I think metal has become a little bit more accepted by the wider music community these days," declares Matt 'Youngy' Young, frontman of hard-touring, heavy-hitting Melbourne extremists King Parrot. "A lot of people still turn their noses up at it, but I think the great thing about King Parrot is that we've been able to knock down a few doors in terms of our appeal."
His words are far from empty. 2015's Dead Set, overseen by Pantera's Phil Anselmo in New Orleans, was nominated for an ARIA Award, and their notoriously wild, high-energy shows are almost always full. Anticipation was high for the follow-up album Ugly Produce (out now), recorded with Jason Fuller of Blood Duster (who helmed 2012's Bite Your Head Off).
"Going back to working with Jason on this album felt really organic," the singer says. "He's a good friend and he understands our band and where we're coming from."
King Parrot's sound is a ferocious cocktail of thrash metal and grindcore with liberal doses of hardcore punk and bottom-feeding sludge. Laced with Youngy's rabid roar-and-screech vocal attack, Ugly Produce is the most complete encapsulation of their street-level larrikin punk-metal to date.
"I think the band is in the healthiest position it's ever been in," says Youngy, who also doubles as the band's manager. As a self-confessed control freak, it's a role he enjoys because "if anything goes wrong, I've got no-one to blame but myself".
"The myth around King Parrot has been steadily building," he continues, "but with this new album we've been able to capture the live intensity and the growing chemistry within the band and achieved things in the recording that we haven't previously."
Much of their success stems from a gruelling live regimen. Their current U.S. tour with Anselmo's band Superjoint is their ninth to that country, and there's also been "three or four" visits to Europe and countless journeys around Australia.
"For the last three or four years we've been touring around the world non-stop, really trying to forge our name in the international metal scene and that can be really taxing on the band and the individuals in it," Youngy says. "We feel that we've established ourselves as a band that people know about now, and those people know what they can expect from us when they come to our show."
Despite their rising profile, King Parrot still tour as cheaply as they can. Not only does it suit the band's knockabout, extreme metal ethic, but Youngy is keenly aware of how expensive it all is.
"We always budget," he says. "The toughest thing about being an Australian band is how much money it costs to get yourself off the ground. Just to get overseas you're already behind the eight ball."
Following their current U.S. tour, King Parrot head to the U.K. for a run of dates through November, before returning home (via Japan) for a national tour; dates and details here.
This article is from issue #792 (November, 2017), available now.
Topics: King Parrot