In the last six months, Palace have ridden a wave of overwhelming critical acclaim and fan support. Last October, they released their debut EP ‘Lost in the Night’, which garnered the attention of BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music and XFM. Following on from the huge success of their debut EP, Palace have unveiled their magnificent new single ‘Kiloran’, taken from the forthcoming EP ‘Chase The Light‘, which is out 8th June.
We caught up with the band after their recent tours with Ghostpoet and Jamie T to discuss life on the road, artwork, Wu Lyf and their summer plans.
Firstly, can you introduce yourselves with a little random fact about each of your band mates…
We’re an alt-blues Rock band from London called Palace and here are some random facts for you –
Matt (drums): Matt used to be a backing dancer for Enrique Iglesias. No not really. Palace is Matt’s first ever band.
Leo (Vocals & Guitar) : Leo once met Jedward.
Rupert (Lead Guitar) : Rupert used to play bass for Palace when it was a three piece originally
Will (Bass): Will runs his own reggae label.
Going back to the early days of Palace, what did you all think of each other when you first met?
Well we’ve all been friends since school, so a pretty darn long time. I think we all hit it off pretty quickly and each shared a love for good music. I wish I could say some terrible story about how we each hated each other at first meeting, but sadly not!
What have you learnt about each other from working together?
That each person brings different things to the table when it comes to the piecing together of songs. We all have different ideas, as well as agreeing on most things, but those different ideas really help to get the best out of our songs. The line up, as it stands, is integral to our creative process – we work together pretty well. We’ve also learnt that were fucking juvenile and when we’re together we act like we’re about 12 years old. It’s pretty weird. Tour is an excuse for us to act like children, basically.
The artwork of your previous releases reveal a pensive, solitary man. There’s a sadness to the imagery like he’s bearing the weight of the world inside his eyes, what was the idea behind the visuals?
Our pal Wilm Danby whose an amazing artist did the painting and has done the new one too. He’s super talented and is very much part of Palace as the aesthetics man. It’s lovely to have friends involved rather than randomers.
It’s pretty important to us to get the visual side right. We’re naturally all quite creative people outside of music and like making films and videos, so we’ll always have a big hand in deciding what the vibe is for the look of the band. I don’t really know why but Wilm’s style and vibrant colours and slightly surreal dreamy style match our music. It somehow fits.
Wu Lyf – what is it about that band that makes them a pivotal influence for you?
Ah, their epicness and the bigness of their sound, we admire greatly. It’s music that carries great weight and hits you right in the gut. I think in some way we wanted to recreate that feeling it gives the audience.
Their one and only album is just incredible.
You’ve gained a lot of heavy weight supporters early on in your career, such as Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens and Jamie T. How do you react to that sort of response out of the gate? I mean, it’s lovely to be praised for doing what you love but does it add any pressure at all to the creative process, knowing that a lot of people are anticipating what you’re going to put out next or does it push you to strive even higher with your music?
It’s lovely getting any praise at all and people saying what you’re doing is good, but to be honest we don’t really think about it too much. We never feel pressure of any sort. We just do what we do and have fun and try not to let any exterior influences effect how we write music. It’s important to not let it go to your head and believe your own hype. We’re still so early down the line and just starting out really. And we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and believe we’re all that. We just want to make good music that we like. And if people like it then thats frickin’ awesome.
You’re playing a good few festivals this year. Festivals are a good place to catch up your musical buddies and also your musical heroes. Who do you want to grab a selfie with if you get the chance?
Snoop Dogg at Kendal Calling will be pretty mad. We want to sneak onto the stage and do some backing dancing for him.
As a band, collectively, what has been your favourite festival moment so far?
‘Where The Wild Things Are’ in Holland was amazing. We played to a full crowd and the people were so into it. Dutch people are the bomb. We then went and had a massive night of moshing and losing our shit.
You’ve just come off a massive tour with Jamie T. How was it? What were the crowd responses like?
Tour with Jamie T was incredible. He’s such a dude and his band were super cool also. We seemed to get an amazing response around Europe. We started in Berlin at this massive venue and they cheered us onto the stage, it was crazy. We made lots more fans and had the time of our lives really. It was pretty sad when it ended. One guy called Yoav travelled from Israel to see us play in Berlin! That blew our minds.
When you’re out on tour, in a van, with only the rest of the band and crew to keep you company over the course of what might be weeks or months. What do you get up to for fun?
Be incredibly juvenile and drive our manager mad.
Travelling can be tiring but it can be really rewarding to see and experience new places, new parts of world – did you have any time for sightseeing?
We got to go to loads of amazing cities with Jamie T round Europe, places we’d never been like Brussels and Berlin. There’s always a bit of time for some sightseeing, it’s good to do something un-music related in the day when on tour, otherwise you can go a bit mad.
What’s the plan for Palace going forward?
A load of touring and hopefully travelling round the world playing music to new fans, that would be pretty good. We just want to keep doing what were doing and enjoying it, having fun and writing better and better songs along the way. Playing Glastonbury at some point would be pretty special.
See Palace at Wychwood Festival 29th – 31st May. For more information please visit: wychwoodfestival.com.
Photo Credit: Grace Pickering