Interview with Singer Winston McCall
PARKWAY DRIVE became on of the most famous metalcore bands all over the world. The Australian band just released their fourth studio effort Atlas. Singer Winston McCall is answering some questions about their newest record and life on tour.
So what are your thoughts on the new record Atlas?
I like it, hahaha!
Did it turn out like you wanted it to be?
Yeah! It was definitly a hard vision to make reality. The sounds and all the stuff we wanted was very specific. It was the only record where we didn‘t know how it will end up sounding. We had an idea, but we didn‘t know if this was possible.
Deep Blue was very successful all over the world. Was there any pressure in the band camp? And what did you want to archieve this time before you started to work on the new record?
There was no real pressure, actually we never feel pressure. It was inspirering. We wanted to do something that was really surprising to out fans, something where people would say that they haven‘t heard PARKWAY DRIVE in that way before, but at the same time it should be clear that it‘s still the same band. There are songs like you have never heard us before.
You also added new elements like acoustic guitars or female vocals. Where did you get the idea for that?
There was no super specificly idea about the whole acoustic guitars thing. We used acoustic guitars in the early stages and wanted to focus on the melodic parts. Jeff is always playing on his acoustic guitar and he wanted to record those parts like that. Very early on we said ‘everything goes‘. The female vocals are actually two guys and two guys just harmonizing insane. For all the strings and stuff we had very rough ideas which be bought to studio and tried to complete professionally, haha. But on the rough demos definitly don‘t sound that good, hehe.
When did you write the songs? You were on tour most of the time.
Yeah, we wrote some songs on tour and in-between tour. We started really early on after the release of Deep Blue. It was a good process that took place in many different countries.
Now you worked with Matt Hyde, which was you third producer in four albums. Why did you change personal again?
like to change it, haha. Everytime we made a record we wanted a
sound. These weren‘t calculated changes like ‘We
wanna sound like that, let‘s
go to this person‘. For this time we didn‘t want
the sound of Deep Blue. We wanted a
sound because of all these new elements and sounds we used. We
didn‘t want Deep Blue‘s
crunchy heaviness this time.
We wanted something in-between. Claritiy, and not just that heaviness.
more like gaining heaviness through clarity. What are the lyrical topics you
What are the lyrical topics you
It differs. The lyrics were written at the same time as the music was written. It deals with political, social but also personal stuff. Every song has its own topic. Deep Blue had a concept that went through the whole record.
What‘s the meaning behind the title Atlas?
It stands for the time where we‘ve written the record. The songs you hear were written all over the world. We‘ve played in 42 different countries in support of Deep Blue. But it‘s also about the world itself. I think it‘s a hard time to be alive for all these problems.
The first time I saw you live was back in 2007 were you had to play at festivals quite early. Now you‘re headlining shows with more than 2000 kids every evening. What does it feel like to have such a huge audience?
It‘s absolutely crazy. Oberhausen tonight is the biggest show of this tour, that we play outside of Australia. It‘s strange, haha, but it‘s great, that people in Europe support us that much.
What‘s the best and your least favourite place to tour?
The shows are great everywhere. Though, it‘s hard to tour the US. The distance between the shows is huge and the clubs look quite the same always. Sometimes I think “Didn‘t we play here yesterday?!“, haha. But in fact it‘s a different town we‘re in. We love touring in Europe. People always treated us very well and our fanbase grew and grew, because people don‘t listen to what‘s the newest trend over here.
What do you prefer: big venues, small clubs for festivals?
We like them all! We‘ve played big festivals and also did small club shows. It‘s all cool and fun for us. We‘ve played small clubs in South-East-Asia recently. It was sweaty, haha! Sometimes I think I‘d like to play the small venues again, you‘re real close to the fans, which is fun.
You‘re all surfers. Can you go surfing when you‘re on tour?
No, unfortunatly not that often. But every few years we do an Australien tour and just play prominent surf spots. We take all our boards and equipment with us and it‘s a lot of fun. Sometimes we‘re lucky and can go surfing on tour. For example, we surfed in that river in Munich, which was a pretty cool thing.
Last question: Have you already made some plans for 2013?
We‘ll come back for festivals and do a lot of touring. There will be a big tour in the USA, but we haven‘t planed anything more than that.