Palm Reader (Interview)
If your face needs a good melting, Palm Reader’s third album Braille will leave you unable to recognise yourself in the mirror. Having already reviewed Braille here, I got talking to Palm Reader drummist Dan Olds about personal progress, naked moshers, and a painful truth about the music business…
Your new album Braille is out soon – what thoughts and feelings are floating around the Palm Reader camp right now?
We’re feeling positive about the release – it’s our strongest work to date.
There’s obviously the pre-release nerves where you think everyone is gonna hate the album you’ve been working on for the last few years – but all in all, we’re ready to get Braille into everyone’s ears and see what they think of it.
“There was no avoiding the swinging dick”
You’ve started to include some really interesting new influences on Braille – which bands and artists were you listening to while writing and recording it?
Everyone listens to different bands and musicians to get their influences from. During the time we were writing the album, I was listening to bands like The 1975 and Foals, whereas Josh listens to hip-hop, and Andy listens to a lot of post-rock and prog.
The writing process is usually Andy and I locked in a room together, hashing out riff after riff – and then once we’ve got some form of structure, we get the other guys to add and build the final song.
Some songs take a day, others a couple of years, and both of those examples are featured on Braille.
How have you evolved, as musicians and as people, over the course of creating Braille?
Musically, I think we’ve all stepped it up another notch. When we write, you can really see all of us trying to get better and challenge ourselves to progress at our instruments.
It’s the only way I’d want to work. If you don’t want to learn and get better with every passing moment, then you’re not a musician.
I can’t really speak for the rest of the guys, but on a personal level, honestly, I’ve become a lot more jaded with the world. Maybe it’s all the shit that’s going on, but it feels like we (as a species) have maybe gone too far to save the planet. Cheery, I know!
You’re currently touring with Rolo Tomassi and Cryptodira – what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen during one of your live shows?
To be fair, most of the crowds are fairly normal – well, from what I can see sat at the back – but one time, we were in Bournemouth playing what was supposed to be the then-cancelled Burn Out Festival 2013 (the line up was mental, have a look) and we got given some free shit to give out to the crowd as we played.
We were chucking it about as we played the set, and when it came to the last shirt, we asked the people in the crowd to do something worthy of “winning” the last shirt. The next thing we see, there’s a guy bollock naked in the middle of the pit! The club is extremely small, so there was no avoiding the dude’s swinging dick as he moshed.
I don’t think we’ve seen him since!
If money, space, and good taste weren’t issues, what would your stage show look like?
Nothing too extreme, I don’t think. When bands nowadays have stage shows, they’re usually gimmicky/rehashed shit shows – but if we’re in charge of production, we’d have a shit-tonne of expensive lights and blinders – enough so we’d need an optician next to the merch table, for people to get their eyes tested before they leave.
How would you like to see the world change?
There’s so much that needs to change in the world, but most of it is fairly obvious and is pushed down your throat by other forms of media, or other bands.
The thing I’d like to change about the world is a little closer to home. When it comes to the music industry, anyone who tells you that hard work gets you places is lying to you. It’s mostly luck, or being in the right place at the right time.
There have been too many talented/hardworking bands breaking up because of this.
Beyond the album release and current tour, what do you have lined up for the rest of 2018?
Beyond the release we have a few things in the works, a few shows to play in April, including our hometown release show in Nottingham (Bodega 27th April), and we’ve also got Grinagog Festival (20th April) and Teddy Rocks (May 5th).
And some other secret stuff I couldn’t possibly divulge here…maybe some more touring plans!
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A full review of Braille can be found by clicking here.