Five Minutes With: Parades’ Tim Jenkins

April 7th 2011

After their all-conquering debut album Foreign Tapes was released last year, Parades scooped up critical acclaim like a ten-year-old hitting the all-you-can-eat dessert bar at Sizzler – including a SMAC nomination for Record of the Year. I cornered frontman Tim Jenkins for a quick interrogation vis-à-vis some exciting new material.

How’s progress on the new recordings?
It's coming along. We've written a bunch of songs, but we're not too sure about those. We'd like to challenge ourselves a bit more and see what we can come up with.

Are you able to give us a hint as to what it’s sounding like? (Is there a Sufjan-style 25-minute chiptune freakout, for example?)
For starters, there won't be any female vocals on the album, unless you count the girly falsettos here and there. So it might sound more masculine, who knows though. We're all pretty sensitive beings, but I certainly hope we're not as sensitive as Sufjan.

Is “Water Stories” a good representative of what the finished product might sound like, do you think? What can you tell us about recording & writing it?
It was one of the first songs we wrote since Foreign Tapes, so I don't think it will necessarily represent what our next album will sound like. It came about kind of quickly in a way. Michael had these two chord progressions and the beat, which had been floating around for a while, and Dan had these shimmering guitar things, then I had this melody and some other chords. We then had three different parts for the ending, showed Jono what the go was, he put his drumming stuff over the top, and then we all worked out the little bits and pieces and yeah, song done.

Are you moving away from the sound of Foreign Tapes at all? What are you doing differently?
Yeah I think we are, I hope so at least. We're much more conscious of what we want to do. With Foreign Tapes, we didn't communicate that much on how we wanted things to sound, but we are trying to be more aware this time around.

How has the band and life in general changed since Foreign Tapes? It was received so well…
I guess the biggest change would be that we’ve been able to support overseas bands and play at ‘bigger’ venues. Other than that, things are still pretty much the same.

Is this what you’d planned to be doing right now? Your website seems to imply that had Ernest Ellis not been too ill to tour [with Parades in support] last year you might have put it off a bit longer…
As in release a new single and play a few shows? Yeah. Basically if we release an early single, then we don't drop off the face of the earth. We were looking to put something out earlyish this year. So here we are.

What are you up to when not recording? What are you listening to, who are you seeing live, how are you killing any spare time you happen to find yourself with?
I study and work, so that takes up time. But other than that I take my special girly to deserted harbour islands and frolic around. I've been listening to stuff like John Lurie, Alice Coltrane, Actress. Saw Mount Kimbie and Seekae the other week. That was pretty sick.

Fans can now grab the first new song from the band in ages, “Water Stories”, in exchange for an email addy at their website. The tumbling, ticking, sparkling track, featuri


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