Byron Bay, Australia; situated on the far north coast of New South Wales, it's arguably one of this planet's most idyllic tourist destinations. A tranquil paradise of immaculate sandy beaches and lush tropical rainforest, it's full of surf retreats, hippie communes and backpacker hostels. Perhaps the most notable thing to come out of the place prior to 2003 were surfing champs and picturesque postcards, but all that changed with the spawning of Parkway Drive.
Blasting out of Byron, almost as an affront to the serenity of their surrounds, Parkway Drive quickly established themselves as the most formidable force Australian heavy hardcore had ever seen. A five-piece of awesome power and charisma, they caused a storm in their homeland that is quite literally without precedent. Charting in the national Top 40 with their utterly brutal 2005 full-length debut Killing With A Smile (released by Sydney independent Resist), headlining sold-out tours, gracing the covers of magazines, playing the Big Day Out and the Australasian leg of Taste Of Chaos '06 - this has been reality for Parkway Drive at home the past few years. The Earth is next!
With the sound, attitude and ability that took Australia at by storm, Parkway Drive have recently begun focusing more sharply on forging their reputation on the world stage. Having already made inroads into North America and Europe via intensive touring, a deal with Epitaph Records in 2006 and the subsequent release of Killing With A Smile in the U.S. has seen the group spend a large part of the past year crisscrossing North America, Europe and Japan, a 31-date stint on the 2007 Vans Warped Tour being just one of the highlights.
On October 9th, Parkway Drive will unleash their standout sophomore effort, Horizons. Recorded once again by Killing With A Smile producer and Killswitch Engage nutball Adam Dutkiewicz (As I Lay Dying, Underoath, Unearth, From Autumn To Ashes) at Zing Studios in Boston, MA, Horizons takes the Parkway Drive sound to totally new extremes. A bone-crunching avalanche of classic hardcore, Swedish death and math-metal, it's destined to be one of the biggest circle-pit-inducing albums of '07.
"The songs, the sounds, the speed, the heaviness and the production has all been stepped up," says Parkway Drive vocalist Winston McCall proudly. "Working with Adam D again made our job super easy as well as highly enjoyable. I think the end result is by far the best record we've made, but I guess that's always for others to judge."
The quiet confidence and lack of arrogance expressed by McCall is what lies at the heart of Parkway Drive's massive appeal. They have this ability to destroy an audience, to decimate a venue with complete and utter malice, yet at the same time show everyone in the place the time of their lives. This is the kind of relaxed, non-nonsense attitude you get growing up in Byron. Parkway Drive are just five ordinary dudes who came together to create one extraordinary band.
They've come a long way from the beaches of Byron Bay, but for Parkway Drive the Horizons are endless.