PARKWAY DRIVE Frontman: 'We Didn't Think The Band Would Survive One Year, Let Alone 20 Years'
February 11, 2023
PARKWAY DRIVE singer Winston McCall spoke to Brian Aberback of The Aquarian Weekly about the band's recent decision to take six months off to reflect and reenergize. Asked what caused him and his bandmates to take a break, Winston said: "Basically, like 20 years of being in a band kind of took its toll, and I don't mean to say that like, 'Oh, we did this for 20 years and we're tired.' It was a case of you start something when you're 21 — and in our drummer's case, 16 — and you do something for 20 years, and you don't really take the time to grow as people. You just try and survive the grinding machine that is the music industry. You grow into some pretty toxic habits just out of survival and those habits just brew into dysfunction and resentment and a whole bunch of stuff we never really dealt with as friends.
"We dealt with everything to make the band work but we never really dealt with the personal stuff just for the sake of continuing on as a band… because you feel like you have to keep that full momentum going," he explained. "If it stops, you can't start it up again. It came to a point where everyone in the band loved the band but did not want to be around the people in the band. It's an ongoing process, basically catching up on 20 years of emotional growth, and the lack of emotional growth that has caused to all of us."
Asked if he feels a new sense of urgency and camaraderie now, Winston said: "100%. I feel as though I'm in a better place, and everyone else has said the same thing to me, which is really nice. It allowed a connection and a reconnection with my friends in this band that I've never had before. Instead of being at cross-paths and cross-purposes and a lack of understanding, once everyone is on the same page and is able to provide everyone that support and a common goal, the momentum surge was even more, which is really awesome. I'm glad we did [take a break] and I'm really stoked to be able to bring back a new and improved energy. To be able to have a resurgence of energy 20 years in is a really cool thing, because, honestly, when we started this, we didn't think the band would survive one year, let alone 20 years."
PARKWAY DRIVE recently kicked off its first U.S. tour support of the band's seventh album, "Darker Still". It marks the first time the band has toured the U.S. since April 2019.
"Darker Still" arrived last September via Epitaph. The LP explores the concept of the "dark night of the soul," which is "the idea of reaching a point in your life where you are faced with a reckoning of your structure of beliefs, your sense of self and your place in the world, to a point where it's irreconcilable with the way that you are as a person," as McCall describes.
Last September, McCall told NME that tensions came to a head between him and lead guitarist Jeff Ling in early 2022 during the recording sessions for "Darker Still". Winston said: "He was really broken at that stage, because of all the pressure he felt and being overworked in the studio, and he didn't know how to cope with it. Basically, the way he coped with it was by lashing out really badly — at various people, but mainly me. And it was one of those situations where it was, like, 'I don't have the tools to respond to this.' So I'd just kind of cop it and feel like shit afterwards."
Last April, the members of PARKWAY DRIVE began having weekly meetings with a professional mediator where they, according to NME, "meticulously deconstructed, analyzed and rebuilt the very foundations" of their band.
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