5 Questions With Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall
Australian band Parkway Drive have been ripping through the States with forceful sets as part of this year’s Warped Tour. We caught up with frontman Winston McCall during the New York stop of Warped Tour, and he spoke all about the band’s evolution and plans for writing and recording brand new material. McCall also offered up his opinion on why so many great acts are coming out of Australia and much more. Check out our interview with Winston McCall of Parkway Drive below:
You guys have been going strong for more than a decade. What is the secret to maintaining your bond as friends and musicians?
I guess the fact that we’re really old friends, we all grew up together. There’s never been a situation where someone doesn’t fit in. We come from a really small town and we’ve always felt like outsiders everywhere we go, just a bunch of small town kids going into the big world. I could not think of this band existing without those members, I think if one person left this band, the band would kind of dissolve. [Laughs] I was saying that with my fingers crossed behind my back.
There are such great bands continuously coming out of Australia. What do you think makes the music scene special in your country?
I think it’s the isolation to start with. We’ve had good bands for a long time and all of a sudden the spotlight has gone to Australia. It’s really crazy to see, we’ve gone all over and we see Australian band T-shirts everywhere. For a long time the thing that has made the bands fantastic is the isolation because there’s no career path in being a band. If you’re from Australia it costs $15,000 just to get your band out of there. It’s one of those things if you’re going to be a band you do it because you love it so you put all your energy into it, that’s it. So I think the thing that makes us tick is the isolation, it’s a blessing and a curse because you need a lot of support to get out of Australia.
After Warped Tour, what does the rest of 2014 hold in store for the band?
We go back to writing, we’re writing a new album at moment. We’ve been writing for the last three months and we go back and do another three months of writing basically. We have one more tour this year and that’s it. We’re planning on spending a long time in the studio next year and a long time writing. We figured every record has been amazing so far and they’ve been so supportive of us so we didn’t want to take a little baby step on the next one. We’re basically going to go for broke and really try to step everything up beyond anything we’ve ever done before. We’re putting a lot into it; there’s a lot of gambles we’re going to take on this.
How has the writing process been so far?
It’s been really good, really smooth. It’s one of those things where we’ve gone into writing with no pre-conception of what it needs to sound like. There’s been no “We have to have a fast beat” or “We have to have something that sounds like something that worked for us before.” We’re just like, “If it’s music we’re going to work on it,” and every idea possible we’ve been working with — that includes different instruments, different styles of riffing, different styles of vocals. Basically everything we’ve had in the past is still there, it’s just the spectrum which it sits is completely blown way up when it comes to the actual range we have with the sounds, so that’s basically what we’re working with. [Laughs]
What is one non-electronic thing you must bring on tour with you?
Water to start with, that is like gold. We’ve realized we can trade beer for water secretly. My bicycle, for sure, because it means you can get away. These tours are such big distances, as well, so to get to one side from the other is a lot. Firstly it’s all about fitness, too.