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Interview: King Parrot

Interview: King Parrot

Sunday 5th February, 2017 8:40AM

Since their full length debut Bite Your Head Off in 2012, King Parrot have ruled the skies and the ears of extreme metal fans in the fauna-rich land across the ditch. We caught up with vocalist Matt Young ahead of their debut New Zealand appearance next week with extreme metal titans Revocation and Psycroptic for the aptly titled Thrash, Blast and Grind Fest to spin yarns about Australian colloquialisms, duty free dairy products and the post-everything internet era. Witness the resulting squawking below...

UTR: So, I know Aussie has a bunch of pretty wildlife. Which parrot exactly is the king of the avian kingdom?

It is actually a King Parrot mate. An annoying, noisey little bastard that will keep you up all night, and have you ripping your hair out. It's the type of response we usually get from punters after they come to see the band, hence the name.

Speaking of wildlife, your video for 'Shit on the Liver' is cheekily referenced in the video for Batpiss'Loose Screws’. Firstly, is this just a bands-with-animal-orientated-names-stick-together type deal or is it a connection through sick Melbourne venue The Tote?

Oh yes, we are good mates with the Batpiss guys, they are great people and we have all been people that have been near, in and around The Tote over the years. It’s a great old venue and is widely regarded as the spiritual home of rock'n'roll in Melbourne.

Secondly, is "shit on the liver" just a euphemism (and I use the term lightly) for a hearty bender? Or is there a deeper metaphor at play here?

It's actually an old Australian colloquialism for being really angry or pissed off and has nothing to do with a hearty bender. But it seems people think it is, and has something to do with being wasted which appeals to most of our fan base anyway, so we don't care. We'll sing about what it actually means, while the audience thinks we are singing an anthem about being wasted, and everyone is happy.

Speaking of "shit on the liver" what is a bonox (if I hear correctly) that is referred to at the start said video?

Bonox is a stupid old hot drink from the 60s and 70s that was quite popular at one point. It's a "beef drink" whatever the hell that means. It smells and tastes like Vegemite. It's completely horrid, I would never drink it, but it was popular amongst my parents generation. You can still actually buy it at the supermarket, and we have had people buy it and throw it around the mosh pit and at the band and it is repulsive how bad it smells in its purest form.

On that note, who the hell do I talk to about getting Oak chocolate milk on this side of the ditch? Can you bring me some in your carry on baggage instead of those cursed new, air-heavy Toblerones? If you guys are dairy product enthused, I am sorry to say we are lacking on deliciousness in the flavoured milk department in New Zealand. Although I am happy to indulge you in a Canterbury Cream or two; NZ’s answer to duty free Baileys.

Something could be arranged I'm sure mate. I'm not a fan of dairy products personally. I still think its weird and kinda absurd that humans think its normal to drink milk from a cow. People say when ordering a coffee or something "I'll just have 'normal' milk", and its like dude, that’s not fucking normal. Your stealing milk from a fucking pregnant cow that’s meant for a baby cow. It's funny how we are conditioned to think sometimes.

Unrelatedly, I have a terrible habit of finding myself descending down the rabbit-hole of post-moden internet culture. In such cases, I've wondered if your video for 'Dead End' is a parody of The Shining or a parody of the Simpson parody of the Shining. This concept translates into heavy music too; hearing bands, especially those with sentences for song titles, referred to as post-modern hardcore and the like. At what point do you think this circle jerk of pop culture will end? Or is it just the logical conclusion to the stream of misinformation fed to us on the daily by mainstream media and the like?

Its definitely a tip of the hat to The Shining, it's one of my favourite films and an absolute classic. We had a ball making that video, and all the different scenarios we created for it. I'm all up for circle jerking about internet culture or something or whatever you said. Circle jerking is great. Great band too!

Heavily politicised band Dispossesed burned an Australian flag at the beginning of one of their recent Melbourne shows. This was of course heavily criticised by self-styled “patriots”. What are you thoughts on this?

I understand what they are saying and trying to do. For some bands a message is super important, but the music that I'm most drawn to is more of a personal expression or humorous. When things carry a super heavy message like that it kinda blurs the line for me. I think Dispossessed are really original and super pissed off about their situation, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from them musically.

So I noticed when searching a Facebook page for you guys it was one of those Facebook default deals with your Wikipedia entry and some links to other stuff. Is this a purposeful move to stay mysterious, are you fellas just too busy on the waste to maintain the shitestorm that (especially heavy metal) social media pages often snowball into, or am I just inept at search bars?

No, we have a Facebook page and all that, maybe you didn't search hard enough. We are not mysterious really. We are pretty out there and friendly dudes if you meet any of us, depending one what state we are in. Some of the guys in our band aren't really into the social media thing much, and neither am I to be honest. If I could delete it all I would. It causes more trouble than its worth these days, but it is beneficial for the band to have a presence so I guess we have to.

On that note, how important do you think the internet is for promoting for guitar bands these days? Do you think that heavy music is inherently about shrugging off social norms such as shameless internet self promotion, or is it all a necessary evil?

It's necessary with the amount that people are on their phones and all that shit these days, but it goes hand in hand with every other aspect of playing in a band and running a business. You kinda gotta do everything if you are going to make it work. That being said we are super keen to get over and see our New Zealand mates finally, its been a long time coming so I am hoping that we have some great shows and people come out and see this killer package. Its gonna be great to be out with Psycroptic and Revocation. Killer bands and killer dudes. See you in the pit!

Thrash, Blast and Grind Fest takes place on Sunday 12th February at Valhalla in Wellington, and on Monday 13th February at Whammy in Auckland. Snag yourself some tickets over here.

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Thrash, Blast and Grind
Sun 12th Feb
Valhalla, Wellington
Thrash, Blast and Grind
Mon 13th Feb
Whammy Bar, Auckland