Parkway Drive is a metalcore band hailing from Australia that’s taking over the rest of world one crazy show at a time. At the moment, the boys are headlining a tour across North America with support from Set Your Goals, A Ghost Inside and good friends, The Warriors. Parkway Drive released their critically acclaimed album Deep Blue in June of 2010 and it has taken fans by storm. I had a chance to sit down with lead singer Winston McCall and talk about the band; past, present and future.
How’s the tour going so far?
Winston: It’s been going great, we haven’t headlined a tour in about two years. Last year we did Warped Tour and played with A Day To Remember, so it’s been a while since we got to do something. Not to mention each and every single show has been amazing, just a great response from the fans and it’s been the best time. The only shitty thing has been we’ve popped four tires on our trailer on this trip, kinda bogus but it happens.
So your latest album Deep Blue, hit number 39 on the Billboard Top 200, how do you feel about that?
Winston: It’s mental! It’s amazing that after three years people still remember who we are.
This album has been deemed your most critically acclaimed, why do you think this is?
Winston: I have no idea. I think it might be because it came out when we were at our peak of popularity so it had that much more hype behind it. Other then that I feel it sounds a little more different from our past, it’s a little more varied. It’s just another Parkway album to be honest, I really love the production quality on this album. It’s a bit more organic and less raw, not so abrasive like the last one. It’s one of those things that became successful and we have no idea how it happened. [laughs]
So I find the sound of this album is more like old school Parkway Drive. Was this a conscious effort or did it just happen that way?
Winston: It kind of just happened that way, it was one of those times where the way she goes was the way she goes. It wasn’t something we tried to formulate or anything, we just kind of wrote it and did it as natural as we could. We really felt this one out and that’s possibly why the album sounds the way it does, I don’t think you can really confuse one song with another because they all have their own character and theme.
Now the concept of this album was the ocean and it seems to be a reoccurring theme in a lot of your writing. Why is water such an influential thing to you?
Winston: I guess if you could count up all the time I’ve spent in the ocean it would be about a fifth of my life. So consider that amount of time and how old I am, it’s been a really long time. I guess for people with an oceanic background, they can really relate to this album because it effects your life in such a massive way. Things like how the winds blow and how the weather patterns will influence what you do in your day by the way this vast body of water moves. It really connects you to the earth more.
Do you see yourself writing anymore conceptual albums in the future?
Winston: Maybe? I mean I had a lot of fun writing this album and I might do it again, but before it was just something that was fun at the time. Right now we have a bunch of songs written that have nothing to do with each other, so we shall see.
So the live DVD you released in 2009, why did you ultimately decide to release one?
Winston: I guess it’s because we have been taping everything we have done for years, even before being in this band we have all recorded some sort of footage. It was a chronicle of our lives and we thought it was very interesting. We thought that other people might find some merit in seeing how five idiots grew up. So we had so much footage after a period of time and had so much more then we could release so we had to edit so much footage and hope that people would connect with us and see after the day is said and done, we are just normal people like you and that’s all we could ask for.
Now the helmet cam, who came up with that idea?
Winston: I think it was all of us actually. The Helmet cam is something that is used in surfing and snowboarding films, which is all of our backgrounds so it was just natural for us to use the idea. Since then we all got Go Pros, but back then we used these giant heavy cameras which were real awkward on top of our heads, but since we got these cameras we have been video taping everything. You can definitely count on another DVD in our career. Some people make home movies, we make band movies.
I consider you guys one of the most hardworking bands in this scene. Do you think you would be where you are if you were handed your future rather then working for it?
Winston: Well we’ve had these little flash points in our career where we got to take a chance and we took a big step forward. For instance, we are playing with the Warriors tonight and those guys actually took us out on tour for our first time across North America. I think we would be in a totally different place if we were just handed a future, we really feel like we’ve earned the place we are at right now. If someone offered us say a million dollars to go on tour and help us out, we wouldn’t know what to do with it. I mean we still tour in a van with our friends and it just awesome, it’s really great to work for something. It’s not getting to a destination, but the whole journey along the way makes us who we are.
What do you think is your band’s strongest quality?
Winston: I think it would be friendship defiantly, that and a sense of individuality. Like, trends come and go, but we all got into this band for the same reason. It’s one of those things where we wanted to do what we wanted to do, we have all grown as people, but we are all in the same place when it comes down to it.
Name four bands you would love to go on tour with.
Winston: Oh man, defiantly The Warriors. I’d put them on tour until the day I die, they are our best friends and we will always love to tour with them. Other then that, I think we would have to take out Bad Religion, The Gaslight Anthem and Johnny Cash. You can’t fuck with a guy who has played in prisons.
What does Parkway Drive have planned for the future?
Winston: We just know we are going to keep doing what we are doing. Like, we have a few songs written and we want to keep touring as much as we can and whatever else comes along our way we are going to do. That’s just the way we have always been and will remain to be.