That was one of the first big mainstream pop things you worked on. It was so much fun. Let's start with an indisputable fact: Kevin Parker is not Jesus. Could those unbidden melodies be his mind's way of filling up the space where voices suddenly weren't? PARKER: He was, he told me he was too — “I’m really happy we’re doing this because I’m a fan.” He’s an extremely articulate guy, extremely. What’s the determining factor on how you approach it? That sounds depressing but it's not". The last sort of two or three weeks of making the album was just nonstop. There was no working on any music at low volume. And then fuckin’ two months later he was at my house in LA, shooting a video! I got the awesome opportunity to talk to our boy Cam all about his new EP! We were immediately really pumped for it. That hook you sing, “I was gonna call you back” — was that something he had already that you built off of, or what? 964 votes, 25 comments. STEREOGUM: Working with Ronson is also what led to the Lady Gaga record you worked on. He is perhaps Australia's most famous rock star, but has spent most of his career hiding behind a band that doesn't really exist. I wanted people to hear this hilarious version. I didn't watch TV. Fuck yeah, let’s do it!” You know? “I just go to the studio every day and do my thing.”. But it took me a long time. Can you unpack that a little bit for me? He speaks to Esquire about forgiveness and perfectionism. Him being my father, I worshipped the ground he walked on, I never assumed that he could ever put a foot wrong because he was my dad. It’s not the kind of thing I waste my time on or can even stomach. PARKER: There’ve been some really nice ones. It was almost like karaoke. Which takes a lot of work, and you have to have high attention to detail. Oh, and he does write songs like 'Posthumous Forgiveness', the centrepiece of his upcoming fourth album, The Slow Rush, in which he laments the failings of an absent father before offering him exoneration (although unlike the Biblical Son, Parker's comes backed with pillowy synths). I mean, yeah, first TV thing, we were just kind of like “What the fuck is going on?”. Not if I'm feeling good about it. PARKER: I think he got him to play on a couple of his songs, and Travis just wanted him to be there. Because there’s zero second guessing. "It was around the time I was so inside my own head and just completely lacking in perspective," he says. STEREOGUM: Where did the concept for that song come from? Tame Impala im Interview: Ein notorischer Einzelgänger reift zum Popstar Simon Ackers 14.02.2020 "Bringen Sie die verdammten Impfstoffe JETZT" "Unter uns"-Star Benjamin Heinrich: 2. Everything we were doing was a new experience. 'Glimmer', especially, sounds like a house record. We’ve Got A File On You features interviews in which artists share the stories behind the extracurricular activities that dot their careers: acting gigs, guest appearances, random internet ephemera, etc. Are those "letdowns" what led to the gap? I'm not gonna say anyone because I don't want to jinx it, you know? Pre-order it now here, Styling: James Sleaford | Styling assistant: Rosalind Donoghue, Grooming: Andrea Gomez Anzola using ClarinsMen. He should have been, and he wanted to be. So yeah, there I was in the studio with Rocky, playing along to my own song for the first time. I'm not going to tell them to ram it. Is there an art to printing stems? You’ve just got to have some restraint because hip-hop is about making space in the mix, having things behind you but also keeping space. Like when A$AP Rocky got in touch the first time, I didn’t know who he was. They were like, “We wanted a copy of it, so we just did this, and we’re really sorry.” And they paid me whatever I would have normally got paid. To be honest, this is another thing that I dragged myself kicking and screaming into doing. And I used to be the biggest Streets fan. I listened back to it and it just spoke to me for some reason. ‘Cause we played a medley of my song and another song, and the other song was one that John Mayer played on. Is it tough to collaborate when you've got that urge towards solitariness? I think I looked away as fast as I could because of how cringey it was. When I'm kind of uncomfortable, that's when I think of melodies. STEREOGUM: What are some things you saw eye-to-eye on or connected on? How different was the creative process from your own? I guess that’s how Kanye works, he just takes bits and puts them where he wants. Did somebody send you a completed track and say “What did you think?”. And then, when the time came to tour it, he'd teach his mates how to play the songs he'd written. Which is different in how you go about it, but mentally it’s exactly the same. Converting something that I do by myself into something that five people stand on stage and perform in front of people is fun. Those songs, those rapturous, transportive songs, were his, the fruits of his mind and his fingers and nothing else. We knew who people were. Here's the devastating plot twist: I said everything I've just told you when I finished [last album] Currents. And if they have a nice voice, it’s nice to hear what my songs would sound like if I was a good singer. And then, around the time that Currents was going platinum and being nominated for Grammys and winning ARIAs (the Australian equivalent), Parker slowly began to disabuse people of an assumption that he'd spent years cultivating. So there was no back-and-forth. On the album, 'Borderline' has taken a new form, one closer to the version that had first materialised in Parker's mind. But it didn’t show. Apple Music's Zane Lowe speaks with Tame Impala frontman, Kevin Parker, about their new album, The Slow Rush. But no, Kevin Parker is almost certainly not Jesus. [5] In the recording studio, Parker writes, records, performs, and produces all of the project's music. He had no producer, no engineer, no session musicians, sometimes not even friends to ask for feedback. At least to my knowledge. He still can't really write with other people, can't split fun time from creating time. This dichotomy is encapsulated in his songs, which can feel both intimate and enormous. Their ocean-crossing summer tour has seen them play venues from beach-side festivals to muddy British fields; a clear indication of their undisputed status as a formidable live act. Everything. A band, in the time-honoured meaning. PARKER: It’s kind of just the amount of care you put into it, really. PARKER: No, they voluntarily compensated me. He still does. He has amazing insight into things. STEREOGUM: How did you find out about this? They have exactly the same software. It was lonely work at times, but it was his work. That’s kind of just how I want to approach it, just not being self-aware. But he's definitely been reborn. I wasn’t posting it because I was like flagging it for everyone, like trying to rally up support. Because he had such a big pressure. It's just me telling myself that this is how my journey as a music creator will be better and make sense. Not like a beat like a rhythm, but like where to hit and where not to hit. Rather than not go outside, I went, OK, I'll go to the shops or try and do some grocery shopping. We didn’t know who anyone fuckin’ was. It's different every time. He played me the song he’d been working on, “Sundress,” which had the sample, and we messed around a bit in the studio. I really like the acoustic ones I’ve heard, like acoustic covers, ’cause I’m not capable of doing an acoustic song. Hence, the mellow vibe. I mean, it's funny cos that that one, the putting the chords on loop and going to sleep, I didn't think of that as an experiment. Going on to bands I was playing in when I was 21, even then making music with my friends was still just a time that I relished as time I got to hang out with my closest friends. It's how he writes all his music: first, inspiration; then what can seem like an endless process of reshaping until the corporeal thing is close enough to the imaginary thing. Which can go catastrophically wrong. And then I walk offstage feeling like a pop star in the best possible way. I feel like my perspective of being in the studio changed after that. But I think Travis just wanted him to play. I knew I had to do it that way. I know producers release their stems and say, “OK, remix my shit,” but when you talk about “stems printing” — I didn’t realize that’s something that could be high or low quality. I didn't actually intend for that to be on the album. Although Parker would rather be touring in support of this year’s grand return The Slow Rush, the Fremantle Harbour vicinity is a good place to be right now. Hence why, though I'm fairly confident that he's not actually the Messiah, it's hard to be sure. And maybe the music wouldn't suffer and maybe it would just be better because I wouldn't be – I have all kinds of thoughts like that, with this album at least. "There's no one in the world that I've felt as creative with as I do when I'm alone". PARKER: I guess I was just using all my producer power to make us, a rock band, not sound like a rock band. He had his own room set up, and we’d be writing lyrics in one room and recording some music, and we’d send bits of music in to BloodPop’s thing, and he’d chop it up and sort of play around with it. I just put a lot of care into it. That's important to me. I've never snapped into it. That’s why I like hip-hop so much, and that’s why I find hip-hop so intriguing, the way it’s made. It only matters where you decide to put those kick drums. A new tour is pending. We only listened to it at like max volume. But the biggest thing was as soon as I realised that I was doing people's enjoyment of the music a disservice by being kind of shy and just being severely understated. "From the moment I think of a song, it's a series of let downs. And he does occasionally withdraw from the world for extended periods of painful self-examination, after which he drafts a group of acolytes to spread his message. We have old-fashioned tastes, but care about nothing more than making relevant music. 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