Interview with Ian Parton of Go! Team

By: Michael Lara

“Let’s break on down… And on the way… we’ll make them say, make them say, “Everybody cut. Everybody cut. Everybody cut loose…”” !!!’s 2003 ‘Louden Up Now,’ spawning this infectious 9-minute plus rump-shaking track definitely also attests to the pumping powere of the swirling go-go sensations within The Go! Team’s 2007 ‘Proof Of Youth.’ Over two years since their Japanese baptism at Fuji Rock ’05, the proof of Go! Team’s savory pudding is resplendently evident.

Just minutes before jumping behind a kit onstage and arousing an endless frenzied wave of jubilation under their big top carousel event alongside Ninja (vocals, drums), Sam Dook (guitar, banjo, drums), Chi Fukami Taylor (drums, vocals), Kaori Tsuchida (guitar, vocals, melodica, keys), Jamie Bell (bass), Go! Team’s chief architect Ian Parton (drums, guitar, harmonica) shared some time, stairwell and head space:


Thirsty: So how’s 2007 been?

Ian: I cannot remember (chuckling). I mean, it’s all been such a blur: Uh, well, the first part of the year we started off recording stuff and mixing and all that mullarkey. Then we did some festivals and went to China, and America and the UK…

How about China?

Ian: Yeah. That was an experience (eyes going big). Yeah. We were the… Well, we weren’t the first Western band to have ever been there, but it was like, ‘Wow,” it was like in the 80’s that was the case, but not much since by the sounds of it. You know what I mean?

Oh yeah. When you were there, what was the first gut instinct or impression for you?

Ian: Well, you know, it’s just a country that’s kind of at the birth of a teenager in a way you know? There’s no real music scene. People want interesting music in the same way, but they don’t have the culture of listening to it, going to live gigs and stuff like that. It’s almost like the equivalent of the 1950’s for us.  Or something like that ‘cuz when we played there, they had like 2 bands to pick from to play with us in the whole city (dead stare to me).

And out of how many million?

Ian: Exactly! I mean, there’s one venue in Beijing, which is bit like this (Club Quattro) in size and uh, there’s none in Shanghai so they had to convert a nightclub into a venue for us. So, it kind of gives you an idea, you know what I mean, that there is no real culture of forming a band and music. Music criticism is non-existent. There’s no reviewing. You know what I mean? It was, well, really weird.  I feel like my head was gonna explode. So when we went and you know, people properly getting down and stage diving and um, into the shoulders and all that kind of stuff… I mean, no one could ever get big in there ‘cuz. It’s bootlegging there-you’re never gonna sell records.

Well, how did you get there?

Ian: Ah well, we got an email from some promoter there who started bringing live acts there. You know, there really wasn’t anything in it for us career-wise, but it was such an opportunity (huge smile) you know. We went to The Great Wall… You know what I mean?

Sure. Is that definitely the most “other planet” place you’ve guys played?

Ian: Oh, I would think so, but you know, here’s got that kind of dimension as well… You wouldn’t get this feeling that this was an island untouched for decades you know.

Yeah, it wasn’t really touched until after the war. There’s a great book on that by John Dower titled Embracing Defeat. I highly recommend it. It really helps explaining the youth of today here as well as the older generations. And well, with your ‘Proof Of Youth,’ what IS proof of youth anyways?

Ian: Uh… (grinning) I mean, the truthful thing, it’s just a slogan really. You know, I’m a sucker for slogans and stuff. There’s no real great meaning behind it.

But if you had to say, what is?

Ian: Well, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am subconsciously or consciously attracted to youthful things. You know, Phil Spector, the whole girl group thing- it’s all about the mythology of youth. You know what I mean? Where a man decides the idea of a teenage death.

Like James Dean and all that.

Ian: Yeah. You know, the kids on motorbikes, skidding under trucks and all that kind of stuff. So I was always kind of like that way. I liked the whole Phil Spector idea-the kind of youthfulness that I’d guess would be a whole description of the Go! Team sound, even though we’re, you know, all early 30’s (chuckling with a big grin). Seems pretty old.

Well, it’s all relative right? And in seeing such a trajectory for you all since Fuji Rock (’05) when I first met you on the side of the White Stage, success often takes its toll on youth with the levels of stress that coincide. That being the case, what stresses you?

Ian: (long pause and eyes up) I don’t know. I don’t get stressed much to be honest. Um, maybe there was a lot of pressure around the second album and because I always knew the gloves would be off, you know what I mean, and people would always compare it to ‘Thunder, Lightning, Strike.’ I kind of knew that would be the case so I kind of shrugged it off. I mean, you know, you do what you do, right or wrong and move on sort of thing. I don’t really have a stressful life. I don’t feel the need to unwind. It’s almost like being onstage is release rather than stress. It’s a bit like a workout. It’s the nearest thing I’ll get to a workout (big grin). I mean, I’m the least sporty man you’ll ever meet.


Continually going for the gold in all ways and ringing in 2008-the year of Beijing-in Tasmania, stay limber with these track stars’ globetrotting/instrument-swapping ways:



All opinions expressed by Michael Lara are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.

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