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Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall Takes Us Through The Emotionally-Charged ‘Reverence’ Track By Track

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 2 May 2018 at 10.07

The highly anticipated Parkway Drive album 'Reverence' is dropping this Friday (May 04, 2018).

'Reverence' is the most emotionally-charged release from the band that we've ever heard. But don't just take our word for it- we had Parkway Drive frontman Winston McCall take us through the entire album, track by track. He gets incredibly real about the stories and inspirations behind each song on the album, and gives an intimate insight in to the places that 'Reverence' has come from. Over to Winston:

'WISHING WELLS'
This is obviously the opener to the album and we wanted to put it first so it would be a real slap in the face. Every line is about the feelings of going through grief. It’s about finding some way to blame a horrible event when there is nothing to blame. There’s nothing or no-one to place the blame on and you make up things and you curse the sky and you look at yourself and think ‘what could I have done to change this?’ It’s also about when someone disappears from your life in an everyday sense and you start missing little habits. It’s purely a documentation of what that is like.

'PREY'
Not all the songs on this record are super personal but they all come from a very angry place. ‘Prey’ is about what we are doing to ourselves in the sense of goals of what you do and be and look and say. I’m talking body image, wealth, fashion, and sex. Every single aspect of what we do and how we perpetuate it. You look at the standard in anything in our society and it’s gone from this intellectual human being with a high moral standard to a person who will tell you to buy a product and who will replace any attribute you have with plastic. It’s also about how people are making themselves marketable. They will say the most hate filled stuff just for attention. And we buy into it and we self-medicate. We say we are depressed. We give ourselves eating disorders to try and look like this person. There is a mental health epidemic right now that we are continually feeding. We are all prey for this sorrow that we’re creating.

'ABSOLUTE POWER'
I guess that this is talking about different sorts of power. There’s new power and there’s old power. New powers are these companies that never started out to be tough but now control everything and there’s the old power structures that have shaped our society and run the money and govern who is fighting who. This song is literally about corruption in the sense of the illusion of our freedom. The illusion of rights. We hold up these standard of western democracy like ‘this is the best thing, you can choose between A and B’. Even if you get to choose between A and B, you are still being told who to choose between. Is that a choice? It’s about how our perception of truth is shaped.

'CEMETERY BLOOM'
My wife gets a song on every record because I love her, and this one is for her. It’s basically about her. If you want a picture of a heart of gold, carve her open because it’s there. She will break her legs to give you them. But she is also the person that will see a friend and be the one to tell them that what they are doing isn’t healthy and that they are worth more. That’s a hard fucking thing to do. There’s a backlash to that and people don’t like to hear it. So the song is about the sacrifice for the betterment of someone else and them wanting to take the hit. To me, I see how many people my wife has helped and I have never known someone so selfless.

'THE VOID'
It’s about emptiness and the emptiness that we as a people seem to put our faith in. It’s technology and the intangible reality that we create. We make these clones to escape so many bits of who you actually are these days. It’s not actually you; it’s who you want to be. You shape it and put more value in that than you do in yourself. It’s creating these really weird social monsters in us. This is a strange generation of communication that we have created. When does it stop being communicating and when does it start being complicit lying?

'I HOPE YOU ROT'
It’s a big statement, and it’s a fucking good one too. This is about child abuse within the church. It’s simple but it’s fucking blows my mind. It’s the sort of statistics that if it were happening in a war zone, you would be put on trial for war crimes. Instead you are talking about an organisation that pays no tax and distorts the laws so they are unanswerable in a monetary way and so they can’t help these people whose lives they have completely destroyed. Offering up straight up denial as severance. They are the second wealthiest enterprise in Australia under some insane investment group that is worth billions. We shouldn’t have to hand over our hard earned money to someone who can have such a sway on how our entire world functions. The outcome of that from all of the shit that they have done is that I hope they fucking rot. You can believe whatever you want; I place no judgment on your beliefs or what goes on in our universe. If you’re buying into this thing as an organisation, there’s a fuck ton of blood on your hands.

'SHADOW BOXING'
This is the first song we wrote for the record and it came pretty quick. It took on a lot of incarnations as well. This one is about being me. It’s a weird thing to say but we’ve been doing this for so long and it’s grown more and more and in that people get a sense that they know what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Like when something new comes into the world and they go to you ‘fuck you, you should be doing this’. No offence, but you know fuck all about me. This is the song where I basically say this is all really fucking different.

'IN BLOOD'
I wrote this song for us. After everything we went through, it’s a very strange isolating existence. You have a small group of people that you can rely on if things go wrong and we dragged ourselves through. It’s one thing to say this isn’t my thing; it’s another to try and force what you want. So, this is us saying we didn’t back away from anything and if you’re still trying to stand in the way we will burn you to the fucking ground.

'CHRONOS'
This is literally just written from the perspective of time as a being. At the end of the day that’s what you answer to. You’re not on your deathbed going ‘I wish I had spent more time working and got some more money’. Money doesn’t mean shit now. You want time. That was the currency that became very apparent during this period. It’s always there. It’s never stopping.

'THE COLOUR OF LEAVING'
This is me trying to say goodbye. A group of family members and friends passed away and this is just documenting that. I just wrote down the words and cried. If you want the defining point of what this album is, it is this.

The new Parkway Drive album 'Reverence' is available everywhere from May 04, 2018 through Epitaph. You can find out all the info here.

We chatted with Winston McCall about the importance of 'Reverence' as an album- here's a taster:

What does 'Reverence' represent?
‘Reverence’ is basically making the most of what you have and the time you have, and being conscious of it. It’s quite simply that. It comes from a very dark place and the revelation of that came from a very dark place too. It’s the fact that what you have can be gone very quickly. You have no idea how fast it can all come crashing down. It’s simply taking the time to realise just what you have because at the end of the day, time is the only thing that’s worth anything. You can’t buy it.

Because of where this album has come from, when you were putting the foundations in did these events change everything?
To a degree, yeah. Very early on we were like let’s just write whatever the hell we want. ‘Ire’ was written in a way where we were searching for reinvention. It was really difficult and stressful. It was breaking our old walls down and forging something new out of it for us. Trying to find what we really liked and what we still loved and fusing the two together. It was going somewhere too scary for us too. So this time around coming off the back of ‘Ire’, which is the most successful thing we’ve ever created, it was just us saying that we’re going to do whatever the fuck we want. It was really awesome and it made writing the album really easy musically. We were so terrified. The band became far more successful than we ever hoped, and we were like ‘shit do we stop now’. ‘Vice Grip’ was the "what the fuck" moment, then the rest of it everyone was like "yeah I get it". This record though, there is far more variation but there isn’t going to be anything that shocks anyone. Parkway Drive is still there but we are there in a far different way. 

You can read the full interview here.

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