10 for 2012 Interview: Steve Sparrow of Morning Parade

By on Tuesday, 20th December 2011 at 11:00 am
 

Morning Parade rounded out the 10 for 2012 poll this year at #10. We asked the band some questions about all those tats and what exactly is going on in the ‘Us & Ourselves’ video. Read on…

It’s been a busy year for Morning Parade from start to finish. How has the step up in activity affected you as a unit?
It has indeed been a busy and very intense year for us, just how we like it to be honest. I think as a unit we’re probably stronger than ever, we’re always learning about ourselves, each other and about music all the time and its nice to share the journey with each other.

There seems to be a real dedication in the band, as the tattoos demonstrate. If you hadn’t been in this band, what would you all be doing and would you have gotten any tattoos?
The honest truth? I really have no idea. Phil and Chad already had tattoos, the Morning Parade ones got decided upon on a particularly drunken night out but I love that we all have them, we are a weird and wonderful family… I don’t think any other combination of people would work for Morning Parade. What would we do if we weren’t in MP? Well, Ben was studying at a drama school and the rest of us have always been in bands. I can’t speak for the others but if wasn’t in this ‘this’ band, I’d probably be in another band, I’d always write songs because I always have done, the same goes for all of the others; Morning Parade just gives us a platform to share them on.

You’ve spent a lot of time touring with the likes of the Wombats and the Kooks. What are your favourite memories of your time with the two groups?
We’ve had some incredible times this year and we’ve met a bunch of different bands. The Wombats have been really good to us and we’ve had a lot of very funny extra-curricular activities with them and their crew ranging from ‘borrowing’ the head of a 20-foot polystyrene man, stage invasions in Rome and best of all hungover paintball in Newcastle on the UK tour this autumn just gone – we had a lot of fun and played our first ever European tour with them, so we have very fond memories.

The Kooks’ tour was fantastic too, it was great to meet and get to know the guys. Luke’s passion and hunger was a huge inspiration to me, he was not how I expected him to be at all. We shared one strange night out in Hamburg, there was an open mic night happening and the guys just got up and played a mini set of their best known songs to an unsuspecting room of German punters. It was pretty surreal.

Your sold out show at Scala (review here) seemed a pretty big deal for both you and those present. Has there been a gig so far when you’ve felt a change in the crowds?
Yeah of course, it was a big deal. We really haven’t spent much time playing in the UK this year and we’ve not always had the support that you’d hope for in our position. The UK music scene is so very fickle, it’s nice to see that people don’t forget and that the songs are connecting with those who have discovered us already. I guess there is some sort of validation in that.

The Scala was definitely a special show for everyone involved, and for us, a great opportunity to play a longer set and some new material – we’ve done a lot of support shows this year!
I don’t know if there has been a particular show where we’ve felt a difference but we’re definitely noticing more people singing along, and more people wearing either our t-shirts or their own home made ones. We’re always surprised by the warmth of our fans and the gifts they bring to our shows.

What are your plans as far as hitting festivals in the next 12 months?
Wow, we’re mainly just thinking about tomorrow at the moment. Twelve months is too big a stretch of time for our minds to comprehend right now. With the album coming out in March I’m sure we’ll be at a whole bunch of festivals all across the UK, Europe and hopefully further afield too. We’d like to play as many shows as humanly possible next year. Indoors/Outdoors we don’t mind. We just like playing shows.

What’s the best thing a fan’s done for you?
This is a tough one, we have met a lot of very kind fans this year. We’ve had fans travel across the continent to come see us, some have been to every date on a tour which is quite overwhelming. There is one in particular who hand wrote a book for us. It was an inch thick and filled with interview quotes, lyrics, messages, it also had lots of photos and postcards of her city because we don’t really get a chance to see much of where we’re playing. A tremendous amount of care had gone into making it, we couldn’t believe it.

Will the album finally be launching this year? What can we expect from it?
Yes, thank the lord. I don’t think we could wait any longer. It is due for a spring release and it is finished, unless we write anything we feel *has* to be on there. This is a dangerous trap and the reason it’s taken us so long to get it out.

The record encapsulates everything about us. We wanted to make sure the record was a true representation of where we are, where we’ve been and hopefully an indication of where we might go – as we’re growing our ideas and perceptions are changing. The record has a real mixture of dynamics and textures, we were keen to show all sides of ourselves so there might be a couple of surprises on there. You’ll have to wait and see.

Lastly, what on earth is going on in the ‘Us & Ourselves’ video?
Haha, I’m glad you get that from it… I find life confusing, and the concept behind the song still confuses me. In fact everything confuses me, can you help me? What was the question?

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