Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing Morning Parade open up for Biffy Clyro at Great American Music Hall. I had heard their debut album and the British hit, “Headlights,” so I thought I knew what to expect. But I was super impressed with the new, unfamiliar material they played from their EP, Alienation, so I knew I had to get in touch with Steve Sparrow, lead vocalist, and ask him about touring America, the current popularity of British rock, and what’s to be expected from their upcoming album. He mentions my favorite band three times, so I was overjoyed with his responses, and am happy to share them with you.
Spinning Platters: You’ve just played in San Francisco. Any impressions of our city you’d like to share?
Steve Sparrow: It is so very diverse. We especially enjoy the climate and the laid back pace, it is an easy place to lose yourself in. The dichotomoy between the afluence and the poverty really struck us too. Seems like a place where people either make or break themselves.
SP: What are the best and worst things about touring in America?
SS: The American spirit and sense of pride and sincerity is some thing I have only recently got a better understanding of, its something I miss when I am back in the UK. There is an unashamed, brazen love and patriotism here, something us Brits don’t really embrace on our home turf in quite the same way. I appreciate America’s openheartedness and forwardness.
The only bad thing I can really think of is the lack of good food on the road, with us moving from city to city we never really get a chance to eat well, we make sure we took full advantage when we stop somewhere good.
SP: What have you learned from being on tour with Biffy Clyro?
SS: Without doubt, they are the most solid and pro band we have ever toured with. Their musicianship is incredible and their work behind the scenes just as exemplary. The best thing I could take from them is their work ethic and the fact that despite being in this industry for most of their lives, their love for the music has never faded and their feet have remained firmly on the ground, they are warm and grounded guys, wonderful role models in this fickle game.
SP: Rock music has overtaken pop music in sales in England for the first time in years. What do you think is causing this change in the UK?
SS: I think its a few things, the whole Mumford and Sons thing happened, there have been some great rock/alternative records in the past few years Alt J, Elbow, Bombay Bicycle Club, and more of our heritage acts have had time to grow and develop with a few albums under their belts Biffy Clyro, Muse, Elbow (again) Arctic Monkeys, even YouMeAtSix now. I think also newer UK rock acts have had to adapt and change – Some of the newer acts have much more of a classic pop sensibility, they’re more accessible these days. The UK public seems to have become tired of the repeated format, the reality shows etc they have become a parody of themselves, a pantomime and people are getting wise to it. Music always moves in cycles and Rock has a home and a rich history in the UK, but I think we have to give credit to the emerging artists that are writing great songs and adapting to the new playing field.
SP: Other than yourselves. what are some bands that we Americans should be paying more attention to?
SS: Keeping it Brit here… It seems like the Arctic Monkeys are really taking off over here now and rightly so, Biffy Clyro obviously, Elbow – how is this band not bigger here? Bombay Bicycle Club… also, loving the Brighton based Royal Blood at the moment.
SP: Your new EP, Alienation, has me really excited for the upcoming full length. Is that complete? When are you expecting to release it?
SS: Thank you! Yes, the new record is finished. We mastered it back in October… we have been waiting patiently for its official release date. May 6th.
SP: The song “Reality Dream” seems to be a takedown of reality television, and your band comes from Essex. Describe your relationship with TOWIE.
SS: Don’t. Just don’t. It really is time the world stopped making mindless narcissistic fuckheads role models.
SP: Lighting round:
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Kittens or Puppies?
Liam or Noel?
Morning Parade will be over SXSW in Austin next week. See them at the Dirty Dog Bar on March 11, and the Palm Door on March 13.