Things have come full circle for Morning Parade

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If Morning Parade singer Steve Sparrow sounds amped when the Georgia Straight reaches him by telephone, that’s not entirely surprising. After all, apart from a few encounters with the media, he’s a free man in New York, the city that never sleeps. Better still, once he’s enjoyed a few days of sightseeing, his band will embark on a cross-country tour in support of Biffy Clyro. Some might say the Scottish rockers provided England’s Morning Parade with its template—and Sparrow happily agrees.

“It’s actually kind of strange that we’re coming out with Biffy Clyro, because that’s one of the first bands I ever saw when I was a teenager,” the fast-talking but easygoing frontman recalls. “I was 14, and I saw them in a tiny little venue in my hometown. There were, like, 30 people there, and their live show blew me away. I thought, ‘That’s the kind of band I want to be.’ So it’s kind of come full circle now, touring with them. But I can still get all fangirl on them, and sometimes I have to restrain myself!”

Fan or not, Sparrow asserts that Morning Parade is now ready to share the stage with Biffy Clyro on an equal footing, although he admits that the first time the two groups toured together, the younger musicians found themselves “getting our ass kicked every day”.

Since then, the quintet has apparently rediscovered the energy that powered its early days, but that wasn’t an easy process.

“A year ago, we were kind of at the point where we didn’t know if we were going to make another album,” Sparrow says, confessing that he wasn’t entirely convinced that showbiz was right for him. “The first record was a bit of a mixture of us and our record label wanting what they wanted; it took two different producers and five or six different studios across a space of two years. We were very green and naive, and we felt like ‘Oh, these guys know what they’re doing, and we have to follow their lead.’ But by the time we finished the record, it was just nowhere near where we wanted to be.

“We had the option to stick with that label, but we decided it was not the right thing for us to do, because we just didn’t feel that at home with them,” he continues. “So we took a leap of faith and took our leave and just went into the studio to write songs without anyone kind of guiding us. This time around, it was just down to us, and now I feel like we’re just finally presenting ourselves as we’re meant to be heard.”

Sparrow doesn’t feel free to say much about Morning Parade’s sophomore effort, which is set for a May 6 release. “I don’t want to mess with the label’s social-media plans, do I?” he says with a laugh. But listeners can get a taste of the reborn band via its Alienation EP, which mixes hyper-energetic music with a markedly dystopian view of society. Unlike some other anthemic rockers, however, Sparrow is disinclined to make further sociopolitical pronouncements.

“I’m not a Bono,” he says. “I’m just happy to create music and see where it takes me.”

Morning Parade opens for Biffy Clyro at the Commodore Ballroom on Saturday (February 8).

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