It's quite rare that an act from the heavy metal spectrum will properly bubble under the mainstream – and rarer still should that band be both Australian and on the more extreme side of the sonic realm. However, King Parrot have found themselves at a level most other acts in their scene could only dream of – not quite a household name, but certainly close enough to one in your average 20-something sharehouse. A lot of it has to do with the band's oft-ridiculous music videos – such as their latest, ‘Ten Pounds of Shit in a Five Pound Bag’. Serving as the lead single from their third LP, Ugly Produce, this video literally needs to be seen to be believed. Just make sure you're not at your place of employment when doing so.
“I'm kind of treated as the talent when it comes to the videos,” laughs the band's bassist, Wayne Slattery – AKA Slatts Everyday. “I try not to have too much creative input when it comes to the creative vision – I step into other people's ideas and get to be the fuckwit I know I am. We've worked with Dan Farmer on quite a few clips now. He and Youngy [vocalist Matt Young] tend to have quite a good working relationship. We've found it's been a pretty major way to reach an audience that's different to our own.”
You're unlikely to find a harder working Australian band than King Parrot; genre regardless. After getting around to the better part of the entire globe in support of their previous LP, 2015's Dead Set, the Melbourne-based quintet were straight back to work after the faintest hint of downtime. The end result is Ugly Produce, which is simultaneously another cementing of the King Parrot sound and a further exploration of what that entails. “The writing process never really stops,” says Slattery.
“Ari [White, guitar] is a riff machine. He brought in so many ideas when we recorded Dead Set that there was heaps left over after we finished making the album. We worked up a few of them for this record, as well as others that were forming in the meantime. Because we're on the road so much, we really try and take a hold of whatever opportunity we can get to work on songs. We had two songs prior to going in and recording that were being given a run at shows, and we had about three or four dedicated demoing sessions under our belt as well. Between touring, work and families, there's pretty minimal time left over for anything else. When it comes to recording, we've always had the mindset of just getting in there and getting the job done."
Said job was done in the first half of 2016 at Melbourne's Goatsound Studios. Behind the boards for the recording procedure was Blood Duster's Jason ‘PC’ Fuller, who evidently has a very clear idea of what King Parrot want out of a record considering his band no doubt served as a key influence early on. Slattery praises Fuller as a producer and a creative collaborator – someone who is incredibly clued in on what makes the band tick. “We recorded [debut album, 2012's] Bite Your Head Off with him,” he says.
“In terms of our sound, we've absorbed a lot of the kind of music Jason has not only made, but worked on as well. For us to go back and record with him was pretty much a no-brainer. It was awesome because Jason is so easy to work with. We've all known him for a very long time now. He'll never shy away from a straight-up and honest opinion on things – and that can make him an arsehole sometimes; but then again, so are we. All of his suggestions and contributions really helped to make Ugly Produce what it was – and I'm really fucking proud of what we've been able to do here.”
Slattery's enthusiasm for his own efforts will be entirely justified to listeners once Ugly Produce hits shelves. Raw and uncompromising as ever, the band keep their intensity levels at an all-time high while never forgetting the elements that shaped them to begin with. In a scene where many bands are often bound to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results, King Parrot are entirely open to wherever the creative process may take them.
“I feel like, with this record, we took the best bits of both of our previous records and pushed forward into something new,” Slattery says. “Bite Your Head Off had that punk vibe that we really love – more in the vain of grindcore – whereas Dead Set was a little more traditional. There's no wrong answers in King Parrot. Whatever idea someone comes up with – no matter how fucken dumb – we'll give it a go at least once.”
Ugly Produce is out on Friday September 22 via EVP Recordings.