Interview with Wild Palms

Jade French

wild palms

Lady killers. Photo by Kate Garner.

Going wild in a palmy beach environment sounds a bit like bliss, especially when accustomed to the gloomy, rainy, urban environment of Manchester. Sun-baked goodness might be at odds with the sweeping melodies, tribal drums and sometimes haunting vocals found under the skin of Wild Palms music… but who doesn’t like a bit of at-odds imagery? After covering Björk for the b-side of single “Deep Dive”, our preconceptions for the four-piece indie band were turned on their head anyway. Might as well enjoy and get the cocktails out.

B-Side “Human Behaviour” sounds pretty different from what people might expect from you – was that a conscious decision? Are you happy with the outcome of the single as a whole? And how much do you love Björk?

We’re all big fans of Björk. She’s pioneering and has created some really stunningly beautiful pieces of music. “Human Behaviour” was perfect for us because it’s a great indicator of the music we’re writing now (more lo-fi, broad, warm and expansive) so it was definitely a conscious decision on my part. What people don’t realize is that song was written a year ago, I still have great affection for “Deep Dive” because it was the seed that started the germination of the sound we’ve hit upon now because we’ve changed quite a bit since then. If “Human Behaviour” is different from what people might expect from us then that’s great because we aim to keep progressing at high speed.

Can you give us the Wild Palms low-down?

We’re just four people who love making music essentially and we do what we do because it’s our passion. There’s no better feeling than when we’re in our studio and things start coming together with a piece of music, things start aligning and the song takes on a life of its own a bit: that’s the moment when its all worth it.

How was making the video for ‘Deep Dive’? Does it reflect you guys as a band?

Making a video is always a bit weird because none of us are that comfortable in front of camera, but this video was great; James Copeman is a brilliant director and me and him worked quite closely to make the video. The concept of filming around the area we grew up and with our family and friends involved was mine and James executed it fantastically. I think its a very good reflection of us as people – we just wanted it to be completely unpretentious and warm. The video kind of points to the fact that there’s something extraordinary in the most normal of settings, and we’re quite down-to-earth people but try and create something extraordinary with our music.

Where is the best place you’ve played live?

Offset was stand-out because its the first time we’d on a big stage and outside, and also because we we’re all on our last legs and a bit hazy to say the least being about lunchtime – but the sun came out and we enjoyed ourselves that morning I think.

You’ve recently signed to One Little Indian. How is that affecting you as a band?

It won’t affect how we make music, that’s for sure, but hopefully what it will do is provide us with a platform to get our music out there and heard by as many people as possible. But we’ll still be in our little studio, just the four of us, writing away as per usual, as much as possible. I must say though it’s very nice having a great team behind you who are supporting you and most importantly still give us complete creative control.

Do you think incorporating other aspects into music – such as art, literature, film – is important for bands these days?

Not really. It’s not something you can just add into the mix if it’s not already part of the DNA of a band. Each to their own isn’t it…

How are you going to take on the rest of 2010?

Same as usual – hard work premised on becoming a better band, evolving, progressing and writing the best music we possibly can at every step of the way.

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