In a new exclusive interview with Rick Rubin, Kevin Parker shares that he “outright lied” to his first record label that Tame Impala was a band. The Perth-originated multi-instrumentalist appeared on the Rubin’s Broken Record podcast on April 28, opening up about early influences as well as the creative process behind his latest album The Slow Rush.
Parker’s psychedelic brainchild Tame Impala has frequently been mistaken as a band despite being the Perth-originated act’s solo endeavor. The multi-instrumentalist admitted that he chose the moniker Tame Impala to give the impression that there were multiple members.
“In fact, the record label when they signed us didn’t even know it was me that was playing drums and guitars and bass and multi-tracking,” reveals Parker.
The Currents creator also contextualized his initial decision to work on Tame Impala under the guise of a band and his later choice to share the truth. Listen to the exchange around the 16-minute mark.
“I outright lied to them when we met up. The contract that we signed was for three of us. I didn’t want to say it was just me, for a number of reasons. Number one, I was kind of shy. Looking back, it’s like, why the fuck didn’t you just own it?”
Parker’s roots in the Perth music scene also played a part in his hesitation to fully display his solo project, due to the collaborative aspect of the tight-knit community—felt through its inclination towards forming bands and playing gigs together. In the episode, he speaks to the difficulty to converge his individual musicality with his communal work.
“I didn’t know how to translate what I was doing at home and expressing on my own. Because that music was sensitive – I guess is the word – and nuanced, and genreless. But the music I was making in bands was what we listened to as a group – angsty, heavy kind of stuff.”
Listen to the full episode below.