2015: A Year In Metal - The Risk-Taker

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Few bands took a leap of faith in 2015 like Parkway Drive.

For them, it was a chance to take a stab at greatness, as Ire saw their tried-and-tested metalcore formula progress into a big, bold, arena-worthy sound. For vocalist Winston McCall in particular, it was a very literal leap that propelled him into a year that, perhaps ironically, has seen him flying ever since.

“A big moment for me was making the Vice Grip video,” he reveals. “The parachute jump was life-changing. I was terrified of heights, and to do that, to conquer that fear, has really changed me. It was amazing to see so many people react to that, and when we played that song and heard so many people singing it back at Download before the album was even out, that was another indicator that Ire was going to connect with people.”

Connect it did: 2015 was the year that saw Parkway seemingly graduate into metal’s big leagues – and it left Winston and his pals no time for slacking.

“It’s certainly been a hell of a lot of hard work,” he admits with a chuckled sigh. “This year I think I’ve surfed the least that I ever have since this band started, because I’ve been so busy. I’m not complaining, though! It seems like people really want to talk to us now, and it’s been overwhelming. It’s been our hardest working year, but also the year where we exceeded our expectations more than ever.”

More than anything else, though, 2015 was the year where Winston truly bared his soul for the first time: not only having to put his reputation on the line by talking up Parkway’s evolution (and, by proxy, facing any backlash head-on), but reinventing his own identity as a frontman, pushing himself to the limit – and paying the consequences.

“I poured myself into Ire more than any other record,” he muses. “And because I’m the guy who’s pushed for this direction, I’ve been the one that has to go out and explain the risks and why they’d been taken. When it was being written and recorded, I had sleepless nights because I just couldn’t switch off. It really consumed me in a way that I’d never felt before. It’s been so fucking stressful… but still fun!”

Far from resting on their laurels, Parkway’s refresh means that the real work starts right now.

“This is just the beginning,” Winston promises. “The plans we have as a band are really exciting. We want to be able to bring over a show the like of which people have never seen from us before.”

(Image: © Mick Hutson)

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