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April 2020

Palace: "There's got to be a bit of heart in there"

Frontman Leo Wyndham reflects on a super personal debut.
Published: 4:13 pm, November 28, 2016
Palace: "There's got to be a bit of heart in there"
Ahead of their album release [Which, erm, landed earlier this month - Ed], Palace frontman Leo Wyndham reflects on a super personal debut.

Congrats on your debut album - has ‘So Long Forever’ been a long time in the works?
Yeah it feels like it has! We've been together as a band for three years now. It's been a mad journey, and we've already had some of the most awesome adventures, things we'll always remember and bore people to death about when we're old and wrinkly. Now we just want the album out. It's kind of agonising having it all finished and it sitting there hidden away. I might just leak it now actually fuck it.

What was going on with you guys during its creation? Were there any notable events that influenced the record?
A few. The album feels like a real sum up of the last three years. The songs were very much written in the present moment, absorbing everything going on bad or good. I personally have been through some weird tough stuff over the last few years and that very much makes its way onto the record. There's also certain songs which are predictions of future situations which now have come true. The song 'So Long Forever' was about an idea of breaking up with someone and having this kind of 'fuck you I'm out of here' attitude. It's an angry farewell to someone you adore. That's all kind of happened to me now since that song was written. It's strange I never wrote it thinking I would feel those words so truly. I now kind of get it.

Is it a stronger record for being a bit personal, do you think?
I think if you can't be personal on a record then there's almost no point really. I mean sometimes it's fun to write assuming a character of some sort, which I definitely do sometimes. But there's got to be a bit of heart in there otherwise there's nothing for people to connect with. For us it's so important really that it's all real stuff with real feeling, whether it makes it stronger I don't know! That probably all sounds really emo… FUCK.

Singing about negative life events seems a double-edged sword: cathartic perhaps, but potentially a nasty reminder night after night on tour?
Ha, that's kind of true! Just after me and my ex-girlfriend broke up, the next day we had to play at the ICA and I was a wreck. Singing all the songs that night was one of the hardest things I've ever done, as all of them are about her. I almost wept like a baby throughout the whole set. Wouldn't have been the sexiest sight in the world… But yeah, sometimes it makes it hard to disconnect from bad memories.

Where did you record, and how did that feed into the finished product?
We recorded in Hackney at this cool little studio. Our producer was a fucking cool dude called Adam Jaffrey who's now become a good pal. It was a tough process, basically three months of trying to nail it and we had lots of ups and downs and everyone got super sick. At one point it felt like a kind of hospital ward in there, everyone puking and sweating while trying to play solos. But we had a real laugh and that was great. Lots of watching Alan Partridge and weird videos. I think the intensity of the process definitely fed into the tunes, there’s a real urgency to some songs. Lots of the great magic moments happened on the tough stressful days when we were losing it a bit, and then suddenly a piece of gold was struck. It was an amazing experience. 

What do you think is your biggest achievement with the album?
I think the biggest achievement probably is that the album takes you on a journey. Our main aim was to create an album that displays our range as a band. We like the fact that we have tunes that are big and fast and then ones that can take you down and feel acoustic and bluesy. We've found a real lovely balance on the album and there are songs for everyone. It also feels distinctly us, but bigger and more epic. That's all we wanted really. 

How do you want fans to feel when they listen to it?
We want them to connect with it in some way. We want them to find songs that they relate to and really feel. That would be awesome. We also just want them to fucking love it.

What would be the biggest compliment someone could pay you about the album?
If they said that they heard a song and it really rung true with them in some way. Or that they had been through a similar situation and the song meant something to them in that way. That's always awesome to hear.

Taken from the November issue of Dork. Palace's album 'So Long Forever' is out now.

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