Written by Seun Mustapha
02 Wednesday 02nd July 2008

Well Hatebeak are here to bring an end to such indiscretions, taking a firm stand against fashioncore, girl-pants and bands sponsored by Fructis via the medium of rock. They don’t have a human, style-obsessed lead singer. Instead they taught a parrot called Waldo how to rock the mic. Genius! Why didn’t Razorlight think of that? All those hipster twats must be bricking it.

We wanted to organise some talk-time with Waldo, the coolest parrot in rock, but he turned us down flat, sending his backing band out to speak to us instead. I guess that's what happens when you’re a musical prodigy, everyone wants a part of you and you’ve got no time for anything but the broadest broadsheets. We asked Mark to attempt to explain the thought process behind possibly the coolest concept band of all time…

Introduce yourself please

I am Mark, also known as Matterhorn to some people. Blake is the other human component of Hatebeak, he drives a bus for a living. Waldo is an African Gray parrot, somewhere around 15 years old, and an incorrigible prima-donna.

That really is a bad scream... why use a parrot? Did you teach him?

I think he learned it by imitating death metal singers. We would often play music in the background way before we ever thought of doing a parrot-fronted band. I think the music struck a chord with Waldo, or at least the vocal delivery.

Does he have the best scream in the band?

Unquestionably. Blake and I sound like wounded guppies in comparison. He must have learned to shriek in the jungle.

How much training does Waldo put in? Is he easy to work with?

His training essentially consists of complaining for food and then complaining about the food. He does his best work on his own terms. Sometimes we have to leave the mic and recorder running for hours next to his cage to get a good take. I think he's got a lot of pent-up emotion to get out.

With the band, are you voicing your opinions the way you want?

We get a lot of freedom with the music. I think Waldo's pretty content just handling vocals. There are times that he's reacted negatively to some of the stuff we played back for him. Actually, Blake and Waldo didn't speak for almost a month over one particularly hotly contested guitar fill.

Are you making a massive stand against fashioncore?

Absolutely. If hipsters were more inclined to stick feathers to their naked bodies and jump off rooftops attempting to be more parrot-like, we might be more forgiving.

What bands inspired you?

We're into old Earache death metal bands like Carcass, Morbid Angel, At The Gates, etc and old Relapse bands like Suffocation & Incantation. The list could go on indefinitely. We basically like anything that is brutal and true to the ethics of metal. These kinds of bands are a rarity nowadays. We also like some weird traditional folk music from Western Maryland, but that's more of a nostalgic family thing. Blake is working on a jug-band side project right now. I'm listening to the Twisted Sister Christmas album right now.

Whats the next release? Anything more in the pipeline on Relapse Records or are you sticking with Reptilian?

We've actually had a CD in the can for over a year now. Reptilian will put it out as soon as the artwork is finished. As far as future releases, we'll work with almost anybody that wants to work with us. That is, as long as they subscribe to the philosophy of true worldwide avian supremacy. Thanks from the three of us for the interview, infernal squawks go out from the Mighty Diabolical Flock of the Beak to Seun and all the Don't Panic community!

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