Plunging into anxiety: an interview with Palma Violets
Doomed love and paranoia: Palma Violets about their new, defiantly British album.
The city of Austin, Texas, subdued the noise of rain, while Sam Fryer and Chilly Jesson are sitting in a Mexican restaurant, crunching chips and sipping strawberry daiquiri. Palma Violets recently played at the SXSW festival, and drummer Will Doyle, along with keyboardist Pete Mayhew, fled to the lower part of the city, taking with them all the band’s total money, leaving the frontmen only a few meager dollars.
The concert, played as part of the SXSW, was part of the American mini-tour, before the release of the second longplay “Danger In The Club”. If two years ago, the debut album “180”, designated a group from Lambeth as a gang of villains taking inspiration from The Clash, then further performances would have grown into something more deliberate and exciting than, for example, the electrically charged punk anthem “Best Of Friend. ”
Written and recorded in Wales, under the supervision of renowned producer John Lekey, Palms has changed their approach to music. The songs were recorded, hidden in a drawer, rewritten again – sometimes, simply because the sound became too polished, and, as Chilli recalls, “the most difficult task was to give the right sound.”
“Sometimes it became very sad, although it’s even good, I guess. We wrote material three times as necessary, and the only thing that made us do John was to rehearse as much as possible. I think we played songs much better in the recording process than we do now”.
“We had a lot more time working with the new album,” Sam says, looking out the window and shrugging his shoulders. “We took advantage of the time, thought it over well, passed the album through ourselves. The first disc was, like,“ so, let’s record everything as quickly as possible. ”We have not been to the studio before, so it was a bit unusual. But this time we are much more experienced and we have a great producer who also wants to do a great record. It was really exciting. ”
To get to the recording stage, first the guys had to reload themselves after months of exhausting tour. As Sam says, “touring passes you through hell with each other. It’s very hard to break the barrier, open up to each other,” Sam explains.
“We are going through various difficulties and the barrier is growing again. But you just have to break it, and all together again.”
At the moment, musically, Palma Violets have not lost their sense of unpredictability. Speaking of lyrics, “Danger In The Club” is stronger and in many ways ahead of “180”. “Girl You Couldn’t Do Much Better (On The Beach)” confirms the above when Chilly and Sam sing, “You said I’ve changed but I’ve always been this way.” Instead of reinventing themselves, the musicians opened up a new share of courage, which was actually always present.
The most striking example of the group’s new approach to work can be traced in the song “Coming Over To My Place”, a dizzying composition about the difficulties of girls in love. Suddenly, the whole point is concentrated in one single line: “I would rather die than be in love.” A line that you can understand the group: young fearless bullies walking through life laughing. Is the search for your love really shrouded in hopelessness?
“It’s just funny,” Chilli says. “I love this song, because listening to it, everything seems very cool and understandable to you, and then BOOM! Not what you expected, right?”
Starting with the fun little “My baby’s got a new man” in “Walking Home” and ending with “I’m sorry for the way I treated you” in “The Jacket Song”. Try to dive deeper to understand the characters of the songs, because Sam gives the word that the band’s songs will open to the audience more in the future.
“I want to be more frank on the following records, whatever they are. That’s what I want to achieve as a songwriter.”
For example, the song “English Tongue” has a lot more hints of insecurity. “All that folks poke their eyes at me / Is it just my fame or infamy?” asks the question Sam. Ignoring the complaints that the group was never subject to excitement revolving around, does it seem that they are paying too much attention?
“So I think not only me! It’s a bit of paranoia, aging and observing other people. To be honest, I still think about what the lyrics are in the songs on our first album … A new album about paranoia, aging, watching other people … ”
“Gout! Gang! Go!” – one of the shortest and most sudden songs. Brave and even insane, with Chilli’s bass jumping up and down. And then there are surreal and fuzzy lines, for example, “In comes the devil with his greasy hands / He’s got forks and spatulas / He’s got pots and pans”. Nevertheless, the most interesting words are “Don’t destruct my menopause”. Deep and deliberate criticism of the sexuality of female nature?
“Uh …” Chilli squeezes. “We wrote it in the dressing room in Amsterdam,” says Sam.
“The lines speak for themselves!” Chillie says through laughter. “I think this refers to the menopause of our mothers.