Home Music Music News

Kevin Parker Discusses Tame Impala’s Creative Process on Rick Rubin Podcast

“If I consciously decide that I want to write a song, you can pretty much guarantee it’ll be the shittest song I’ve ever written.”

Neil Krug/Press

Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker has offered Rick Rubin an insight into his creative process on the latest episode of the producer’s Broken Record podcast.

Joining Rubin’s podcast via a Zoom call, Parker played what he described as a “very candid” voice memo he had recorded, explaining how song ideas unexpectedly come to him and how he forms them into a full-length track.

Noting how most of his song ideas come to him outside of the studio, Parker explains he’s been trying hard to isolate “what makes [him] think of 10 songs in three days sometimes, and then nothing for five months”.

“Songs come to me when I’m not thinking about writing a song,” he explains. “In fact, if I consciously decide that I want to write a song, you can pretty much guarantee it’ll be the shittest song I’ve ever written.”

Parker continues by explaining the only pattern of inspiration he’s seemed to notice comes from when he goes from a loud, energetic place to one of quiet and calmness. Claiming his “brain has to find some way to fill that void”, Parker says he tends to record a voice memo of the music he’s currently thinking of.

“It’s like flicking on the radio, it’s not like starting the song at the start,” he adds of this inspiration. “It’s like coming in halfway through a chorus. And then I do my best to get to a place where I can record it, before I forget it.

“I’ve obviously got like a hundred voice memos on my phone. It’ll be like two bar, or a one bar bit of music,” he adds, claiming that he forgets about 90% of the ideas he has. “It’s rare that I’ll listen back to it and decide that it’s good enough. I don’t know why.

“Sometimes at the end of my note, I feel compelled to go, ‘Record this, just fucking record it. This won’t sound like much when you listen to it, but record it.'”

This isn’t the first time Parker has appeared on a podcast during this period of self-isolation, with the Perth musician recently appearing on the Song Exploder podcast to give an insight into the creation of The Slow Rush single, “It Might Be Time”.

Kevin Parker recently shared a “self-isolation” edition of The Slow Rush, dubbed The Slow Rush In An Imaginary Place. In related news, Tame Impala are set to return to Australia later this year for a run of long-awaited headline shows. Read on for full details.

Tame Impala 2020 Tour Dates

Rescheduled dates

Tuesday, December 8th
Moved from Tuesday, April 18th
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, QLD (All Ages)

Thursday, December 10th
Moved from Monday, April 20th
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, NSW (All Ages)

Sunday, December 13th
Moved from Thursday, April 23rd
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC (All Ages)

Monday, December 14th
Moved from Friday, April 24th
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC (All Ages)

Wednesday, December 16th
Moved from Saturday, April 25th
Adelaide Entertainment Centre Arena, Adelaide, SA (All Ages)

Saturday, December 19th
Moved from Tuesday, April 28th
RAC Arena, Perth, WA (All Ages)

Tickets on sale now through Ticketek