Tame Impala Biography
The origins of the band can be found in the Perth music scene. Parker played in a number of bands, one being the Dee Dee Dums, a rock duo that consisted of Parker (guitar) and Luke Epstein (drums). Tame Impala emerged in 2007 as a Kevin Parker home-recording project in this period and he posted a number of tracks on Myspace. This brought interest from a number of labels and eventually, he signed a worldwide deal with the independent Modular Recordings in July 2008. To transfer these recordings to a live-stage, Parker enlisted the help of Dominic Simper (bass) and Jay Watson (drums) and began playing at some local gigs.
The signing was soon followed by the release on their self-titled debut EP in September 2008. Due to Parker's original artwork there was some confusion with the EP title and many believed it to be called "Antares Mira Sun". The artwork is an interpretation of a slide he saw in an astronomy lecture, which demonstrated the difference in size between the stars Antares, Mira and the Sun.
The cover art is meant to be a painting; an interpretation of a diagram, so those labels are just there to make the diagram make sense. But lo and behold, there were reviews coming out saying "And Tame Impala's new EP 'Antares, Mira, Sun".
Tame Impala attained the number 1 position on the Australian Independent Record Labels (AIR) Chart and number 10 on the ARIA Physical Singles Chart,with three songs, "Desire Be, Desire Go", "Half Full Glass of Wine" and "Skeleton Tiger" receiving national radio airplay on the Triple J radio station.
Tours in 2008 included supports for You Am I, The Black Keys, Yeasayer and MGMT, as well as performances at Southbound Festival, Meredith Music Festival and Falls Festival, as well as national headline tours in support of their EP. Tours in 2009 included a sold-out six-date "Skeleton Tiger" national headline tour and a five-date UK tour (including Nevereverland UK), as well as performances at V Festival and Groovin The Moo, and a stadium tour with The Living End and Gyroscope.
Tame Impala appeared on Triple J's Hottest 100 list in 2008—their first appearance on the list— with "Half Full Glass of Wine" at number 75. The song is also on the Hottest 100 compilation album.
Tame Impala's first single, "Sundown Syndrome", was recorded at Toerag Studios in London, UK, with recording engineer Liam Watson, while the band was in the UK in March 2009."Sundown Syndrome" was premiered by Richard Kingsmill on his "2009" show on Triple J on Sunday 10 May 2009. The song was released in July 2009 on vinyl, and digitally with a cover of "Remember Me" by DJ Blue Boy.
The band then headlined the inaugural "Rottofest" in August 2009, an annual comedy, film and music festival held on Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia. Following Rottofest, they embarked on a national tour through September and October 2009 in support of the single."Remember Me" appeared at number 78 on Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2009.
"Sundown Syndrome" was included on the soundtrack of the Oscar-nominated film The Kids Are All Right. "Half Full Glass of Wine" was used in HBO's popular television series Entourage as the closing song for an episode.
Tame Impala appeared at the Australian/New Zealand Big Day Out festival in early 2010, performing alongside bands such as Muse, The Mars Volta, Kasabian and Rise Against.
Tame Impala's debut album Innerspeaker was released on 21 May 2010. In the UK the official release date was 28 June, but iTunes accidentally made it available for purchase on 12 May. The album was released in the United States on 8 June to general and critical acclaim. Pitchfork named it Best New Music.
In an interview with Triple J talking about the album's recent nomination for the J Award, Parker stated that they have secretly been recording a new album. "Jay and I have been recording pretty compulsively and album number two is nearing potential completion already and I'm so excited about it that I'm having trouble keeping myself from telling you all about it". This came as a big surprise as this statement was released only months after their debut album, Innerspeaker, was released.
The band was busy touring during mid-2010, with its "Innerspeaker album tour" commencing on 13 May 2010, as the opening band for MGMT's 2010 American tour. The band returned to Australia to play at Splendour in the Grass festival, which was followed by a European Tour in July (including an appearance at the Reading Festival) and a national Australian tour in October. In November they returned to the UK and Europe for a fifteen date tour, including their largest London headline show to date which was attended by Noel Gallagher, Tom Meighan, Sergio Pizzorno, Noel Fielding, Alexa Chung and Alison Mosshart, the band then went on to the United States and Canada for twenty headline dates including sold out shows in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. They also received four 2010 ARIA Music Awards nominations which include, "Album of the Year" and "Best Rock Album" for Innerspeaker, "Best Group" and also "Breakthrough Artist".
On 29 November 2010, Innerspeaker won Australian youth-oriented radio network Triple J's highest honor, winning the J Award for Album of the Year.
On 7 December 2011, Parker began mixing the second Tame Impala album, Lonerism, with producer Dave Fridmann. On 2 March 2012, Tame Impala announced on Facebook that the new album was "finished, mixed, mastered, mooged, broinged, and beeped". Jay Watson expected it to be released in mid-2012, but it was released in October 2012.
Parker said that Lonerism "represents a departure from his previous work by incorporating an expanded sonic palette, more emotional song writing, and a more pronounced narrative perspective". It was created in a similar set up as Innerspeaker, whereby Parker wrote and recorded the majority of the album by himself at his home in Perth, Australia. Parts of the recording also occurred in Parker's home studio in France.
While in France, Parker produced and played on the self-titled dream pop album by Melody's Echo Chamber, the project of French singer Melody Prochet. As a result, one of the tracks on Lonerism is titled "Endors Toi", which roughly translates from French to English as "fall asleep". The album cover is a photo taken by Parker of the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, France, with additional editing by Leif Podhajsky, a graphic designer who created the album art for Innerspeaker. The image ties into the themes of isolation of Lonerism, with a metal gate separating the viewer from the people in the Gardens.
On 27 June 2012, the band released an album teaser on their Facebook Page. The band released the song "Apocalypse Dreams" for free download on 7 July 2012. The first single "Elephant" was released in July 2012. The album was released on 5 October in Australia, 8 October in the United Kingdom and 9 October in the United States. StillinRock described it as the best album of the year.The album features the songs "Apocalypse Dreams" and "Elephant", which are some of the first songs that Parker has co-written with Watson. "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" was released as the second single.
In November 2012, Lonerism won the 2012 J Award for Australian Album of the Year for the second time, after also winning it for their debut album Innerspeaker in 2010. They are the first band to win the J Award more than once. In January 2013, Lonerism was selected by Rolling Stone for the 2012 Album of the Year award after the band also won the award in 2011 for Innerspeaker. It was also announced as album of the year by UK magazine NME. Additionally, Lonerism was voted number one overall in Rolling Stone, Triple J, NME, Filter, Urban Outfitters, FasterLouder and Obscure Sound's 2012 Album of the Year polls. "Elephant" and "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" appeared at number 7 and 9 respectively in Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2012.
The band began an international tour in 2012 through 2013, supported by The Growl. During this tour, they played major festivals, such as Coachella, Sasquatch Festival, and appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
In September 2012, Tame Impala's first U.S. feature appeared on the cover of the publication The FADER, in its 82nd issue. "Elephant" was used in advertisements for the Blackberry Z10, in the second season finale of HBO's Girls, and in the film The Fifth Estate.
On 18 May 2013, it was announced via Facebook that Allbrook would leave the band to focus on other musical endeavors, and that Cam Avery of Pond and The Growl would take his place. Allbrook played his final gig with the band on their last Australian tour date of 2013 at Perth's Belvoir Amphitheatre, the same venue that Allbrook played his first gig with the band at in 2008. As a farewell gesture, the band played a cover of Outkast's "Prototype".
Alongside albums by bands such as Vampire Weekend and Nine Inch Nails, Lonerism received a 2014 Grammy Award nomination in December 2013 in the Best Alternative Music Album category.
It is believed that Parker started recording the follow-up album to Lonerism at the beginning of 2014, due to various Instagram posts that showed recording taking place at Wave House in Western Australia, where the debut album Innerspeaker was recorded. Prior to this, Parker had been touring with Tame Impala and working on other musical projects, including his disco-funk band, AAA Aardvark Getdown Services. Parker said in May 2013:
Right now, doing another album doesn’t excite me. There’s something narrow-minded about thinking an album is the only way you can put out music, especially in the world we’re in at the moment. Anything is possible. There’s so many people doing interesting things with the internet and technology, there could be so many ways of making music and listening to it. It’s 2013 and you can make music anywhere ... There are so many possibilities, my brain is overloading on them all. I just need to wait, think about things a bit more. Then I’ll know what to do next.
In May 2014, Parker spoke of his growing inclination toward the recording of another album in a triple J radio interview, explaining that: "I'm getting more and more sucked into the world of making an album. It's weird how it happens naturally, it's almost feels like a seasonal thing. I've started to think about tracklistings and all the things that come with an album." Describing the sound of the new album, Parker said "I'm gonna try to make it a bit more minimal this time; only use what's needed ... instead of a supreme pizza, where you just throw everything on".Watson added: "[It’s] probably gonna be less rock again and more electronic again, even more than the last one".
On 6 January 2015, Spinning Top Music announced that a new Tame Impala album will be released in 2015. During the same month, it was announced that the band would perform at the Boston Calling Music Festival in May 2015.
On 11 March 2015, a new song entitled "Let It Happen" was released as a free download.
On 5 April 2015, Tame Impala announced and released the album cover for Currents in a Facebook post. A few hours later the band released the first official single from the upcoming album on Facebook called "'Cause I'm A Man".
On 22 April 2015 Tame Impala released their second single for the upcoming album Currents, Let It Happen.
On 29 April 2015 Kevin Parker held an AMA on www.reddit.com and was asked to release a new song and he did so with Disciples which became the third single for the upcoming album Currents.