PENI PARKER are quickly making names for themselves in the Sydney rock and punk scene thanks to their seemingly effortless creativity and fully-committed brand of anarcha-femme alt-rock.
With two earth-shattering singles under their belt already (2021’s ‘DESTROYHER‘ and 2022’s ‘Lady’) and an exceptional Factory Theatre set supporting Ocean Grove, the duo have already proven themselves as artists and performers that should be on any rock fan’s radar; despite being relative newcomers to the industry.
Now, PENI PARKER have graced our ears and speakers with their third single ‘ANGIE JOLIE’, a hard-hitting track about queerness and unrequited love.
While ‘ANGIE JOLIE’ is the duo’s most tender track to date it’s anything but boring; with heavily distorted guitars and punchy, compressed drums still providing the trademark grit and edge the band is becoming known for.
The song’s chorus, written by frontwoman Maddy when she was a child and later found in an old shoebox, explores the turbulence of one of her first crushes.
“Originally I wanted to build it up, make the song more complex,” said Maddy on the lyrics,” but there was something about the simplicity of it that felt so sweet.”
To celebrate the single’s release, we caught up with PENI PARKER’s Maddy and Lauren for our Get To Know series to find out more about their life and music.
How did your band name come about?
Maddy: It’s actually a character from the spider-man multiverse created by Gerard Way, I wanted a name that could stand alone but also morph into a type of alter-ego as a band name as PENI evolves.
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How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Maddy: Oh I could never, it would break her heart. I still hide all my tattoos & music from her to this day. I can’t be responsible for a heart attack!
Lauren: Hmmmm, I think I would take the easy route and just say “heavy rock music”. Sure, this sounds like a boring answer but imagine me translating ‘heavy rock music’ in pathetic, broken Italian to my nonna.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
Maddy: ‘ANGIE JOLIE’ is an unrequited love song. It’s simple because it’s built around some lyrics I found hidden away in an old shoe box, scribbled out on a piece of paper with a list of things I liked about Lara Croft, from when I was maybe 8. Instrumentally it has a punchy anti-chorus, like getting smacked with waves of confusion I was feeling. I just kept my feminity and queerness buried for so long, it took a lot of unlearning and work to acknowledge what I am is enough. I’m so happy there are more songs today about bisexuality and queerness, this is one of the songs I would have loved to have heard at the time.
What do you love about your hometown?
Maddy: The South Coast hands down has the best beaches and you’re kinda forced to get tough pretty quick, [it’s a] kill or be killed kinda environment.
Lauren: Us south-west Sydney wogs are raised different…
Career highlight so far?
Playing the metro theatre with Ocean Grove for sure, that was an incredible experience and sharing the stage with such great live artists definitely inspired us.
Fave non-music hobby?
Maddy: big fan of anime and fashion. I love just creating in general, I attempt to do it all.
Lauren: the only non-music hobby I really have is playing video games. I’m currently playing Dead Cells and it’s taking over my life.
What’s on your dream rider?
Maddy: I’m a sucker for fireball & apple juice. They actually sponsored our launch party, I was in heaven.
Lauren: spirits out the wazoo please and thank you!!!!
Dream music collaboration?
Maddy: My chem and fever333, hands down.
Lauren: 100 gecs – imagine the CHAOS!!
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Maddy: maybe some blondie or Party Poison MCR if I’m drunk.
Lauren: Everywhere by Michelle Branch or anything by Charli XCX, really.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Maddy: Don’t dumb down or minimise yourself, take up space.
Lauren: you can’t control what other people think of you, so why waste time hating or second-guessing yourself?
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
Maddy: that’s hard, I’m an open book. Maybe watching Kdrama’s.
Lauren: I also feel like I’m an open book, haha. I’m obsessed with pilates which feels very dissonant to our music for some reason? Maybe that haha.