TAME IM­PALA

MAIN MAN KEVIN PARKER TALKS WEED, MARK RON­SON AND WHY NEW AL­BUM, CUR­RENTS, TASTES JUST LIKE A FRESH TOM COLLINS.

GQ (Australia) - - THE SOURCE -

“Good ques­tion,” says the 29-year-old, as talk turns to where on earth he is right now. “We’re driv­ing to Sasquatch! Fes­ti­val in north-west Amer­ica, but stopped for the night in a ho­tel in the mid­dle of nowhere. That’s all I can tell you.” His con­fu­sion is un­der­stand­able. Af­ter all, five years ago, Parker was sit­ting on his couch in sleepy Perth, jamming away with mates. Then came 2010 de­but In­ner­s­peaker, hits like ‘Half Full Glass of Wine’, and a first tour sup­port­ing MGMT and The Black Keys. Awards, ac­co­lades and celebrity fans soon ar­rived – Paul Mccart­ney, Blur’s Brian Coxon and Mark Ron­son (with whom he worked on Up­town Spe­cial) the best of the bunch. With Tame Im­pala’s third al­bum, Cur­rents, out now, the whirl­wind doesn’t look like slow­ing. We caught up to find out how it’s all go­ing.

GQ: WHEN DID YOU FIN­ISH WORK­ING ON THE AL­BUM?

KEVIN PARKER: In March. I was try­ing to get it done be­cause you have to wait like four months be­fore you can re­lease it. I just wanted to get it out there.

GQ: FAVOURITE TRACK?

KP: Oh man, I couldn’t say. It’s like ask­ing some­one to name their favourite sib­ling – if you pick one, you’d be ex­clud­ing the oth­ers.

GQ: FAIR ENOUGH. WHAT’S YOUR SONG WRIT­ING PROCESS?

KP: Pretty spon­ta­neous. The ini­tial ideas are the most im­por­tant parts of the song, and they’re the things you can’t pre­dict – they just come to you.

GQ: DOES THAT IN­VOLVE AS MUCH WEED AS WE’D EX­PECT?

KP: I smoke a bit when I’m record­ing. If I’m flesh­ing out a song, smok­ing weed can make it more po­tent – like turn­ing up the vol­ume of the ideas in your head. But you’re just as likely to turn up a bad idea, as a good one, so I don’t smoke it if I want to think ra­tio­nally. There’s also a lot of drink­ing.

GQ: WHAT’S YOUR POI­SON?

KP: This al­bum, it was a Tom Collins – so much so, that if I have one now, I feel like I’m back in the stu­dio; I lis­ten to one of my songs and can taste gin and le­mon in my mouth.

GQ: YUM. HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK WITH MARK RON­SON?

KP: I was a big fan, and turns out he was a big fan of mine, which is pretty as­ton­ish­ing. We met at a fes­ti­val and be­came friends. We were in Lon­don, drunk, and talked about do­ing a funk al­bum to­gether – that didn’t hap­pen, but I sent him the idea for ‘Daf­fodils’ [on Up­town Spe­cial] and he asked me to sing a cou­ple of other songs on the al­bum.

GQ: WHAT’S HE LIKE TO WORK WITH?

KP: I’ve never worked with some­one so open to peo­ple’s ideas – he’s the master of bring­ing tal­ented types to­gether. If any­one else was head­ing the op­er­a­tion, it’d be too many chefs spoil­ing the broth, but he makes it work.

GQ: WHILE WE’RE DROP­PING NAMES, SEAN LEN­NON SAID YOU SOUND LIKE HIS DAD. HIGH PRAISE?

KP: He’s a funny guy. I wouldn’t want to give it more weight than it de­serves – he was prob­a­bly half drunk and it was just a pass­ing com­ment.

GQ: WAS THE SUC­CESS OF IN­NER­S­PEAKER A SUR­PRISE?

KP: You bet. The first time we went over­seas, at our Lon­don show, there was a line around the block and Noel Field­ing was there. We’d spent the pre­vi­ous year sit­ting on the couch stoned watch­ing The Mighty Boosh, and sud­denly he was at our gig.

GQ: WHAT DID YOU SPEND YOUR FIRST BIG PAY CHEQUE ON?

KP: Put it this way, I never re­ally got a big pay cheque – I’ve only just started get­ting money. But I guess it’d be a car – I re­cently bought an old BMW. Cur­rents is out now

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