Parkway Drive, a metalcore band from Australia hit the scene back in 2002. Since then they've come out with four studio albums and are currently writing new material for their fifth.
These heavy music-making Aussies are playing Warped Tour at Cruzan Amphitheatre this Saturday. We had the chance to speak with Winston McCall, the band's lead singer. Not your typical metal dude, Winston is more trad hardcore and lives the straight edge life. Being an Aussie, he of course loves to surf and has even graced the cover of Riptide Magazine.
Winston talked to us about bringing his wife along with him on tour and something about him that would surprise most of Parkway Drive's fans.
New Times: How's Warped Tour going so far?
Winston McCall: Amazing, the shows have been fantastic, and it's all going really smooth. The reception we've had so far has just blown anything we had, expectation wise, out of the water.
What's the hardest thing about being on tour?
Homesickness. I guess it's a cop out because you're away from home doing these amazing things but at the same time it's... Yeah I have family at home that I miss a hell of a lot. Luckily my wife is with me on Warped Tour.
That's awesome though that you get to bring your wife!
Yeah, it is. It's only been for the last couple of years that we've been able to do that so we spent four years of being apart before that. It sucked (laughs).
I guess Skype comes in handy when you have to be apart.
Yeah, it did yeah. And the first couple of years that we were touring was before Skype was even invented, so we were doing lots of phone cards in Europe and stuff like that. You had to type in a million numbers, and it was an absolute nightmare before Skype came along and changed everything. Thank God for the internet.
What's the craziest thing that's ever happened at one of your shows?
Oh (laughs)! Um, where do we start with that one? Crowd-surfing in wheelchairs is always a wild one. We had someone stage dive off a third story balcony which was pretty insane and resulted in security beating the hell out of him and then a riot involving broken Christmas trees which was one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen. We had someone in Russia light themselves on fire in the middle of the pit so yeah (laughs) take your pick out of those.
What attracted you to hardcore and metal?
Um, for me it was an evolution from punk rock basically. I was definitely one of the kids that kind of grew up not really fitting in too well. And the music itself carried this adrenaline and this push that really got my heart racing and kind of fueled me to want to do things and once I actually got into the lyrical side of things, I realized that it wasn't just pop music where they're singing about the same old crap. It really spoke to me. So that's kind of what got me into it. And then from there, we had the desire to push ourselves to be a heavier band.
What's next for the band?
After the tour is done, we go home and we continue writing. We've been writing for a new record for the last three months now and we've been taking pretty much the entire year off other than Warped Tour just to write music. So we go home and go back into our little studio and continue writing. It's all going really well but at the same time having the amount of time that we have, we want to pack as much as we can into this next record.
What's something most of your fans would be surprised to know about you?
(Laughs) That I don't listen to heavier music?
I think most people would be surprised about the lack of up-to-date knowledge I have on the current heavy music scene. It's been one of those things. There's so many bands out there that I've literally given up on trying to keep up on things. It used to be one of those things where we were constantly listening to heavier bands but these days the inspiration comes from something other than heavy music, so I think most people would be surprised about that.
So what music do you listen to?
God, where can we start? I guess a lot of softer weirder kind of stuff. I definitely like darker, sadder sounding stuff but at the same time it's definitely not too much heavy stuff. Unless I'm really excited to go for a surf or something like that, it's kind of mellow for me these days. I'm getting old (laughs).
Vans Warped Tour. With Parkway Drive, Falling in Reverse, For Today, Air Dubai, the Story So Far, and others. 11 a.m., Saturday, July 16, at Cruzan Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $37.50 to $43 plus fees. Call 561-795-8883, or visit vanswarpedtour.com.
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