Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall: The 10 songs that changed my life

Take a dip into the record collection of Parkway Drive frontman Winston McCall…

Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall: The 10 songs that changed my life
David McLaughlin
Tom Martin

Mosh-pits and masturbation? Hey, it’s Parkway Drive man Winston McCall’s journey and life in music…

The first song I remember hearing…The Beatles – Hey Jude (1968)

“My parents used to sing this to me as a lullaby when I was an infant, so it’s my first musical memory. I didn’t know it was a Beatles song until years later. The weirdest thing is that my dad actually looked a lot like Paul McCartney when he was younger, so that got confusing when I grew up and realised everything.”

The song that reminds me of my childhood…Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ ’Bout A Revolution (1988)

“My parents were massive music fans, and when we first moved to Byron [Tracy’s self-titled debut album] had just come out. It must have been their summer jam, because I remember hearing it a lot when me and my two brothers and sisters would have to jump out of our crappy old family van to help push it to kick-start it. I think this was the only record we had on cassette in there. I can’t not hear it and think about push-starting our car.”

The first song I ever learned to play…Hatebreed – Last Breath (1997)

“I failed music class in school: I couldn’t play drums, I couldn’t play guitar, I couldn’t play bass and I couldn’t sing. But at the time I was first getting into hardcore, I felt that I could at least scream. Back then, Luke [Kilpatrick, Parkway Drive], our guitarist, was in his first band and they used to cover this. So, I used to grab the mic when we’d go see them at shows.”

The song that made me want to be in a band…Bad Religion – Do What You Want (1988)

“They were the band that made punk rock click for me. That was a huge turning point in my thinking. The punk scene seemed way too bubblegum to me before that, with bands like blink-182 singing about jacking off in trees, or whatever. Then I heard Bad Religion, singing intelligently about real shit that mattered, and all of a sudden punk made sense so much more to me. I knew then that it could be mature and have an impact on my life.”

The first of our songs I ever heard played on the radio…Parkway Drive – Gimme A D (2005)

“We basically only have one radio station in Australia, called triple j. It plays metal a couple of hours once a week, and I remember listening to that particular show while I was driving in my car on the way to a gig when that song came on. I heard the riff and thought, ‘Hang on, I know this song.’ And then when it kicked into the vocal I was like, ‘Wait a second, that’s me!’”

My favourite song to play live…Parkway Drive – Bottom Feeder (2015)

“We wrote that song with the intention of decimating venues and to make people go completely mental. We’re ending our sets with it now. It’s total carnage. After the last time we played Brixton [Academy], I have no idea how that place is still standing – everywhere I looked it was 100 per cent pure mosh-pit.”

The song that reminds me of my first love…The Cure – The Lovecats (1983)

“My first love is basically my only love: my wife! A sappy thing to say, I know. I had girlfriends before, but not love like this. We’ve always loved The Cure – I have the lyrics to this tattooed on me, and this has always been our song. It still makes me really happy when I hear it.”

The first song that I crowdsurfed to…The Living End – Prisoner Of Society (1998)

“It was the first Warped Tour in Australia, The Living End were going fucking mental onstage and I remember thinking, ‘This Australian band are smoking everyone else here,’ when all of a sudden a huge surfer dude grabbed me and threw me on top of people. All I remember thinking is, ‘This is fucking awesome!’”

The song that picks me up when I’ve been down…Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand (1994)

“(Laughs) I like to listen to dark, sad music, but there’s something about Nick Cave – aside from the fact that he’s such a badass motherfucker – that gives me hope. It’s not uplifting, but it’s invigorating and full of adrenaline.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral…Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree (2016)

“For the exact opposite reasons as I said before, this one is fucking sad. I know plenty of people want their funeral to be a celebration, but this is the music I listen to and I want my funeral song to reflect the person that I am. So if it’s going to make people sad, who cares. I fucking love Nick Cave.”

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