This sounds a very overblown way of saying it, but it took international success for me. Is it important to have that sense of chance when you're writing songs? "It took over almost instantly from me playing with Lego. There was four of us, really, ’cause it was BloodPop. I guess it's like artistic fulfilment. It’s everything. For me, the music I imagine making is for people listening to by themselves. As a record, it bangs. It’s funny because the song, it’s this kind of high-tempo thrash pop-rock, I don’t even know what genre it is. Last December, Parker released 'Posthumous Forgiveness' as an album single proper, but before that there'd been a nearly seven-month gap when fans had heard nothing new. I played some kind of synth on it, I think. We didn’t know who anyone fuckin’ was. I just suggest something on a whim and it happens. That’s kind of just how I want to approach it, just not being self-aware. It’s about making the choice of where to put a beat. Could I ever feel those things again? They were like, “We wanted a copy of it, so we just did this, and we’re really sorry.” And they paid me whatever I would have normally got paid. Because with programming things, it has nothing to do with how good you are at playing the drums. It was quite abrupt.". There's so much more I want to do. It was more just like, 'I'm just gonna do this because it seems like a good idea'. If I'm feeling good about it, I can't wait for people to hear it. But I felt like they overstepped. And then, around the time that Currents was going platinum and being nominated for Grammys and winning ARIAs (the Australian equivalent), Parker slowly began to disabuse people of an assumption that he'd spent years cultivating. For years, it was assumed that Tame Impala was a collective noun. Tame Impala's Kevin Parker on His Pop Ambitions: 'I Want to Be a Max Martin' Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker used to prefer solitude. A band, in the time-honoured meaning. The Number Ones: Genesis’ “Invisible Touch”, The Number Ones: Simply Red’s “Holding Back The Years”, Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments, Eve 6 Guy Is Spilling The ’90s Alt-Rock Tea On Twitter, Boy Band Why Don’t We Sample Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979” On New Single “Slow Down”. This content is imported from YouTube. “Honestly for me, it’s kind of business as usual because my studio is like two blocks from my house,” he says. They were very clear about it, actually. They taught me so much about storytelling in songwriting and having such a strong personality in your music. The Slow Rush is released worldwide in 14 February. She’s obviously a busy person, so no, I didn’t chat with her. I was writing lyrics up until the hour that I finished it. Just to see what happened. But you could have that. ‘Cause you know, John’s a good interview, and he’s obviously a great guitarist. I didn’t know what it was, ’cause I knew he had stopped making Streets albums in like 2009 or something? STEREOGUM: Nowadays you work with so many famous people, but you mentioned being a shy kid when you were starting out. I didn't watch TV. He wanted to have new songs to play, but they weren't ready. Thus far hospitalization has not been necessary. I've always just checked myself to not make Tame Impala that. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. Let's start with an indisputable fact: Kevin Parker is not Jesus. Do you actually feel this way, or is this just the post-album emotional hangover? That's seven months after your Coachella slot. I kind of jam with myself all the time in the studio. So there was no back-and-forth. But that's why I desperately wanted to have the album out because I wanted to play new music. Not if I'm feeling good about it. He wrote every chord, recorded every hi hat, mixed every vocal line. I don't think I left my house in LA in about two weeks. And so the difference between the best person in the world and a total novice is just where you decide to put those kick drums and those snares. We did a bunch of stuff, but as with all things, I’m not sure if any of that will surface. I was working on some other different pieces too that he didn’t use. So I love it when someone’s reinterpreted them as kind of barebones. Was this one tougher than the previous ones? In December 2018, Tame Impala was announced for the Saturday headline slot at Coachella, which had just been vacated by Justin Timberlake. But it took me a long time. "There's probably something in that for sure," Parker says. And probably is. You just forgive them because they're human and they fuck up, you know? That was one of the first big mainstream pop things you worked on. I really, really hope that we are given an opportunity to finish it and release it. I couldn’t believe it. I just put a lot of care into it. I think I looked away as fast as I could because of how cringey it was. "I'll do whatever it takes make music I think is inspired. Being the best thing he's ever made, it's a lovely Valentine's Day gift to the world. Does it just differ from song to song? It's usually the stuff that I do in between working on the music that I'm passionate about, like, just fucking around the studio is kind of what I do. It’s just choosing where to put beats and where not to put them. STEREOGUM: I don’t know that much about the art of production. That’s just what this was. Kevin Parker chose wisely. I always assume that people will enjoy it more if I kind of just don't do anything else to go along with the music. Which is precisely why Tame Impala is such an astonishing thing to experience in the flesh, ideally shoulder-to-beer-soaked-shoulder with thousands of fellow apostles. He had no producer, no engineer, no session musicians, sometimes not even friends to ask for feedback. Something we both care about deeply is making relevant music. Oh, and what kind of kick drum you use, obviously. This dichotomy is encapsulated in his songs, which can feel both intimate and enormous. I mean, it's no more uncomfortable than just meeting new people. I wasn’t posting it because I was like flagging it for everyone, like trying to rally up support. When you see Tame Impala live – and I cannot stress this enough, when he hits the road later this year, you must see Tame Impala live – he will be flanked by other men, on drums and synths and guitars. the AU review sits down in the Austin Airstream at Austin City Limits (ACL) 2013 with Kevin Parker from Perth's Tame Impala. Then again, nothing about Kevin Parker, or his alter ego Tame Impala, is exactly certain. It's a song for the sake of the song right, you know? It has to be good, which is what makes it difficult. It's really important to me to feel like I'm on the verge of it all turning to shit. But it won't stop me trying. At least to my knowledge. If I made an album in one week, some of my fans would consider it my best album. He is, admittedly, on earth to spread a kind of salvation. It's a little bit daunting because I never consider my music as something that needs to be performed live for it to fulfil its potential. Yeah. And usually you just kind of press a couple buttons and give them whole sections, but I gave them every little bit of it. How long does it take before you're comfortable enough to just snap into it? I've never snapped into it. I just thought it was hilarious. They come to me when I mentally just want to kind of escape, or mentally fill a void. Alongside his own band’s accomplishments, he’s become an in-demand producer frequently tasked with lending his unique sensibility to songs by A-list pop and rap stars. We were immediately really pumped for it. When I'm alone, there are just different things that come to me. It's just me telling myself that this is how my journey as a music creator will be better and make sense. But it kind of struck me how I discovered something about my dad after he was dead. He knew early, too, that he wanted to do everything himself. "I've never been able to separate making music with other as a social time from it being a creative time," he says. But I didn’t meet him until like a year later, whenever “Fuckin’ Problems” came out. "There's so much more I want to do but it has to be good. So I've been coaching myself to embrace the idea of people thinking something that I do is trash. That song was about one minute long until midnight, 21 November. Which at the end of the day is the same whether you’re playing drums or programming them. STEREOGUM: How did John Mayer become involved in the SNL appearance? And the more albums [I make], I realise how important that kind of shaking it up is. He speaks to Esquire about forgiveness and perfectionism. That’s the difference it comes down to. The idea that my albums only occupy a small area of the world of music kind of annoys me. anyway in a lot of settings. Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker Talks Todd Rundgren, Expecting the Unexpected, and Why Being a Tame Impala Fan Takes Dedication Him being my father, I worshipped the ground he walked on, I never assumed that he could ever put a foot wrong because he was my dad. But yeah, Rocky came through a few days before, and it was such a good vibe. Can you unpack that a little bit for me? STEREOGUM: Mayer’s a big fan of yours. We knew who people were. It's taken a lot to drag me out of that. Everything we were doing was a new experience. That sounds really depressing but it's not. I mean, it's funny cos that that one, the putting the chords on loop and going to sleep, I didn't think of that as an experiment. He’s been doing his thing for a good solid decade now; Tame Impala’s debut album InnerSpeaker reached its 10th anniversary a couple weeks after our call. The psych project mastermind made the comments to Australian radio station triple j … 'Posthumous Forgiveness', which is kind of the lynchpin of the new album, is about the relationship with your father, right? It was like a problem to solve, a puzzle to piece together. I heard a soundalike of “Someday” by the Strokes on the new Ricky Gervais After Life trailer. It hasn't changed my songwriting, but I guess everything else it has. A new tour is pending. Because there’s zero second guessing. “I just go to the studio every day and do my thing.”. Did I really feel those things? Slow Fitness Is The Best Way To Train In 2020, Louis Vuitton's Master Watchmaker, Michel Navas, Netflix's 'The Eddy' Is A Slow-Burn Gritty Drama. Fuck yeah, let’s do it!” You know? 'Glimmer', especially, sounds like a house record. I know producers release their stems and say, “OK, remix my shit,” but when you talk about “stems printing” — I didn’t realize that’s something that could be high or low quality. So the last bit of the song is meant to suggest this idea that when you forgive someone who's dead, you don't forgive them because they were suddenly able to explain themselves. But no, Kevin Parker is almost certainly not Jesus. Which can go catastrophically wrong. And that might be because it was a song that I spent the least amount of time on, which actually now that I'm thinking about it, is actually quite profound. And then, when the time came to tour it, he'd teach his mates how to play the songs he'd written. Is that part of that? They have exactly the same software. Yeah. But I know that as soon as I do play it to someone my expectations will lower a bit. And he does occasionally withdraw from the world for extended periods of painful self-examination, after which he drafts a group of acolytes to spread his message. It was so much fun. He’s not afraid to axe an entire part of a song, which I think is amazing. Like I honestly thought it was hilarious. I really gave a shit. We just have really similar perspectives on music and taste. There's no one telling you to just release it? Like hold up on the distorted guitars, you know? What's your role when you're in a room with, say, Mark Ronson? That's not to say it wasn't fun and fulfilling. Tame Impala’s sound has evolved over the years, as have his admirers. If you play that, there’s a soundalike of “Someday” in there. I know it’s ruining my hearing, I’m damaging my hearing because I work at high volume, but it’s worth it because it carries you to the finish line of finishing music, loving the music more. He can lean out from the edge of a stage and make tens of thousands of people feel like he's singing just to them. There was him, alone. And he has that hair and those warm eyes and the little beard, which combine to make him look like he should be sat at the centre of Leonardo's Last Supper. A year or so before this rekindling, Parker's father had discovered he was smoking weed with his friends and banned him from ever seeing them again. PARKER: I saw something. Then, nothing. PARKER: I realized I wanted to have that kind of attitude in the studio, like, “Fuck yeah, we’re doing this!” And not, like, doubting everything constantly, going like, “Let’s not try this,” or, “Let’s not go ’til five in the morning.” Like fuck it! At the time of our call, he’s been more or less in his element, spending his days alone in the studio working on recording projects he’s not at liberty to discuss. Kevin Parker's fourth album is his best – and most painful – yet. It's completely abstract," he says. 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