From the land down under comes the metal/hardcore quintet known as Parkway Drive. The band is just on the brink of becoming a household name all around the world thanks to their well received debut album Killing With A Smile, produced by none other than Killswitch Engage’s Adam Dutkiewicz. The album has been performing well all around the world, including Europe where it was just released and where Parkway Drive is set to play a few dates this summer. Fortunately enough, the band took some time to answer a few questions about the band’s past, present and future.
Parkway Drive has only existed as a band for about three years, but how did the band ultimately come about? Who were the founding members of the band?
Winston: The idea for Parkway firstly came about through Ben and myself (Winston) after that came Jeff then Luke and lastly Steegy.
You guys essentially are the leaders of the Byron Bay and Australian hardcore scenes which have begun to really flourish as one of the world’s top metal producing places in recent years. In your opinion, what is it about Byron Bay that has made it one of the metalcore capitals of the world?
Winston: Hahaha really? Hippie capital of the world maybe. Nah seriously, there are very few bands in Byron other than ourselves. Australia wise I think it’s the isolation that helps keep everything at little different from the rest of the world.
What is the songwriting process like within the band? Do you each individually write on your own and bring ideas into the studio or is it more of a collective effort of jamming together?
Winston: It’s a bit of everything. Generally we start with ideas. Then Jeff will throw us a riff and we go from there. Once we have a start we kind of layer everything on as we go. We like to go in to record with all our songs already done.
Your debut album Killing With A Smile was of course produced by Adam Dutkiewicz of the popular American metal band Killswitch Engage. How did you first get in touch with Dutkiewicz and how did he end up producing the record?
Winston: I think we just emailed him. About as simple as that!
Speaking of Dutkiewicz, what do you think was his greatest asset that he brought to the table in the recording of Killing With A Smile?
Winston: Yes definitely. He has a different ear to music than we do and was able to put forward ideas and thoughts that would never have crossed our mind, which is exactly what we had hoped for.
You recorded Killing With A Smile in Dutkiewicz’s studio in Massachusetts over a very quick and intense two week period. Did you find it difficult or did you feel rushed trying to cram the recording of an entire album into such a short period of time?
Winston: Yeah big time. At first we thought we’d breeze through it no problem. After 3 days we we’re working 12 hours straight just to fit everything in… no breaks. It was noses to the grindstone stuff but I guess we work well under pressure. I think Adam wanted to kill us by the end though hahaha.
I must ask you about the title of your debut disc Killing With A Smile. How did you come up with this sadistic title for the record and does it have any deeper significance behind it?
Winston: The title come form the idea of something really small and simple, having larger implications. Kind of like the butterfly effect.
One of your first big breaks as a band came when you appeared on a split CD with I Killed The Prom Queen. How did the whole idea of doing a split EP ever come about and would you ever consider doing another project like that again in the future?
Winston: The split simply came about because of Crafter (ex IKTPQ) he was at our first show in Byron and hung out with us for a couple of weeks. When he went back to Adelaide he hit us up to do the split and that’s pretty much how it went down. I’d definitely like to do a split again. I’m not sure who with though. We’ll have to see in the future.
What has the reaction been like to Killing With A Smile in Europe and North America compared to the reaction in your homeland of Australia? Are you pleased with the overall response to the disc so far?
Winston: I’m not too sure CD sales wise, but the fact that we can now tour overseas to those places is good enough for me. I figure that Australia is always going to have the biggest reaction because that’s were we’re from.
Even though Killing With A Smile has only been out a short time, have you had the chance to begin writing any new material? When do you think you might begin recording a follow up?
Winston: Yeah we had a couple of weeks off since the release and got around to jamming again. We’ve got a couple of new tracks under our belt which you might hear on the road. We’re aiming to record the follow up early next year if at all possible, but the way touring is going it looks like we’re going to be trapped in a damn van forever hahaha.
One of the bands you have had the good fortune of touring with is the Canadian band Alexisonfire. Have you had the chance to tour Canada yet and if not, are there any plans to come to Canada in the near future?
Winston: No we haven’t but we really hope to in the future. Some vague dates have been thrown around but nothing concrete yet so I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m sure we’ll get there someday soon.
The present looks extremely good for Parkway Drive. What are your plans for the rest of 2006?
Winston: Tour, tour, tour. Life at the moment is an endless road and I’m a bad, bad driver so it’s going to be a long year. [ END ]