‘We’re just five dickheads from Woking who like to play music”: An interview with Palm Reader (26/7/2013)

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At this year’s Redfest I managed to catch up with Palm Reader. We chatted about the release of their debut album Bad Weather and the guys shared their experience of playing festivals in Switzerland.

How did it feel to release your debut album and receive such amazing reviews for it?

Andy: Unexpected.

Josh M: It’s been really fucking nice. It’s kind of hard to get your head around the fact that people enjoy the noise that you wrote in a really small room. 

What attracted you to make hardcore music, as its quite a niche genre?

Josh R: It used to be that way but there’s so many hardcore bands around now. Finally there’s a lot of good stuff actually coming out of the UK scene. 

Josh M: Yeah they all deserve it. The amount of passion that’s involved within this scene and that genre of music is something that doesn’t seem to be put across as much within other genres. 

Josh R: Hardcore bands are some of the most hardworking bands out there. 

Andy: For the most part all the bands are really nice as well. 

So, you played at Download Festival earlier this summer. I heard it was a pretty crazy show…

Josh R: Yes, it was mental. 

Andy: Again, ridiculously unexpected that loads of people came out to see us cause we’re just five dickheads from Woking who like to play music and for some reason people seem to like it.

Josh M: All you can do is appreciate it really cause it goes fucking quickly.

Josh R: We worked out we’ve done like 140 shows since we started and the response has been mental. It goes so quickly that it’s difficult to know what to make of it all.

I heard that straight after your set you had to rush off to Switzerland?

Andy: Yeah we just popped off to Switzerland. Casual sixteen hour drive.

Did you find there was a noticeable difference between Swiss and English crowds?

Josh R: Download is more like our home turf so it was quite different. We played the last day of Switzerland, we were like second on and everyone was hungover. 

Andy: Noticeably fucking hungover. 

Josh M: It was one of those things where when we started playing there wasn’t that many people but then by the time we’d finished there was a decent amount of people there. So I mean we must have made some sort of an impression. It was good, I think we went down fairly well. 

Was it the same kind of vibe as an English festival?

Andy: It was the same kind of vibe but when you go to Switzerland say goodbye to your bank account and probably your pension as well, cause everything is so expensive. Our manager spent £25 on two shots of Jack Daniels. 

Josh M: Everyone’s a lot friendlier in Switzerland too. 

Andy: It’s cause they’ve all got your money!

Performing a hardcore set must be quite physically demanding. Have you found it a challenge maintaing your energy throughout the festival season?

Andy: It’s a lot harder when it’s hot. Sometimes I kind of wish we played easier music and not aggressive music because we wouldn’t have to move about so much. 

Josh M: If we didn’t move about we’d look like knobheads. 

Josh R: The kind of music we play demands that we move around.

Yeah it would look so weird if you just stood still…

Josh R: But there are bands out there who do do that. We’ve seen countless bands that play that kind of music and stand there and just do nothing. 

Josh M: If it’s what they want to do and that works for them then that’s fine but we find it very difficult not to move.

Andy: We’re going to Scandanavia in late September and we’re looking forward to the lower temperatures cause you can maintain your energy without feeling like you want to curl up and die. Its exactly like running. Everyone hates running in the summer. 

Josh M: Imagine going running but shouting constantly while you’re doing it for half an hour. That’s pretty much what it’s like. 

How do you maintain your voice?

Josh M: I’ve been singing for years. The first time I sang live was at my Dad’s 40th birthday. I sang The Darkness ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’. That was 10 years ago so I’ve been singing and shouting for a while. Just drink a lot of water and don’t be a dickhead to your throat. 

So are you sticking around for the rest of Redfest?

Andy: Yeah we’re sticking around.

Josh M: I think we’re going to try and see as much as possible. It’s great here because its like Hevyfest but smaller. 

Did you enjoy your set today?

Josh M: It was really fun.

Andy: Again it was a struggle because of the heat. In the tents it’s just haggard heat. 

Josh M: Our drummer Dan looked like he was about to die at one point. 

Josh R: I think he did. I’m pretty sure he died at one point. 

What would you say has been your festival highlight of the summer so far?

Josh M: Download was insane but I think as far as aesthetics go probably Greenfield just because of the scenery. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Josh R: We met some amazing people as well. Boy Sets Fire were there who are really nice guys.

Andy: Deaf Havana let us use their dressing room cause we got kicked out of ours by another band. 

You’re also playing Reading and Leeds. Do you have a favourite out of the two?

Andy: Never been to Leeds so the favorite would have to be Reading cause I’ve been there. 

Josh R: The line up is ridiculous as well. 

Do you have any advice for young hardcore bands trying to break into the scene?

Andy: Play every show. Never compromise. 

Josh M: Be humble. Don’t be a dickhead cause no one likes that, it’s not cool. 

Andy: It can be taken away from you in a heartbeat. 

Josh M: Treat everything with respect and you’ll be fine. 

When you were first starting out did you ever anticipate the kind of reception you’re getting?

Josh M: No we had no idea. We just started writing a load of angry songs and people liked them. 

Matt (Tour Manager): I knew!

Finally, your name is Palm Readers so is there any chance you could read my palm?

Josh M: No but we can try…

Andy: Yes we can but it’s not gonna be accurate. You will die a long painful death!

Great thanks!

Josh M: No, we chose that name because it sounded pretty cool, we though people would like it. Basically, these days with our generation, you kind of get forced through life. You get a set path to take, which is like school, college, uni, job, marriage, death essentially. Palm Reader is about telling your own future and not necessarily doing exactly what you’re supposed to. Not in an anarchistic way at all, just fucking do what you want.

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Hi I'm Grace I risk sounding disgustingly cliched but I cannot remember a time when music wasn't part of my life. I love going to gigs and have been known to dabble in a bit of gigging and song writing myself.

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