After a seven year split, Brisbane punk-rockers Speedlab made their triumphant return to music with …
G’day bonox lovers, I come to you with a heavy heart. Mostly built up with gristle from too much piss. But no, me old china mates. King Parrot, Australia’s undisputed sickest c–ts in metal, have a confession to make. Well, not all of them. But Slattz in particular. Our chubby little freak bassist confirmed our worst fears. Throat-ripper Youngy called bullshit. You’ll find out exactly WHAT if you read on.
As for the Parrots, They’ve got new album out called Dead Set. It’s produced by none other than Philip “Hardcore” Anselmo. That’s the legendary concrete-headed vocalist of Pantera and Down, if you didn’t know. The world from Austin to Wollongong all cut sick for their Aussie brand of humour, blast beats and bunghole-ripper riffs. Debut Bite Your Head Off was personally threatening. Dead Set will tear you apart like a weapon of sonic mass destruction. Without fail, Hysteria got the low down on everything KP from Bonox, those videos and all things Phil Anselmo from Wayne “Slattz Slattz” Slattery and Matt “Youngy” Young. Grab yourself a hot beefy cup and strap in, son. It’s going in dry.
HYSTERIA: I’m quite taken aback by this piece of SCANDALOUS information I’ve uncovered, Slattz.
SLATTZ: Go on.
I was a true believer. BUT! I heard you’ve never let Bonox pass your lips. I imagined, as per your Shit on the Liver video, you blokes had hot cups of beef-broth bonox every night. Is this TRUE?
I’m afraid it is mate. It has passed my lips, but it’s never been swallowed. You can figure out that one all by yourself.
Yes, well, a man can dream. Your new* album is called Dead Set, you recorded it with Phil Anselmo. You were in bed with him for the video of Like a Rat…top three root?
Oh yeah, definitely in the top three. Top three for sure.
Fantastic. How did you end up recording at his Bayou crazy castle?
Well, originally Youngy sent our stuff to Housecore Records, his record label. When we were sitting around his house in New Orleans, Phil’s wife Kate could remember getting our demo in the mail. “King Parrot? That’s a shit name!” [laughs.] But we played Cherry Rock with Eyehategod. Mike sent back our stuff to Phil. Out of the blue we get an email from Phil Anselmo. We’re like, “Fuck off! You’re not Phil Anselmo!” But he proved himself and we caught up with him at Soundwave in 2014.
When did you get the tap on the shoulder to come play with Down?
Well in Melbourne, we’d played on the stage beside him. I had literally come from work in my suit and got into my heavy metal fucken swag n’ that. Kate came up to us and asked “You’re King Parrot?” Yeah? “Cool, you’re playing the last song with Down.” We were like, “what the fuck?” From there we became friends. Youngy maintained regular contact and we were able to go on tour with Down in the US and did the Housecore Horror Festival in October last year. It was fucking amazing.
You guys have only been around a few years, but you’ve toured internationally almost non stop. That’s a long way in a short time.
Well we’ve been playing together for only four years. After a few line-up changes we settled on this line-up and we said, “Well, we’re going to go hard or we can fuck off, really.” But we’ve been touring constantly. After this album tour we’ll be touring for another two months after that. In Australia we mostly do weekend stuff, but in the US and Europe we go hard…we did 45 shows in 49 days on our first US tour. But the most important stuff is the music. First the music, then the tour, then the videos.
And your videos are bloody unreal. It’s a thousand times better than some dickhead in a disused warehouse, hey.
But we did do one in a warehouse…
Of course you did! You had to. If you didn’t have a warehouse video, are you even a metal band?
It’s a rite of passage. You’re right.
Point is, it’s 100% Aussie. You’re one of the most Aussie bands out there and punters seem to love it.
It just cuts to the idea that if you’re willing to be yourself and have a crack, you do really well. You look at other bands like Dune Rats and they kick arse. Cosmic Psychos. But the videos help us out a lot. Everywhere I go people come up to me and ask what the fuck Bonox is. They’re misquoting our lines terribly. “Don’t wreck a good day…” It’s fuckin’ ruin, you fuckin’ idiot! [laughs]
We just love piss! What can I say?
Your new video for Home Is Where the Gutter Is sees a lot of you blokes pissing into each other’s mouths. Which was gratifying, I’m sure.
YOUNGY: Well I copped it the worst out of everyone. I got pissed in the mouth for like 15 seconds. That was cool. That was a good experience. We just love piss! What can I say? What other film clip has someone pissing in a cop’s mouth? I’d never seen that in a video before. I said, “let’s piss in a cop’s mouth!” I don’t even care if I have to be the cop. Let’s just piss in a cop’s mouth for a good 20 seconds. Glad I kicked that off the bucket list. But it was about people being homeless, and we made a video that resembles that. It just became what it became. It was heaps of fun to make, obviously. [laughs]
How did lyrics and music come together on Dead Set?
Everyone has a bit of a say in writing. The riffs get brought to the group and the group puts the songs together. I try and write lyrics to fit the feel of the song. Sometimes I write lyrics spontaneously as we’re writing. I just go with that. Sometimes things change. Sometimes things suck and we start again. We don’t try and overthink it too much.
We all know Phil Anselmo is a deadset legend. Did you ever feel intimidated?
We’ve known him for a while now, so we kind of broke down those barriers of the whole “ohmygod it’s Phil Anselmo!” kind of thing. We’re friends, first and foremost. I obviously respect him for all the things he’s done for metal. I loved all his stuff in Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual, The Illegals, and have done since I was a kid. At the same time, he just wanted the best for our record. He wanted to get the best out of each of us. By the time it came to record vocals, we’d already sat down and gone through every fuckin’ line of every fuckin’ song…fix things up. I rewrote an entire song he thought well, sucked. That was fine too. It kind of did suck. [laughs.] Having someone like that critiquing your work is a dream come true.
When you’re in the States and drop the F star star cunt bomb, how does that go down?
Initially, not so well. [laughs] I think people are starting to understand what King Parrot’s about over there. We really interact with the audience. We really take the show to the audience and get right in their face and push them around. We like givin’ people shit. We like people givin’ us shit. We think that’s fun. I certainly works here in Australia. Sometimes it works over there, sometimes it doesn’t. We don’t want to change ourselves for different audiences. We just have fun and we don’t wanna hide that in any way, shape or form. We want to put on a spectacle.
Now Youngy, Slattz says he’s had bonox in his mouth but he hasn’t swallowed. True or false?
[Laughs] He did SO swallow. The only time I’ve ever tried Bonox is when we played this all ages show. Warrnambool [in regional Victoria], I think. It was a good show, we were having a fuckin’ lotta fun, people are going apeshit. I saw this young kid with a smirk on his face. I smelled this beef smell in the audience. I look over at Slattz and he’s got brown shit all over his face. Then all of a sudden I’ve got brown shit all over me. Some dude’s throwing fuckin’ Bonox around in the crowd. The whole venue just stunk. It’s like Vegemite, but it’s way worse. It got all over my skin and shit…there was no shower at the venue and we just stunk for the rest of the night. It was terrible.//
Catch King Parrot headlining Halloween Hysteria on 27 October at The Jubilee Hotel, Brisbane. Fewer than 50% of tickets remaining!
*This interview originally appeared in Hysteria Magazine issue #32.