King Parrot Fly North

Melbourne’s masters of metal and mayhem King Parrot are spreading their wings again this weekend for a return trip to FNQ with shows in Cairns and Townsville.

After recently touring Japan with Phil Anselmo and the Illegals, vocalist Matt Young (Youngy) is eager to stress that home country shows to areas outside of the capital cities are just as important as international performances with legendary musicians.

“We’ve been concentrating more on the regional areas recently,” he said. “Not to say that we have neglected them in the past because we did a massive regional tour last year, but we wanna do it consistently. We love playing regional shows and getting out to places where some of the other bands in Australia don’t get to go to. We view ourselves as an Aussie band and as such, it is important to get out to those areas and play for those fans. We feel rewarded by going out to those places because the fans always come out and they wanna have a good time and a good night and party with the band, and as you well know we’re more than happy to do that (laughs).”

While many may have seen one of the bands ferociously brutal yet insanely comedic songs on YouTube, or possibly even caught them on the red carpet at the ARIA’s, it is on stage where King Parrot excel. Their performances are not for the faint of heart or the easily offended, with the band placing as much emphasis on creating an environment of controlled chaos as they do musicianship.

“We like to try and encapsulate some of the stuff that we put into our videos into the live show as well,” Youngy quipped. “We bring a lot of energy. While our show is intense and in your face and confronting and wild it also toes the line of being humorous. We like to have fun just as much as we like to be intense and that combination is infectious. People that have seen King Parrot before generally come back because they know what they’re gonna get. Our goal is to improve and get better without becoming one of those… we’re predominantly a raw, live band and we take our cue from old school bands like Black Flag and Poison Idea and stuff like that. We’re not a flashy, gimmicky kind of band. We like to give the audience what is us and what is real and that’s what our fans have come to expect. We like to get the audience involved and feel like they are part of the show, whether that means coming on stage and stage diving or whatever – you can do what you want at our shows – but it’s always more fun when fans get involved.”

One of Youngy’s brave – some may argue more on the side of insane – but short-lived experiments involved calling on the traditional heavy metal Wall of Death at a series of shows on their 2015 Soundwave run. Rather than igniting the charge in the usual manner, Youngy decided to go one step further and trigger the onslaught from the exposed mosh pit while continuing to sing as hordes of excited metalheads threw their bodies in each others direction. While the move generated international exposure for the band, Youngy found out the hard way that not all people play by the sparse rules that are adhered to as part of mosh pit etiquette.

“I kind of retired that dance move,” he laughed. “We were doing it when we played at Soundwave a few years back and it was a bit of a hit and started to get momentum – Metal Hammer in the UK posted it on their page and it went viral – but by the time we got around Australia and got to the last show some dude ran in and took my legs out and the whole Wall of Death basically collapsed on top of me! There were probably about 100 people piled on and I absolutely shit myself (laughs). I came out of it and went okay, that’s enough of that I think and have since retired and leave it to the punters. It was really scary. I thought I was a dead man and went into beast mode and started throwing people off me then ran back to the safety of the stage (laughs).”

The Far North traditionally does not sustain a return market for touring heavy bands. The distance and associated costs often force bands to abandon thoughts of return after one tour but King Parrot have bucked this trend with this weekends stopover their third visit to Cairns after initially bringing their musical wrecking ball to the now-closed down Railway Hotel almost seven years ago.

“I remember that show,” Youngy nodded. “I think we played on the floor, is that right? It got pretty loose I remember that (laughs). We stayed upstairs and had a great time and we had a fantastic time there last year with American band Child Bite. It was cool to be able to bring out a US band and have them play with us up there. It’s probably not a common thing for an overseas underground metal or punk band to be able to come up all the way to Cairns and Townsville so we were stoked that we were able to show our friends from the US that part of Australia. Over the years we’ve made lots of friends from our return travels and it’s always great to catch up with local people in the scene and play with local bands up there as well.”

If you somehow managed to miss King Parrot on one of those tours, Youngy had some closing words of advice and encouragement.

“We’ve done our best to put a great line up together using the best local talent,” he offered. “We only usually… we were up there last year but before that, it had been four or five years, and we don’t know when we will get up there again, but we always put on a 100%, in your face live metal show that can convert people. You may not even be into this sort of music but if you have nothing going on this weekend check us out. Check out your local talent, support live music in Australia, support metal in Australia and give it a crack ‘coz we’re fired up for a great weekend of shows. It’s exciting to get back to that part of the world; we’re one of the few lucky bands who get to take repeat trips there so let’s have a fucken party and enjoy every second.”

King Parrot play at The Jack, Cairns, Friday 21 February supported by Meat Bikini, Forest and Bigfoot Mafia and The Dalrymple, Townsville, Saturday 22 February supported by Abola and Arkend. Tickets available from www.kingparrot.oztix.com.au

Kris Peters

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