LA natives The Palms are bending all the rules and making it look natural with the new EP Sway. The duo recently took some time away from their American tour, to have a chat and let the crew know a little bit more about the band and their beginnings and take on the record industry, topping charts and everything else in between.
The palms have a fresh sound that catches the attention of a wide variety of listeners by meshing a vast array of influences into a new and unique blend all of your own. This really sets you apart from other artists. How do begin to weave such magic and how would you personally describe your sound?
First of all, thank you. Coming from another band, we knew that having our own sound was going to be the only way we stood a chance at breaking through. Being that we’ve grown up on so many different kinds of music, it’s natural for them to come through in the songs that we create. We approached The Palms with a No Rules mentality and no matter how weird an idea or sound, if we liked it, then we run with it. Much of what we do is subconscious and song focused. Complimenting the song is most important and ultimately what steers us. I’d say the only conscious, premeditated aspect of our sound, is applying beats, to more traditional, indie/pop style songs, which is something fairly unique in our musical landscape.
Can you tell us a little about where you grew up and how that has inspired what you are currently doing?
We both grew up in Los Angeles, which is rare. While most move to LA with big dreams and aspirations, we came up in the thick of it, which allows us to see it through a different lens, for good or for bad. Our music, in general, would not be remotely close to what it is, without the inspiration and influence of our hometown. It controls everything in us and in the music. The tempo, vibe, feel attitude etc. It’s safe to say that our music, is an extension of the city that raised us.
How do you feel being a two piece helps or hinders the creative process?
It helps tremendously. Having someone to bounce off and filter ideas through is immeasurable. We check each other and keep each other honest. The Palms is truly the sum of its parts.
Among other achievements, The Palms topped Spotify’s viral UK chart a while back. How does it feel to have so many people enjo y what you’re doing and how have non-traditional avenues like Spotify and Instagram supported and fueled your music?
Positive feed back and reinforcement from listeners and fans is everything. We had no idea what to expect when we initially launched The Palms. People could’ve completely hated it, or even worse, not even noticed or cared. To see people reacting the way they have is mind blowing for us and incredibly humbling. Music has had such a massive impact on my life and to know that the music we’re creating is positively impacting others means everything.
How much has changed now that you’re not with a label like the last project, Terraplane Sun, and how much has that allowed you to work in different directions or possibly do things that might not have been available before?
The goal is to remain Independent… 9 out of 10 times, a Major Label will be the gateway to the end of an artist’s career and even in that rare one time when it works out, the artist is still getting screwed. The industry is cracking and it won’t be long before someone shakes it up for good. The old model makes zero sense and is completely unnecessary… Artists and Independent labels are slowly discovering ways to maintain their independence and it won’t be long before Labels, as we know them today, are all together extinct. We spend a fraction of the amount of money a label does and are accomplishing 10x’s as much because we don’t have the overhead. A major label, with 5k employees, cares about one thing when it comes to their artists and that is the bottom line. This is a sensitive subject and I could go on forever, so I’ll cut I off now…haha.
The six track EP Sway has now dropped, allowing current and future fans to grab hold of a fat chunk of bliss. Where did the base concepts for this release begin to form and were the tracks mainly recorded on your computer like your earlier songs or was there more to it this time round?
Sway is basically an EP built around Push Off as an extension of that sound and concept of self-empowerment and improvement. The majority of the songs started at my little home studio as chord progressions or melody ideas and then hashed out there into what you hear. All songs are recorded at that little studio which is awesome and extremely liberating.
Beach daze is the most recent song diving into the waters at the base of people’s skulls and reverberating those catchy lyrics all through the brain long after the track is over. How does a song like this cross over or translate from a recorded track to a live song with an audience singing along? And which do you prefer? The studio or the stage?
Funny enough, it’s become one of our favourite recorded songs because of the live version. It’s weird how that happened because we always liked the recorded version but once it came to life onstage and people started reacting, it started to take on new life and is now one of our favourites, in both forms.
What is it like to play legendary LA venues like the Troubadour? I mean, so many epic bands cut their teeth in these places, and along with your tour in support of the EP, The Palms are playing a tonne of rad venues. Do you have one venue that you favour over all the rest or a dream venue that you hope to play at some point?
At a place like the Troubadour, you have to find the balance of taking it all in without completely psyching yourself out. It’s overwhelming to think about Jim Morrison or Elton John debuting classic songs on that stage. All we wanted to make sure was that we put on the best show possible and didn’t let the legacy of the venue down, which I hope we accomplished. That was definitely a highlight.
Your website says of your music, “the perfect soundtrack to a summer night in Los Angeles”. What would be your perfect night in LA?
BBQ at the beach with your best friends and your girl, then a bon fire maybe some skinny dipping under the stars. Just salt, sand and sweat.
What’s the next step for The Palms and what should we keep an eye out for?
We’re just going to continue releasing new music as it comes so keep your ear to the ground!