Q&A With Palma Violets
I was lucky enough to catch up with the band (including unofficial fifth member and unbridled bundle of energy Harry Violent) as they performed a DJ set at legendary Amsterdam venue Paradiso, and also in the days after the gig: BT : You've been compared to The Strokes, The Libertines, The Gun Club, The Doors and The Clash- among others! Who inspired you the most when making your debut album 180? Obviously they're all great bands and the comparisons are flattering but we never set out to sound like anyone in particular, it's just our influences our fairly deep-rooted so different stuff is gonna come out at different points. But The Clash and NickCave trade of references were very important early on. BT : How was working with Pulp's Steve Mackey on 180? Do you feel he helped channel the dynamic between Sam and Chilli onto the record? How did he do that? Steve straight away just nailed our sound and clearly knew what it was we were trying to get across. He obviously saw what he liked in us and ran with it. The dynamic's obviously evident on-stage and if that translates on to the record that's great. BT : The journey so far has been epic - you formed 18 months ago, and you've already had a track voted NME's single of the year - are you feeling any pressure to live up to the hype? We dunno... the main thing is to try not to buy into the circus around it too much; if you get too caught up in it then you're not going about everything for the same reasons as you started and if you buy into the hype you''ll just end up complacent so essentially its the same pressure to put on a good show we've always had. BT : I really love Peter Mayhew's keyboard sounds on 180 and it reminds me of Rob Collins' work on The Charlatans' debut. How do you add the keyboards to the tracks- do you ever build around them or is it more an 'add them in' later thing? It depends- we'll all come up with something at a different points, we then play around with it and see if it's worth running with... so its not like anything takes conscious precedence in terms of writing. BT : As you inevitably get bigger will you miss doing smaller intimate venues like the Bitterzoet gig at Amsterdam? Hopefully we'll always have the chance to do the intimate shows because it's what we love! BT : The story is that you recorded 14 on the way home from a drunken night out and forgot you'd recorded it until you heard it on voicemail the day after... Is it true? Who instigated the drinking that night and what was the occasion?! Budgens instigated the drinking and yeah that's true! The unconscious mind comes out with the best! BT : You're marooned on a desert island with two albums only- one from this Millennium one from the last Millennium- what would they be? Micachu and the Shapes- Never The Kinks - Muswell Hillbillies BT : You're taking in a host of cities on this tour- LA, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Zurich, Ghent- any particular favorites so far? Edinburgh becuase it's beautiful and the last show we did there was amazing! Hamburg was pretty mad too. LA and Ghent we haven't done yet but we're really looking forward to the rest of the tour- it's great getting to see the sights. BT : What's the funniest moment of the tour so far? The funniest moment of the tour was Sam accidentally super-gluing his mouth together just before a TV appearance... that was pretty good! BT : What's been the highlight of the band's days together and why? Highlights, there's a lot! Going to America for the first time was amazing, shows like the last Edinburgh one too. Also playing the Westgarth Spocial Club in Middlesborough was great as well... And going round Europe's wicked. BT : Thanks! I wish you the best of luck with the rest of the tour and am looking forward to seeing you at the Isle of Wight festival in June...!