Palms are a rock ‘n’ roll four-piece from Sydney, not to be confused with that other Palms featuring the dude from Deftones. Half-born outta the ashes of former Sydney favourites, Red Riders, the band have just released a great debut album titled Step Brothers, featuring killer ’90s guitar shenanigans and the sloppy ramshackle vibe of some peak-era Mats. You’ll probably feel drunk just listening to it.
We caught up with awesome dude Al Grigg (also of noisy garage-rockers Straight Arrows) over the magical medium of emails, even though he lives like four blocks away up King Street.
Junkee: Hello, Palms. Introduce yourselves! (Name; Role in band; Signature onstage outfit.)
Al: vocals, strumming, New Balance, denim.
Tom: drums, angelic back-up vocals, goofy face, smart casual, denim.
Dion: shredding, backwards cap, denim.
Brendy: bass, smiles, shiny hair, Hawaiian shirt, denim.
Where’d you record the album, and with who? Is this one of those Owen Penglis (producer) kitchen things? Did you pay him in pizza? What’s the best direction he gives when recording?
Al: Haha yep, it’s one of those recorded in Owen’s kitchen things! We paid him in a variety of foods: kebabs, Vietnamese, Japanese and yeah, pizza. Most producers are like, ‘I dunno, it just didn’t feeeeel right.’ This is how it goes with Owen after a take:
Me: How was that, man?
Owen: (Looks up from video game) Did you get all the notes right?
Me: I think so?
Owen: (Goes back to video game) Done then.
Your album’s called Step Brothers. Where does Step Brothers (the movie) lie in your canon of all-time greatest comedies?
Well, if Wayne’s World‘s way up the top and, I dunno, Biodome‘s all the way down the bottom, it’s pretty high, somewhere between Caddyshack and Dumb & Dumber.
Are you guys on tour at the moment? What’s the coolest thing you can see right now from your hotel window? How much beer did you drink last night?
I mean, technically we’re in the middle of a tour supporting Cloud Control around the country, but at the moment I’m at home on the couch typing out some interviews before we play in Canberra tomorrow night (ed’s note: Canberra, this gig already happened; this interview isn’t live). The most interesting thing I can see right now is a toss-up between American Dad reruns and a cup of tea. Beer? A lot. Always a lot.
That album cover’s pretty ridiculous. Were you wrestling? Who took the photo?
Yeah, it’s a photo our friend Matt took of me and Tom wrestling in a hotel room on tour one time. There’s a whole fairly homoerotic series of them. I dunno why we were wrestling exactly. Guys. Am I right?
Dinosaur Jr. – ‘Freak Scene’
Dion: This song has a lot to do with the album cause it made me believe shredding was kick arse, and much more than something that only white guys who love the blues or hair metal dudes did. It’s a weird clip that’s either homemade or cost heaps of money to make; being Gen Y, it’s hard to differentiate. Also, the top comment rules:
“Indie rock started when the punk rock kids started smoking weed.”
The Gooch Palms – ‘We Get By’
Al: Leroy from The Gooch Palms played in Palms for a little while and actually played a bunch of bass on the album. This video is awesome; it’s shot all around Newcastle, and he plays guitar while riding a surfboard in it. It actually makes me wish I lived in the Steel City.
Shannon And The Clams – ‘Hunk Hunt’
Brendy: Summer, party and people on the hunt for hunks. (We’re da hunks!)
Mining Boom – ‘Telecom’
Tom: This is a fan vid for one of our fave Melbourne bands, Mining Boom. So Aussie. So good. Too easy.
Iggy Pop – Countdown Bloopers
Dion: Raw Power is one of the best rock ‘n’ roll albums ever made, and here’s one of the best interviews ever made.
Body Count – ‘The Winner Loses’
Al: I was never tough, cool or, realistically, old enough to enjoy Body Count during their time, but now I’m at least old enough (I did pick the wussiest song on the album, though; I’m a sucker for a power ballad) and I am obsessed with them. Rapper Ice-T went hardcore in the early ’90s and formed Body Count, and their lyrics are so outrageous. They’re kind of like the first rap-metal band and probably the only rap-metal band that’s any good.
Willy Bum Bum
Tom: This is something fkn disturbing my brother sent me. Oh my god, it is so fucked…
Al: This is a great insight into Tom’s family life, and therefore his drumming style and body image issues. Probably.
Brendy: This one goes out to Owen’s cat Boo, who would always be hanging around while we recorded, yawning and flashing her butt at us.