INTERVIEW: With ‘Palace’ Frontman Leo Wyndham

in Interviews

Today I caught up with Palace frontman Leo Wyndham to see whats old, whats new and whats to come. This is how it went down…

Some publications are painting you guys with the same brush as; Jeff Buckley, Maccabees, Foals and Kings of Leon, how do you feel about that? “Well they’re all amazing bands so it’s a crazy honour to be compared with them. I mean I don’t think we sound totally like them but I suppose in some ways we’re a mash up all of them. That’s the music we loved as early teenagers and still do. Jeff is one of our biggest influences so to be in the same sentence as him makes us weep.”

Would you say that these are fair comparisons? “It’s not really for us to judge, if people think we sound like them then to their ear I guess we do. We have occasionally had mad comparisons like Morrissey, I don’t get that at all. Same hairstyles maybe?! But yeah I guess there are sprinkles of all the bands above in our sound.”

Would you compare yourself to anyone else? “We have similarities to our beloved Wu Lyf I think. We were definitely influenced by their sound and emotion in their music. I think there’s quite a lot of folk influences that we have similarities to, a bit of Fleet Foxes, John Martyn and Nick Drake in there. All people we’re obsessed with.”

Do you draw inspiration from these too? “Yeah course, these are the people that made us want to make music. We listen to them most days.”

Your debut album ‘So Long Forever’ was released last November How long was the process of starting the band to releasing the album? “I think about 2 and a half years till we started recording. A good amount of time to find our feet and become a solidly formed band. We needed that time to develop and evolve. By the time recording came we were so ready and prepared whereas at the start we really weren’t so good. I have early video recordings from our earliest rehearsals, us playing versions of I Want What You Got and Veins and we’re pretty shite. My voice sounds like a cat being thrown out of a helicopter.”

How did it feel to finally get your music signed and out there? “It’s a dream come true. Nothing is more satisfying than writing a tune; working on it with the band and then releasing it into the ether. It’s always exciting to hear the response. Our fans are very positive lovely people and the response we get is always beautiful.”

What are your memorable challenges/obstacles in that time? “I think the recoding process is a strange thing. You’re locked in a small room for like 3 months, slightly losing your mind and getting sick too. At the same time it’s the most amazing creative experience I’ll ever have, working with the producer to come up with beautiful sounds to hit people emotionally. It’s incredible and so weird at the same time. We drove each other a bit mad I think, but the producer Adam Jaffrey has become a good pal of ours.”

Tour coming up this April, looking forward to any particular cities/towns/venues? “Manchester of course! We always genuinely love coming to your amazing city. It has such a buzz about it and the people are always lovely. We played a sold out Deaf Institute last time and it was epic. Mancunians always bring their A-game to gigs, nice and rowdy and they get into it. We can’t wait to get back there….”

What do you enjoy/dislike about being on the road? “Being in a van for 8 hours a day can be pretty boring at times and eating shitty roadside food constantly can get pretty tedious. But the pros outweigh the cons massively. You get to hang with your friends for a month or two, get really drunk and have fun and act like a 10 year old. You can’t beat that. And then playing sold out shows too, that ain’t half bad. It’s also a chance for us to meet our fans, that’s always a blessing. We’ll never stop doing that.”

What can people expect from one of your gigs if their seeing you for the first time? “They can expect BIG, EPIC, ethereal songs with massively atmospheric vibes and a tinge of blues. The show will hit you in the gut, in a good way.”

Favourite gig to date? “Deaf Institute is definitely up there for the UK. We played Glastonbury on the John Peel stage last year and it was so special. The tent was rammed and we probably had the best weekend of our lives.”

Dream gig/venue and two bands would you have supporting you? “The Hollywood Bowl with Angel Olsen and the Wu Tang Clan supporting us. That would be insane.”

Sound, thanks for your time man, looking forward to your Manchester show and best of luck with the rest of the tour.

Palace are: Leo Wyndham (guitar, vocals)
Rupert Turner (guitar)
Will Dorey (bass)
Matt Hodges (drums)

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