For a band whose pyrotechnics are the stuff of legend, stripping back the smoke and mirrors for Parkway Drive’s brand new epic Darker Still was brutal, but as vocalist Winston McCall tells BLUNT, it was also vital.
From the outside looking in, following the release of their erstwhile album Reverence, fans could be forgiven for thinking Parkway Drive had achieved an unstoppable momentum. But inside the band, it was a far different story. Seemingly harmless old habits had cauterization into wounds, leaving two options: Break up, or deal with things. “It took us 10 years to work out what we were even doing”, McCall explains.
Fortunately for the band, and their stadium-filling legions of fans around the world, the idea of breaking up was cast aside while the band did the shadow work. The end result is a band minus their armour, but with a newfound impenetrable skin and a vibranium frame now supporting an album we so very nearly didn’t get at all.
Darker Still is an unblinking stare-down with all of the things we’re taught to look away from – death, loss, regret, suffering, and pain, and posits a compelling argument of why we need these things as humans. At times theatrical and whimsical and others defeated and vengeful, Darker Still is a microcosm of the idea it explores – that you can’t have the bitter without the sweet.
Having had but a glimpse of where their old habits were taking them, Parkway Drive are now in a position to warn others of the incoming fall. And while this might be just five men from Byron Bay showing us a better way of masculinity, with the aforementioned pyro, it’s a show no one can look away from. Check out our chat with Winston below, and get ready for some home truths.