"The reasons we do these tours are very real and very true, its not about making money - its just about having great experiences and putting on a great show for the crowds. We'll see how the first one goes and see if it works
The smell of salt was in the air, not 100% sure if it was the coastal breeze or the King Parrot moshpit however the ever charming Matt Young of Melbourne's King Parrot and I took some time to chat last December, regaling the antics of the band's last European tour with Prong, Obituary and Exodus, titled, The Battle of the Bays. The experience, the crowds and of course the antics on the bus... "Sometimes it got out of control and shit got a little stupid but I turn a bit of a blind eye unless it is so stupid I have to intervene". He laughs. So like a pair of rock lobsters, we peched ourselves and hit the ground running....
King Parrot are back in the country after this extensive European tour. Hundreds of stories I'm sure have now been born however what were some of the highlights for you? "I guess the whole thing was a bit of a highlight" Matt starts "Being able to tour with bands that we look up to and have seen playing and building their careers for the last thirty years was definitely an opportunity for us being thrown into the mix". Being on the road with such prestigious bands, in territory the Aussie outfit had yet to tame, Matt admits that it was all a bit surreal - "We played in places like Romania and Hungary and I had to kick myself at points and ask 'Wow, are we really playing in fucking Romania?'. He exclaims. "When we started doing this band we had no intention of doing anything like that and the opportunity to play in these places with bands such as these was incredible". The Eastern European crowds really took to the music on display during the bands tour and described by Matt as incredibly passionate and energetic. "Some places in Western Europe, the crowds are really 'stand-offish'. That kind of makes it difficult to feed off the crowd. Like one night in Munich for example we played and fuck it pissed me off! The crowd just stood there, arms folded. I love the people of Germany but their audience participation leaves a lot to be desired". He laughs
The European tour was called the 'Battle of the Bays' which was a very cool title, yet the only battle injury we saw was Slatts and his giant kiss of death on the side of his body... "Probably one of the times I should have intervened" Matt admits with a chuckle. "We posted a video of this stage dive on our Instagram. It was fucking pathetic, worst stage dive I've ever seen. He just went straight into the barrier at full force and ate a whole lot of shit. The bruise is pretty horrific".
Now, not a band known to ever slow down - take us through 2017's Thrash Blast & Grind Fest. I understand this was a brain child between yourself and Dave Haley [Psycroptic] "Yes, Dave and I are always talking about something and knowing that we hadn't toured together since 2013. Recently when both bands were in North America we played together and have a great time catching up. We knew we wanted to do something more together. Adding some great bands into the mix such as America's Revocation and Australia's Whoretopsy and Black Rheno, the lineup has a lot of diversity within the 'Extreme' realm, we're looking forward to playing an awesome tour. You don't always get to tour with great friends".
Knowing that Australia is now without an annual festival - how vital are these types of tours to the Australian Heavy Metal landscape? "Very important. The reasons we do these tours are very real and very true, its not about making money - its just about having great experiences and putting on a great show for the crowds. We'll see how the first one goes and see if it works".
King Parrot had an absolute steller 2016, had the band hit any milestones last year? "We've toured Europe a lot and I think that was something that eluded us earlier in our career as we were spending a lot more time in North America - It was our goal to play Europe more. 2016 was a huge accomplishment, playing with bands such as Soulfly and Obituary and Exodus, which was a great opportunity to get the band established over there and build a fan base". It was noted by Matt that it has taken a huge amount of work to build a fan base over the other side of the world, it takes more than a couple of tours to earn your stripes however now seeing the growth for King Parrot abroad, the band are extremely excited for 2017.