Kevin Parker On Tame Impala’s Big Awards Season: We Feel ‘Overrated’

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

Kevin Parker of Tame Impala performs during day 3 of the 2013 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

With “Lonerism,” Tame Impala made a mockery of the “second album syndrome” that has ruined so many promising music careers.

Frontman Kevin Parker’s trophy cabinet is positively buckling under the weight of all the trophies he’s collected since his band’s sophomore set dropped in November 2012. On Sunday, his trophy case groaned just a bit more when his psychedelic rockers won a hattrick of categories at the ARIA Awards, including the coveted album of the year.

So how does all this attention sit with Parker? “With each award we get, we become a little bit more overrated,” he told after the ARIAs. “That’s what it feels like. It’s like the next album is going to come out and, well, I’m not sure what people will be expecting.”

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Actually, Parker is a relaxed character and his comments are loaded with self-deprecating wit. Indeed, he was so chilled he attended Australia’s flagship awards ceremony in rubber flip flops. Right now, Parker can do pretty much anything he wants.

The Modular Recordings set has enjoyed “album of the year” nods from NME, FasterLouder and Street Press Australia, and high placings in year-end lists for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Uncut, MOJO, Clash, BBC Music and Spin. The album was named record of the year at the inaugural Record Store Day Adapter Prize and claimed triple j’s J Award -- meaning Tame Impala are the only artist to have won the Australian award twice (debut “Innerspeaker” won in 2010). “Lonerism” is silver-certified in the U.K. for 60,000 unit sales, and it has an IMPALA European gold certification for 75,000 units shifted.

The follow-up to "Lonerism" might not be too far away. “The way I do it is there’s never recording 'sessions.' One finishes, the next one starts. It’s just continuous. I write songs everyday, but I don’t necessarily get to record them,” he explains. “I just record whenever I can, whenever I’m home, whenever I have access to something that can make music.”

Just don’t expect the next batch of Parker's tunes to turn up on a Tame Impala record. Parker has worked on various side-projects of late, from Pond to Kevin Spacey and Mink Mussel Creek. “I’m always working on new music. The difference nowadays is I’ve got my fingers in a few different pies,” he explains.” The music I make isn’t necessarily going straight to the Tame Impala camp. We’ve all got different projects that we do. We just like to keep it free; we don’t just want to have one outlet, but many outlets.”

The five-piece from Perth in Western Australia has been a growing force on the road, playing the likes of Glastonbury, Coachella and Fuji Rock in 2013. The itinerary for 2014 is shaping-up with  shows on the Australasian touring juggernaut the Big Day Out in January and February, and dates have been announced for May 23 and 24 at Finsbury Park, London with Arctic Monkeys.


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