The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Interview: The Parrots

The Parrots talk to Irune Vega about their future projects, metaphors of the internet revolution, and their love for Madchester

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During the second half of their European tour, The Parrots talk to The Mancunion just minutes before they begin their sold-out show in Soup Kitchen. The Madrid trio set a friendly atmosphere in the crowded room of the venue’s basement, where Spaniards outnumber the rest — a second guitarist and a photographer chat with me in Spanish.

The Parrots are young as well as enthusiastic, and there’s no lack of jokes when the band reply to my questions: “Yeah, there are many differences between Spanish and English crowds — they speak a different language, use pounds…!” replies cheeky singer Diego. Alex (bass) states that the differences are perhaps not related to what the people are like but to the band’s attitude, although they admit being slightly worried at first when the crowds stood still.

“People here listen to the music” says Diego, while Dani (drums) boasts: ”They feel such respect that they calmly listen to us, pint in hand, and once the gig is over they approach us and tell us which bits of a particular song they’ve enjoyed the most”.

When I ask them about their opinion on Manchester’s music scene, they all agree on one thing: it is Madchester that they like: Alex comments “I would choose all the bands in the film 24 Hour Party People”, while Diego expands “Happy Mondays. The film starts with Joy Division but then it goes on to talk about The Haçieda and all that rave sort of stuff, that’s what we like”.

Though the band’s official debut album Los Niños Sin Miedo (which translates to ‘Fearless Children’) came out last year, I decide to ask them about their older digital album Aden Arabie, and the reasons behind such a title. “It’s a very cool book, but we decided to use that name because of a film called La Chinoise by Godard, in which a terrorist communist group that does artistic performances has the leading role. They call themselves the Aden Arabie cell”. Alex adds “it is the unifying element that takes us back to where we met, as we were all doing a Film, Media and Communication undergraduate course”.

When I ask the pair what song they feel most proud of, Diego is bashful and asks if he can choose someone else’s song. Alex, on the other hand, identifies ‘To The People That Showed Me Their Love While I Was Here’ as one of their best-received songs when playing live. For a deeper cut, Dani recommends ‘Run Baby Run’, stating “we never play it live but I’m crazy about its rhythm, and Diego’s singing is awesome”. Dani’s claims aren’t far from reality, and it’s worth finding not just for the song but also for the video, which shows us the band’s look back in their early twenties.

Though the band has been together for almost nine years, they feel its only been around three years since things started going their way: they laugh when I reference the infamous ’27 club’ in response to finding out their ages, “if we die now we’ll get more famous” says Alex. Diego asserts “we are waiting to see who’s gonna get killed by another band member — Cluedo Rock style”. In spite of their increasing success and burgeoning dedicated fanbase, he playfully whispers “we’re still waiting for the free buffet though”.

Mosh pits are an inevitable occurence at The Parrots’ gigs. Frenetic and danceable rhythms take charge of the trio’s shows with songs such as ‘All My Loving’ leaving the crowd euphoric and breathless. Though they tell me ‘Terror’, one of their more popular songs, is about getting high, I’m more interested in the message behind ‘Windows 98’.

“It’s the equivalent to what a kid nowadays would name Tinder”, Diego informs me. “For us, Windows 98 was an ultimate revolution — remember the paperclip on Windows that talked to you?”. “We already went mental when Windows 95 was introduced”, Alex adds wistfully, “but 98…that was it”.

Finally, I ask the band about when I’ll be able to find The Parrots on Wikipedia. Untrue to form, they take it seriously and enthusiastically reply “we can get it done in a couple of hours. We just need to start working on it, maybe that would be the key!”.

The garage rock band, whose plan after the tour is to write new songs as well as to release a new album, remains a down-to-earth group of friends wanting to enjoy life. That’s why,  as the title of one of their songs suggests, there’s only one thing left to tell The Parrots: “no me gustas, te quiero” (I don’t like you, I love you).