Wrapping up their latest tour and SXSW appearance, Australia’s King Parrot are on their way home for several weeks before tour support begins for Dead Set, the band’s latest release and first for Philip Anselmo’s Housecore Records. In advance of the album’s May 19th release, vocalist Youngy caught up with us to talk about playing SXSW, comparing Dead Set’s recording process to their debut Bite Your Head Off, and more.
On Playing SXSW:
The first time we played it we did something like six shows in three days. This time we decided we’d only
do two showcases and it was much better. It was much more manageable and the shows were better.
It’s tricky but it’s a great experience. We’ll probably do it again at some point.
Comparing the recording of Dead Set vs. Bite Your Head Off:
I think we’re a much more mature band (for Dead Set). Bite Your Head Off was all of the first songs we
had ever written. It was probably material we had for a year or two. We were just finding our thing and
we found it, I guess. We’re really proud of it and we’re happy that it came out and what is was for all the financial stress and time constraints that were put on the recording process. With Dead Set we had a little bit more time to breathe with it and we also had an opportunity to write the songs, do a little bit of pre-production, take them away, listen to them, run them by Phil Anselmo, who produced the record. He had his input as well. Before we started recording it we went down to his place. We’d have a jam and run through the songs with him. Then he’d put his two cents worth in and then we got to recordings. It was a pretty cool process, to not have those time constraints and put it towards putting together a good album.
Working with Phil Anselmo:
Phil’s got a huge history of making great records whether it be with Down or Pantera, Superjoint Ritual, or the Illegals; he makes a lot of great records. Just having that sort of experienced ear there, pointing out things you wouldn’t take notice of otherwise; especially on the vocals. He helped me a lot. We went through every line of every songs and he changed a few things here and there and helped me with my pronunciation and making the vocal delivery as nasty as it was. It was a huge learning curve for us. There’s a very good reason why he has gold records hanging all over his house (laughs).
His vocal style:
When I had first started doing these vocals, I was smoking cigarettes. Then when I stopped smoking cigarettes, it kind of went higher. I’ve sort of developed it over the time that we’ve been playing live shows and practicing and listening to other vocalists and being influenced by other vocalists that like and getting pointers and doing a few listens here and there. I think it’s just one of those natural evolution things. With Dead Set I think we explored things a little bit more and trying them. I think with the vocals for Bite Your Head off we recorded them in something like four hours in one little session and for Dead Set it was about four or five days. Being able to take your time with it is much more relaxing.
His frontman abilities:
We do crowd instigating more than “crowd controlling” (laughs). When we first started doing local shows a lot of people would just stand there with their arms folded. They didn’t respect any of the local bands. So we just took a bit more of an aggressive approach as well as being humorous and entertaining and I think over the years of playing live we’ve kind of developed that. We like to get extreme and in-your- face. We like to get the crowd involved. One of our goals is to be playing every city and we want to make sure that when we get onstage every single person there is having an awesome time and I think we’re finally getting there (laughs).
King Parrot’s writing process:
Well our main songwriter is (guitarist) Mr White. He writes most of the lyrics. I think when we bring it all to the table everybody has a lot of input. Everything gets structured with the drums and then I’ll throw my vocal over the top with the lyrics and that’ll sort of determine what sort of path we go through with that. Then I run it by everyone to make sure everybody’s happy. Especially with this record we’ve really tried to let everyone have a say about the way every part should be and see how certain parts should be. Unfortunately, we’re a five-piece so things will always go one way. Someone always wins and someone always loses (laughs).
His favorite TV show:
I can’t wait to go home, open up my laptop and check out the new Game of Thrones episodes. I haven’t read the books but I’ve seen every episode to date including the four new ones that have just come out. I love that shit. That episode when Geoffrey was killed, that was the best (laughs).