“Flowers” and The Sweet Sounds of Palmas BC Artist Profile: Palmas
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The keys to the way way back machine have been traditionally been held by the ones who took the conventional routes through time and space to get to today, yet one listen to Palmas and it is clear that the keys to that machine have just been transferred to some debonair new captains.
Meet Palmas : Matthew (Guitar), Adam (Guitar), Pat (Drums), Kurt (vocals), and Eric on bass (and to his chagrin or not, actually introduced as “cute one”. We aren’t sure how he feels about that, only because he was a little late due to another photo shoot and we did the interview without him. Sorry Eric!). Between their commitment to a “classic look”, and their genuine love of the pop/psychedelic/baroque styles of “classic rock” era and their faithfulness to the authenticity of its sound, Palmas is more than an homage. They are the new ambassadors for this genre of music. To top it off, the internal dynamics of the band is real, refreshing and straight forward. Not every band can walk into a restaurant in New York City that hasn’t opened yet and do shots with the hosts, all the while handling a photoshoot. Check them out for yourself and please take a moment to watch the video to their new song “Flowers”:
BC : What’s your first musical memory?
Matthew (Not Maddy) : Cleaning on the weekends when I was a super young kid, my dad used to play “Hard Days Night” through the house during chores. So my easiest memory is the Beatles “Hard Days Night” record and cleaning. Endlessly cleaning.
Adam (Not Addy) : When I was a young kid my aunt and uncle had an old victrola player in their living room. One of those old records that was actually like glass and I remember cranking them and playing 1940’s and 1950’s style music on that thing and ever since then I just love cranking things. (pause) Wait don’t put that in there.
Pat: I would drive with my grandparents and they were big Frank Sinatra fans and they convinced me for a decent amount of my life, that he was Frank Sinatra singing. So anytime he would play the cassette, I was like “Oh that’s pop-pop singing.” It wasn’t until I got a little bit older till I realized that he was in fact not Frank Sinatra.
Adam : That was last week. (Laughs)
Pat : So I guess I was about nine [when] I realized that my Grandfather was in fact not Frank Sinatra. (Laughs)
Kurt : I don’t have a fancy story like all these guys. My mom used to just pump the oldies station in the car all the time and that’s what I grew up listening to and now that’s what I still play.
Matthew : You’re mom’s not Nancy Sinatra?
Kurt : No, she’s not Nancy Sinatra.
BC: What do you hope people take away from your music?
Adam : Authenticity, we are trying to play our instruments and not over compensate for things that are not us when we play live. We try and record as closely as possible as what we do live. So when people see us, it feels like us playing and it’s not back tracked or anything like that.
Matthew : And even deeper than that, even the instruments we play are generally all old vintage instruments. Even from recording, we recorded a lot of our stuff to tape. The microphones we used are all pre-1965, I think the oldest microphone our engineer has, we’ve just really tried to commit to that sound and not try to fake it in anyway.
BC : Why did you decide on that sound?
Matthew : I think the best answer for this is, I don’t think we did decide on it. I think we all had mutual interests. Well before this band started we were all sharing music together, we all …
Kurt : …naturally gravitate towards that.
Matthew : Yeah, we share music we love with each other and I think that’s why when the idea of this band formed, why we chose this group of people to play and it just kinda naturally happened. There’s definitely songs that we don’t play anymore, where we’ve grown as a band, but I think that our songs [are natural]; we’re not trying to be a certain type of band, we are what we all want to be playing and what we are doing.
Pat : It’s not about the music, it’s about the lifestyle. (Laughs) We live the music, no, I take that back (laughs).
BC : What’s your favorite song to play live?
Kurt: I like playing “I Wanna Know” live, “I Wanna Know Your Love”.
BC : What is it about that song?
Kurt : I just think that song is just … I think it’s the best representation of our sound, even from the beginning, it was [on] the first batch of our songs and I think it’s held the test of time through the new songs that we’re writing as well. And it has really good energy live.
Matthew : My favorite song is “Take My Hand” for sure because as the guitar player in the band it shows off a little bit of the opportunity of what we can do musically. Even the style, we have a guitar solo in that song and we don’t have that in a lot of our songs or even I just play the chords is just really fun and I always feel like I vibe to that song.
Pat : That’s mine as well, I like the way the drums kind of carry this western – ish feel. It’s not exactly a spaghetti western but —
Adam : Oh it is.
Pat : Yeah, it is. I think it is.
Matthew : Ok then it is exactly a spaghetti western. But no, I just like how the song moves. It’s good. It’s gooooood.
BC : How would you describe the chemistry of the band?
Adam : We laugh, we cry, we fight, we make up. But I think at the end of the day when we show up to rehearse, and write I think we all really come to work and put our heads to it and try and write an honest song.
Matthew : I think we are very blunt with each other, which might be too much, but in the long run it is good because I think if anyone is feeling anything, happy or sad, good, bad, it’s said and that can either be really good, or at the moment it can be kind of upsetting, but I think it’s better to get it out and have said things rather then to bottling it up and causing resentment. We are five different people, we all have different opinions on things.
Pat : They say communication is the base of all relationships, and right now we are in a relationship with four other guys, so to just have that open communication I think is important.
Matthew : Group texting can be the best or worst thing.
Pat : It’s the worst.
Adam : Pat’s the king of putting his text on do not disturb.
Pat : I figure if I’m needed they’ll call me.
BC : What was your best day as a band?
Kurt : Probably when we bought our van.
Adam : That was a good day. We were constantly figuring out how we were going to get to shows and borrowing vans from our friends and packing in three different cars and paying tolls to New York in three different vehicles and then we got a van and we were like,”Wow, this made our lives so much easier.”
Pat : I’ll go with a sentimental one. I think our first show was really kinda cool for me, cause I think this band was genuinely started for fun, just hanging out and we played our first show and it wasn’t a big room but it sold out and that was really awesome and I was like,”Well maybe we really got something here.” I think we will top that soon. Maybe even getting a management offer, I think.
Kurt : We’ve had a lot of best days.
Adam : Getting a record of an actual tangible piece of our music that we were able to hold and play was really cool, getting our vinyl record.
BC : What are your goals for next year?
Adam : I want to be on the road playing consistently with a full length record out. We want to hit the studio with a catalogue of songs and really iron it out to a full length.
Matthew : And we are on our way there. We re going into the studio in December, we have a handful of songs we are going to record and we have a couple of songs that we just put out, and it hasn’t envy been a month and we have another one coming out in… I don’t know if I’m allowed to say, but soon, and you know that’s going to be followed by a record and that’s going to be insane that’s going to be a really cool moment to get that out.
Indeed and it will be and our ears will be dancing.
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Cortney Armitage is a photographer and writer based out of Brooklyn, NY. Born into the world of indie rock ‘n’ roll, she travels back and forth from Los Angeles capturing artists in and out of their natural habitat. Contact her at: www.CortneyArmitage.com