ACL Music Fest 2015 Friday Interviews – Second Weekend

Tame Impala

Friday, 6pm, Samsung stage


by David Brendan Hall

Perth-based quintet Tame Impala last played ACL Fest in 2013, while promoting sophomore LP Lonerism. Its follow-up, July's superb Currents, awes with psych-funk soul. A danceable cross between Pink Floyd, Prince, and Supertramp, the album was written, performed, recorded, produced, and mixed by the fivesome's frontman, 29-year-old whiz kid Kevin Parker.

Austin Chronicle: Where am I reaching you today?

Kevin Parker: We're in Liverpool, England, at the moment. It's about 6:30pm here now, I think?

AC: Do you notice any marked differences between American crowds and audiences abroad?

KP: America's so big, you know? Like, even from state to state, cities and crowds differ. Like, that whole notion of "New York crowds" or "L.A. crowds" being a "thing." But, American audiences are all really fun! They're really loving and giving toward us.

AC: You've been playing a lot of big summer festivals this year, like Chicago's Lollapalooza back in August. Do you ever get nervous or experience stage fright before those massive crowds?

KP: Oh, yeah! I definitely do.

AC: How do you cope?

KP: Well, I definitely cannot go onstage sober. Like, I absolutely cannot [laughs]. I have to reach that "right," like, "middle" amount of drunk. What's the word for that?

AC: A sweet spot?

KP: Yeah! Totally a sweet spot. Like, you've gotta find that balance, or suddenly you're overboard, and onstage and totally out of tune [laughs]. Circumstances change, but it's harder at music festivals, because you're, like, rockin' out, and everyone around you is drinking and having a good time, but then we realize we've got, like, six more hours until we play, so ....

AC: Are playing festivals, as opposed to your own headliner gigs, totally varied experiences?

KP: Yeah, completely different. But that's what's good about fests. They're like different worlds. At festivals, bands are like team players: You get onstage, do your thing, then get off and go have a good time. And, if you have a bad show, it's not as devastating, because all these other bands are playing after you.

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