With their latest album Ire smashing the perceived limits of success for metal bands, Parkway Drive are set to bring one hell of a show to the Gold Coast Convention Centre on 19 June. Fans can expect nothing less than raw energy from the show and Parkway Drive aims to make it memorable and interactive, a “full contact experience”.
Originally planning to slow down and relax a little after the release of Ire, the members of Parkway Drive have been completely blown away with the massive success of the album.
Lead vocalist Winston McCall says: “We never anticipated anything. It’s still very heavy, tough music so we’re surprised there is another level to go to with it. We’ve smashed the glass ceiling and it’s blown open so many doors. It would be stupid not to take advantage, to take a chance and see where it goes, to do another unknown thing we’ve never done. It’s been so damn interesting so far!”
The album’s accomplishments have inspired Parkway Drive to hit the road again, relentlessly touring. Having just returned from a huge tour with festivals around the US, Parkway Drive will make their way through regional cities down the east coast of Australia with the All Australian Adventure Tour. Following their Aussie stint they will head off to Europe and then back to the states.
Make Them Suffer are along for the ride as support and each show will open with a local act. The Brave scored the Gold Coast opening slot thanks to the quality of their sound and personality, similar reasons for making music and solid work ethic. Winston says their ethic was the most important thing. Parkway Drive know the hard work it takes to make it. Never backing away or saying no to opportunity means this band have been on some wild adventures and maintained a crazy schedule, although these days they try to get a month off at home in between tours. Their fierce dedication has enabled Parkway Drive to challenge themselves and grow over the last 13 years.
The recording of Ire was an example of this need to challenge themselves, push the boundaries and evolve musically. Winston explains.
“For Ire we flipped the writing process on its head. We always wrote with our style of speed, heaviness, a little bit of melody and then added hints of outside influences. This time we constructed the songs around the differences rather than add them in later. I even took vocal training for the first time in my life!” The results are at once recognisably relentless Parkway Drive yet deeper and more melodic.
While this bigger, heavier and more melodic sound has been welcomed by an overwhelming majority of old fans and grabbed the attention of a wider audience, there has been some backlash from old fans. Winston is philosophical about this, saying “that’s music, and it’s totally understandable. Some people want you to always sound the same while some will want to evolve with you and love the change. We create the kind of music we enjoy listening to and playing, if we didn’t change it up it would feel like we were creating ‘McDonalds to order’ style music.”
This idea of serving up the same thing over and over clearly does not suit Parkway Drive, as Winston continutes.
“The experience of being able to record something new is incredibly liberating and incredibly fulfilling. It’s awesome to plan and build, create and construct something lasting. We now have new skills and a different sound to go with.”
Lyrically, the album – as with all Parkway releases – is about the subjects Winston is inspired by and confronted with at the point of writing. Winston believes the world is in an interesting space, with everyone talking about the many problems but the people we elect as leaders not confronting or doing anything to correct them. This is what gives Ire its pissed off tone, challenging listeners to think outside the prescribed way to live, to question their direction and focus in life.
Winston explains: “Humans are not meant to be here to just work so they can consume. Society pushes people down paths and in directions that don’t necessarily result in their happiness and self belief.”
These are the people the line from Vice Grip “hope for the hopeless” goes out to. Not stopping there, Ire takes shots at the construct of manufacturing war for the sake of profits, the juxtaposition of corporate greed and excess with people on the streets, the shameful Tall Poppy Syndrome and the education system. It is an angry album and the passion behind it is crystal clear.
Discussing the themes sends Winston on an intelligent and entertaining rant. These guys mean what they say and back it up forcefully. Winston even overcame his complete fear of heights to skydive in the video for Vice Grip, feeling he had to walk his talk about facing fears. “It was the last thing I wanted to do with my life but it turned out to be the biggest eye opening and life changing experience. I haven’t felt like that since learning to surf.”
With their pure passion, energy and willingness to leap into the unknown, Parkway Drive have become something of a phenomenon. They are holding true to their heavy, abrasive sound yet still securing a wide and loyal audience. Come and see why for yourself at the Gold Coast Convention Centre on 19 June.
Tickets for their Gold Coast show are available here