Interview – Palace

Ahead of their sold-out Nottingham show, indie trio Palace sat down with Impact to discuss new music, life on tour and their return from the shadows.

Time has flown by since London-based trio Palace swept into our lives in 2014 with the divine Lost in the Night EP, a startling collection of hypnotic Maccabees-esque tracks that caught the attention of music impresarios Zane Lowe and Annie Mac. Since then, the band, consisting of Leo Wyndham (vocals, guitar), Rupert Turner (guitar) and Matt Hodges (drums), have released a deep-hearted debut record ‘So Long Forever’, and smashed a series of UK and international tours. Following a sizeable break, the trio have returned ahead of the eagerly-anticipated release of their second record.

Palace first met at school when they were about thirteen and instantly clicked according to drummer Matt Hodges. “We were friends for such a long time and started jamming together after school, but we haven’t actually been a band for a very long time, which is contrary to what people believe.” Despite only being in the advent of their career, Palace were handpicked by indie troubadour Jamie T in 2015 to support him on a string of comeback shows, a daunting yet unforgettable experience for the band.

Following 2016’s debut record, the trio disappeared from music for a while to the surprise of many fans. When asked if the time has gone quickly over the past three years, Hodges says: “For me, it feels like it’s gone slowly just because by the time the album’s out, you’ve already rehearsed the tracks so you’re kind of ready to start the next one. There are a lot of songs on this latest album written and demoed by the end of December 2017. We spent the whole of 2018 just rehearsing and recording to a standard we were happy with. This year is all about releasing the album and getting back into the swing of things.”

“The music we like to make is music that people connect to and gives you a feeling and takes you on a journey…”

What is clear when speaking to the band is just how rejuvenated they are at the prospect of the comeback tour and new music. “Playing shows will be great, it was sorely missed last year,” Turner defiantly states. “Actually seeing people who enjoy our music gives a purpose to all the work we’ve put in.” The work that the trio have put in over the past few years already looks to have paid off, with the release of two singles from the upcoming album so far proving immediate fan favourites.

Their latest track ‘No Other’ is a beautifully narrated love song brimming with an innate purity at its very core. Speaking of the track, Wyndham says: “Rupert came up with these lovely chords and then we just worked together on it. It’s basically a love song about finding the person you really love and the person who makes you happy. Meeting the right person after a bad period in your life can really change your life and make you feel lifted up. It was written from my own personal experiences over the last couple of years. It’s a celebration of that love.”

Celebration is a consistent theme for Palace. Their shared love and celebration of great music together as a band, as well as with their families, acts as constant inspiration for their sound. “The music we like to make is music that people connect to and gives you a feeling and takes you on a journey, communicating a form of emotion and feeling,” offers Wyndham. “We like the idea of writing music that makes you feel something, and even better something you connect to with your own lives. It gives us great pleasure to have people connect with our music.”

For a band capable of producing music of such kaleidoscopic serenity and integrity, their process of writing is surprisingly unremarkable. “We haven’t really changed that much between the first and the second album,” says Wyndham. “We’re always really chasing the best possible song. I don’t think the method has changed in any way. Maybe the difference is that we’ve become better at mining the good nuggets that make a good song, but the writing process is still the same.”

“the trio are currently sticking their teeth into their comeback tour”

Asked if his experience in a band has changed the scope of Palace lyrically Wyndham establishes: “Lyrically, the themes are all relevant to what I’m going through at the time and what I’m feeling. I guess over time I’ve changed as a person, I’ve been through different experiences, had heartbreaks, met someone else, and I think that filters into the songs. But generally the newer songs have a more positive feel to the debut record.”

Whilst the trio are currently sticking their teeth into their comeback tour, the future for Palace remains bright. With a host of festival dates already confirmed, Hodges is optimistic for 2019. “We’ve announced a few festivals already and there are some more to be announced,” he says. “There’s a really cool one that we’re doing but we’re not allowed to say. It’s going to be a great summer, new music out, new record out, great festivals and I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming. We’ll spend the summer doing festivals and hopefully will be touring again in Autumn.”

Those familiar with Palace’s live show will know the sense of kindred spirit they project onstage. Off stage, the trio are shy yet considerate, hesitant yet polite, and all-in-all down to earth musicians striving to do what they want to do most, which is play the music they love, to the fans who have loved them since the very beginning.

Ben Standring

Featured Image courtesy of Pierre Guinoiseau via Flickr.

Image use licence here.

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