How are you all? Seems like you’re on a never-ending tour!! I guess you must all be loving life at the moment on the back of Horizons, after Killing With A Smile it’s been amazing to witness the band rise & grow stronger…
I’m good. Life’s great. We have a bit of time off so it's nice. that doesn't happen too much these days hahaha.
Where did you grow up and how did that influence your outlook on life? How long have you been straight edge? Why is that label important to you?
I grew up in Sydney and Byron bay. I have lived by the beach all my life so that definitely influenced my lifestyle and outlook. I have been straight edge for seven years now. It’s not really a label for me, just a life choice and something I stand behind for myself.
Can you remember when you first heard about the movement? What did it mean to you then and how over time has it changed for you?
I'm not too sure. I think I was about 17? Maybe? Anyway I was a bad drunk at the time so I thought I was pretty strange/funny. Then I basically drunk away a year of my life, fucked up my last year of school and became really sick. I think the culmination of these events made think twice about the lifestyle I was in and trying to find a different way to live. It hasn't changed too much over time. I’m edge for me. I don’t think that is ever going to change.
Is it something you like to raise awareness of (I ask this because two years ago when you toured through the UK and played my hometown Swindon I was stoked to see you wearing a straight edge shirt)
It's definitely something I’m proud of, but I’m not too sure about raising awareness. It just never been something I’ve put that much thought into I guess.
What is the state of Australian hardcore like at the moment? Who are the bands to watch out for and was it difficult initially making a name for you?
Australia is great. Some really really good bands working very very hard. Look out for 50 Lions, Her Nightmare, No Apologies, Word Up, and Mindsnare. All real good
has it surprised you in the way in which Parkway Drive have gotten so huge? What hardcore bands influenced you initially to want to form a band and do you feel like you’re now the ones setting trends?
yeah its one surprise after another really. I say this every interview but seriously, its just too ridiculous for us to not to be. Initially it was local band that influenced me the most. At the time it was bands like Mindsnare, Day of contempt, Arms Reach, Found My direction and some other Australian stuff. This was before the internet was running everything so it was hard to get stuff from overseas. All I’d heard from UK was Knuckledust (still fucking amazing).
Had you always wanted to front a band? What’s it like when you’ve got a room full of kids screaming the lyrics of your songs? Is the lyric writing process something that comes easy to you?
No I never thought I was something I would do, but I love hardcore and I’m a musical retard, so yelling was all I had. It's an amazing feeling to play shows, especially ones these days when shit is so crazy. Never thought it would come to this really, but then again I don't think anyone did. Writing is pretty easy. Sometimes it sucks but I love to write so it's good to have an outlet other than school.
What subjects do you tend to touch on (I’m not going to pretend to interpret your lyrics) Have they’re been any that were difficult to write because of the personal subject matter? And where do you draw inspiration?
I write about life. I tend not too stick to one thing in particular. Generally it's all pretty negative and it's a pretty fucked up world out there so it's no too hard to find sources for anger and disappointment. It's never really been hard to write about anything, it's kind of the opposite. It’s harder for me to keep shit pent up inside. Getting it out works best, I guess that's why I’m always happy. Yeah I write in a pretty weird way too hahaha. I guess plenty of people have no fucking idea what my songs are about but all I can say is I try to stay as far away from bullshit as I can. As cryptic as my shit seems to be there is always a meaning and I’m always trying to stay away from the standard trivial shit most bands seem to be spewing these days. You can only write so many songs about you high school heartbreak before you its just pathetic.
What motivates and drives you when you wake up in the morning? My girlfriend. My cat. My Family. The surf. Life. Music. Breakfast.
What appeals to you about being drug free? Why don’t you think more people embrace it? People seem generally reluctant to go against the mould of society, its strange that’s someone’s level of sobriety is thought of as so uncanny but for me it’s the only way forward to living a positive life!
Yeah I know what you mean. For me it’s just having a clear head and a clean body (to some degree ahaha) I like having no one to blame for my actions. I have no crutch. If I fuck up I learn from it. Maybe that's why the word is in such a bad state. No one wants to take responsibility, no one wants to learn. Anyway, I don't need an escape from my life, it's great. I think people are too busy trying to fit in and zone out that they miss out on actually making something of their life and using their brain. It's weird because originally all the drugs and shit were used as a way of exploring the mind and widening your horizons. Now it’s all flipped around. Everyone is just fucked up for the sake of it. I guess we've become the hippies.
Do you think bands are more sincere nowadays within the hardcore scene? I definitely don’t think straight edge bands earlier on took it as seriously!
Um yes and no. I think there are bands with a lot of heart. There are also bands that are here one day, gone the next, but I guess that will never change.
What things concern you about the state of the hardcore scene at the moment? Are there things that bother you and how do you feel about violence breaking out at shows? (Are you against that sort of thing?)
I don't fight and I hate fights at shows. I started going to shows in the first place to bail from all that shit that was happening on the streets of my town. The last person I would feel any aggression towards is one of the few people I had something in common with. As far as the scene in general I’m not too concerned. It’s always going to be the same. Shit gets popular, more kids come. The trend dies, kids bail. That’s always the cycle, but you know what, it doesn't matter. The kids that care will always be there and the bands that had there heart in it from the start will still be playing.
When your home from touring what sorts of things do you do to take your mind away from everything? Do you read much if so what are you currently reading?
I read some. I surf more and play halo and hang out with my girl and cat. I turn into a hermit. I see so many people on tour, once its over I just want to be alone.
When was the last times you laughed and what was it about?
Just then when my cat squashed my girlfriend and drooled on her hahha. Great.
What have been your favourite experiences whilst on tour? How do you keep occupied when your travelling hundreds of miles to the next show?
I just like making new friends. Everyone that I have met, the places I have seen and the shit I have experienced I can't ever begin to describe. It's priceless. I sleep when we drive. If i'm in any vehicle that moves I just pas out. It's great. Its like I’ve trained my body to just rest. So good.
What hopes do you have for the future?
Not sure. haven’t really thought about that. Next Europe tour should be good though. siked