Interview With 'Palm Reader'
You are preparing to release 'Braille' to the world, how does differ it to previous albums?
It’s not as frantic or rushed as the other two and there’s a lot more melody. That’s not to say it’s a cheery affair by any means but there’s definitely more of a sense of light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. A melody in misery if you will. There’s still octave pedals and blood-curdling vocals all over the place but we really wanted to explore dynamics far more than we had. It feels great to see ideas that we’d subconsciously hinted at on previous material properly realised. This one definitely feels far more concise and refined.
How have you found Silent Cult Records have supported your new material?
They’ve been great. Stef and Alex have been so helpful and enthusiastic about everything. It’s great to have such a supportive group of people with us and they’re always there to help wherever and whenever they can.
After hearing “Swarm” on the Radio One Rock Show, does it ever get normal to hear yourself on the radio?
Yes and no. We’re at a point where we’re lucky enough to hear not only ourselves but our peers and friends played on the radio and so that makes it seems quite normal for a bit. Then you take a step back and realise a riff you wrote in your pyjamas in an afternoon is on national radio and realise it’s fucking mental! To have something that you and your friends have created, recognised on such a large platform is not something I think we’ll ever take for granted.
Are there any guest vocals we can look forward to on the new album?
There are a couple of appearances from some close friends of ours that are brilliant. It’s not always easy to arrange especially when everyone is busy doing their own thing but I’m glad it worked out. Their performances are awesome. Other than guest vocals, there are some choice riffs from Lewis Johns who recorded the album. I think he’s made an appearance on all three. Usually trying to channel his inner Santana.
What are your favorite bars/pubs in Nottingham? RIP Spanky’s
Junkyard and 400 Rabbits... Ride was good when Josh worked there and the drinks were free haha. I really like Ye Olde Trip as well. We went to Das Kino the other day. Good beers, pizzas and their wings are the bollocks.
What band have you been listening to lately?
It’s been a real variety lately. I normally go through phases of genres but the past couple of weeks have been a bit of everything. On the jazzier/dance side of things bands like Knower and Vulfpeck. Heavy stuff it’s been END and Conjurer. The EPs from both those bands were incredible and I can’t wait to hear Conjurer’s new album. Will Haven. Consistently excellent. Also found a band called Leprous who I’m not sure if I like or not… I can’t quite work it out. They’re like a cross between Karnivool, Devin Townsend, and early Biffy Clyro.
What is your dream support slot?
I think touring with the likes of Converge or Mastodon would certainly be a dream come true. Deftones, Cult of Luna, Every Time I Die, Sikth, Glassjaw, Slipknot, E.LO. I mean, the list for most bands is probably quite extensive. Thin Lizzy would be great haha.
When is your best time to write a track?
I’m not sure there’s ever a ‘best time’ for us to write a track. We get distracted very quickly. You know that kid at school who was more interested in distracting everyone than working? There’s five of them in this band. I think because it’s varied so much for us as to how long it’s taken to properly see an idea through to fruition it’s quite hard to tell. I think we’re getting better though. Having a lockup and the ability to demo everything ourselves has made it much easier to chip away at.
Who would you say is the band's main songwriter or is it a group effort and where do you draw your inspiration lyrically and musically from?
For the most part, a lot of the music comes from Andy and then Dan will come in with drums. That’s where the main ideas and structures for songs all start really. Then it will be me adding guitar parts and Posh and Josh bringing lyrics or structure suggestions etc. As far as inspiration goes it can be anything. Musically you’re trying to convey a mood or emotion as best you can and then evoke the same thing in other people. It’s often difficult to get those ideas across immediately. With Josh’s lyrics, it’s his way of getting through different things. Whether it’s trying to make sense of the bad or celebrating the good. Putting things into perspective. Being able to try and make use of your thoughts and feelings to stop you losing your mind.
Is it getting easier or harder to write music?
It’s probably 50/50. I’d say it’s getting easier for us in the sense we’ve been together for a good few years and have a better sense of who we are as people and as a band. This means we’re quicker to hone in on the stronger ideas and try and expand on those. On the flip side of that is that you have an increasing body of work and other bands appearing that whether you like it or not, people will compare it and you to. I think we are quite critical of everything we do as well but more often than not it’s best to just go with your gut.
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
Oh wow, that’s not easy! It’s probably between Jack Bruce from Cream and Paul Kossoff from Free. Those were the two bands that my dad showed me growing up who I immediately fell in love with. It was a bit of a far cry from Rob Zombie and all the other shit I was listening to but it just resonated with me. Free’s live version of 'Moonshine' is still the only song that’s made me well up. I’d talk to Bruce about the early days of Cream and ask how he managed to deal with Ginger Baker. With Kossoff I’d just try and persuade him to not do heroin so he would still be around. Then try and get him to teach me how to nail that insane vibrato he had.
What can we expect Palm Reader to be doing the rest of 2018?
We have a Europen tour with Rolo Tomassi and Cryptodira that starts on March 21st. Then we’ve got Grinagog Festival, Teddy Rocks Festival, Rocked Up Hootenany and some other tours and shows in the pipeline so keeps your eyes peeled. We’re beyond excited to be back out on the road and touring this album.
And finally and probably most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas film?
It’s the only Christmas film. Yippie kayak other buckets!
‘Braille’ will be out April 6th via Silent Cult Records. Preorders: http://geni.us/PalmReaderBraille
Check out the first single ‘Swarm’
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/wearepalmreader/