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INTERVIEW: PALAST

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello, thanks for having us!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Strong”?

Strong is one of our favourite songs to play live. We have received so much positive feedback, that we decided to put it out somehow. The song is now part of our debut album which didn´t come out as hard copy in the U.S. yet. But of course everybody can find it on iTunes and Spotify.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

There was this inspiring Italian Crumar analog synthesizer from 1986 i was programming bass sounds on. While i was tweaking and playing, a vocal line came straight to my head. So while the sounds turned out to be so cinematic and epic, the words just hit me. I instantly had in mind that so many people don´t want to flow with the masses and they don´t have it all easy, being judged or sometimes suppressed if they are going a different direction.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Actually the video just came out and people can find it on our webpage or on YouTube. We flew to Tenerife, it´s an island in Spain, to film there. It is a volcano island, and we drove up to about 12.000 feet to capture the light and feel it has. I was in Tenerife a few times already and knew it´s looking like another planet up there. See, nature inspires artists very much to write, but also music and the presentation goes for me hand in hand. I´m very picky when it comes to the visual presentation of the band so i have directed and edited the video myself. I have a background in photography and i am still working in Berlin as a fashion and portrait photographer. Transition from photography to filming is smooth, so i thought i´ll give it a try. We are very grateful that we had the chance to do it on our own, with nobody disturbing the vision. We even had props made out of a 3D printer.

The single comes off your new self-titled album – why naming the record after the band?

We thought the debut album is like an introduction to the listener and we wanted to go simple, letting people know “Hey look and listen, this album is us – Palast!”.

How was the recording and writing process?

We went to Poland in autumn up north by the sea to write. We have rented a cabin and were there pretty much alone. Then we were going through our collected ideas and figured out what songs should end up on the record. Back to Berlin it was time to finish writing the lyrics and doing the sound design. In the last years we have collected all this old gear from the 80s, like synthesizers, effects and such. Those things have mojo and vibe, making your producing process slower but even more inspiring. We love to combine old school recording gear with new gadgets. We then finished and mixed the songs at the Funkhaus Berlin, an old GDR studio building, which is a legendary place where also Sting and Fergie used to write and record when they´ve been to Germany. There is a certain morbid energy at this place!

What role does Berlin play in your writing?

Berlin turned out to be a magnet for many artists all around the world, because of the atmosphere, history and of course the freedom to do whatever you like artistically. Being there for a couple of days alone can be so inspiring. The city is breathing art and is destroying it at the same time. There is always a lot of motion in the scene there. I have never found a place to be more inspiring yet.

Would you call this a departure from your previous musical projects or do you tend to borrow from it?

It´s more going back to the roots. We were raised in the 80s and 90s, so everything in this era influenced us so much musically.

How Muse and Depeche Mode has influenced your music?

I wouldn´t say they directly influenced us. A lot of people compare us to them, but even more to Thirty Seconds To Mars and Hurts. We just started doing now what we wanted to do when we were kids, starting out with music. We are very much influenced by Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Rick Springfield and New Wave artists like Duran Duran, A-Ha and Gary Numan. Maybe the bands we´re getting compared to, share the influence with us and well Depeche Mode for instance are coming from back there. We´re grateful, people can relate our music to these bands, since they opened the door for artists like us. But also movies are very much influencing our music. Nothing wrong with a David Lynch movie!

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

For me it is life in general. It writes so many stories and there are so many struggles and good times we all go through. Writing music is for me a way of processing all of it. It´s like a reflection of my mind. But also traveling inspires me a lot to write!

Any plans to hit the road?

We have played the Berlin Fashion Week and did a couple of tours, but in Germany only. It would be great to tour other countries in Europe and coming overseas is also a huge dream for us!

What else is happening next in PALAST’s world?

We´re about to enter the studio again and i have a new music video in mind as well. Not sure if the next release is an EP or a full length album. But for sure something will be released this autumn/winter and first quarter of the next year.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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