Parkway Drive has now turned into your job. When was it that you actually quit your job to be a fulltime "musician"? And what kind of a feeling was that? And on a side note, what are your thoughts on the flock of bands that now start off with the objective of being a "fulltime band" by decking out their myspace, doing promo pics and printing merch before they have even played a show?
It became our job when we first went over seas. At that point it basically became impossible to hold down a job in Byron as well as doing the band and going OS. It was a weird feeling. This has never felt like a job, but to have the band become our only source of income was both a bit crazy and at the same time a bit daunting. I'm not a musician. I'm just a kid who likes playing shows and is lucky enough to be in the position to play enough that i can travel and support myself and my family.
I guess shit has changed pretty quick in this "scene" but your right, there is definitely a growing flock of people trying to make a band with the primary goal of making money. For me it’s kind of like reading the Motley Crue book, "The Dirt". They started that band to be rock stars. That’s it. To me, rock stars and hardcore are at the two opposite ends of the scale. All the promo, all the bulletins, all the merch and all the hype can never replace true substance and heart and there are so many bands that still don't get it. The sad thing is everyone can see right thought that kind of shit and more often than not it just comes back around to kick them in the face.
For me this whole experience has never been about anything more than doing what i love and having fun. I play music that i enjoy. I have a goal to express myself though this medium and live my life. That’s’ it. That’s all this is. Everything else that has happened just happened. I’m not going to complain or say that its shit and i wish we still played to twenty kids a night, because honestly, i don’t really care, i still have the same feeling playing on stage and going to shows that i did when we first started. The day that feeling dies is the day i walk away from this band.
For a fulltime band that obviously has to spend lots of time around each other, you guys really do still get along well.
I know that it would change from day to day but do you ever feel like, "fuck this" and just don’t want to get on that stage.
Like guitarists can get up and play on a night they are not that excited, but for you as the "front man" and the singer, you have to remain (at least to others) upbeat and charismatic, and put on a show for the payers.
How do you do this day in day out? Or like you said in your previous answer do you genuinely enjoy what you do?
It's actually easy. I work pretty much in two ways. Playing on stage is my outlet. It’s the only way i get all my negative, pissed, fucked up shit out of my head. The person on stage is pretty much the only thing keeping the person off stage alive and sane. Anyone that knows me knows im totally different off stage. Basically i'm a shy, anti social, misanthropist in every day life. The only way i can keep my head in line is by let the other shit out, but like i've said before, that’s what hardcore has always been about for me.
So basically there is no real need to "perform" or whatever. I get as much out of playing as people do that are watching me. Still i can't say that there has never been a time i didn’t want to play and had to. It's fucked when it happens. If my head isn't in the right place then its sooooo awkward having to play songs that normally mean so much to me but for some reason or another don't apply at that point in time.
You guys are killing it worldwide at the moment and its only getting bigger and bigger, but there has to be a time when things start to drop off a bit and crowds get a little smaller. Have you guys talked about what to do when this does eventually happen? Like i know Graham probably has a business plan for you, haha, but what i love is that you guys just do what you do and don’t give a fuck about what anyone else is doing.
Yeah we've talked about it a bit. We have plenty of theories, but it’s kind of hard to even imagine. I mean not imagine parkway going down, but imagine what we'd fell like doing when it happens. It’s weird because every day that passes, every show you rock up at you’re just waiting for the fall, because to be honest i've been waiting for it for years, but for some reason we keep going up. Its great but kind of unnerving at the same time and i guess it makes everything all the more uncertain, because the longer we spend doing the band, the older we get and the more options get shut down to us due to age, education and circumstances. It’s weird.
Your right in saying we don't give a fuck, because we never have, so i'd love to say that we'll be doing this forever no matter what, but i think travelling and being in such close confines with the same group of minds and personalities changes your perspective pretty dramatically. What was great for you last year may not be so great the next. That being said we're lucky we are all still such good friends and are still stoked on life. I still love what i do, love hardcore, love records, love shows and love my friends, and for me that's never going to change.
What would Winston McCall be doing right now if the hardcore band he started with his mates to play shows at the local Youth Centre didn’t blow up and end up taking him all over the world touring and playing shows to thousands of poeple?
And, what do you see for yourself in the future after the band is said and done?
I’d be at uni, doing god knows what and getting barrelled at tallow’s i guess hahaha, but seriously i honestly couldn't say. I can remember being at a bit of a loose end before parkway came along. Touring just gave me something to do that i wouldn't have had otherwise, and then it slowly took over.
After the band im not sure. we're going to be seriously behind the eight ball when it comes to any kind of employment qualifications. I guess we could all be pretty fucked, especially being from Byron, but we'll see what happens. I’ll start another hardcore band. Not sure what anyone else will do.
Parkway Drive, the house, and the people behind it. How big a part of the band and Byron Bay Hardcore in general has the Parkway house and The Gordon Family been? From jamming there, to just hanging out there, to even having a couple of shows there. And also housing pretty much every touring band that has been through Bryon/Qld.(As well as your parents place!)
A huge part. like I’ve said in plenty of interviews before, there is a reason we named the band what we did. That place is our home, and has been the home of many BBHC bands before us. We hung out there, jammed there, helped build what we could of it and had the occasional show there. The Gordon family have done so much for this band and the Byron scene in general, i highly doubt anyone will ever be able to comprehend it. Between the Parkway house and my parent’s house, they pretty much enabled every band that has ever come to our small little town to be able to stop and play instead of just passing through to Brisbane or Sydney.
We had some great shows in that house. I’m not sure if Restraint ever played? I think you did, but Parkway, Think Straight, Shoot To Kill, Blueprint For A Nightmare, IKTPQ, Shot Point Blank, Comeback Kid and i think some other bands all smashed that room at one point or another during the years
Jed Gordon, the man, the myth, the legend, and for the past few years your Tour Manager/Lighting Guy.
How is the Chode? Is he still hanging in there or is he hating life? And how is it to travel through numerous countries with him? and when times are tough is it easy just to write him off and have a laugh again?
hahaha ummm, maybe not the best tour to ask me that question. He's done his part in the band over the years. He's fat, he's useless, bar lights and yes we laugh at him. He’s a good mate, but a shit worker. Travelling with him is stressful, funny, and smelly. He has some foul body odours. Still mates though.
Ok, word association time. Tell me the first things that come to mind when you read these words?
San Diego- The fucking wave house!!!!!
Touring- Heaven and hell
Home- Jess and kitten
Alright, let’s finish this up. I know your memory is about as good as mine, but what are some highlights from the last few years that you will never forget? And what does the future hold for Parkway Drive? New album? DVD? Limited edition 43 colour split 7"? haha
Everything is a highlight. I never could have imagined i would have seen so much of the world or experienced the things i have. I would never have thought that i would meet some of my closest friends on the other side of the planet. Being in this band, travelling with my friends, playing shows and doing shit from the ground up, our way, has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Sleeping in car parks and in fields. Eating nothing but raw corn for four days straight. Getting caught in floods and tornados. Living life. It’s crazy.
The future is a hard one to predict. Everything changes so quickly. I’m surprised we've lasted this long let alone still having new kids listen to us. We're just going to keep what we're doing until we breakdown completely. Releases wise we're working on a DVD documentary thing. We have filmed EVERYTHING we have experienced in the bands existence and it's pretty interesting so we're going to try and make that ourselves. Another challenge I’m looking forward to. We're also starting to write again slowly, but we're going to try to make a couple of changes to the way we write, see if we can mix it up a bit this time. 43 colour split7" fuck yeah lad hahaha. Nah seriously I’d love to release something on Vinyl, but i doubt the other guys really care hahaha. Ah well.
On the whole i just want to keep playing shows. We played ieper fest in Belgium last night and it was one of the craziest things i've ever seen. basically it just made me smile and think, i love hardore, i love playing in this band with my friends and i'm going to do this until my voice is destroyed and i can't stage dive anymore.... then I’m going to learn bass hahaha.