"Our first album was a moment in time, this is a proper record" - hmv.com talks to Palma Violets
Almost three years on from their debut album, 180, Palma Violets return next week with their second LP, Danger In The Club. Fresh from their recent UK tour run, we caught up with Alexander “Chilli” Jesson to talk about working with John Leckie, their plans for touring America, and finding unwanted visitors in their tour van...
So you just finished a tour, didn't you?
“Yeah, literally last night actually. Back out again tomorrow, today's my day off.”
Are we ruining it for you?
“Hahaha, no it's cool, I'm up and at 'em! It never stops!”
Ok good. So when did you start working on the new album?
“We started working on it around 10 or 11 months ago, then I think we finished about a month and a half back, so we've managed to get it out there really quickly, which is good”
You worked with John Leckie as producer this time around, how did that come about?
“Yeah, well he was at the top of our wish list, and to be honest nobody really thought we'd get him, but he just ended up really liking the band. He's just a lover of rock & roll, he liked the rawness and the emotion of it I think, that's what he picked up on. He just grabbed the live energy that we had and transferred that onto the record.”
What was he like to work with?
“He was pretty mellow really. To be honest, we're frantic enough as it is, so I think we needed that sort of equilibrium, haha!”
Was it a very different experience to recording 180? You did that in your own makeshift studio didn't you?
“Pretty much, yeah. This was on a much bigger scale, we were down at Rockfield Studios. That first album was just like a moment in time, you know? This was very much like a proper record from start to finish, things were a lot more thought out in terms of sounds, so yeah, it's been great. There's a lot more depth. We were thinking about longevity a lot more I suppose.”
Who does the bulk of the writing? Do you all write together?
“Well, me and Sam kind of get the basics together, then Pete and Will join in and make it a song, but it's pretty easy these days, we've got it down to a T”
What kind of album is this in terms of lyrics?
“I guess it's, like, the underbelly of things... I dunno, there are certain themes and stuff I guess, but I never really wanted to do that deliberately, I just write what I know. I don't want to give too much away...”
Fair enough! You did the NME tour again recently, didn't you? Is that a very different thing to your regular shows?
“Yeah, we did it a couple of years ago and then again headlining it this year. It was great, it's a step up really.”
You spent some time touring America last time, are there plans to do that again?
“Yeah, we're touring there next week actually. It's been going great, we're playing everywhere. I'm really excited, can't wait for that. The reception's been great for us out there, really really good. You know, they're really responsive to us.”
Have you had any weird experiences on the road?
“Erm, there was this time we were up in Hull. Pete went to get his bags out of the van, and we didn't know but this guy had gotten in there somehow, I think he was pretty drunk. So Pete got his stuff and locked the door, and ended up locking this kid in there. We got back and he'd pissed all over the seats and everything, he was in there for hours! We'd played the whole show, he'd bought a ticket and everything, haha! He was just pissed and being curious I think, it was all a bit of an accident.”
Are you doing any of the UK festivals?
“Yeah, yeah, I believe so, they've not been announced yet, but we will be. We're doing a load in Europe, some in America. Lots to do!”