Kevin Parker on Tame Impala’s live set-up: “We’re basically a covers band”

The Perth musician elaborated on Tame Impala's dual existence

Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker has addressed the common “misconception” about the make-up of his project in a new interview, likening its live set-up to “a covers band.”

The Perth artist records under the name Tame Impala, but in the live arena Tame Impala become a fully-functioning band, with Parker the frontman. Currently, Parker is joined by Jay Watson (synth/vocals), Dominic Simper (guitar/synth), Cam Avery (bass) and Julien Barbagallo (drums). Pond frontman and solo artist Nick Allbrook used to play guitar, keys and bass in Tame Impala between 2009-2013.

In a new interview with The New Zealand Herald ahead of Tame Impala’s forthcoming live engagements in the country, Parker has moved to once again clear up the matter of Tame Impala’s composition.

“It’s largely a misconception that Tame Impala is a band,” he said. “We play as a band on stage but it’s really not how it is at all on the album. The album is just me.

“Tame Impala has two lives. One is the album, which is like a producer, and the other life is like a band. More of a live incarnation where we’re basically a covers band for the albums that I produce.”

The live band will play their final show for a long while at Laneway Festival in New Zealand in January, with Parker announcing last week that Tame Impala will take a break in 2017.

“I really don’t know how that’s going to feel because in the past, the album cycles haven’t really ended with a bang, or even ended decidedly. They just sort of peter out. But this time it really is a bookend,” Parker said.

“I’m glad [the end of the tour is] happening at Laneway. There will be tears and cheers, and emotions will be running high. I think it’ll be quite weird, but not without a sense of accomplishment.”

Elaborating further on his future plans, Parker also told the New Zealand Herald: “It’s anyone’s guess really. There are so many kinds of doors opening at the moment for me and it’s quite a different feeling. I have never really felt like this before. The last few albums I’ve felt like I could kind of foresee ahead, like make another album or see how it’s going to go. But for the first time it’s totally blurry. But in a good way.”