It’s fitting that the video for the first single from Parkway Drive’s highly anticipated fifth album, Ire, features band members risking their lives.
To fully realise the concept for the “Vice Grip” video, Parkway members committed themselves to jumping out of aeroplanes, and the results are totally mindblowing.
In a way these demonstrations of risk-taking, of showing no fear, and of acquiring new skills could be a metaphor for the entire creation of Ire. Parkway Drive has taken a stunning creative leap, and produced what they consider to be a career-defining statement.
“This is the album for us,” says Winston. “Every single step of the way, whenever there was gamble to take, we took the biggest one we could. If this isn’t the album that can go further than anything we thought was possible with this band and this type of music, that’s fine, but we can’t go back from this as far as we’re concerned.”
Parkway Drive has spent the past decade at the forefront of heavy music worldwide, finding success in areas previously thought impossible for a band with a sound so uncompromisingly ferocious and intense. And yet Ire is not the sound of a band content to rest on its laurels.
The Byron Bay powerhouse has tapped deep into its reserves of talent and creativity, and pushed themselves as musicians and songwriters to take their established sound to another level.
“We wanted to challenge our own perception of what Parkway Drive was capable of,” reveals Winston. “We wanted to change the game in every facet. We spent a long time working on the songs and learning new skills, but once we started throwing away the preconceived notions, it blew the doors off and there was no limit to what we could create.”
Ire retains all the hallmarks of classic Parkway, but it’s clearly something brave and new. It’s bigger, heavier, more melodic and has more depth to it than anything they’ve done in the past.
The lyrics have also been dialled up another notch. Whether they be about politics, social issues, the environment or the music scene, the words and Winston’s delivery of them perfectly encapsulate the discontent of these times.
“This new album is angry; really, really angry,” says Winston. “We are not a band to pretend that everything is great. There are some hard truths that need to be put out there and we are not afraid to do it.”
Parkway Drive has redefined the limits of their sound, and by doing so they will again redefine what has been thought possible for a metalcore band from Byron Bay to achieve.
“The success we’ve had continues to exceed all expectation, but realistically there had to be some kind of a limit,” concludes Winston. “But honestly, listening to what we’ve created with Ire, I don’t see a limit for what this album can do.”
Ire is set for release on September 25 via Epitaph Records.