Published Nov 28, 2019Kevin Parker is set to deliver new Tame Impala album The Slow Rush early next year, but you can bet he was rushing a little bit faster when it came time to escape California wildfires this time last year.
In conversation with BBC 6 Music, Parker recalled how the fires interrupted recording sessions at a rented house in Malibu, forcing him to evacuate in November 2018.
"I like to do these trips that I just go on on my own... out of the city wherever for a few days just to record and not think about anything else," Parker explained. "And one of them was in Malibu, and of course the bushfire came through."
When DJ Lauren Laverne suggested the evacuation was "really scary," Parker answered, "It was, I didn't really have time to be scared, because I woke up in a daze. I just got out, got in my car and drove off — it was only when I was driving out the driveway that I [thought] 'fire.'"
Parker added that he "didn't actually think the place was going to burn down, I thought I'd be coming back in a couple of hours. I checked my phone and it said 'evacuation Malibu.' I thought they were just evacuating the whole area. I literally thought I'd be going back in a few hours."
Parker remembered the night before the evacuation was "apocalyptically windy," and took little when it was time to evacuate. "I just grabbed my Hofner bass guitar which I've had for years," he recalled. "It's the only thing that was there that was sentimental — other than the music on my laptop — so I just grabbed both those things and headed out."
Last November, Parker posted shots of the fire and his makeshift studio on Instagram, revealing that he left a keyboard, some monitors and more behind.
"RIP to all this gear (and someone's beautiful house) in Malibu," he wrote in the caption. "My heart breaks for the wildlife😞"
The likes of Neil Young, Gerard Butler, Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke all lost homes in the blaze.
Tame Impala's The Slow Rush arrives February 14 through Interscope. The album follows 2015's Currents.