Following the success of three singles and their debut EP God Said It’s Legal, The Demon Parade have returned with their much anticipated follow up EP, Chameleon. Tomatrax caught up with Michael Badger, lead singer of the band to ask some questions.
Where did the name The Demon Parade come from?
I had written a lot of songs over about a 10 month period before the band begun and had been out on the town gas bagging about my new group (which was still yet to be named). I was blabbering to a band booker about how great the songs were and that we’ll be the next best thing so they asked us to play a show in less than a weeks time. I hadn’t even thought about a name yet – in fact we still didn’t even have a second guitarist, so a lot of things happened the week leading up to the show. Band learning songs, find guitarist and think of a name. A lot of the songs were written in spite and were very representative of a dark journey – The Demon Parade made sense to us.
You received a lot of acclaim for your debut EP, did that make you feel any pressure when putting together the follow up release?
None at all, I’d say for a couple of reasons. For one, we are still developing as a band – we probably always will be. We will always try new sounds and fresh ideas and very rarely go back and try to redo something we’ve touched on in the past. As we’ve just brought out this new EP we are getting asked a lot how it compares to the last? Well it’s really hard to answer that. Another reason is we made this EP over the last 18 months rather than track, mix and master all in the space of a week like we did on ‘God Said It’s Legal’. We were just making songs at the time and we probably didn’t actually think about the fact it was going to be an EP. We made heaps of songs in fact, these are just the 6 that we thought we’d let you have for now…
What made you chose Chameleon as the title track to the EP?
I think it ties the EP together – it’s got a certain epic-ness about it as well as a pop element. But to be honest we didn’t make the decision of the title until we got the artwork back – we were still undecided until we saw what artist Michael Cusack did for us. We gave him a listen of the EP and he came up with the whole package without any direction. Once we saw it we new it was the right choice.
What was it like working with Tony Lash?
I’ve always mixed our own tracks so I felt like it was time to let someone from an outside perspective have a go. Tony has been one of my favourite producers for a long time, I think he is the reason why I like ‘The Dandy Warhols Come Down’ album. He also produced Australian band Even’s ‘Come Again’ album which is up there with one of my favourites. The way he organizes tracks (we gave him heaps of overdubs and textures!) and chooses what to use and what not to use was fantastic. We would not have been able to make those choices ourselves. He sent a couple of tunes back with suggestions for new parts which was a bonus. Ideally I would love him to produce an album for us, so if we can get over to Portland, Oregon perhaps that will happen.
Where did you get the idea for the video clip for She’s gonna be a star?
I must admit, none of it was our idea. We were approached by director Benjamin Newman after a show and said he’d love to make a clip for us. We brainstormed but our own ideas were shit but his idea sounded pretty fun so we let him go for it. And he did a fantastic job!
You’re about to tour in support of your EP, what can fans expect from your show?
Well we’ve got quite a vast variety of songs to choose from so we usually tailor the set depending on where we’re playing, how long the show is and who we’re playing with. We do have our “Pub Set”, which is generally the more garagey 60s sounding ones which usually helps get people moving, it always goes down a treat at The Espy here in St Kilda. Then we’ve also got our set which I like to refer to as the “Sonic Set” which obviously is a touch more psychedelic, droney and the kind of thing you should be dropping a tab or two for. Ideally I’d like to play for 2 or more hours for our headline shows and play our back catalogue. Once you’re up there you may as well keep going, but it’s not how it works so it seems.
You’ve entered songs on Triple J’s Unearthed site, has this had any impact on your music’s exposure?
Yes, it’s had a dramatic impact. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but any independent artist needs to get there music on there for presenters to hear the music as it’s the only path to the station. It’s a tool to get your music out there to radio and the public. It’s great that a Triple J presenter can come on and review your track and give you feed back as well so the interaction is really good. I’m looking forward to when they fix the problem with the quality of the Mp3s though.
Are there any plans for another album?
As I mentioned before, we just write and record songs and bring them into the set when the time is right. There’s a bit of a backlog of songs at the moment which is never a bad thing so I think once the time is right for an album we’ll just drop it. Sure it needs lots of planning in advance etc but we’re always writing and recording as we go, keeping in mind that anything could end up on the album. But for a more certain date, lets say August 2013!
You also play with the band Crooked Saint is it hard to juggle being in more than one band?
No, though I play bass in Crooked Saint and Troy also drums, Crooked Saint is mainly Tim Wheatley’s solo project. I took the role of producer on his first two EPs so I naturally ended up playing bass at the live shows as he was down a bass player. Tim has been touring the country solo for the past few months as Crooked Saint and the full band has just done a few of the main shows here and there on the tour which is always A LOT of fun!
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Hah! Yes I do. Quite often. Not just Demon Parade stuff but I love going through my hard drives of music I’ve made over my lifetime. I think I recorded my first song when I was 11 and I still have the tape around of that somewhere. For me it’s a lot like reading over old diary entries. The songs bring back a lot of memories, good and bad and I can always pin point exactly where I was and what I was doing with my life when listening to one of my own.
What other music do you listen to?
I’ve got a pretty diverse taste in music. I originally started on the drums at a very young age so I was right into Latin beats and I played in a few jazz groups as well. Once I picked up the guitar a few years later I took to the Rolling Stones after seeing them in concert when I was 11 and from there I worked out who all their influences were, so I was very influenced by traditional blues and r&b which I still come back to a lot. As a producer, I must admit I do listen to some current top 40 artists I hate but they have some great production going on which makes it all worth listening to if you can distance yourself from the song.
What do you plan on doing once the tour finishes?
We’ll be writing, recording, releasing and touring again! It’s what we live for.
The Demon Parade’s Chameleon EP is out now! Check out their website to find out more!