« x »

Tame Impala


Tame Impala perform at the Hotel Rottnest this Sunday, April 27. BOB GORDON checks in with singer/guitarist, Kevin Parker.

By this time, there are a lot interviews with Tame Impala on the internet.

But none are quite so disarming as the one with infamous Canadian interviewer, Nardwuar The Human Serviette, where they field highly intelligent and intuitive musical questions, side by side with inquiries about  ‘Kalgoorie’ and ‘Cottezloe’

“We stood there for a minute going, ‘What the fuck is Cottezloe?’” laughs singer/guitarist, Kevin Parker. “It sounds like a shopping centre in the UK.

“We’re actually big fans of his. He does the most unorthodox interviews, but that’s the point, he tests your patience. Some people just lose it at him (Blur drummer Dave Rowntree being one) and they come off looking really stupid because anyone who knows Nardwuar knows he’s really smart and knows heaps about music.”

Amidst the many backstage interviews at festivals and various places around the world with the in-demand-yet-ever-affable band comes an onslaught of questions about our fair city. Tourism WA should be proud.

It has, however, required many an on-the-spot formation of ‘opinion’ about Perth.

“Pretty much yeah, though I’ve gotten used to it,” Parker says. “I remember the first time we got asked, I had to think for a second because, ‘what do you mean it’s isolated?’ I remember people telling me how isolated it was and I was like, ‘is it?’ (laughs).

“People think it’s this quaint little country town in the middle of nowhere and we have no idea of what’s going on in the outside world. At the same time it’s fun to watch their reaction. You tell them we have the internet and they’re like, ‘wow!’

As it turns out, Tame Impala this weekend play at one of the jewel’s in WA’s tourism crown, Rottnest. The island does, however, have a place in Parker’s heart.

“Definitely and that kind of makes this quite the occasion for me,” he says. “For all of us, except Julian (Barbagallo, drums) because he’s French. I don’t think I’ve ever had a quiet, relaxed holiday at Rottnest, they’ve always managed to get more or less out of hand.

“The last time we played there – it was a while ago (2009). I remember it just being like a teenage, high school disco that had just gotten a bit out of control. There were people just running around and we just felt like that band at the party that someone’s brother’s friend had asked to play because they needed a band. But everyone was having a great time. There wasn’t any band room or anything, there were people everywhere and it was really fun.”

This time Tame Impala will perform on the same stage from which You Am I’s Tim Rogers once cast his hand back to the ocean and proclaimed, ‘they should call this place Omygodica’.

“Yes!” Parker laughs. “I know Rotto well… and from what I know, it’s gonna be one of those gigs that’s up there. I tell people that Rottnest is one of my favourite places in the world all the time.

“We’ve played a few kinda crazy picturesque gigs. We played this new festival in Croatia a little while ago that was on this little island. And another one in Norway, also on an island. But this one will be up there because, I guess, what it comes down to is that the other places didn’t have an emotional, nostalgic significance for me. This one will.”

Parker’s last show in Perth was with his side-project AAA Aardvark Services at the Festival Gardens.

“It’s just an outlet for me,” he says. “It’s my way of stopping the next Tame Impala release being a disco album. Which I would do, but I know if I did that I’d get sick of it, more quickly than I would if it was something slightly more well thought out. I’m really into that repetitive, psychedelic, dream disco kind of thing, but I know that I’ll get bored with it if I commit to it. It’s just my way of taking away that temptation, to have this other separate thing where I just do it to the extent that I desire (laughs).”

As for the next Tame Impala album, it’s getting there…

“I’m always deep in it,” Parker says. “The way I do it is that it’s always happening, there’s just varying levels of intensity. And being consumed by it. I’m definitely sliding down into the depths of being completely overrun by it (laughs), but I’m being kept afloat by other things that are going on… some mixing for Pond and a few other bits and pieces. That’s kind of keeping me sane at the moment, preventing me from just completely losing myself in the next Tame Impala album.

“So it’s… what’s the word? Inevitable (laughs).”

Tame Impala perform at the Hotel Rottnest this Sunday, April 28. get your tickets here.

« x »