Posted by Jordan M.
It would be a crime to classify Parkway Drive as simply another band to alloy hardcore and metal genres into a sound more parody than paragon. Basically because, they do it with a passion that will make you feel like you’ve been kicked in the throat. Come to think of it, if you’ve been lucky enough to see them live, you probably have been. Deep Blue, the unrelenting follow-up to 2007’s Horizons, raises the bar in every conceivable way. While maintaining the band’s uncompromising metallic-hardcore style at its core, it pushes into exciting new realms, drawing from a wider scope of influence, incorporating everything from anthemic punk to bloodcurdling death metal. Winston McCall took the time to answer a few questions for me.
Tell me about your experience playing No Sleep Til… Tour with all those big bands.
Winston: The tour was insane. So many awesome bands, so many friends, basically a great way to start summer. Being able to play a great show on stage then go and watch The Descendants and NOFX was amazing. Plus, we got to play after GWAR which meant sloshing around a stage soaked in second hand fake blood. Good times.
Speaking of which, Who do you want to tour with, but haven’t yet?
Winston: Bad Religion and the Gaslight Anthem. I know we don’t really sounds ANYTHING alike, but I just love both the bands. Just the chance to see them every night would be amazing.
I know you toured with Killswitch Engage in the states back in 2007, and Adam Dutkiewicz produced your last two records, so do you think you two will be touring the states again any time soon?
Winston: I’m not sure, is Killswitch still touring? I think there is probably more chance of Parkway and Times of Grace touring. Either way, we’d be stoked to hang with Adam again. He’s a great guy.
Do you prefer to play huge festivals, or the smaller, more intimate venues?
Winston: Both. It’s like comparing apple and oranges, they’re both great but they taste different. Playing on a massive stage to a sea of people is indescribable, but at the same time, there is nothing like a small sweaty venue with people flying from every angle. I guess we’re lucky enough to be able to play both.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
Winston: It’s been a natural progression. We haven’t exactly pushed it in leaps and bounds. We like the music we write and we try and keep it interesting and challenging for us to play, but we’re not out there trying to reinvent the wheel or anything. It’s generally a case of small refinements and personal taste that leads to the little changes we make. That and faster, heavier, catchier. That one works for us too.
What made the rest of the band choose the instruments they have now?
Winston: Jeff plays guitar because he loves Metallica. Pig plays guitar because he learned power chords at school and thought that made him a punk. Gaz hits the drums because he has ADD and love to be louder than everyone. Jia play bass, well no, actually he doesn’t; he still sucks, and I yell because there is no place for a harmonica in the band. We don’t mix it around that much, mainly because we are lucky we can play anything at all, let alone a second instrument.
Any chance you’ll re-record some old songs like you did with Hollow (Man)?
Winston: Maybe, you never know. Hollow was kind of a rewrite rather than a re-record, but you never know.
What records have you been really enjoying lately?
Winston: Trapped Under Ice – Secrets of the World, 50 Lions – Time is The Enemy, Mother of Mercy, Symptoms of Existence, Sufjan Stephens – Age of Adz.
Do you find it hard as a musician to enjoy yourself at someone else’s show without analyzing it all in your head?
Winston: Sometimes. I depends who you are watching. If it’s a band I’m passionate about in the first place, it is very easy to get lost in the moment. If it is something unfamiliar, it can be hard to just listen and not analyze.
What do you enjoy doing the most when you’re not performing or working on your music? I know you like to bodyboard back home.
Winston: Yeah, the beach. For me, it’s my family and the beach. They are both things I miss on tour. Also, sleeping in the same bed for more than one night in a row.
What has been your favorite nation to tour in?
Australia. Best country in the world.
Where do you view Parkway Drive’s role in the worldwide hardcore scene?
Winston: I have no idea. We’re kind of nomads. It seems like a lot of people like us, but I’m sure just as many think we’re idiots. For me, I still love and care about hardcore. It will always be a part of my life. Whether people think that it is represented through Parkway is up to them, but that’s how it stands for me.
What were some of your inspirations for writing Deep Blue?
Winston: Life and the world we live in. Lyrically, it was a combination of the world I have seen, meeting the world I know and grew up in, and the impact it causes when the two collide.
What song changed the most during the recording process of Deep Blue?
Winston: Hahaha, this is a weird one to answer. Unrest, because it is the ONLY song that changed, and all that happened was we added one bar to the last breakdown. That’s literally the only change we made from jamming at home to the final product.
Last question; pick two songs; one from your catalog, that you want new fans to check out after reading this interview. And one song from any band/genre.
Winston: Karma. It was the last song we wrote for Deep Blue and i love it. Jeff’s lead sounds Egyptian, haha. For the other one: Bad Religion – Do What You Want. This song is responsible for me listening to punk in the first place. It was amazing when it was written and still gets me psyched to this day.
Any last words for the fans?
Winston: Thanks, always thanks.