The Parrots @ SXSW
My good pals Catalina + Andres stalked me over to the Convention Center in Austin, where we talked to The Parrots (a trio of charming garage rockers from Madrid) preceding their set at Spider House. We learned that they have lots of respect for Pringles and are exploring the depths of the film industry (maybe), amongst other things. We also learned that dancing to their music at live shows is a very, very fun experience, even if none of us went home with missing teeth this time around.
Emily Beiser: Let’s start by you guys introducing yourselves and telling me your favorite song by The Strokes.
Álex de Lucas: I’m Alex, I play the bass in The Parrots. My favorite Strokes song is “Someday.”
Larry Balboa: I’m Larry, I play drums and my favorite song is “Is This It.”
Diego García: I’m Diego. I sing and my favorite song is “Hard To Explain.”
EB: Okay, all from Is This It!
Catalina Moores: There’s one more!
DG: That’s our manager!
EB: Who cares?
Joan Vich Montaner: Hi, I’m the manager of The Parrots, and my favorite Strokes song is “New York City Cops.”
EB: What are you guys most looking forward to at South by this year?
DG: I want to see 21 Savage- he’s playing tonight. Also The Memories are playing tomorrow! I’m excited to play a lot of shows, and for people to get injuries at our shows. That’s what we’re looking for.
Andres Cordoba: Do people get pretty rowdy at your shows?
DG: Oh, yeah. We do! And then it’s kind of a symbiosis type thing. They build off of us. Then somebody goes home with missing teeth or something.
EB: Do you guys have any funny pre-show rituals?
DG: When we were in England, sometimes our tour manager used to say “Come here!” And then he’d say stuff like, “Today let’s shit on this stage! Let’s take off our pants and throw up!” He'd say really disgusting stuff to us.
CM: Do crowds in England still spit at bands that they like? I was reading a Ramones biography and it claimed that all over Europe kids only like you if they spit on you.
DG: That only happened to us in France.
LB: And in England! In London.
DG: Also, sometimes in England we’ve also had to kick and punch people off stage. But in a nice way! They were happy about it, we were happy.
EB: What’s the weirdest thing someone’s done at your show? Spit on you?
LB: They always try to push the mic towards Alex and hit his face.
LB: I don’t know why…
EB: They just all hate Alex.
DG: Oh, one day we played in London and after the show, the venue had CCTV and they were watching from the cameras. Some guys were kicking the owner of the venue’s bike, so he went down and was like “What the fuck are you doing! Why are you kicking my bike?” And they were like, “The show was so violent, we need to destroy stuff!” It was cool.
EB: What’s the backstory on your relationship with Hinds? How’d you first meet?
DG: I don’t even really know? We were probably really drunk at the time. Madrid isn’t that big on young people going to rock’n’roll shows, so when we started going to shows and playing our own stuff… I think it just happened. We all stuck together.
CM: When we interviewed them a few months ago, they cited you guys as a Spanish band to listen to. What other Spanish bands would you like to plug?
LB: Listen to Los Nastys!
DG: Novedades Carminha, who just played here. There’s lots of amazing Spanish music to listen to.
EB: Is there something that none of you guys can seem to agree on?
DG: Hm, well I’m always right… they disagree with me all the time. But actually they're probably right on everything, I just like to argue with them.
EB: What’s the best cure to avoid hangovers?
LB: Drink so much water before you go to sleep!
DG: Keep drinking.
EB: Never stop!
DG: Yeah! Once pop, you can't stop. Like the Pringles advertisement.
EB: Favorite Pringles flavor?
DG: Paprika. Sour cream and onion is also good. I really like the packaging of Pringles, because it’s full. When you buy a regular bag of chips, half of it is air! I hate that! Why don’t they make smaller bags?
AC: So fucking right…
DG: At the end, you only respect Pringles.
CM: Do you guys use the Spanish version of The Parrots in Madrid?
LB: No, no. We’re always The Parrots. But the problem here is that people think we’re The Pirates, not The Parrots!
EB: What’s your favorite memory from tour?
AdL: Not when someone stole all of our stuff in France…
DG: That was awful. It sucked… all of our shit got stolen.
EB: Well do you have a favorite SXSW memory?
DG: Last year we played with The Lemons together on stage and all started making out.
LB: It was amazing.
DG: It was like an orgy.
EB: Was that at Hotel Vegas?
EB: Andres, you had a good question.
AC: Yeah, I’ve only listened to like four of your songs, but I love them all.
DG: Oh, cool- thank you.
AC: I’m very excited to see you guys live. But I was listening to “I Did Something Wrong” in the car, and I was wondering what you did wrong?
LB: It was Diego. He did something wrong.
EB: What’d you do?!
DG: I was really in love with this girl. We were together for six years. Then all of the sudden, she decided to leave Spain and start a new life. So I was like “What the fuck? How’d I mess this up?” We’re still friends, but the relationship ended. I still don’t really know what happened, but obviously I thought “Fuck, I must’ve messed this up.”
CM: You did something wrong!
DG: Yeah, of course! Or maybe she did something wrong…
DG: Maybe. Who knows?
EB: She knows.
DG: I’ll ask her!
EB: Who do you think your biggest influences are?
LB: We started playing covers by The Strokes and The Libertines. But probably now, we really like Suicide.
DG: Old school stuff, like T. Rex and Velvet Underground.
AdL: The Who.
LB: I loved The Who. When I was young, though, not anymore.
CM: Now you hate them!
DG: They’re still an amazing band. We really love Lou Reed.
CM: Did you guys like Ty Segall’s album of all T. Rex cover songs?
DG: Yes! It’s really good.
EB: Ty Rex!
DG: Yep, Ty Rex. So good.
EB: Alright, well do you guys have any shout-outs?
DG: What’s that?
CM: When you’re like “Hi, mom!”
DG: Hi to the guys who stole our stuff. Hope it’s freezing in France.
LB: Au revoir!
EB: Maybe they made some good music, though?
DG: No, no. We were playing and it was winter. They stole all of our clothes!
EB: Oh, boy. Fuck them then!
LB: Hello, mom. I’m here. I’m alive in Austin, Texas.
EB: You’re healthy. Not hungover.
LB: I don’t know about healthy, but I'm not hungover.
EB: Well to wrap things up, what can fans expect from The Parrots throughout the rest of the year?
DG: More songs, more shows. We’re gonna be back in America soon. But really expect nothing.
LB: We have three movies.
DG: Yeah, we’re releasing three movies.
AdL: One musical.
DG: An opera.
EB: Will these all be released at the same time? One big premier?
LB: Of course. Same date, same time.
DG: Paramount owns our rights, so let’s see what they wanna do with it. It’s going to be a stoner fantasy.
EB: In English or in Spanish?
AdL: We actually have a whole new language.
EB: Wow, I can't wait! Thank you guys so much for doing this!
All: Thank you!