The Parlotones Interview (Part 2)

Matthew Hoy
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Catch up with the first part of Vada’s interview with the Parlotones here.


Vada: Off Journey through the Shadows, what inspired your song: “I Am Alive”?

Kahn: At the time I was going through personal difficulty with negative press and criticism and I didn’t quite know how to handle it. Songwriting is a cathartic release and this song dealt with that, it’s almost a bipolar song because it flip flops between melancholic emotions and self doubt to euphoric celebration of ones own life. I guess the human experience is always going to go through ups and downs BUT the fact that we get to live this life is truly the ultimate prize.

Off Journey through the Shadows, what was the intention of your song “We just Wanna be Loved”? Did you ever see this as a possible LGBT-Rights anthem?

Kahn: I think humans carry so much anger and resentment towards people that don’t subscribe to their school of thought, ideology, political opinion, sexual preference etc. WHEN ultimately we’re all born seeking love and nurture. However, we soon become conditioned to believe that LOVE has conditions and its definition is defined by your upbringing and defined later by fear, fear of rejection from your family, friends, society etc. If we look at others through the eyes of true love, not judgement, the world would be a better place.

Was “Goodbye” almost pre-emptive of your relocation to LA?

Kahn: Not really, it was more about the process of growing up. When you’re young and care free you’re ignorant to the things you’ll one day have to say goodbye to, such as youth, love lost, innocence, friendships lost, a life lost. It’s about embracing change and acknowledging that there are things we have to say goodbye to and that we have to move on, change is constant BUT it’s not always easy.

“Save Your Best Bits” is somewhat a song of hope, and this seems to be an underlying theme in your music (I refer to “Stars Fall Down” and “Life Design”). Is this your intention? Or do you just seem to develop these anthems of hope by chance?

Kahn: I’ve always tried to live my life with hope and optimism BUT acknowledge the fact that it isn’t always plain sailing. All songs touch on the human experience but hopefully instil hope. My life is as conflicted as most humans and I can’t say I’m always upbeat but I try face my chin to the sun and appreciate life’s honey.

One of my personal favourites; “Should We Fight Back”, is a battle-cry for social revolution. It calls for us to question the social norms and is open-ended as in you don’t give the listener the answer but merely you ignite the passion for change. Now four years later do you think your calls were heeded? What more would you like to see change in our society?

Kahn: I think if we ever become complacent, and feel that last years change is now achieved so we can rest, then we will have failed as a planet. Society can always be improved upon, ALWAYS.

“Sleepwalker” introduces collaboration, a first for The Parlotones to my knowledge. Why did you decide to do this? And may I say that you managed to blend the two musical styles together very well. Do you plan to do more of this in the future?

Kahn: There is no specific purpose or goal to make collaborations our main ambition but we will always be open to the meeting of creative minds and the creation of something magical.

Sleepwalker’s music video has a very artistic feel to it with the use of a neutral colour palette and very simplistic imagery. What was your aim? Did the ice/glass instruments have any special connotation?

Kahn: The main ambition of the video was to shoot something aesthetically beautiful and to create an almost dreamlike atmosphere. There is no specific symbolism except that which exists in the eye of the audience.

Paul: When it comes to music videos we normally stand back and let the video guys do their thing. We feel they know what they’re capable of, and have their own creative ideas. As for me, I have no idea what the Sleepwalker video is about! It is awesome though, definitely one of the best so far.

“Chinese Vase” has a very spooky sound to it, what event inspired this song? What would you say to young people that try to “fix” themselves by either starving themselves to be skinny enough or lose their self-identity to be cool?

Kahn: It was inspired by an ancient custom practised in the far east whereby they repair broken artefacts using gold. I thought it had a great resonance with the human spirit which is often broken but some rises above it. much like the broken artefact becomes more valuable as a result of the former mentioned practise so to does the human spirit become richer, more colourful and stronger as a result of some hard lessons.

“Stand Like Giants”, is a beautiful song inspiring camaraderie, what do you hope this song inspires people to do or achieve?

Kahn: Be aware of the power of the collective, there is NO us and them, there is only US….

Lastly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me. It was you that inspired me however to take the chance and approach you. With your final song, I chose to follow my bliss and pursue my passion for writing, so thank you.

Paul: And thank YOU for your support, we really appreciate it!

About Matthew Hoy

Matthew Hoy is currently studying to become a Chartered Accountant. Despite the popular belief that accountants lack creativity, he has a creative side and is passionate about writing and inspiring people. He has a love-affair with music and weird novels. @Matthew_Hoy