Scam News: Interview with Tame Impala
Kevin Parker got sick. Enough peace-loving hippie music! The sound is louder! This is what he says about Tame Impala’s new album “Currents”, released in July 2015.
In an interview with Yulia Maner, the frontman talks about his hangover, why he likes to fool fans and why he doesn’t care if his music is bought or not.
Fun fact: Kevin Parker, the spiritual father and frontman of the Australian band Tame Impala, best falls asleep to the sound of a knock on the keyboard. If he was sitting next to me now, then the guy would most likely have already chopped off. But alas, he is not nearby, but in a country of unlimited possibilities, somewhere between Minneapolis and New York. These 5 weeks in the USA are just the first part of a gigantic tour. How long it will last is unknown.
“I don’t know how long we will be on the road. It all depends on how the new album comes in. The last time it took 2.5 years,” Parker says over the phone.
The new record is called “Currents”, it was released in mid-July. The first songs from there leaked to the network at the beginning of the year. Critics and fans already had wet wet panties. But Parker seems not to know. No wonder he is too preoccupied with his hangover:
“I’m right now in the phase of post-album breakdown. It feels like a hangover,” he explains. “It seems like an absolute musical and creative exhaustion. If I finished work on the album, I feel empty. I have no gram of new ideas. I gave everything, all the emotions I could and wanted to give. Love and hate. Everything.”
The new album has a lot of emotions. Exciting, especially for me, who grew up on my father’s records with 1970s music and then lovingly explored Berlin’s electronic music. This record is exciting for Kevin Parker himself. He can finally let off steam after the first international success and the not-so-well-received second album. Kevin is no longer that naive young man who left his native country 7 years ago.
How has your attitude towards music changed since the success of Tame Impala?
My perception has changed, but the music is still significant. For a long time I thought that in music there are certain rules and boundaries. That some people produce dance music and others produce rock. Now I know that there is no separation between black and white, but there are shades.
So you classified people according to their musical taste?
I think yes. But I, along with everyone else, classified myself. Subsequently, I learned more about music and the music industry, and I began to doubt. It finally became clear to me: there are no borders. Therefore, now I am much more open and inspired by the music world.
Is it true that it gives you pleasure to confuse your listeners by playing with instruments so that it is completely unclear what they are playing on? Is this part of the process of becoming you as a more open person?
Definitely. I always liked to do this – I made the guitar sound like a synthesizer so that people would not understand what instrument sounds. This is my trick. I’m trying to fool people. For example, guitars and synthesizers are two completely opposite instruments. For me, they always had similar features. The qualities are just different. That is why I leave the fans in the ignorant happy that they hear the synthesizer. When people learn that it is a guitar, the music appears in a different light. My point is that you don’t need to be biased.
Even “Currents” is best rated without much expectation. Anticipating relaxing songs that give off mind-expanding medications and hours of traffic jams, you may be disappointed. The first time I listened to the whole album, I described it to my friend as follows: “It sounds like a mixture of early Genesis, Tears For Fears and Axel Fowley.” The paper description is terrible, but the album is terribly good. Currents has synthesizer sounds reminiscent of the American television series of the 1980s cops and distorted recitations, which are full of Kraftwerk. However, Kevin Parker’s handwriting of psychedelic rock can be easily recognized in these pop songs.
In comparison, “Currents” has a lot more electronic sound than in your past albums. Why did you decide to go this way?
The natural course of things, development. But I would not say that the album is more electronic than the previous one. I used the same tools and the same program – called “Ableton Live” – but took a different approach: I wanted to make the songs cleaner. Instead of all these intertwining sounds, I wanted to create something that can be turned on very loudly. I’ve never heard Tame Impala playing at full capacity in a bar or club. We have always been a group who listen to wearing headphones and relaxing. Now I finally wanted to create an album that can be twisted up to hundreds of decibels.
Want to make dance music?
Not. I want to make the part of me that likes this kind of music happy: the songs you turn on loudly in the car or what the DJ puts between the dance track and the hip-hop track.