King Parrot

King Parrot

King Parrot are the band your mother warned you about : the demon under the bed, ready to snuff out your life force the moment you think you are safe.

They are the antesis of nature, the devil’s spawn if you will.

They are chaos and destruction and wreckless abandon wrapped up in a musical ball, ready to explode at the slightest provocation.

And they are also perhaps the best thing to come out of Australian metal in the last decade, as testament to their recent U.S tour with some of the heavyweight Gods of the metal family.

When I caught up with bass player Slatts just days after his return to his home town of Melbourne, he was catching a quick nap on the couch, but burst into life quickly when talking about their recent overseas tour.

“It was amazing,” he enthused. “We’ve certainly done quite a few gigs these last few years but this was one of our personal favorites. We were on tour with Down and Orange Goblin and Blast. I guess most people will know that Down is fronted by Phil Anselmo from a little band called Pantera. Orange Goblin are from the U.K and have been around for 20 odd years and Blast is Nick Oliveri from Queens of the Stone Age’s first band back in the 80’s so we were certainly amongst some very qualified company and it was just amazing. Every night we were almost pinching ourselves that we were sharing the same stage with all those awesome, amazing people.”

Despite the obvious buzz of playing with bands that they grew up listening to, the boys in King Parrot also took the opportunity to learn from their senior partners, with Phil in particular providing constant inspiration.

“There was no real separation with the bands,” Slatts said.

“We all spent the nights together chatting and stuff and once or twice we would adjourn to the tour bus ad have a few glasses of port and reminisce on things that were…. It was great. We’ve been lucky enough to go to Phil’s house and hang out. He’s a great man.”
“I think one of the most important things we got from them was taking things in our stride. People like Phil make time for people all the time. Every single night they met with with fans before and after the show and they put on the best show every night. It’s more inspiration for us to go out there and do our best every opportunity we get and no show should EVER have to be a shit show!”

One thing that will excite their Australian fans is that as well as touring the States, King Parrot also had time to work on their follow up to the awesomely brutal ‘Bite Your Head Off’.

“We began recording the album with Phil producing it which is pretty special,” Slatts enthused.

“We finished the tour then we sat on a tour bus that wasn’t going anywhere for a few days and had our first experience of staying full time on a tour bus, living in a Wall Mart carpark until we got told to move on to another one so in Texas we rehearsed the songs that we had prepared and done pre –production on earlier in 2014 and then we went out to Phil’s place where he had the studio and started to put the album together. It was fantastic. There was a lot of great input from Phil and it was really collaborative. The guy has got a lot of experience and opinions but was certainly just very encouraging of what we were doing and offered suggestions and thoughts which was great.”

This leads to the obvious question of did the great Phil Anselmo, former vocalist for the legendary Pantera, make an appearance on the album?

“Ha, ha, ha,” Slatts laughed. “He may have….. I don’t know yet. We’ll all have to wait and see. There’s certainly no lead parts but the thing about recording, definitely from a musicians point, is that it’s really fucken boring, so once your parts are done you tend to drift away from the studio and do other things. I do know that Phil worked a lot with (singer) Youngy doing his vocals…. I’m sure there are parts on there where they did a little bit here and there…”

In more good news, Slatts says the new album is not far off being ready, and thinks that fans will see an improvement from their debut offering.

“At the moment it’s in the mixing stage,” he said. “I know we’re just starting to get rough edits of songs come through so we’re getting that sent across to us and we’re giving our opinions and sending it back. Everything was sounding fantastic when we left. Great engineers are working on it as well but we’ve all got good guitar sounds and drum sounds that we’re happy with. I can’t wait to hear it all together. I hope it’s still as raw as ‘Bite Your Head Off’ while still maintaining that punk sort of element to it. I guess if anything on this one there was more input from everyone and there’s slightly longer songs in there as well in comparison. We’ve still got short, fast, fucken crackers in there so hopefully it’s got a bit more spark.”

Proof, if any was needed, that King Parrot are ready to play with the big boys, is in the fact that they have been added to the entire Soundwave tour, not just their hometown like last year. It is a fact not lost on Slatts, especially in light of the recent lack of Australian representation at the event.

“It’s great man. We’re really excited to be doing the whole lot,” he said.

“Obviously last year we just did Melbourne but this time we’re doing the whole lot which is awesome, we can’t wait. We’ve got the initial slot which is to welcome people when they get there and then we have the rest of the day to enjoy bands which is going to be fantastic!.”

“I think at the moment there’s a few Aussie metal bands that are really having a crack,” he continued, “and are actually getting out on the road and playing around the world so maybe there wasn’t as many doing that before. It FEELS like that’s what was happening but at the moment there’s a lot out there and now they’re getting recognized by the festivals back in Australia which is great. Certainly there’s a level of Aussie pride that goes up when that happens.”

“There’s an argument there should be a constant representation but how do you put together a festival that doesn’t clash with International bands that you might love but also might never get a chance to see? I think if you’re good it doesn’t matter where the fuck you’re from basically. It shouldn’t come down to what country you’re from but more will I ever get the chance to see them? Is this the only time I will ever get to see a particular band because someone has put together a package where they can pay them enough money to come to Australia?”

When King Parrot played in Cairns last year, their star was only just starting to shine, but for those who were lucky enough to witness the concert the memories are still burned into their souls.

The show was perhaps one of the most brutal things to happen on stage in Cairns, and Slatts was unashamedly excited by the memory.

“We fucken love it man. One of the great things in life is to stand on the stage and watch the chaos that goes on in front of us while we’re bouncing around like fuckwits. And there’s many sides to a fuckwit,” he laughed. “We’re like a fuckwit octagon each of us and that’s what makes it so fun. That’s what we do. We like to initiate new people and engage with the crowd. It’s our life.”

Kris Peters

King Parrot play at the Soundwave festival. For more information and tickets visit

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