Byron Bay's Parkway Drive are amongst Australia's most successful hardcore bands. With the prospect of a US tour next year and yet another full-length release on the way, the band owe it all to one man in particular: Graham Nixon of Resist Records.
"Resist has done an amazing thing for Australian hardcore, in getting bands recognised and just pushing the whole thing forward," enthuses vocalist Winston McCall. "The scene has exploded over the last three years: there used to be 30 kids going to shows, now there's 300, and I think Graham and Resist are really responsible for a huge degree of that," McCall explains.
"I listen to it now and can see how much we've progressed," says McCall of their full-length CD 'Don't Close Your Eyes' released this year. "It was a good experience doing it and was great to have it put out on Resist because that's always been kind of a dream of ours. We're really stoked with it and it's great to hear people actually like it."
Veganism and straightedge beliefs are becoming more prominent in the hardcore scene, and in Adelaide in particular, according to McCall. "I'd say Adelaide has probably got the biggest straightedge/vegan scene in Australia. In Byron there's about five straightedge kids and I think maybe two kids that are vegan and that's about it," McCall laughs. "I'm vegetarian myself and there's a couple of us that are straightedge, but we just wanna have fun and play music. We do believe in trying to make a difference in some way, but as a whole we don't really champion any beliefs. We're just a hardcore band!"
I ask McCall if he tries to put a message across to the fans through his lyrics.
"Yeah definitely, whether or not people can understand it 'cause I've got kind of a messed-up brain when it comes to writing lyrics, but when it comes to live shows we try and make people take it a little less seriously then they do. Everyone seems to try and take shows 100 percent seriously: everyone's gotta look cool and mosh the right way. We just want kids to have fun."
Moshing seems to play an extremely important role in hardcore music. "There's a good and a bad thing, but I'm not going to diss it 'cause I definitely like moshing. There's a lot of friction between scenes when it comes to dancing and definitely a lot of competition. That's one of the things I kinda don't like at the moment: kids are forgetting to have fun and worrying more about how cool their moves are - which is fine, but you gotta have fun at the same time."
The boys from Parkway Drive seem to be all about having fun, especially while on tour. "Generally the tour is pretty crazy, we just try and break stuff and have fun. We like jumping off bridges! We've got a record of about 30 metres so far..."
Label-mates I Killed The Prom Queen have toured with Parkway Drive and also featured together on a split CD.
"If we could tour with any band in the world it would still be 'Prom Queen because they're just so cool. We're all great friends and we just get along really well on tour. We pretty much like touring with people we're friends with, but it seems in the hardcore scene everyone is friends so we're pretty happy to tour with anyone."
Parkway Drive recently visited our shores in October for Swine Fest, being the headlining act. "I don't know what was with that, but it was great. I'm not sure how or why we ended up headlining- we've only been around for like a year so it's kind of weird. We never thought we'd tour let alone headline a show in Adelaide so that was rad, it was an awesome experience."
So what's next for Parkway Drive?
"We're looking at a full-length release early next year and hopefully a US tour around then. We're still a really young band, but it's something we'd really love to do. Just the thought of playing anywhere outside of Australia is kind of amazing. We're just five kids from a tiny little town so we never thought we'd do that. We're stoked just to play one show let alone the opportunity to go overseas."