Parkway Drive home for Big Day Out
H AD you spent 12 months touring everywhere from Guatemala to Kolkata, you might think Big Day Out no big deal. For Byron Bay heavy rockers Parkway Drive, however, landing a spot on the bill is a momentous occasion.
‘‘We’re totally flattered,’’ says drummer Ben ‘‘Gaz’’ Gordon.
‘‘We all went to it as kids and the biggest bands in the world were always at Big Day Out.
‘‘We’re really excited to be playing it because it’s such an iconic tour. To be on the 20th anniversary bill is special.’’
Parkway Drive will take to one of the main stages on Sunday when the 20th Big Day Out gets under way at Parklands Showgrounds.
Their 1pm slot on the Blue Stage is one of just a few live shows the band will play in 2012 after deciding to take a break from their relentless touring schedule of 2011.
With a growing international fan base, the band took their live show around the world, an ‘‘adventure’’, Gordon says, which was ‘‘unforgettable’’.
‘‘It has been very intense and the last year was probably our busiest ever,’’ he says. ‘‘We did non-stop touring and covered new ground and countries that bands never go to.
‘‘The biggest shows we’ve ever played were through Europe but we also went through Asia and South America.
‘‘The highlight for me was our last show of the year in Kolkata, India.
‘‘It was by far the most interesting and surreal place I’ve ever been.
‘‘The locals there told us we were the first international heavy band to play in their city, which is incredible.’’
The five globe-trotting lads spent the past month in their home town, Byron Bay, and Gordon says they needed the recovery time.
‘‘People always say to us that we’re an energetic band. There’s not a show we finish where we’re not covered in sweat.
‘‘But the biggest thing is giving and respecting each other’s space.
‘‘When we first started touring we’d do the funny thing of drawing on a mate’s face when he fell asleep, but now everyone has their own routine.
‘‘It does get testing and we occasionally have heated arguments, but none of us are egotistical rock stars. ‘‘We’re complacent and relaxed.’’ Fans need not worry about the fivepiece slipping off the radar though, with Parkway Drive planning two major releases this year.
The first – due out in a couple of months – is a concert DVD and documentary about their time overseas.
The second is their fourth studio album, which the band will record in America as soon as they get off the Big Day Out. The as-yet-untitled album is due for release at year’s end.
Gordon, meanwhile, looks forward to playing some hot and heavy Big Day Out shows and catching headliner Kanye West’s live set.
‘‘I’m sure he won’t be hanging out backstage,’’ he says.
‘‘You’d be more likely to find him in his jet or $10,000 hotel room.
‘‘I’ve heard he’s not the nicest guy, but his show has such a big budget I’m sure it’s going to be amazing.’’
Parkway Drive play the Big Day Out with Kanye West, Soundgarden, My Chemical Romance and more at Parklands Showgrounds on Sunday.
Maps and playing times in the weekend Gold Coast Bulletin.
Byron Bay favourites Parkway Drive.