Ahead of their performance at Knight & Day Festival this New Year’s Eve, we spoke to Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall about the Aussie rockers making their long-awaited return to the stage after the pandemic brought the music industry to a grinding halt.
It’s been two years since Parkway Drive last performed for a live audience, and for a band that has been on the road almost non-stop since their inception – that is, until COVID put the majority of tours on hold – the Byron Bay group couldn’t be more excited to get back to what they do best when they headline Knight and Day Festival.
“I’m relieved and excited,” Winston told Tone Deaf of Parkway Drive finally making a return to the stage.
“I can’t really even describe what it’s like to be able to have a ray of hope at the end of all of this, to be honest, because to have something so hardwired into you and then have it taken away, not only do you realise that you, you enjoy it, but you realise how much it’s a part of you.
“So to be able to have that part return in such a big way at such a big event at such a poignant time is absolutely massive.
“You kind of can’t put that into words.”
If you’ve ever witnessed a Parkway Drive show or watched their 2020 documentary Viva the Underdogs, you’d know that the band work tirelessly to put on a show of epic proportions – and according to Winston, their upcoming performance at the New Year’s Eve festival will certainly be no exception.
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“That’s the thing – we ain’t coming back half-assed, you can expect us to put on an absolute show and you can expect us to put it on at the first heavy post-pandemic festival to actually happen on New Year’s Eve of 2021. And the first time Parkway is playing in two years.
He continued, “It’s stacked with a set of absolute bangers that kind of span 15 odd years now. So yeah. What can you expect? Absolute chaos.”
As the band were forced to take time off from their chock-a-block touring schedule during the pandemic, Winston explained that it gave them time to meticulously plan Parkway’s return to live shows.
“We basically started planning for what we were bringing back on the other side of this because we know this is stopping at some point in time. And when it comes back, we want the beast to emerge on the other side of this stronger, bigger, more focused, sharper claws. And that’s basically exactly what we’ve been doing. So yeah. Parkway 2.0, we’ll pack a punch.”
However, it’s not just their own show that Parkway is excited for, with Winston adding that he’s keen to watch his fellow musos hit the stage at Knight and Day festival.
“I’m so excited to see everyone play. I haven’t been to a live music event since this whole thing started. So I am so pumped just to experience everything and see all the bands on the stage and know that we’ve been through all of this together.
He continued, “Being in a band and having to cope through this time is incredibly stressful and incredibly rough in a way that is very hard to understand for like, I can’t understand what other people go through.
“I can relate to every single band that’s going to be playing. And I know what this gig means to them. So being able to experience that and know yeah, what this is going to mean for every single person stepping on the stage and the same reciprocal for every single person walking into that event. That’s who I’m psyched to see.
“I’m excited to see what the fuck happens for the whole thing.”
Knight and Day kicks off on Thursday December 30th at Kryal Castle in Ballarat. Gates open at noon on both Thursday and Friday – limited tickets are available online.
KNIGHT AND DAY 2021 LINEUP:
- Parkway Drive
- Alex Lahey
- Bakers Eddy
- Diamond Construct
- Hellions (Performing Opera Oblivia)
- Justice For The Damned
- Make Them Suffer
- The Beautiful Monument
- The Chats
- The Getaway Plan (Performing Other Voices, Other Rooms)
- The Gloom In The Corner
- To The Grave
- Trophy Eyes
- Void Of Vision