Hi VENTS! We’re good thanks. I’m a little hungover today though…
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “DLR Dreaming”?
I had bits and pieces of this song lying around for years before I eventually managed to put them together in a way that made sense. The words come from things I wrote in my diary around the time I first moved to London in 2007. I had this sense of ‘anthropological and architectural overwhelming’ and this wonderful but slightly bitter sense of freedom roaming around the city. The Docklands Light Railway is where those things reached their peak. I love the DLR and its vast dystopian views; I think it’s one of the pinnacles of urban experience.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Well, as mentioned, the song was a long time in forming, but it came together after I met Reuben –the accordion must have been the missing element!
Any plans to release a video for the single?
DLR Dreaming wasn’t technically a single – more a taster for the album. The official single, ‘Moon Above Villiers Street’ is coming out this Friday and we have a fantastic video for it – an animation made by the artists Robert Powell and Jenny Paine.
The single comes off your new album Snow, Stars and Public Transport – why taking so long on releasing that material?
Haha… Storm the Palace have never done anything fast. There’s been a lot of life to contend with. But I think the music is all the better for it. I also find it interesting that the album didn’t fully come together until I’d moved back to Edinburgh – perhaps I needed that perspective or closure or something.
What’s the story behind the title?
Whenever people asked me what my songs were about I would say ‘snow, stars and public transport’, because those seemed to be the recurring themes. I wrote a lot of my lyrics on buses and trains, and I suppose the snow and the stars were a way of compensating for that. I love looking at pictures of space and thinking about how nothing humans can do will fuck that up. You never see stars in London, there’s too much light pollution. We did have a few spectacular winters whilst I was there though. I love the way snow completely transforms and purifies a city.
How was the recording and writing process?
Writing is slow and mostly solitary. Quite a few of those songs were written in an attic I lived in. What a bohemian cliché! The picture on the cover of the album (by the wonderful Gonacas) is the view from that attic. But sorting out the arrangements as a band is generally very quick – they’re all incredible musicians and we’re lucky enough to get on really well. Recording was huge amounts of fun – mostly thanks to Graeme Young at Chamber studio in Edinburgh. Then Reuben and I fought over the production for about two years.
What role does London plays in your music?
London was my muse. An overused muse perhaps but everyone gets something different out of London. When I moved back to Edinburgh I felt bereft. But I’ve started to find little things up here that I can write about… So perhaps I’m just influenced by the space around me, wherever that is.
Where did you find the inspiration for the concepts on this record?
All the things mentioned above… And also the usual things – love, sex, heartbreak etc. etc. Some of these songs are way too personal to explain in any depth.
Any plans to hit the road?
YES! We are doing an 8 date tour of the UK and Ireland from 6th-14th May. We’re playing at some great venues and with some really excellent other acts….. Come down!
What else is happening next in Storm The Palace’s world?
We have a rather intriguing project afoot with my brother’s electronic label – Acre Recordings – but I can’t say too much about that yet. I’m also hoping to do a video for another song on the album. I love making videos. Then we’re talking about doing an acoustic tour of the highlands and islands, but that’s still just talk at the moment… And maybe we’ll think about the next batch of songs. Maybe it won’t take 10 years next time.