Australia

Is Tame Impala a group? Kevin Parker explains

He is one of the most in-demand musicians and would be selling out stadiums and arenas around the world if it wasn't for the COVID-19 pandemic, but Kevin Parker, the man behind psychedelic rock outfit Tame Impala, is quietly eyeing a more low-key return to the stage.

The Australian performer says he is eager to play smaller venues over summer ahead of a bigger tour of his best-selling album The Slow Rush, which has been postponed until the end of next year.

Tame Impala performing at the 2020 ARIA Awards.

Tame Impala performing at the 2020 ARIA Awards.

"I miss those smaller shows, those sweaty, intimate shows – it’s a vibe that can’t be replaced," Parker, 34, says.

"It’s not the same in an arena or a stadium. This year has been all about having a good excuse to do something you wouldn’t normally do so if it’s an excuse to do some smaller shows, I would love that."

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Contrary to his album's name, Parker experienced more than a slow rush this week. On Wednesday, he woke to news of two Grammy award nominations - for best rock song for his track Lost In Yesterday and for best rock album.

By the end of the night he was the reigning king of the ARIAs, claiming five awards from his seven nominations, including album of the year, best rock album, producer of the year and engineer of the year.

But it was the win for best group that raised eyebrows. While Parker plays with a band when touring, he writes, records, produces and engineers his albums alone. He understands why people might be confused.

"The music sounds like a band, which I guess has always been the source of confusion for people," Parker says. "For all intents and purposes, I am a solo artist - I make music in my studio by myself and I bring it to the world."

Parker also shoulders some of the blame for the confusion. When he signed his first record deal he failed to mention that Tame Impala was a pseudonym for his work as a solo artist.

Kevin Parker aka Tame Impala.

Kevin Parker aka Tame Impala.Credit:Alexander Haygarth

"I was too shy to tell them the truth," he said. "I was too self conscious about being a solo artist."

Now, with a total of four Grammy nominations, a Brit award and 13 ARIA awards lining his trophy cabinet, Parker feels a little more secure in owning his success.

"I am extremely fortunate that I have found my confidence and I can stand behind my music myself and say I made this," he says.

And while some artists seek to move abroad to further their success, Parker says he is happy to keep working from his home in Fremantle in Western Australia.

"There's a thing of artists always wanting bigger and better things and feeling like you need to go to these massive music or entertainment hubs like LA or New York, but for me I have everything I need where I am."

The Slow Rush is available now through Island Records, Tame Impala's 2020 tour dates have been rescheduled to December 2021. More information is available at official.tameimpala.com

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