Interview: Parkway Drive & Heaven Shall Burn

After a disappointing summer, Europe is now expecting a pretty hot Winter…and we’re not talking about the temperature! The co-headline tour with Parkway Drive and Heaven Shall Burn, which will roll over the continents beginning November 29th, will surely be the highlight of 2014 of which we’re all looking forward to this monsterous event. We had a couple of questions regarding the previous and upcoming tour as well as the next albums to come from both bands. See what Maik Weichert, guitarist of Heaven Shall Burn, and Winston McCall, vocalist for Parkway Drive had to say about it all…

Heaven Shall Burn and Parkway Drive were together on tour in South America earlier this year. Could you describe that time for us?

Maik: South America is always something special. Fanatic fans, beautiful countries and crazy shows. But it´s also a lot of traveling, flying and being on the road, as distances are huge. But if you´re on the road with great dudes like Parkway Drive , it´s even more fun and it´s no problem hanging around at some shitty airport, if you´re entertained by a bunch of crazy
Aussies (laughs).

Winston: South America was amazing! It was our first time touring with Heaven Shall Burn and we we’re all good friends by the end of day one. The whole tour was crazy, Heaven Shall Burn had to play the whole tour without a bass player, due to an accident in the surf. Sounds like something that should have happened to us and not to them! A crazy drug addict almost killed us the same day, she threw a massive stone at us while we were eating dinner and it missed our heads by a couple of inches. Apart from that chaos the tour was amazing. We get on really well with Heaven Shall Burn. I guess we’ve both been doing this band thing for a while now, so we’re both pretty laid back. Also let it be known that Benni Impericon made a good attempt at trying to ride the wave machine in Chile. We have photos to prove it (laughs).

For Heaven Shall Burn it was the first time performing live in Mexico. How did the audience welcome you?

Maik: Mexico was a great. The people in Mexico are some of the friendliest and most caring people we ever met, our local host looked exactly like the guy from the Machete movie (laughs), we learned a lot about Mexico from him. We definitely have to go back to Mexico!

Parkway Drive has already been to South America. How did it feel to return?

Winston: It was amazing. The shows were another step up, we got to play some new places and play a show with Bad Religion! It was great to be able to share the experience with Heaven Shall Burn as well, many good times.

In your lyrics both of you address ecological destruction and how man treats animals. Is this the only similarity between Heaven Shall Burn and Parkway Drive, or are there any other things you have in common?

Maik: I think we both are brothers in spirit, they also give a shit about the rules the music business tries to establish, we just do what we want and
it works. We´re easy going, no rockstar bullshit, no ego fights – just everybody working together for the whole idea. Of course there are also a lot of differences, but that makes it even more interesting.

Winston: I think we have lot in common. You mentioned the shared lyrical content, I believe we also share similar ethics, both personally and within our bands. I’d say this may have something to do with the bands age. We grew up playing in bands during an era when the lyrics and the message counted for more than the image, and I think that has stayed with both bands over our existence. This is more than a trend for all of us.

Parkway Drive Tour

A lot of fans are calling your co-headline tour the highlight of 2014. Is a co-headline tour also special for you, is it different than a “regular” tour?

Maik: I don´t know, we’ve never done something like a co-headline tour, but I don´t think it will be a lot different. I think it´s more special, that
Heaven Shall Burn and Parkway Drive are going to tour out there! We have a lot of stupid ideas and our crews and engineers are getting more and more frightened of what we plan and talk about (laughs).

Winston: Yes it’s something special. Not only are these the biggest shows we’ve ever been able to “headline” in Europe, but it’s also a chance to share a tour with band we not only respect, but enjoy touring with. Plus it gives us the chances to mix things up. We have plans to make this event something special. I don’t want to spoil anything but if you think you know what to expect from these shows, think again.

Right now you’ve destroyed South America together and afterwards you will destroy Europe together. Are there any other collaboration plans?

Maik: Both bands are not really the kind of people, who plan things for the long-haul. We just do what feels right. But I cannot deny, that world domination is a great goal, music wise of course, so we´ll see what happens!

Winston: I’m not sure, I hope so! We have work on a new record first, but I don’t think anything is slowing down either Parkway Drive or Heaven Shall Burn any time soon so I’d love to team up again in the future!

Parkway Drive

What’s to come in the future for Heaven Shall Burn? Are you concentrating on touring after the sweeping success of VETO, or are you now working on new material?

Maik: We´re always working on new material. There will not be so many shows in 2015, Alex and me we will go to the studio and have some fun for sure, but I have no idea, when a new record will be ready. Veto was a strong record and there is no rush for us to release something new.

We’ve heard that Parkway Drive is currently working on a new record. Are there any news regarding your new album?

Winston: We’ve been working for several months now; we have plans, plans and more plans, but none to tell at this point in time. I’ll let this bit slip. We know what we are doing, we know what it will sound like, and we know how we are going to make it happen, and if it all comes together we know it’s going to leave your ears ringing and your jaws on the floor.