mainstream exposure, Parkway entered territory previously uncharted by an Australian metal band. And from there it went gangbusters; producing award winning music, more and more international tours, TV appearances…The best part however was how relatively blasé they are about the whole thing. I caught up with guitarist Luke Kilpatrick for a chat about the kickass world of Parkway Drive.
Having just announced the Sick Summer 2012 tour, a run of shows consisting of mainly regional centers, I wondered how important it is to Parkway to tour regionally. ‘Its very important to us. I guess, a lot of those kids don’t get to see shows unless they travel to the major cities, and sometimes that’s not possible. I’m sure there are kids out who’ve never even been to a show before and when a band comes to their town it totally blows their mind’ Sick Summer however isn’t the first such tour for Parkway, who make regular efforts to gig for their fans in satellite cities and towns. Luke continued, ‘I remember when it use to happen here. No bands use to play and when one finally came it was a big deal, it’s just something we really believe in I suppose’.
Watch: Parkway Drive- Karma
Having spent most of 2011 touring overseas, Parkway have become regulars on the international touring circuit, I asked Luke how touring abroad compares to touring locally for a band at Parkways level. ‘It’s different. Very different! Everywhere is different, like in Europe we’re in a bus, in the states we fire up the van and stay in shitty hotels, in Australia, well, this time we’re using a van but usually we just fly to the major cities in Australia. But this is our home, and its always better playing in your home’. Lukes choice though was the van, ‘If you gotta drive 6 hours, or an hour flight…by the time you go through the bullshit of security, checking in, getting there early, all the waiting. It’s more of a fuck around than getting in the van and driving.’ So that’s the ‘getting there’ part sorted, but are Aussie bands treated any different overseas? ‘We get treat pretty shitty I reckon…sometimes we’re headlining things or playing main stage, but they still treat us like a shitty little kids band, but I don’t know whether that’s because of our attitude, we don’t really care and fuck, we don’t really have management hounding all these people…or whether its just because we look like we should be treated like shit, I dunno, or maybe just because we’re Australian, I dunno ha ha…but yea its weird, you’d think…well…fuck…if it weren’t for us or the other bands on the bill there’d be no one playing, maybe they’re just stressed ha ha’. The traveling is obviously a big part of it for the band. Luke explained that he wasn’t even nearly over it, in his opinion it was the greatest thing about being in Parkway Drive, ‘I still get excited going to airports, I usually stay up all night getting everything ready, the last thing I do is pack actually…and when you’re on tour you don’t need half the shit you bring anyway. Wash you’re clothes in the sink every couple of weeks…ha ha all you need.
Before they hit the road for ‘Sick Summer’ Parkway Drive are making an appearance at this years Big Day Out. Clearly stoked about this, Luke explained ‘We’re fully stoked. Last time we played it was just at the local stage on the Goldie at 11am, we thought it was going to be terrible but it was awesome, probably the best show we had played at that point. This time we’re on main stage, so many great Australian bands. Its going to be a big deal’ once again proving how chilled the boys are about their run-away success. I asked Luke if we go back say, 10 years ago, would they ever of imagined they’d be where they are today? ‘Nah – no way. No one in the band was even thinking about it. We were all just playing in shit bands, and we just thought we’d start another shitty band to keep us busy when there was no surf or whatever, then it kind of took over and became our work, so, fuck, we’re stoked but never thought it would happen…still can’t believe its happening really.’ And its not even over for them yet, still making plans and scheming for the fresh year. ‘We reckon we got a few years left, even if we put out a shit record ha ha we could ride that out for a couple of years, its not going to end tomorrow.’ Mentioning briefly their new album which is being kept very hush hush, though Luke gave us a a bit of a teaser ‘We’re not going to jump back and record or write the way we use to. We’re still progressing and moving forward. We have a new producer this time, using a new studio and everything…not giving away too much, but the songs are coming a long and they’re heavier than they’ve ever been, so much better…but maybe I’m biased ha ha’ And what would he be doing had this not have exploded like it did? Luke told us about his plan B, ‘I’d probably just be one of those guys who worked, you know? Traveling when I could…probably just work so I can travel’
Watch: Parkway Drive – Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em
So already in the first half of the year Parkway have a regional tour, a national tour and are beginning the recording process, what else was on the cards for 2012? ‘This year we’re probably going to settle down a bit because last year was hectic, touring all through South America, Asia, Russia and Europe, almost the whole world, except Africa, but yea we have BDO, Sick Summer, one Europe tour then kick back and wait for the album to get done!’ I had to ask…How was Russia? ‘Russia was wild, hottest girls I’ve ever seen. I was in a wheelchair though over there so everyone was looking at us weird, a few of us have tattoos, I dunno if they were into us, or just more intrigued by what these freaks where doing walking around our town?’ Last on the list for Parkway is Africa, though Luke mentioned they are attempting to book gigs in South Africa and even Egypt.
It was good to see that Parkway Drive are showing no signs of slowing down. Still in uncharted waters, they continue to rise to heights that really are unprecedented; you never know what they plan on doing next. They really are the greatest ambassadors we have!
Parkway Drive ‘Sick Summer Tour’ 2012
Thursday February 16 – Lake Kawana, Sunshine Coast
Tickets available from Lake Kawana box office, (07) 5413 1400 and http://www.scvenuesandevents.com.au
Friday February 17 – Powerhouse, Toowoomba
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au and Oztix outlets
Saturday February 18 – YAC Ampitheatre, Byron Bay
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au, Oztix outlets and All Music And Vision
Sunday February 19 – Twin Towns, Tweed Heads
Tickets available from Twin Towns, 1800 014 014 andwww.twintowns.com.au
Wednesday February 22 – Panthers, Port Macquarie
Tickets available from the venue and www.moshtix.com.au
Thursday February 23 – Bateau Bay PCYC, Bateau Bay
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au and Network Communications Lake Haven
Friday February 24 – Sutherland Entertainment Centre, Sutherland
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au, Resist and Moshtix outlets
Saturday February 25 – Panthers, Penrith
Tickets available from 1800 061 991 and www.penrith.panthers.com.au
Sunday February 26 – Dubbo RSL Auditorium, Dubbo
Tickets available from the venue, Urban Beach Orana Mall andwww.dubborsl.com.au
Wednesday February 29 – Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Nowra
Tickets available from the Box Office, 1300 788 503 andwww.shoalhavenentertainment.com.au
Friday March 2 – Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury
Tickets available from the Box Office, (02) 6043 5610 andwww.alburycity.nsw.gov.au/entertainment
Wednesday March 7 – Shadows Entertainment Complex, Mt Gambier
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au and Rocky Shore Surf and Skate
Friday March 9 – Bended Elbow, Geelong
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au and Bended Elbow
Sunday March 11 – Breath Of Life Festival, Launceston
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au