ARRRGH, it be rough waters in the metalcore scene mateys! Ya got hundreds upon hundreds of blokes chasing the same booty and so it’s no place for a scallywag in such a turbulent living!
Obnoxious pirate-speak aside, I was recently given the opportunity to talk to Luke Kilpatrick of Parkway Drive and was able to ask him questions. Being in one of the most successful bands in a scene plagued by mediocrity and genericism, I was interested to hear what he had to say.
To get things started, please introduce yourself.
Hi, I’m Luke, or Pig as my friends like to call me.
What was the last thing you ate? Was it any good? I had some Cocoa Puffs a few minutes ago. They were alright.
Cocoa Puffs are shit. It’s all about Cocoa Pops, and they only seem to be good in Australia, they taste weird everywhere else. Last thing I ate was a chicken burrito at Chipotle. It was unbelievable!
As we know the new record, Deep Blue is set to be released June 25th in Australia, June 28th in Europe, and June 29th in the US. From listening to Deep Blue as well as Horizons, you all (as a band) have succeeded very well in creating a very engaging, almost ambient vibe. How was the writing process similar or different to “Horizons” or other past albums and is creating these vibes a conscious effort or something that comes naturally?
A bit of both I think. We wrote the songs fundamentally the same as in the past but we definitely brought in some new ideas and writing techniques. Winston actually tried to write the CD lyrically as a concept album. Whether kids get it, or care will be another story. It was good for us to do it like this, created a bit of a challenge and a new way of thinking. Winston [McCall – vocals] would have certain ‘feels’ he would like from a song and we would get to write the song to try and suit. Usually it’s the opposite… Write the music, add the lyrics. Maybe this created some ambiance?
I’m also aware of some studio updates from the recording of Deep Blue, would you care to speak about how the recording process was for Deep Blue in comparison to your older albums?
Almost the exact opposite. The focus was on playing as a band, getting the feel for the song and tracking it as we played it. Rather than concentrating on getting every hit on the drums, every note on the guitars and every word unrealistically perfect Joe preferred to have us play the songs as we do. It really worked for us and was a fun and challenging time really. It was something different in the studio and we loved our time in there.
Now, there has been a lot of talk going on about your new music video for the song “Sleepwalker”, I know I speak for many when I say it’s quite interesting as well as out of the ordinary. Is there a message being expressed? How does it correlate with the song and/or album? Any sort of clarification is helpful, this video has me stumped!
Yeah it seems a little confusing. It ties in with the theme of the album. The guy basically realizes the world is fucked and the city exploding represents that. Our friend is this crazy graphics dude so I guess that’s why it looks cool. I like the fact that it’s different. It’s not a band in a shed or on a rooftop with complementing semi-hot girl walking or running through the street. Those are so fucking boring and done to death.
On the topic of themes, I’ve noticed this recurring ocean/sailing motif in your songs and especially on the Deep Blue record. Do you care to comment on this, perhaps explain the meaning of it?
We all love the ocean. We have all grown up on and lived near the ocean our whole lives. It is a straight reflection of our lives and how much we love sea.
Since we’re back to talking about the albums, Deep Blue is noticeably slower in tempo than your past releases. Any particular reason for this change?
I don’t know if I agree with that one. There are some mid tempo songs and some fast ones. Maybe the mid tempo ones stand out more? I like fast songs so shit, maybe we should write faster ones next time! Ha.
Do you have a job outside of Parkway Drive that helps to make ends meet, or are you guys lucky enough to have things work out?
We are really lucky to not have to work when we’re home. But to be honest we couldn’t even if we had to. We’re away so much and who would employ someone for 2-3 weeks every couple of months?
Now this has been bugging me for the longest time; I hear people all the time lump you in with just loads of lame bands and calling you “generic metalcore”. I’d like to make a point to those reading this that quite a few years ago, the three metalcore bands that everyone talked about were Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, and you guys, Parkway Drive and those were the bands that half the bands today listened to. How do you feel about you and your band being lumped into this generalization?
I don’t really care for the generalization at all. I’m actually kind of stoked we are mentioned with those 2 bands. Those bands have always seemed like ‘big’ bands to me and if kids are thinking of us as in the same league that’s fucking great! But honestly kids can call us emo, punk, metal, metalcore, hardcore, dickheads, whatever…
Talking about influence, how do you feel about being a source of inspiration for those who play music and those who just enjoy music in general?
I think it’s amazing. For kids to look up to us as a band is so good and very satisfying. Kids who look up to me as a guitarist are kind of tripping.
How about the bands that influence you and your band? What bands have influenced you and your bandmates? Do you all have a lot of similar influences or are they all over the place?
These days they are very all over the place. We all love punk, well except Jeff [Ling – guitar] and that is mostly my inspiration. None of us really like metal and as we’re getting older we’re all chilling out a bit and listening to some classics. I used to be so close minded, hardcore or punk, that’s it. It’s nice to broaden your horizons musically, there’s so much good shit out there.
Speaking of other bands, what bands have you and your mates been listening to? Feel free to shout out to bands you think people should check out!
Bad Religion, Tom Petty, Van Morrison.
Well, I think that about wraps it up for questions, is there anything you’d like to mention, touch upon, etc? Thank you so much for your time, sir!
Thank you for your time. Hopefully some kids can come check us out in the next year or so of non stop touring we have on the cards. Take care sir!
Parkway Drive’s new album, Deep Blue, will be out June 29th on Epitaph Records, but you can hear it right now on their myspace page. Keep an eye out for our review, which is coming soon!