Parkway Drive's Winston McCall says the Australian heavy metal band's fourth album, "Atlas," was self-fulfilling, in a good way. And it's not just because it debuted at No. 3 in its homeland and at a career-high No. 32 on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S.
"It sounds like a stupid thing to say, but the album is the result of what we aimed to achieve," McCall, 30, explains. "We wanted to go in and make something that sounded like Parkway but at the same time sounded different and had some different aspects in it.
"It wasn't really the idea of having a massive departure, but at the same time we wanted it to be different from anything we had done in the past. That was the idea, so to have the finished product reflect what we wanted to do was very satisfying."
What really separates "Atlas" from its predecessors is the extra instrumentation Parkway Drive and its producer, Matt Hyde, used for the album, including strings on two tracks, a DJ and trumpet on one each, and a four-piece vocal choir on three of the songs. McCall says that made the sessions, which were done in and around Los Angeles, even more intriguing to the five band members.
"It was pretty weird," he says with a laugh. "We wanted to be careful, because we didn't want to make a record like, 'OK, now we're using strings!' We wanted to put these things in very specific places to have a specific impact. Everything is definitely placed on the record so they can really stand out.
"And the people who ended up doing those sessions were of such an incredibly high caliber. We got lucky that Matt Hyde happened to have some awesome friends. To have those string players come in with their million-dollar instruments while we sat in the control room listening to them, it was ridiculous, like, 'Is this really on our album? Really?!' "
Parkway Drive, Veil of Maya and While She Sleeps perform Friday, April 19, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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