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Tame Impala wants to hit you with a water bomb in the heart




Kevin Parker of Tame Impala performs during the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club.
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala performs during the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club.
Kevin Winter
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala performs during the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club.
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala gets ready to hit the stage at Coachella 2015.
Cameron Kell/KPCC
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala performs during the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club.
Tame Impala performs during the 2015 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at The Empire Polo Club.
Karl Walter
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala performs during the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club.
Tame Impala accept the award for 'Best Rock Album' during the 27th Annual ARIA Awards 2013 at the Star on Dec. 1, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala performs during the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club.
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala performs live for fans during the 2014 Big Day Out Festival at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Matt Roberts/Getty Images


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Tame Impala, the brainchild of Australian musician Kevin Parker, just played two weekends of Coachella. The band's new album, "Currents," is set to be released later this year.

Watch them play their new single, "'Cause I'm A Man," at Coachella:

Tame Impala: 'Cause I'm A Man live at Coachella

The band has managed to stand out, despite a retro sound that caused some to be dismissive.

"At first I think people were quite skeptical, because I was making that kind of '60s psychedelia at a time when there were a lot of other retro rock bands," Parker told the Frame, citing bands like Kings of Leon and the Black Keys.

Tame Impala single Elephant

Since they've gone beyond being part of a trend, Parker says he wants to try something different as the band moves forward.

"I always love trying new things for myself, especially if I felt like I've conquered it before," Parker said. "So with [our first album] 'Innerspeaker,' I gave it my best shot, but there were still things I was trying to achieve. With 'Lonerism' I thought I kind of more or less got it, whatever that was, and so for that reason, to do the same thing again didn't feel satisfying at all."

Tame Impala single Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

Parker says he's moved into making more music acting as a solo producer. One of his tools and inspirations: a 1990s sampler.

"The song that's out, 'Let It Happen,' there's that sort of vocoder-sounding bit toward the end of the song. Which isn't actually a vocoder — it's this sampler from the '90s where you have to load the sounds via floppy disk," Parker said. He recorded his voice and loaded it into the keyboard. "So [the keyboard] sings the line that you sang, but you can play all these other notes and just make a complete crazy choral... it's like you can play your voice as though you are the Beach Boys. It's the kind of thing, if Brian Wilson ever got a hold of, it would be quite deadly."

Tame Impala playing Let It Happen on Conan

Parker says one of the things he loves about producing is that it plays to the scientific side of his mind:

"I've always found that to tap into unknown things, even as just a producer, or as a studio worker — you can either sit back in a studio and tell someone you want it to sound like some particular way, or you can just get in there yourself and learn about it and experiment."

Tame Impala's previous music has been more in your face, but Parker says that's changing. While he once wanted to make the music always feel like a full band, he's realized that was a limitation on what the music could be.

"In the past, most of the music is quite crunchy, it's quite raw, it's quite blasty, it's quite wall of sound," Parker said. "I wanted to try and make it more kind of confined, but punchier. Rather than a wave hitting you, more like a water bomb hitting you. In the heart, obviously." 



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