Over the last 13 years Parkway Drive have worked hard to become the epitome of the Australian metal scene – both at home and internationally. Their fifth LP, Ire, marks a new direction for the icons being their most divisive release to date. According to front man Winston McCall, “It’s interesting because you never like letting people down but at the same time you have to stay true to yourself and create something you enjoy doing, otherwise what the hell is the point? You basically become the McDonalds of music creating fast food junk for someone else; you have to do it because you care about it.”
Ire highlights the band’s unique Parkway Drive sound that legions of fans have grown accustom to but thoughtfully throws in the addition of strings, piano and, most noticeably, in ‘A Deathless Song’ the incorporation of clean vocals.
“That singing was literally the last thing I tracked on the record and I didn’t know it was even possible until we tracked it, I really love that element to the song,” he says.
Whilst the band have publicly made it known they are open to experiment musically for future releases, singing will never be a primary focus.
“It will be something we use in the future but I can say right now it will never be the basis for the band,” McCall says honestly.
“We are never going to become a Killswitch Engage, that’s not the kind of sound that we ever wanted to have for this band and that is not knocking them, they are masters at what they do but it’s just not who we are.”
Crafting a reputation for endlessly touring, it is no surprise that the band have just returned from America, leaving only a one-week break before the start of their The All Aussie Adventure Tour – the bands first national rural Australian tour since 2010. However, this tour really embraced community spirit with Parkway allowing fans to name the tour by uploading entry suggestions onto Instagram. The name that was selected was up there with band favourites such as ‘Bangers and Mosh’ and ‘Skip-towns and Breakdowns’.
“There was so much laughter and so many that we would have loved to have called it but we couldn’t put it on the poster, it just wouldn’t have worked. We have a very creative audience, let’s just put it that way,” laughs McCall as he excitedly speaks of the upcoming 13-date tour.
“We come from Byron Bay and that’s a regional town. Originally when we started playing we were one of the stops that just never got hit by touring bands. So to be in a position where we can actually make the effort to go to places where every other tour doesn’t go means a lot to us.”
The lads will be bringing along friends in Make Them Suffer for all shows, as well as having a local support act for each town – which for Geelong and Bendigo is Athenas Wake and Daywaster respectively.
Supporting the local Australian scene is something that is important to the guys, who have seen the genres popularity increase dramatically from their humble beginnings over the last decade.
“There is a severe lack of bullshit in comparison to a lot of other scenes in the world and it’s the kind of thing that, no matter where we tour, people are saying, ‘What’s with Australia, why is every band amazing?’ and that is so great to see.”
Written by Alex Callan
When & Where: Bendigo Stadium, Bendigo – July 1 & The Arena, Geelong – July 2