PARKWAY DRIVE are a band who have been mindful of the passing of time and the passing of centuries. This has informed their music, the way they have gone about their craft, and the way their music is made available to the public. Over the years, they've created music that is at times dark and at times downright celestial. This dichotomy has made the band one of Australia's most distinguished acts. It has also made it one of the country's most difficult acts to pigeonhole, with little of their output fitting neatly into one of the two categories. Each release has been its own animal, more concerned with ideas and concepts than it has been with trends.
Farmer took some time out from the punishing schedule of the PARKWAY DRIVE last year to wax lyrical. He was kind enough to discuss the album, the inspiration behind its songs, his musical direction over the past few years, and, most importantly, his view of the meaning of life and its relation to music.
I'd never heard the album, but I was intrigued, and the fact that it was signed to a label that I was vaguely familiar with, Spinefarm, only heightened my interest. I agreed to translate it, and I've been listening since. It's a very difficult album to translate, with a number of stylistic shifts and changes in direction as the album spans the course of a few hours.
On that album, at this precise time, the band - which has always been synonymous with consistency, temperamental mood swings, and a certain kind of raw energy not previously experienced in a genre of ostensibly sludge-based grindcore - delivered a visceral, dark, and harrowing sonic experience that was something of a sonic redemption for fans and critics alike.
It's a busy time, and a time of change, for PARKWAY DRIVE, who are pulling out of that overseas tour in support of their new record and heading home to Australia, where they've begun rehearsals with a show at the Margaret Court Arena in Adelaide on August 23.
Where the earliest parts of the album dwell on the simmering anguish of the band's reaction to the death of their friend and mentor Nathan Haines, its deepest crescendos have a cathartic release when all three members declare their awareness of the gift they've been given and their determination to fully realise all they have in them.
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