Prior to their recent impressive show in Glasgow, I sat down in the King Tut’s dressing room for a chat with lead singer Steve Sparrow and guitarist Chad Thomas from Morning Parade.
GJ: Where did the name for the band come from?
SS: When we started off we weren’t too clear where we were going. It was when we starting playing gigs that we realised we needed a name. We had all been in bands before and we wanted a fresh start, so the theme of morning was always in there. At the time we were all working full time. Our bass player was a plasterer and I was his labourer, so we used to get up really early in the morning and drive into London. We used to say we were joining the morning parade, the slow procession into the city because of the traffic. The more we said it the more we thought it was a good band name. We liked it and it ending up sticking.
CT: It was that starting again thing. The cycle starts over and every day, offering something new.
GJ: I’ve seen your sound described as everything from indie to anthemic rock with dance and rave sometimes mentioned too. How would you describe your music?
SS: In our early days we didn’t really know what we were. So the first time a journalist, can’t remember who it was now, penned the tag euphoric rock we thought that sounded good to us. We’ve been calling it that but it’s basically a blend of rock music with electronic elements. We’re definitely a rock band in our hearts, but there’s so much cross over in all the genres now, and there’s even genres within genres.
CT: And we’re still working out exactly what will go on the album. Some days we are much more guitar based, while others it’s far more synth based.
GJ: Are you still in the process of recording your debut album?
SS: No, we’ve pretty much done with the recording now. We recorded most of it, about 15 songs, last year at Damon Albarn’s place in west London. Then he decided to record some Blur stuff so we were pretty much kicked out! We finished it off at another studio in London where Glasvegas recorded and White Lies did their album.
GJ: And you’re working with Jason Cox?
CT: Parlophone wanted us to get a top producer. We did a couple of tracks with Jason just to record some demos to send out. It all went really well and we loved the sound so we basically said we wanted him.
SS: Yes, we were overwhelmed. The first song we did was Under The Stars and it sounded exactly as we all thought it should sound. So we told the label we wanted to work with Jason.
GJ: I’ve read quite a few different music press articles describing you as the next big thing. Does that bring a pressure on you?
SS: How many times is a band described as the next big thing? It’s basically a quick headline for writers. It’s nice that people think of us in that way but we’ve got do it ourselves before we can prove it.
CT: It kind of goes with being signed to Parlophone. We got to make sure we produce. But we keep going back to how we got there in the first place. What we’re able to do now is because of all of us working together to make music. We’re trying to stay level headed and not let the press affect us too much.
SS: It felt like once we had a record deal we painted a target on our backs. Before it was all “good on you” when we were unsigned and doing our thing but now it’s like everyone can have a go. I suppose we haven’t had too much bad press so far, so we’re really pleased with that.
GJ: How’s the tour going so far?
SS: Very well. It’s very tiring though: we had a day off yesterday which was much needed after six or seven shows in a row. We didn’t really know what to expect at all, we didn’t know if we’d sell any tickets anywhere. The first time we came to Scotland was about three weeks ago when we played with Jon Fratelli in Edinburgh and we have no real concept of what we’re going to get up here. The responses to the shows so far have been brilliant. People are coming along to the shows and singing along, they know every word. And they stick around after the show to talk to us which is really nice.
GJ: Where do you go from here?
SS: We’re going to be track listing the album next week, so we’re into meetings about that. We’ve been working on it for such a long time and we just want to make sure it’s as good as we can make it. The next step is to go out on tour again supporting The Wombats. And we will be playing a lot of festivals over the summer.
CT: And our single A&E is out next week. We need to plan for future single releases too. But the main thing is just to get back out there and play.
GJ: When is the album likely to hit the shops?
SS: I think it’s going to be late summer, or maybe September. The way the music industry is you’ve got to sell records to survive on a major label. Our main concern is making sure that we’re happy with the album we’ve made and that it sells. You could make the next Joshua Tree but if you haven’t got an audience there to listen to it and buy it then it won’t achieve much.