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Interviews : “Squiz IS!” – An Interview With King Parrot (Youngy and Slatts)

By on May 14, 2015

king-parrot-2015

King Parrot – Youngy & Slatts

King Parrot has always been my favourite band to interview. Everytime I’ve spoke to vocalist Matthew Young in the past, it’s always been a funny, lengthy conversation. However, this time I let Metal Obsession writer Prarthana have the honour of interviewing Youngy when we accidentally double-booked a King Parrot interview. Because of that, I finally got the chance to interview King Parrot’s head bass fingerer, actor, crowd heckler, and microphone punisher, Slatts Everyday.

You can read both mine and Prarthana’s interviews below.

Part I – Slatts Everyday

This Friday, King Parrot begins their “Dead Set” Australian tour in Warnambool with Melbourne bands Colossvs and High Tension, their first headline run since October last year. Slatts tells me how he’s feeling about it.

“Well y’know mate, I get out and I do me fuckin’ cock pushups every morning and just, try and get in that headspace really.

Nah, it should be good. We haven’t been playing in Australia a lot lately. The Soundwave Festival run was fucking mindblowing, but obviously a lot different to going around playing club shows. The best part is, the album [Dead Set] comes out on the 15th, and we start the tour on the 14th, so I guess as we go, we’ll begin to speak to people who have heard the album and get their feedback on it.”

Since March last year, King Parrot have spent more time overseas than they have in Australia, with four tours of the US last year, as well as a Europe/US run shortly after their Soundwave Festival tour the other month. But when they come back to Australia, they don’t spend much time having a rest. King Parrot have been a non-stop touring machine since their debut album came out in 2012, and now that they’ve toured overseas a lot, Slatts can answer his favourite part about homecoming tours.

“I just like the familiarity. It’s great touring anywhere in the world, but when you come back to tour Australia, it’s home. You’re surrounded by Australian accents and Australian fuckwits, and we’re fuckwits so it’s perfect.”

But unlike guitarists Squizzy and Mr. White, Slatts doesn’t miss Australian beer while he’s overseas.

“I never really miss Australian beer, or I tell myself that I don’t. Ari and Squizzy definitely get a bit precious. I’ve always been a big believer that any beer that’s free is a fucking good beer. But yeah, when I came home, I had a Melbourne Bitter and I quite enjoyed it!
But that’s not one of the things that really concerns any of us. We like drinking piss, but it’s not the be all and end all. It’s fuckin’ rockin’ the fuck out, being an idiot and watching people break bones. It’s grouse.”

Slatts has been the standout star in King Parrot’s music videos. His excellent acting and ability to make people laugh with absolutely anything he says or does has earned them an impressive amount of YouTube views. But in the latest video for “Home Is Where The Gutter Is”, Slatts passed on the stand-out role to guitarist Squizzy, who plays a protagonist in a homeless person in a war against the Scum Trifecta. Slatts is stoked that viewers finally get to see how funny Squizz is.

“Mate, isn’t it just the fuckin’ best?! I’m stoked. Squiz is the man. We have a number of quotes in the band. Ari and I hold Squiz up very high, he’s the underlord of rock’n’roll. We also call him the world’s hottest dude, and we also say, Squiz is! Squizz often calls himself ‘the forgettable dude’ in King Parrot, so for him to take the centre stage, I think it’s fucking fantastic, because now the rest of the world get to see how awesome me, Ari and the rest of the band think Squiz is.”

With quotes often repeated by fans like “Geez I’ve had a good day” and “Call your electrician, your doors fucked!”, Slatts is never concerned about people repeating his famous lines too much, because it reminds him of how funny he is. He mentions something that Denise Drysdale told a fan when he spent a week living in a sustainable house with her in Swanston St.

“Last time I was in Australia, I lived with Denise Drysdale in that sustainable house in the city. She’s been entertaining and been a musician and all that shit for 50 years or whatever. Someone asked her a question while we were together; ‘Do you ever get sick of people coming up to you and that?’ and she’s like ‘No, fuck no!’ and she actually did say fuck no. She said ‘The day that people start doing that, they start to forget about me, and I’m out of a job!’ So, it’s actually a good thing, you should always respect it.”

Before we wrap the interview up, Slatts tells me the meaning behind the bands new album title, Dead Set.

“Dead Set? Fuck me. It could have a bunch of meanings. I’m pretty sure Ari decided that it would be the best name. But it’s just fuckin’ ‘Strayan, like ‘Dead set, mate! Dead set!’ I guess in that sense, the meaning of it is very fucking serious; dead set, mate. There’s nothing around it, it’s straight-forward.

I really like the way it’s been portrayed. Boyd Synott, who you would know from our “Shit On The Liver” video as the parking inspector, he’s also an amazing artist. He put together all of the artwork for the album, and I think the way it’s presented with the Rated-R beside it, it takes on this scary movie sort-of aspect.”

Part II – Matthew Young

The boys have been pretty busy with touring and getting things ready for their new album. “I’m good! Just got back from the US – been on tour through Europe with Weedeater and we’ve been getting everything ready to release the new album. There’s the big Australian tour coming up as well so we’re pretty excited! Enjoying a few days off before all of that. But so far things have been great I think, we’ve had nothing but good reviews so far but for us its just been exciting that we can play some new songs because we’ve been touring our first album ‘Bite Your head Of’f for a few years now. It’s nice to be able to add some new songs to the set and its definitely going freshen things up for the band.”

Busy would be an understatement – they did four (!!!) US tours last year including SXSW and one early this year. So is there some kind of special love for the States? “ I guess! I mean for us it makes a lot more sense touring the US because there’s so many more places to play, so many more cities and that many more people to listen to our music. It’s more feasible for us to do things there rather than here in Australia. It’s really  been an eye-opening experience for us in North America and Canada and we’re always learning. South By South West though – its insane, there’s nothing quite like it. Literally millions of people gather there, and the whole city of Austin just gets thrown in chaos. We did it last year too and our first experience was we tried to play as much as we could in the three or four days that we were there and we did and this time sort of concentrated on just doing two showcases so it was less running around, less crazy so that was a much better time this year.”

Ahead of the release of their new album ‘Dead Set’, Matt talked about how the writing process was this time around, especially working with the ingenious and eccentric Phil Anselmo who happens to be a massive King Parrot fan. ” Well,  we wrote it around August and September when we had some down time in Vermont. We set up in a barn which was cool so we could do what we wanted, jam as much as we wanted for the month and the best part was that we were isolated from the rest of the world so we could just focus on our writing. We did some pre-production after that and got all our ideas down on tape which took a while too. Around that time, Phil Anselmo said he was interested in producing our album and after assessing our options, working a few things out we decided that, that was the way to go. So we made our way to Louisiana after the North American tour we did with Down in December to record the album and it was such a great experience. Phil is an Encyclopedia of heavy metal, he loves it more than anyone I’ve ever met and is really committed to making good records – staying true to what he thinks is good music. The thing that he said to us, upholding the tradition, that’s really important. King Parrot’s a band that’s deeply rooted in the old school which we take pride in. We want to have real sounds on our album and we wanted it to be a true representation of what we sound like. The digital sounds coming from some of the newer bands doesn’t appeal to me that much the more organic feel to our recordings hopefully that shines through on ‘Dead Set’.”

Phil is in fact, a big fan of King Parrot! ” Yeah he’s been into the band for a while now and been in touch with us, expressed that he wanted to work with us. He came and saw us live at one of our shows during our first North American tour in March 2014; he was in the moshpit with everyone else, it was hilarious. It was really surreal seeing Phil Anselmo in the moshpit – we’ve had quite a bit to do with him since. We’re grateful because he’s really sort of taken us under his wing and helped us develop the band and given us a little more exposure that we probably wouldn’t have got otherwise.

Youngy also had quite a bit to say about their new videos. However radical they may seem, you cannot deny the fact that they do send out a powerful message. ” I guess, we all the videos we’ve done apart from ‘Like A Rat’ have been with our awesome video guy Dan who deserves all the credit  and who we’ve been working with since the beginning, we really trust his creative direction with our videos, he really understands the band, so it’s always a team effort, we brainstorm and throw around some ideas, everyone discusses what we like what, we don’t like and by the time the filming, editing, the sound and everything is done it ends up becoming this whole other beast entirely. The video for ‘Like A Rat’ was the first time we worked with a guy called Mike Holderbeast and he was fantastic too. It made a lot of sense for us to do a video with Phil in it while we were out at his place it was hilarious fun to make! ”

We also talked about the video for ‘Home Is Where The Gutter Is’ which ended up with a very interesting idea. ” That is definitely real piss in the video. I mean yeah, I love piss I think it’s great! So great, I think it should be celebrated. Yeah a National Piss Day would be great, you know, each to their own. It’s just one of those things that just happened. ” That’s King Parrot for you!

So what is it that appeals to people about King Parrot and they’re outrageous live shows? “ I think it’s the energy and the we put in so much into our performance we also have a lot of fun with it. I think when people see us, the energy that we bring, we take it right to the audience and that’s been a goal ever since the beginning, right in their faces, we get them involved! Not jut physically but verbally  – they give us shit, we give them shit and we just have a great time! Some people don’t get it some people do get it, if you don’t like it then f*** off basically! 

Now I knew what I was getting myself into when I asked this next question: What’s the weirdest thing he’s ever done on stage during a show. ” Well, recently we played a show up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and there was a guy on stage, he was right up at the front and he was just spitting on me, like constantly. So I went over to him and I grabbed him by the hair, I don’t know what I was planning to do, and he just opened his mouth so I just coughed up straight into his mouth! It was disgusting. I think he wanted it to happen and it happened and it was really weird. ”

Matt had one last message to all the King Parrot fans ahead of the release of ‘Dead Set’ and their national tour. ” Well firstly I want to thank all those that donated to us when we robbed in Chicago recently, and we’re very thankful that people were so generous to us when we were in a time of need, and we’re really looking forward to catching up with everyone on the Australian tour, the pre-sale tickets have encouraged us, we really hope that everyone likes the new record and we hope to see everyone at the shows!”

There’s plenty of King Parrot to go around so be sure to grab a ticket and catch them at one of their shows!

Thursday, 14th May 2015
@The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC 18+

Friday, 15th May 2015
@Fowlers, Adelaide, SA LIC/AA

Saturday, 16th May
@The Corner, Richmond, VIC 18+

Sunday, 17th May
@Wrangler, Footscray, VIC AA

Thursday, 21st May
@Magpies, Canberra, ACT LIC/AA

Friday, 22nd May
@Corrimal Hotel, Wollongong, NSW 18+

Saturday, 23rd May
@Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW 18+

Sunday, 24th May
@Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW 18+

Thursday, 28th May
@Tatt’s Hotel, Lismore, NSW 18+

Friday, 29th May
@Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast, QLD 18+

Saturday, 30th May (afternoon)
@Crowbar, Brisbane, QLD U18

Saturday, 30th May (night)
@Crowbar, Brisbane, QLD 18+

Friday, 5th June
@Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, WA 18+

Saturday, 6th June
@Amplifier, Perth, WA 18+

Sunday, 7th June
@HQ, Perth, WA AA

 

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Patrick has been a dedicated contributor to Metal Obsession since 2011. He believes that you can put Lars Ulrich's face on just about anything. Add Patrick on Facebook.