I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again… Palace are one of, if not my favourite musical outfit from the past few years. Their enchanting blues rock jams are a joy to behold, and their stellar rise from blog love to every label around town wanting a piece of the action has been quite spectacular, and very well deserved. Their music speaks for itself, and if you aren’t yet familiar with it, I strongly suggest you take a minute to do so now…
…right, now that we’re all up to speed. I got the chance to catch up with frontman Leo for a quick chat, and here’s how it went down.
First off, the cheesiest of all cliche questions, where did the Palace moniker come from?
My brother came up with it for a joke after we’d spent months trying to find a suitable name. Weirdly it just sounded right, for no specific reason. People seem to dig it which is good.
You where all in bands before, how did you come to link up and form Palace?
We all used to go to school together in seperate years and played music since we were super young in all sorts of bands. Me, Matt & Rupert one day just for fun thought it was about time we had a jam and that was that really. We hired out a space in Camden at Scar Studios and got going.
I heard you were in a band called Paradise Wizard at some point!? I’m intrigued for obvious reasons… What was that all about?
Haaaa! That was a joke band I was in at school where we covered Rupert Holmes’ Pina Colada Song. That was our only track. I think there were ten people in Paradise Wizard. So good to hear Paradise Wizard getting some airtime.
Amazing! So you recorded your “Lost In The Night” EP at The Arch, a North London sonic squat of sorts, which you share with other bands from what I gather?
Well our friends who are these incredible session players started renting a run down old space in Tottenham and spent years doing it up, building everything themselves, etc… And now it’s this amazing space and Palace are members. It’s a place where we record, hang out, have fun. It’s pretty incredible and more than rough around the edges, but that’s the way we like it. There’s a real old school blues rock’n’roll basis to the whole thing, lots of the guys there play that stuff, and play it insanely well! Bands like Scoundrels, Skinshaphe, Only Joe and The Dirty Gentleman to name a few. It’s very special.
Beatnik Creative have been amazing and were lucky to be with them, the man in charge there Ali is also our manager, which is great. The new EP however has become a kind of collaboration with Fiction Records, as they really believed in Beatnik‘s approach to developing new bands and so they were keen to support the release and that ethos which is very cool.
We’re very proud of the new EP and for us it feels like a real step up with the song writing and intricasy of the music. It feels more interesting and advanced somehow to us, but at the same time it won’t take anyone off guard and make them think we’ve gone in some crazy direction, it’s still very much Palace – but stronger we think.
How was it supporting Jamie-T?
Supporting Jamie-T was the best. We had the time of our lives on that tour and got to hang out with him and his band, they are all the loveliest people and Jamie was incredibly supportive and wise in his advice to us. He even dedicated a song every night of the tour to us.
Another real cliche sorry… but what’s your “craziest tour story”?
Just usual stuff really, getting ridiculosly drunk and getting tattoos at 4 in the morning – not a good idea.
What was the concept behind the “Bitter” video? How involved are you in the whole visual side of things?
Our manager got his pal to direct it for us, it was kind of losely an Adam & Eve kind of thing. Though it’s more for the viewer to interpret the story as whatever they see fit. Our friends were the actors in it, they sweetly said they’d do the video for us.
Describe your music in 5 words?
Sexmusic. Ethereal. Big. Unpredictable. Groovy.
If you could be a cartoon character(s), who would you be?
Either ‘Bravestarr’ or Ren from ‘Ren & Stimpy’ definetly.
What’s next for Palace?
A load of touring and having as good a time as we possibly can.
Much love to Leo for taking the time to chat to us, to the Palace crew for their splendid sonic nuggets, and to the lovely people over at Beatnik Creative for making this happen, especially Ali and Meliz.