Interview: Jonny from Parachute Youth
Words by Richard Gifford - Published on July 17, 2012
Local electro sensation Parachute Youth have just returned home to Sydney after a massive nationwide tour, on the back of their incredibly successful hit single, “Can’t Get Better Than This”. The duo’s first single has accumulated over 2 million YouTube views in just under six months. We were lucky enough to have a chat with Jonny Castro, lead singer of Parachute Youth about the tour, their future releases, and their journey to fame.
It’s clear that Parachute Youth are still completely humbled by their success. “It’s still surreal for us, I mean only a few months ago, we were recording the vocals for “Can’t Get Better Than This” in a closet filled with pillows and blankets, and now we’re touring with acts like Nero, The Presets and Justice – it’s just awesome,” said lead singer Jonny Castro. Jonny and his partner in crime, Matt, have been working together for a few years and have developed a deadly, vibrant electro sound that they’ve laid down on their first EP, also titled Can’t Get Better Than This. Castro says that British and American singers have heavily influenced his vocal style, and he’s drawn a lot from Kele (Bloc Party), Andrew VanWyngarden (MGMT) and Mark Foster (Foster the People). “I tend to sing in a bit of a British accent, but I also incorporate an Aussie element to it,” said Castro.
The dynamic duo are prepping for big shows at Parklife and Splendour in the Grass in the latter half of the year, and are chomping at the bit for the upcoming festival action. Jonny’s gearing up for his first ever Splendour in the Grass and he, like us here at scenewave, is frothing over Bloc Party. Castro claimed, “I love their new track, Octopus, and am pumped to get in the mosh for those guys.” The boys can’t wait for another intense nationwide tour for Parklife which kicks off in late September this year.
Castro explains that a great deal of their new material is developed through improv and messing around with different ideas on stage, which will comprise the majority of their new EP. Being open to improv has held the boys in good stead when dealing with the manic crowds of their recent tour. “The crowd was hectic for the majority of our sets, but it’s insane when we play an extended instrumental jam for ages before dropping into a 1 minute silence before “Can’t Get Better Than This,” Castro explained. “When we drop those first few bass notes, it’s as if the crowd spontaneously erupts, destroying the stage barriers, and flooding onstage – it’s a pretty special feeling.”
Castro shared a few tales that made it known that the perks of the old school rock n’ roll touring lifestyle certainly haven’t diminished. He ensures that even though their touring antics didn’t measure up to Led Zeppelin-esque baked bean bath orgies, they still have a few stories to write home about (or not). “There are some wild girls in those country towns. After a gig in Bendigo, as we were walking backstage, we were ambushed by about 15 local chicks who pinned Matt and I to a corner of the room, and started licking our faces… it got pretty heated before security finally fought them off,” Castro joked.
After their chaotic tour, Parachute Youth are just keen to get back in the studio and continue working on some remixes they’re in the process of releasing. “We’ve recently put out a remix of Rufus’ track “This Summer” which we had so much fun laying down,” Castro stated. Parachute Youth’s remix of “This Summer” is available here.
Jonny instructs his following to hold tight, and to expect an EP within the near future, and certainly another single within the next couple of months. To catch Parachute Youth at Parklife, visit www.parklife.com.au for tickets and info.