Psych-rock lovers, Melbourne’s The Demon Parade are back with a rocking new EP Stone Circles. Confident, cohesive and totally sitar-dreamy, I’ve been loving the progression of each song rolling off the SoundCloud playlist, especially the tantalising She’s Dope. I had words with lead singer and guitarist Michael Badger about the new EP, the tough side of the music biz and, seriously, the meaning of life.
What’s been happening in Demon Parade land?
Last year was tough, so it’s been good to get back into it. We’ve had a lot of momentum in the past, so it can be really hard when you don’t get the response you hope for. Success can come down to a couple of people in the country who decide how far you get to go, which can be pretty tough.
You’ve been playing together for years and worked with a lot of bands now enjoying a lot of success. What’s your take on that?
I’ve done a lot of studio production and mixing work, for guys like King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and other Melbourne bands over the years, plus we’ve had The Preatures and Kingswood supporting us, those guys are all talented, but it also takes a certain amount of luck; being in the right place, right time, with the right sound, knowing the right people and having positive energy around what you’re doing. These are all massive contributors to success.
But, the great part of the tougher times is finding so much writing material, and lots of inspiration and I didn’t even have to try too hard writing this EP. I just felt the itch to follow through with what I started. Stone Circles is the result of all that. We’re going to keep going.
I think it’s a really great EP, it’s very strong and cohesive throughout.
Yes, I agree, everything was written in a really short space of time, so I felt like, “this is where I’m at in my life and I’m going to put it there.”
You named the EP after stone circles in Southern Africa, which most people have no idea even exist. What does that all mean for you?
Last year, I lost some close family members who had cared for me as a child, and then I took care of them as they became ill. I had a special bond with one in particular, it was very moving to watch them become ill, care for them in their last days, and pass away over a period of months. Watching people let go of life and enter the next phase was quite calming, I knew they wanted to leave and let go.
When you see it for the first time, you start asking questions about all the things we really don’t know. I’ve always wondered, always been open-minded about what’s out there. I do a lot of YouTubing and watch stuff about aliens and life outside of the things written in history books. I find it really fascinating.
Me too! You’d be familiar with (author and researcher) Michael Tellinger then?
Yes, I saw one of his conferences on YouTube, and within a week I’d watched pretty much everything on him, it was all so interesting. When you’re going through a lot, and you’re asking questions about life, learning alternative views gives you a little bit more hope in why we’re all here. It’s good to feel like we’re not just wasting time doing things we don’t want to do because we have to.
I connect with Tellinger’s Ubuntu philosophy, which says if you’re good at something, you should contribute that skill to community and society. After hearing that, well, I’m know I’m on the right path with music.
I agree, what you have to contribute musically is extremely valuable. I like how the Ubuntu philosophy gives some options and possibilities away from the profit mentality that inhibits so much positive, constructive creative output. On the other hand, tell me about your tour!
I had demoed all the tracks, but our booker called us earlier in the year and gave us an hour to decide if we wanted to play a festival, and to my surprise everyone said”Fuck yeah, let’s do it!” That meant we needed a release!
Our guitarist O Koppes had moved to Sydney and just moved to Byron, she’s not on this EP but she’ll be on tour with us next month, apart from our Melbourne show. I love the five of us together, everyone just compliments each other so well, I love the atmosphere, I can just get lost in my own world and get in the zone for shows.
Anything you’re really looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to Brisbane and Byron Bay, the people up there respect bands who come up to play again for them. They are often much more appreciative than Melbourne audiences who often have thirty-five different gigs on a night to choose from. The response up north is always really great.
Lose yourself in Stone Circles:
Stone Circles East Coast Tour
Thursday 13 Aug | Southern Cross Arts Festival | Lismore NSW
Fri 14 Aug | The Northern | Byron Bay NSW
Sat 15th Aug | Trainspotters | Brisbane QLD
Fri 21 Aug |Old Manly Boatshed | Manly NSW
Sat 22 Aug | The Standard Bowl | Sydney NSW
Sund 23 Aug | Frankies Pizza | Sydney NSW
Fri 28 Aug | Yah Yah’s | Melbourne VIC