Tame Impala

TameImpalaHow does one go about getting an interview with possibly the best new psychedelic rock band?

I wouldn’t suggest posing as a journalist for a paper you don’t actually work for, then getting your backstage pass confiscated and getting a formal complaint from the venue.

I walked into the Commodore, downtown Vancouver, one night after winning tickets to a Tame Impala show. I had submitted an article to the local music paper, The Georgia Straight, and since my name happened to be on their guest list I just kind of ran with it.

Meighan Donaldson (MD): “I’d like to speak with the tour manager please; I have an interview scheduled with the band tonight; I work for The Georgia Straight.

(enter Tour Manager [TM])

TM: “Umm . . . Nobody mentioned anything to us?”

MD: “Well, my paper sent me over here tonight to get this interview, I hope you’ll be able to sort something out . . .”

He looks pissed but hands over a white and black press pass and asks me to follow him – sweeeeeet!

I’ve prepared nothing, not thinking I’d be getting close to the green room tonight.

After 57 plays of their debut album, Innerspeaker, I have decide it sounds like Jonh Lennon’s solo album The Plastic Ono Band, meets Tago Mago by kruatrock band Can.

“How do you guys like Vancouver?”

Kevin Parker (vocals and mastermind) seems to dig it and explored a little today, in search of a record store. He’s the only one in the band that actually doesn’t have a massive record collection. He doesn’t really mind if what he’s listening to is analog or digital as long as it’s good music.

Same goes for Parker’s gear, although he wishes he could have brought a Rolands Space echo on tour, but he tells me traveling with vintage gear is too much wear and tear and saves that for the studio – Parker’s studio being a small room next to his bedroom. He records himself, and their EP was self-produced.

Innerspeaker was mixed, however, by Flamming Lips genius Dave Friedman, who also produced American tourmates MGMT’s massive debut album Oracular Spectacular.

“We recorded it and Dave mixed it,” says Parker. “We just let it ride on his magical wings of awesome.”

I ask if they prefer the studio time to touring. Parker says he wishes their tours were shorter and more intense and spent the rest of the time recording.

“You think all this touring will make you a little jaded?” I ask.

“We’re already jaded.”

Over my shoulder, I can hear the tour manager nervously mentioning over and over that he’s got to break this up because the boys are on stage in 20 minutes. . . .

But we’re far from over – we’re just touching the tip of the iceberg of why more people don’t listen to the Baby Grandmothers.

The boys have a new album coming out later this year and are also covering ‘That’s All for Everyone’ on the Fleetwood Mac tribute album, to be released later this summer.

Confirmed via Facebook, the band hopes to release a few songs off their new album this month.

Kevin Parker states the new songs “represent a departure from [his] previous work by incorporating an expanded sonic palette, more emotional songwriting, and a more pronounced narrative perspective.”

I’m intrigued and stoked that I got to shoot the shit about music with my new favourite band. Even if my backstage pass was taken away shorty after the boys went on stage, taking 2,000 Vancouver kids down their rabbit hole with them.

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