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Introduction
This paper is an analysis of the historical background of the band Parkway Drive
and the marketing strategies used for the release of their most recent album, IRE from
September 1, 2015 to December 8, 2015. Any conclusions made or results found in this
paper were based on information found on Wikipedia.com, BMI.com, Billboard.com,
Facebook.com, and Instagram.com.
Research
Background Information
Parkway Drive was a metalcore band that formed in the year of 2003 in Byron
Bay, Australia. The band was a five member group consisting of vocalist, Winston
McCall, lead guitarist, Jeff Ling, rhythm guitarist, Luke Kilpatrick, bassist, Jia OConnor,
and drummer, Ben Gordon. Parkway Drive had released five studio albums and their
most recent release was IRE. The band was signed to Epitaph Records in 2005, stayed
with the label for the release of all five of their albums, and was still currently signed to
them. Previously, the band had been on Resist Records and Burning Heart Records but
now they had been signed to Epitaph for ten years (Anon., 2015, Parkway Drive).
Epitaph Records was an independent record label that was founded in 1980 by
lead guitarist of Bad Religion, Brett Gurewitz. The labels original purpose was solely to
sell Bad Religion records, but the label gained success and turned into a large
independent label and signed several famous bands and artists. Some famous bands that
were signed to Epitaph records were Weezer, The Offspring, and Green Day. Some
current artists signed to Epitaph were Alkaline Trio, Motion City Soundtrack, and
Everytime I Die (Anon., 2015, Epitaph records).

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Parkway Drives most recently released album, IRE was released on September
25, 2015 (Anon., 2015, Ire (album)). Below is a list of the albums songwriters,
publishers, and producers.

Songwriters: Winston McCall, Jeff Ling, Luke Kilpatrick, Jia OConnor, Ben
Gordon, Greg Weeks, George Hadjichristou (Anon., 2015, Parkway Drive - Ire)

Publishers: Epitaph Music (Anon., 2015, BMI repertoire)

Producers: George Hadjichristou (Anon., 2015, Ire (album))

Out of the seven song writers for the album, five were the actual members of Parkway
Drive. The additional two writers, Greg Weeks and George Hadjichristou appeared as cowriters for two tracks on IRE, Writings on the Wall and A Deathless Song. Weeks and
Hadjichristou arranged and composed string and piano scores for the two tracks (Anon.,
2015, Parkway Drive - Ire). In addition to being a co-writer on the album, George
Hadjichristou was also the only producer for the album (Anon., 2015, Ire (album)).
Epitaph music was the only publisher involved with IRE (Anon., 2015, BMI repertoire).
Marketing Analysis
Throughout the 99 day period from September 1, 2015 to December 8, 2015 the
album, IRE was marketed with the use of certain promotional strategies. The album went
through periods of success and failure during this time period. Appendix A and Appendix
B visually displayed the trends in the success and failure of IRE and how the album was
promoted in order to gain sales. Appendix A displayed a day-to-day account of
promotional events that occurred for IRE from September 1, 2015 to December 8, 2015.
Appendix B displayed the Billboard 200 chart position of IRE for every Friday from
September 1, 2015 to December 8, 2015.

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Appendix B showed that IRE only spent one week on the Billboard 200 chart.
The album was released on Friday, September 25, 2015. Two weeks after this, the album
reached number 29 on the Billboard 200 chart. This could be seen on week 10/9/2015
on the x-axis of the graph in Appendix B. This success did not last very long. One week
after IRE reached 29 on the chart, the album was off Billboard 200 completely. In other
words, IRE spent one week on the chart and then stayed at zero for the remaining weeks
in the 99 day time period (Appendix B).
Appendix A listed a variety of events that took place before the release of IRE and
after. Some events were specific and intended as marketing strategies and other events
are general events from Parkway Drives tour, such as concerts. Most of the events were
from Parkway Drives social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram. The
events mainly consisted of announcements on these two sites that ranged from chart
peaks to anniversaries of previous albums to album signings (Appendix A).
Among all of the events listed in Appendix A, concerts were the most prevalent.
From November 19, 2015 to November 24, 2015, the band continuously had updates on
their Facebook account of concerts that were happening in cities all around the United
States (Appendix A). Some of the concerts had more publicity than others. For instance,
on November 9, 2015, the band played at the Chicago House of Blues and the show was
actually streamed on Yahoos streaming service, Yahoo Screen (Parkway Drive, 9
November 2015). There were plenty of announcements when tickets were sold out for
shows as well. Photos and videos were usually posted the night of or the day after a
concert. In addition to announcing concert ticket sell-outs, and new concert dates, they

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also announced dates that the band would appear at certain festivals for the upcoming
year. On November 28, 2015, it was announced that Parkway Drive would return to the
United States in 2016 to play at the KIWR Rockfest (Parkway Drive, 28 November
2015). On November 30, 2015, they announced another future appearance to be at the
2016 Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio where other famous bands such as
Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Shinedown would be playing as well (Parkway Drive, 30
November 2015).
One day before the release of IRE, it was announced that Parkway Drive would be
on Reddit to answer any fan questions (Parkway Drive, 24 September 2015). There were
other similar appearances like this such as appearances on radio stations that allowed fans
to call in and ask questions and talk to the band members. For instance, on November
13, 2015, it was announced that the band would be talking to callers on the Hard Drive
Radio app (Parkway Drive, 13 November 2015). Additionally, on September 9, 2015,
the band appeared on Twitch TV to answer questions from the fans and to stream the new
album (Parkway Drive, 9 September 2015). In addition to these online and radio
appearances, Parkway Drive also announced days that they would be doing physical
album signings. On September 17, 2015, in addition to five new songs becoming
streamable on Spotify, the band also announced some in-store album signings (Parkway
Drive, 17 September 2015). Additionally, the band announced that there would be
another album signing event at Utopia Records in Sydney, Australia on October 7, 2015
(Parkway Drive, 7 October 2015).
On this same day, updates were released that the lead guitarist of Parkway Drive,
Jeff Ling, had to go into emergency surgery for a leg issue. Instead of halting the tour,

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the band obtained a substitute guitar player from fellow Australian metal band, Thy Art is
Murder (Parkway Drive, 7 October 2015). Jeff Ling made a full recovery and weeks
after the surgery, photos were posted on Instagram of him playing guitar on stage in a
wheelchair (Parkwaydriveofficial, 30 October 2015).
There were many promotional announcements pertaining to merchandise, tickets,
and CDs. On September 13, 2015, it was announced that Facebook users could repost a
Parkway Drive video in order to be entered to win a prize pack that included
merchandise and the new album, IRE (Parkway Drive, 13 September 2015). Many other
announcements pertained to deals with merchandise bundles. For instance, on November
8, 2015, it was announced that brand new merchandise was available including new hats,
t-shirts, shorts and sweaters in bundle packs (Parkway Drive, 8 November 2015). In
celebration for the ten year anniversary of their first album with Epitaph Records, Killing
With a Smile, on September 30, 2015 it was announced that a limited set of merchandise
was available in bundle packs for a limited time only (Parkwaydriveofficial, 30
September 2015).
Some main focal points of the 99-day promotional period were when
announcements were made pertaining to the success of IRE. This included whenever the
album peaked on a chart or won an award. For instance, October 3, 2015, it was
announced that IRE reached number one on ARIAs chart and number eight on
Germanys chart (Parkway Drive, 3 October 2015). On October 8, 2015, it was
announced that IRE reached number one on Americas Rock Chart and number three on
the United Kingdoms Rock Chart (Parkway Drive, 8 October 2015). On October 9,

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2015, IRE peaked on the Billboard 200 chart at number 29 (Appendix B). Lastly, on
October 23, 2015, it was announced that IRE won the First Hard Rock Album No. 1 on
Billboard.com (Rutherford, 23 October 2015).
Conclusion
In conclusion, from looking at marketing trends and common announcements in
the daily events on social media for Parkway Drive, one could possibly relate
promotional trends in Appendix A to the success of the album on the charts in Appendix
B. Some common announcements that one can see in Appendix A are concerts, ticket
sell-outs, album signings, merchandise releases, appearances on radio shows, live concert
streams, awards won, and chart peaks. One theory that I have for the decrease in sales for
IRE is the fact that the band released too much from the album before the release date
came. I feel that releasing teasers is a good strategy to increase anticipation for the
release of an album, but revealing too much can downgrade the excitement that fans have
for the album release. If a fan of a band buys an album and has already heard half of it, I
doubt they would be very enthusiastic about it. Eight days before the release of IRE, it
was made clear on Parkway Drives Facebook page, that five tracks from the album were
available on Spotify and YouTube (Appendix A). Fans do not have much of a reason to
buy the record when they have already heard 50 percent of it and will be able to hear the
other 50 percent once it is all available on streaming sites.
Once IRE was released, it did not pick up momentum until early October when
the album peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 chart. I think that the album
instantly became popular in Australia due to the fact that Parkway Drive is an Australian
band. This is why IRE reached number one on ARIAs chart. I believe that once the

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marketers for IRE realized that the album was not doing as well as they would have liked,
they began trying to develop other strategies to compensate for the money they were not
making. For instance, as mention in Appendix A and the research section, only five days
after the album release, they began to offer limited merchandise to celebrate the
anniversary of the bands first studio album, Killing With a Smile.
Even if the album did not do well in the eyes of the marketers, they still want the
album to seem successful in the eyes of the public and the fans. This is why they
announce when the album peaks on a certain chart. They announced in October that IRE
peaked at number one on ARIAs chart and number eight on Germanys charts (Appendix
A). They are also quick to announce when the album wins a certain award like
Billboards First Hard Rock Album No. 1. These announcements make the album seem
more successful and this could motivate fans to buy it. In the same way, the band
continuously announces when tickets are sold out to their shows. I believe this is a way
to make it seem like their tickets are in high demand and it may motivate fans to search
for tour stops in their area in the future.

Bibliography
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Rutherford, K. (9 October 2015). Parkway Drive earns first hard rock albums no. 1.
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www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/6722623/parkwaydrive-first-

hard-rock-albums-no-1

Parkwaydriveofficial. (11 September 2015 to 5 December 2015). In Instagram. Retrieved


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