ICYMI: the indie/psych act took out the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal category at this year’s bash, leaving their much heavier fellow nominees The Amity Affliction, Parkway Drive, Twelve Foot Ninja and Hellions — as well as a shitload of fans — feeling a bit salty that a band who they didn’t even consider to be “hard rock” or “heavy metal” at all were the ones who ultimately bagged the gong.
Amity in particular refused to cork their outrage, unleashing multiple social media outbusts, saying “We hate the ARIAs as much as they hate us” and telling organisers to “go ahead and exclude us from any further nominations from your circle jerk awards”.
Now, Youngy — who was nominated with his King Parrot bandmates in the same ARIA category last year (which they ended up losing to Northlane FYI) — has chucked in his two cents, essentially saying that the losers need to suck it up.
“I’ve seen King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard play and I think that they’re a really really talented band – they work hard, and they certainly fit into that category, because they are a hard rock/heavy metal band,” the KP screamer tells Music Feeds.
“And I mean, the ARIA Awards aren’t a popularity or record sales [contest], it’s voted for by music industry people, so they obviously thought the King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard album was the best record. I mean, some people could argue that the bands who were sort of complaining and stuff don’t fit into the category either, you know?”
Some fans have pointed out that King Gizzard’s ARIA-winning album Nonagon Infinity more closely resembles the genre that was originally known as “heavy metal” (i.e. the OG Led Zeppelin/Black Sabbath style) than many of their competitors’ albums do. And Youngy for one seems to agree.
“You know, I’ve heard The Amity Affliction and some Parkway Drive stuff and it’s not really my cup of tea,” he confesses. “Some of the stuff on those is really poppy! And you know, it is what it is. There’s so many different genres and styles under [the hard rock/heavy metal] umbrella now, and maybe [the ARIAs] should make two different categories? I dunno.
“But at the end of the day, the ARIA Awards is mostly for music industry people and for the big major label companies, all that sort of stuff. And you know, if you get one, that’s great. And if not – well – who gives a shit, really? I mean the fact that [King Parrot] even got nominated for one? I just couldn’t even believe it, really. We’re a grindcore, thrashy kind of band and the fact that we even got nominated? We thought, ‘Fuck, this is hilarious! To get nominated for something like this!'”
Reflecting on his band’s whole ARIAs experience last year, King Parrot’s shrieker-in-chief reckons the lads had an absolute blast walking the red carpet with popstars like The Wiggles and Guy Sebastian, and never gave a single fuck about actually taking home a trophy.
“Oh yeah, we had a ball!” he laughs. “You know, our label were like ‘Let’s go to the ARIAs’, so we all went up to Sydney and we got picked up in this fuckin’ limousine and we were on the red carpet — we met The Wiggles, we met Kylie Minogue — we had a fuckin’ blast. We knew we weren’t gonna win, and we’ll probably never win an ARIA award, but just to have the opportunity to go there and to see all those music industry people and to go to an award ceremony like that – and just to have a bunch of fun with it, that’s what it’s about.”
He continues: “If you get an award in the end then fuckin’ cool, that’s great. But if not then don’t fuckin’ cry about it. If you wanna be competitive and all that then go play football, you know? Go do something else, man. That’s not what the music industry’s about in my opinion. It’s just not. There’s a reason I stopped playing sport when I was a teenager, you know? I hated that bloody competitive edge to it all and I didn’t wanna be being exposed to those kinds of people, it just felt wrong to me. That’s why I gravitated towards music as a youngster, because I really loved that creative element.”
And that non-competitive, allied spirit is part of what inspired Youngy and his King Parrot bandmates to curate their very own travelling extreme metal festival this summer, Thrash, Blast & Grind Fest, which is set to feature spots from Tassie-hailing outfit Psycroptic, US thrash act Revocation, Melbourne five-piece death metal dudes Whoretopsy, Sydney up-and-comers Black Rheno and of course KP themselves.
“I think every band on the tour package brings something unique,” he says. “We’re really hoping to unite the metal fans and bring everything together so that there’s something for everyone. And hopefully people might be able to discover something new or something different that they might not have seen before.”
Catch the full lineup and dates for King Parrot’s Thrash, Blast & Grind fest below.
UPDATE 01/12/16: Stevic from Twelve Foot Ninja has offered further comment on the whole King Gizzard sitch, reiterating his original statements praising King Gizzard as a band and stressing the fact that the issue lies with the ARIAs themselves and their process of vetting nominees for each category.
“We hold no ill feelings toward King Gizzard (Damon’s actually mates with the singer – says he’s a top bloke!) or ARIA for that matter. They put on an awesome spread!” Stevic says.
“I want to distance Twelve Foot Ninja from the Amity fella going apeshit on Twitter. That’s not our vibe. We actually loved the experience of the Aria’s and don’t want to be tarred with the same brush as getting all weird Kanye about this. I was asked to comment, I did. I’m not crying about anything apart from Astro Boy dying EVERY.FUCKING.EPISODE!
“Irrespective of any long bows connecting Black Sabbath and traditional Hard Rock/Metal with present day definitions (you could argue Meshuggah are a blues band by that logic), I maintain there was a bit of a malfunction with the voting criteria and hopefully the parameters around what is Hard Rock/Metal and what is Rock are tightened as a result of this saga of fucking minuscule proportions! HAHAHA!”
Watch: King Parrot – ‘Home Is Where The Gutter Is’
Thrash, Blast and Grind Fest 2017 Lineup
+ Locals TBA
Thrash, Blast and Grind Fest 2017
Tickets on sale now
Friday, 10th February 2017
The Triffid, Brisbane (Lic/AA)
Saturday, 11th February
Manning Bar, Sydney
Tuesday, 14th February
The Cambridge, Newcastle
Wednesday, 15th February
The Basement, Canberra
Friday, 17th February
Max Watts, Melbourne
Saturday, 18th February
Sunday, 19th February
Fowlers, Adelaide (Lic/AA)