We’ve told you the surreal true story of how Tame Impala got signed to Modular Recordings and even gone back further and recounted their “rough” first gig and their time playing in front of sparse crowds at local festivals.
We’ve even covered the time before they were Tame Impala, when they were just a gang of Perth teenagers playing riffs as The Dee Dee Dums and sounded an awful lot like future Modular label mates Wolfmother.
But before Kevin Parker ditched a uni exam after getting the call from the big leagues and even before The Dee Dee Dums, and definitely before Parker was working with Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson, he was first inspired by another Australian band.
Speaking recently to NME, Parker revealed that the song that made him want to be in a band was ‘Freak’ by Silverchair. Who could blame him? Who didn’t want to start a band when they first heard the riff from Silverchair’s 1997 single?
“It was super grunge,” said Parker of the song. “They just had this fucking attitude: just three longhaired dudes slaying their instruments – headbanging and shouting. And I still like the music, it’s not just about that.”
“The song’s still an amazing song. It’s quite discordant, he’s intentionally playing a weird chord that’s not very nice to the ear.” Parker said the fact that such a band was from his home country was especially inspiring.
“I saw the clip and they were quite young Australian dudes,” Parker said. “‘It’s not on the other side of the world, it’s on the other side of the country, and they’re only a little bit older than me – so if I work hard now, I can get where they are by the time I’m 15!’ I was 11 or 12.”
In the interview with NME, Parker also touches on the first song he remembers hearing (Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’), the first album he ever bought (the Batman Forever soundtrack), and the song he wishes he’d written (‘September’ by Earth Wind & Fire).