Tame Impala

'I get inspired by people who don't see bands for their rigid format and make music more for the sake of outputting awesome creations.'

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Posted 5th January 2009 in Features & Reviews, Tame Impala | By Clickmusic
Tame Impala

Australian psychedelic rock trio Tame Impala recently released their self-titled debut EP on these shores.

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Kevin Parker took some time out from a string of festivals in his home country to answer a few of our questions.

How did you meet and form the band?
Dom [Simper, bass] and I met when we were about 12 at highschool and have been playing music since then. We met Jay [Watson, drums] about two years ago in his home town in rural western Australia and he joined the band about a year ago. Tame Impala has mainly been a home recording project and the live shows have been for the sake of playing/jamming and bringing the songs to an audience.

Where's the strangest gig you've ever played?
It was probably this time we played at the media launch of this music committee or something. It was at a hotel and it was meant to be outside but it was raining, so it was moved inside to the conference room and there was a bunch of business people and then us playing to them. It could have been a punk rock video clip.

How did you come to be signed to Modular?
They emailed us one day saying they had heard a song of ours on a compilation somewhere and wanted to hear more. So we sent them a 20 song demo and they offered us a record contract. We didn't feel we had anything to lose so accepted it.

Have you been to the UK already? If not, what are you looking forward to?
None of us have been outside of Australia. Apparently there are plans to go to Europe early next year though. I think I'd like to go to Liverpool, apparently everyone there is really nice.

What's the music scene like back home?
In our home city Perth there are many bands, and it's quite a close knit music scene. Lots of indie and lots of experimental music. In our circle of friends we have quite a lot of bands and projects and things - I'm in about four.

What's been your most memorable live experience?
Last week we played at a festival in Australia, called Meredith, that I think I'll be remembering for a while. It's out in the bush and it was quite wet that weekend, there was quite a lot of mud. And dancing.

Who are your heroes and inspirations?
I get inspired by people who don't see bands for their rigid format and make music more for the sake of outputting awesome creations, like Stevie Wonder, Andre 3000 and Gustav Ejstes. Also Josh Homme to some extent.

What are the driving forces behind your songwriting?
I like to make music that has motion to it and also has an emotive value. I like to think of atmospheres that the music can enhance, like waking up, or driving to the beach, or having a party in a paddock. When we talk about Tame Impala music we have a habit of thinking of the various types of people that will enjoy it and get something out of it.

What tales will be told on your debut album?
I generally use vocals as kind of another instrument and I don't really see myself as a fantastic story teller, so my lyrics usually reflect what I like to think about. Usually observations of what it's like being human. I also like romantic lyrics. At the end of the day people make up their own meaning when they listen to music.

Give us a fascinating piece of trivia about yourselves.
About a year ago I made up a CD of songs for a UK label that wanted a demo and scribbled the band name and some decorations with a paint brush and some paints on a bit of cardboard that was to be used as a makeshift CD case. I didn't end up sending it out of laziness, but just recently we were having a vinyl release pressed and needed a cover picture urgently so I grabbed the piece of cardboard that was still lying around and figured it would do. It ended up getting nominated for a cover art award in the UK. I don't think it won though. It's still the cover for that vinyl.