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Morning Parade // Interview, The Lexington

MorningParadeAfter two years touring outside the UK, Morning Parade returned home to grace London’s Lexington, performing to fans keen to see the band back in action after such a long absence.

With second album Pure Adulterated Joy due for release on 8th September, the show offered the first chance for Morning Parade to showcase the new material to a UK crowd. The album has already been released in the USA, where the band have spent the last two years touring independently, and providing support for industry greats such as Biffy Clyro, and the Smashing Pumpkins. The success of tracks including Under The Stars and Headlights from the debut, self-titled album, encouraged continued touring in the USA, but frontman Steve Sparrow described the excitement of returning to home-shores during a post-show interview.

How does it feel to be back in the UK?
It’s been a long time but we always end up back here. It’s nice to be back in England. The last time we were here we played at Hyde Park for the Olympics in front of 80,000 people, and now we’re here. It’s so different, but I think I preferred here more. It’s great to see so many people here with T-shirts and singing along.

The new album – Pure Adulterated Joy – is out soon. Has that been a natural progression from your first album?
It really is natural. The hard thing for fans to get is that between albums you spend two years playing the songs to death, and you naturally want to do things differently. You progress as a performer and a player – we all did. We wanted to approach this record differently. I certainly didn’t want to write three-minute pop songs throughout the album. I wanted something a bit more off-the-cuff. The first album was so intensely thought about and over-analysed. This one was more… let’s do the first thing that comes into our heads, throughout the whole process.

On your debut, a couple of tracks – Your Majesty and A&E in particular – didn’t make the cut. What was the thought process behind that?
There was a lot of overthinking. The record label at the time had a different vision for the kind of band we were going to be. We got caught up in that too. This album we wanted more of our sound, bringing the melodic and heavier sound together.

On a personal level, what do you think comes out strongly on Pure Adulterated Joy?
It’s lyrically quite self-indulgent in terms of what goes in. But that’s to keep myself entertained. The lyrics have themes that connect across the record. I think it’s a good record. Most records now are so disposable. What was #1 six weeks ago? Who knows. We just want to make songs we care about.

Has the sheer volume of touring across the USA had an effect on the record?
We got to tour with so many bands, and met so many songwriters. We pick things up from everyone, from The Wombats, to the Kooks, Biffy Clyro, Smashing Pumpkins – just everyone. It made us play heavier. We tailored the set to the fans at each show. I love Biffy Clyro, it was amazing to tour with them. You can see how much they influence us live. I saw them when I was 13 and thought – “I want to be that band”. I love their energy and want to be like that live.

Do you think the instrumental synergies have grown through the extensive touring?
Yeah we’ve all got better. We bitch and shout at each-other. But we tell each-other what we think and it helps us. We have to give credit to Ben Allen our producer. Originally we weren’t sure he was the guy to make it edgy enough, but he wanted us to make a raw record. His favourite phrases were “make it sound like dudes in a room”, and “give me the sex – I need more sex in that track”. It was a really raw sound.

There are some dates planned for October. Are you thinking about a full UK tour?
Yeah I hope so! We’ve been away for so long, so we wondered whether people still knew us. But nights like tonight really cement the idea of a British tour. It’s crazy, because we’ll be Atlantic-hopping as the album’s already out there. America is something else. It’s so big and takes so long to get. It would be nice to be in the UK more. We’ll get in touch with the booking agent! We’re enjoying it more than ever.

The show itself evidenced the strength Morning Parade have gained as a unit. The sound was tight and the live show really brought the tracks to life. Shake The Cage opened the show in as powerful a manner as it does the album. Other standouts from the album included the melodically captivating Alienation, Love The Neighbour and the simply outstanding Culture Vulture. No doubt these tracks will rapidly become fan favourites. Headlights and Under The Stars formed the debut-album contingent on the night and served to remind the crowd what they had been missing over the last few years. After a successful return to London, Morning Parade will certainly make plans to bring Pure Adulterated Joy to fans across the UK following the album’s release next month.

Words > Chris Morris

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