Catching up with local rockers The Parlotones

The Parlotones, who has been named "Biggest selling rock band of the decade" in South Africa, left for greener pastures in Los Angeles in January this year. The band is now back in South Africa for a brief visit, and The Beat caught up with them to find out about life in the States, meeting Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones, their new music and why South Africa is still the best country to live in!

Welcome back to SA! How long are you lads here for? Hello! It's great to be back, although it's only briefly. We're here for a month and heading back to LA at the end of September.

Why are you back? We are finishing up some bits and pieces for the album that we can't do via the internet. There is also going to be an album launch, and Jo'burg day. And of course we need to see our families and friends again!

You’ve been in LA for some time now. For those who don’t know, why did you move to LA? We have come a long way in South Africa and don't think we can grow much more as a band by staying here. We have explored Germany and the UK and have had some success there, but we feel America is the place to be if you want to crack it worldwide. We chose LA because it feels similar to Jo'burg, and also most of the people we're working with live in LA. We spent most of our time on the road though, we're constantly touring.

What do you guys miss the most about South Africa when in LA? Mostly our families, and the familiarity and comfort of home.

How has the reaction been from American fans about your music? Very good! We've been gaining more fans every time we play, and are building up a loyal fan base. We've been getting radio play and are getting some music into TV shows and movies as well, so things are off to a good start.

What would you say is the biggest difference performing to an overseas crowd that performing to a home grown crowd? Well obviously the size of the crowd is a little different, but other than that it's basically the same. People dance, sing along and clap, it's pretty much the same atmosphere anywhere you go in the world. South Africans do tend to know a lot more of the songs and words, so they sing along a lot more.

Tell us a bit more about the new CD? It's gonna be cool! We've recorded quite a few songs, but can only put 10 to 12 on the album, so unfortunately some will be left off. But we feel there is a lot of "classic Parlotones sound" mixed in with a little more slightly "different" stuff. We like it all, and think people are gonna enjoy it as well.

Any interesting places and things you guys have seen or done while in LA? Yeah lots! We've been hiking in the Hollywood hills, been out to various clubs to watch bands, we've been to comedy clubs and theatre performances, and even a big church (where we performed an unplugged version of one of our new songs.) We met Mick Jagger one night, and Scott Weiland (from Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver) was at one of our shows at The Viper Room. We've even been surfing!

Why would say South Africa is still the best country to live in? It just is! It's hard to explain, but I guess home is where the heart is, and our hearts belong in South Africa.