Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Nov 29th 2012 3:00PM by Johnny Hockin
Tame Impala Facebook
Parker's sun-drenched soundscapes and John Lennon-soundalike vocals create a fittingly hippie echo, lending Tame Impala to comparisons both Laurel Canyon and Strawberry Fields Forever. There's an undeniable lysergic quality to the music that makes you think Parker just might be a long-lost child of Timothy Leary.
When I reach Parker he's just spent the morning recovering from his first night on American shores.The talkative Aussie downplays the band's obvious psychedelic influences. Instead, he happily gushes about his favorite thing to do: simply, making music.
Talking to Parker you realize this otherwise very social, touring rock star is happiest in the studio surrounded by gear. No wonder their well-received second album is called Lonerism.
Parker talked to us about having too many guitar pedals, existential lonerism, and Batman.
With the last record Innerspeaker, it felt like a slow burn watching it catch on. But new album Lonerism seems to have caught on right away. Does it feel that way?
It's really hard to tell. All we have to go by is the amount of people that are at our shows, and the amount of interviews I do. Otherwise, it's the same deal. We drive around and play shows.
The title Lonerism seems to tap into that sense of disconnect, Do you want to glorify being alone?
I wouldn't even say glorify... almost perhaps the opposite. Just like exposing it. I guess kind of a side goal is making something really uncool, devastatingly uncool -- being a loner, being someone that can't make contact with the outside world -- making that seem cool. Through the medium of cool music.
Is this your loner agenda? Are you trying to make it cool because you're a loner?
You know, I don't actually believe it's cool. It probably is a part of every person -- some more than others -- but it's really just a case of expelling a demon.
Do you have a favorite loner?
Batman? I guess maybe the character in The Stranger by Albert Camus. That book The Stranger, or L'Étranger or whatever it's called in France.
Those are two very different answers. Well, maybe there's some Camus in Batman.
Are you still able to be a loner? Your band is growing; people depend on you for work, more every day.
Yes, but, it has nothing to do with physically being alone. It's the feeling of being alone. Because, when you're physically alone, you don't feel alone at all, you feel great. For me, at least. It's the kind of lonerism that is felt when you're in a room full of people. It's really about being around other people. Physical solitude is like -- for me that's kind of a relief. That has nothing to do with what most of the songs on this album are about.
You have some very connected fans. For instance, one posted a pedal board of yours. Is that really your pedal board?
Actually, I have two at the moment. I used to have a gigantic one, now I just have two medium sized ones. It's pretty big, not that I'm trying to compensate or anything. But I mean, every pedal gets used. I wouldn't be able to take a single pedal off without feeling its loss onstage.
So are you recreating the album more than your average band?
In a sense yes, but also it's just to extend the palette of sound. You play for an hour and 15 minutes, and you've got to inject some variety and some new things, because it's very hard to keep someone's attention. I get bored seeing a band for an hour, so it's just a case of using the minimum amount of stuff to get the craziest sound. It just happens to be that amount of pedals.
I got two new pedals the other day, but that's for the bass and drums. So now I'm intruding on the other instruments.
Your recording skills are much talked about. How important is production compared to songwriting for you? Are they related?
Totally important. I mean just the way I do it, I write the song as I'm producing it. It all kind of happens at once. And I wouldn't even know how to draw the line between the two. The idea of writing a song completely and then recording it just seems way too difficult, so I just do it at the same time.
I read an interview with your girlfriend Melody of Melody's Echo Chamber and she said you use Ableton, like many techno artists or Caribou. It's a very modern setup.
Yeah, Ableton is my holy grail. My backbone.
That's so digital of you for a guy with so many guitar pedals.
There are things that the real pedals can't do that digital stuff can, and vice versa. There are things that guitar pedals and real things can do that digital things can't touch. You just have to sort of use variety.
I record at home. The idea of renting a studio for two weeks... just the idea of a time restraint is frustrating.
So how long did the record take at home?
I worked on it every day for two years. It's hard to say though, because some days I was just twiddling a knob for four hours.
So do you have any hobbies?
Touring is my hobby. Maybe looking up new music gear and sound stuff? If I ever have extra time to myself, I'll just find some time making a new sound. I think I'm pretty one-track minded with the whole making music thing at the moment. It's completely overrun my brain. There's always something new around the corner. There's always something to get excited about. It's an amazing time to be a musician.