Palm Honey: Something Extraterrestrial
Our local favourites have been causing quite a stir around the country this summer, so we thought we owe you a catch up with Reading's nearest and dearest and in insight into their alien brains.
- You've just released Hot Simian Weather, what was the inspiration? Well Hot Simian Weather was a track that came entirely out of a jam session, so it very much had a sort of unconscious birth, you could say. Listening back, it’s obviously very much based around repetition; sort of pummelling an idea into the listener’s head without respite. At the time, we were mainly listening to krautrock and electronic music based on a similar principle. I can sort of hear a bit of Talking Heads in there too, though. - Your use of language is definitely obscure, how do titles and lyrics usually come to you? I tend to just go with whatever pops into my head at the time. I don’t tend to sit down with lyrics and flesh them out, it’s just what sounds best and what feels natural. It’s all quite stream-of-consciousness, which I suppose is quite an obscure thing in itself. - There's been a lot of singles, why have you favoured singles over something longer so far? I wouldn’t say we’ve ‘favoured’ them, we’re not really a big fan of singles and much prefer doing things in EP or album form. It’s just a matter of being pressed for time and money really. But we’re hoping to get something bigger out soon. And we’re definitely very proud of our EP, which we feel is something to listen to from beginning to end and not pick apart. - Your visuals are very distinct, where does all of the artwork come from? Initially Harry (synth/guitar) would draw the artwork, but for the EP and more recent material it’s been more of a collaborative effort between all of us. We mainly try to create artwork that seems otherworldly, gives you a sense of something extraterrestrial. - Festival season's been busy for you this year, has there been a highlight so far? Truck Festival was by far my favourite, not just for the fact we had a great show and large, receptive audience, but also for the fact that the backstage crew are all incredibly helpful and courteous. All round it was a lovely experience. - Is there any festival you haven't played yet that's on your to-do list? Mainly we’d like to get out of the UK and do some festivals around Europe, that’s the next step. I don’t think we really have a to-do list, we just do what feels right at the time. - We've seen you play Purple Turtle many times, is there any plans for a tour in the near future? After the Sundara Karma support tour we kind of went off touring for a little while. There’s nothing planned imminently, for now we’re mainly focusing on developing new music behind the scenes and doing one-off-shows. We’re holding our first entirely improvised gig in Reading soon, which is something we’re really looking forward to. If it goes well, that’ll definitely be something we’ll be looking to expand on and take around the country. - Your sets are very experimental and you never play a song the same way twice, why is that? It’s incredibly boring to play something the same way over and over again, frankly. Too many bands just play the hits and try to replicate the sound of their recordings. But really, recorded music and live music should be treated as entirely different entities. A lot of our newer material is quite loosely structured, so as to allow us more freedom to improvise and develop things off-the-cuff in a live context. We’re very influenced by bands like Can in this regard. Live music should allow for the unplanned and the unexpected. It should never be predictable, for us or for the audience. - Experimental is almost synonymous to strange, do you ever get strange people in your crowds? What are they like? I generally tend to try and avoid looking at the crowd too much, haha! I often feel like the strangest person in the room when we perform to be honest. - And finally, psych, pop, haze, funk, shoegaze, krautrock and fuzz are just some of the many words people have used to describe the genre of Palm Honey, how would you guys put it into words? David Lynch often makes the point that he spends so much time trying to put his ideas into film, it seems like a frivolous endeavour to then try and convey the same ideas in words. That is to say, the film is the chosen medium, so it IS the language, you know? I think we operate on a similar principle. The music speaks for itself. I would say give us a listen and make up your own mind! Don't miss out on the upcoming gig. And keep up to date via their Spotify & Twitter. Photo courtesy of Katie King.