TAP Interview: Morning Parade’s Steve Sparrow

By Cassandra Paiva

I had the chance to interview Morning Parade’s lead singer Steve Sparrow before their last show of their first US tour. When I walked into the dressing room, all of the guys were sitting on the couch, laptops on their laps and phones in their hands. They were Skyping their girlfriends and families and Facebooking friends to see what was going on back home and tell their tales of America. Steve told me that when the band was in New York, some of them Skyped their girlfriends to show them the city skyline.

As we were talking about their American experience over the tour, I turned over and saw a picture of a backstage to front of crowd view from one of their shows as the background on one of the computers. I inquired about it, and was informed that it was an outside gig they played in Germany opening for 30 Seconds to Mars. This lead to conversation about festivals, which Steve said they’d rather play other countries than England because it’s more exciting to go to, say, Madrid, than stay home to tour.

Needless to say, the guys are excited to be given these opportunities to travel, but they still love to check in with loved ones to inform them of their excitement.

Here’s our conversation:

Is this your first time touring America?

Yea, we’ve been here all on holidays and stuff, but I think this is the first time we’ve ever been to the states as a band. So far it’s lived up to the hype. As can see, the boys are all thrilled to be here, they’re all wasting time looking at Facebook, trying to catch up with what’s going on back home.

How have The Kooks’ fans reacted to you/your performances in America?

Really good so far. We’ve toured with them in Europe before, we did like 24 shows with them last year. It’s always kind of daunting having a new band, that’s obviously in a new territory, but we’ve been really lucky, they’ve been amazing, they’ve been warm, very receptive, very responsive to us. So, yea, it’s going really better than we could have really hoped.

You’ve already released you debut album in the UK, but it doesn’t come out until June the US, what are your thoughts on the UK/US music time difference?

I think it’s just one of those things, that’s logistically how to do it. This is a huge country, where do you even start? I kind of understand, I think it’s the only way until you kind of get to a Coldplay level you can release everything in the same place. You’ve got support,no body really knows who you are, so I think it’s kind of a necessary evil, it just has to be done.

You played a show in London for your album release, are you planning on doing a show in NY or LA for the US release?

I hope so, nothing’s really been spoken about yet. I don’t know what our plans are. I know we’re right here for now, we’re going to go back and do some European shows, and I think we’re going to start tying down for the next record. I’m sure we’ll be back here right around June for some supports. I hope we get to do an album release show. The American kind of label, we’ve had some big supporters in the media. We come and celebrate.

Can we expect a US headlining tour or just jumping on other band’s rosters?

I don’t really know yet. It’s kind of one of those strange things being in a band, you really kind of, do your bit, which is to turn up and play wherever you’re set to play. And I think it’s kind of difficult to do a headline tour now because we still have to spread awareness so the best way to do that is hopping on other band’s bills, and reaching a big audience. But, I’m sure we’ll do a be seeing us kind of thing. If there’s an audience there, we’ll want it, we’ll come to it

You’re playing SXSW next week, what are you most looking forward to?

Seeing the sun.Haven’t seen a lot of that for a long time. It’s been a pretty miserable winter. I’ve heard a lot about SXSW, and I think it’s going to be a baptism of the choir for us. It’s a lot of shows in a very short amount of time. On top, the food’s good, the company’s good, and also kind of a chance to catch up with a lot of our fans and our friends and also see some of the bands as well that we haven’t seen yet.

What was it like recording at Damon Albarn’s studio?

It was really cool. It was something that came about kind of by chance. The guy that started working with us when we started demoing songs for the record has kind of been a long term collaborator with Damon, done a lot of stuff with the Gorillaz, and been with Blur. He started as just like, a roadie, and he got to know the ropes. We did some demos with him and he suggested we use Damon’s place, which we’ve never dreamt, he’s kind of a musical genius, kind of a British legend, so yea, it was amazing to go and record in there and honestly be around him a couple times. We were kind of a little bit intimidated, he’s such a huge character, such an inspiration to so many people. But it was amazing, it was an amazing studio, had some of the craziest music equipment I’d ever seen. Stuff that you can’t even imagine. Kind of like a Willy Wonka’s music factory, it’s very strange.

What bands did you listen to growing up?

Lots of stuff. I think when I was younger, I had some horrific music taste. It wasn’t really until I kind of got to my late school years, I was going to college, when I was 16 that I started to find some other bands. There’s a British band called Biffy Clyro that’s pretty good. A Danish band called Mew that we all really liked. And myself, and Phil our bass player, we all spent our teenage years covering Muse, in school rehearsal rooms.

You just won major points with me..

They are kind of an amazing band, you know. What a story as well, to be doing it as long as they’ve done it and to have achieved kind of the heady heights they’re at now. They’ve always done it their own way. So, yea, Muse, Radiohead are a huge inspiration to us. Elbow as well, you know Elbow?

I know they’re a lot bigger in the UK, and I haven’t quite gotten to listen to them yet.

Yea, they kind of do arenas in the UK, like Muse. They’re a very great British band. They’re kind of one of those bands who’ve been so underrated throughout their career, and they’ve really only kind of come to the forefront throughout the past couple years, but they’re a great band.

If you could meet any of your idols, alive or dead, who would it be?

Jeff Buckley, why did you get in the river that night, you crazy man? That’s what I’d ask him. Yea, Jeff Buckley’s kind of like, an undiscovered, crazy, weird, nobody really knows that much about him.

..That’s funny, because Luke Pritchard mentioned Jeff Buckley earlier..

Yea, Jeff Buckley’s kind of a massive, musical genius.

What US band would you love to tour with?

US band… umm? There’re a couple of bands that we quite like from here. There’s a band called Paper Route that we quite like that we discovered a few years ago, I don’t know even how we found them. There’s a Christian rock band, Mute Math, we’ve seen them a few times in England, they’re pretty cool. I don’t know, we got to do something legendary, I think someone like, I’d love to go on tour with Springsteen, I’d learn a few tips from him. He’s somewhat of a genius. Someone like REM, someone who’ve been doing it for years, someone who you could pick their brains for a few hours and hear some crazy stories.

What can we expect from Morning Parade in the next year?

The album’s out June 19th in America and the single “Headlights” is out Tuesday (Tuesday, March 13th).

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