Conversations: Palma Violets

It’s only been four years since the formation of London garage-rockers Palma Violets, but in the interim since their fateful meeting at Reading Festival in 2010, the quartet have managed to put out two full-length records and a string of impressive festival appearances.

Led vocally by guitarist Samuel Fryer and bassist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, with Jeffrey Mayhew and William Doyle on keyboard and drums respectively, the group recently shed its adolescent antics in the polished-but-gritty, John Leckie produced Danger In the Club.

The record, which was developed after the band’s long tour in support of their debut 180, had a bit of a bumpy start as Jesson and company attempted to get back in the mindset of creating another album after being on the road for so long. But through a crucible of creative energies, the outcome, both sonically and thematically, was as cohesively honest as it was a brash assertion of their entrance into the ocean of four-pieces that have been pouring out of the U.K. for years.

The phenomenon has been going on for a while as more and more guitar-driven bands have been emerging from across the pond, pulsing with raw fire that comes with punk and garage rock. From established giants like the Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, and Kaiser Chiefs, to rising stars Catfish and the Bottlemen, Miles Kane and Drenge–the list goes on, and that’s just in the past ten years.

“I don’t know what it is—I think it’s the background of having these big punk bands always coming through. I mean it seems a bit nonexistent, the U.S. doesn’t have loads of big bands—but every now and then a band jumps up to that level,” Jesson explained of the occurences. “Over here, you’ve got your different scenes and you can find in every town a handful of bands playing one specific genre. But the standards over here are just fucking mad—like some of the bands we’ve met on this tour are just so uptight. It just must be something in the water.”

As far as new music goes, Jesson revealed that he and his bandmates hope to begin work on their third studio album while on the road.

“I think we will be doing a lot of writing on the road. We didn’t like how it was last time—being on that long tour and not really doing anything and then coming back into it and trying to make an album,” he said. “You just get really anxious not doing anything on the road and it develops better when you’re constantly working at it.”

Coming full circle, the boys are staged to play Reading and Leeds Festival this summer–which represents something of a surreal honor for Jesson: “It’s really cool actually. We’ve all been as kids—so it’s just a weird one being back like that as a band. But it’s a great little gig.”

Palma Violets will be making their rounds in California on June 4 at the Bottom of the Hill and on June 5 at the Teragram Ballroom.


English major and amateur photographer. I'm the guy in the corner of the coffee shop plugged-in to Arcade Fire, typing away like a madman.

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