Open bars and band harmony: a post-album release chat with Palace

If you’re yet to hear about Palace, now’s the perfect time to jump on board – even if you’ve missed a thing or two. Their brand new LP Life After is currently making the rounds, a relaxing and philosophical indie release that, we’d wager, you’ll find very hard not to like.

A few days post the release of Life After, we caught up with frontman Leo Wyndham. He was happy to share a few insights into how harmoniously the band worked together, his very artistic brother, and how Palace celebrated their recent release day.

palace interview life after happy mag

Before you spin their incredible new album Life After, introduce yourself to UK’s loveliest new three-piece Palace.

HAPPY: Hey, how are things? What are you up to at the moment?

LEO: Hello there. I am presently sitting in the back of our tour manager’s car driving back from playing an in-store show in a record shop in Brighton! Me and Ru our guitarist did a nice little acoustic set. We’re doing a tour of some of the UK’s record shops to celebrate our new album being released a few days ago. We’re a little tired as we played in Madrid a few days ago. Tired but very happy.

HAPPY: How are you celebrating the release?

LEO: Soooo release day was a few days ago but we celebrated in the best way possible – by playing a giant show at Mad Cool Festival in Madrid. It was unbelievable. A giant stage that Lauryn Hill and Smashing Pumpkins also played that weekend. There was a free bar backstage so it got pretty gnarly later on. It was dangerous that bar – dangerous but beautiful. We felt so happy to have our album out in the ether – we’re very proud of it.

HAPPY: I really love Wilm’s art, especially the Life After cover. How heavily do you collaborate with him when putting these covers together?

LEO: Wilm is actually my brother. He’s incredibly talented and has a brain like no other creatively. To be honest we mainly leave him to it. He has his own vision and the band aesthetic is locked in a chamber in his brain that only he has the keys to. He creates these amazing worlds in his art that you can get lost in. Go follow him everyone.

HAPPY: He also does some great videos, have you thought about getting him for a Palace video?

LEO: That’s the dream. We’re obsessed with his videos and someday we’ll make it happen. It’s a big undertaking doing our album covers so we don’t want to overload him. He’s a busy dude. His videos are amazing though. He did one for Unknown Mortal Orchestra in which me and him dance round London dressed as Knights wearing Oakley’s. It was a great day. He did one for Bullion called Blue Pedro also which is so funny and brilliant.

HAPPY: What did working with three different producers teach you about the band’s workflow?

LEO: It was a really interesting experience. They each taught us very different things and had different styles. Luke Smith taught us to experiment with new sounds and styles, Catherine [Marks] taught us to seek out the heart of the song and nurture that, and Dani Bennet Spragg taught us to have fun and not to overthink things. Sometimes mistakes are gold.

HAPPY: How often do the four of you butt heads when writing?

LEO: We don’t really. It’s a harmonious process to be honest. I usually come up with the basic song chords and melody and then I bring it to Ru and we chop it up and surgically work on it. Then it comes to the studio and we build upon it. It’s a very natural way of working for us. We’ve never been a ‘jam and see what comes out’ band. We tried that and we ended up sounding like Pantera. Sometimes we’ll have a balls to the wall rock jam though just to loosen up. Pedals on full and rippin’ solos till our clothes rip off.

HAPPY: What made you want to share a playlist of influences this time around? Side note: The Bees are incredible.

LEO: We thought it’d be a nice way to show everybody what we were listening to when making the album. So much of that stuff I’m still obsessed with. The Van Morrison one called Country Fair is just so amazing. That album Veedon Fleece is so underrated and powerful and romantic. It’s so inspiring for any song writer his melodies. The Bees are awesome – our old bass player Will got me into them. That song is the shit.

HAPPY: After hearing the album, Heaven Up There was a favourite – a solid, existential closer. Can you tell us about this track?

LEO: Heaven is a track we’re super proud of. It feels the most complete track we’ve ever done somehow. It came from a time when I was thinking a lot about death weirdly – in a fearful pre-emptive way. I kind of got it into my head that it can come when you least expect it and if it did come what state would one’s life be in? Would we be settled up and happy with who we were? It’s just a weird thought to imagine if will there be things that haunt us when we die – if we’d treated people kindly and done the best we could. For a time those questions really got into my head – as I certainly know that I’m not there yet. I want to make sure my wrong doings are settled before I die. I sent the song to my girlfriend when I recorded it on my my own as a voice note having just written it – and she instantly wrote back “are you okay?” Ha.

HAPPY: Were there any tracks or ideas that didn’t make the album?

LEO: Yeah there was one called Shame On You and another called Scorch The Hand which are two bangers we’ve never been able to sort. One day they’ll be released and I think huge songs for yes. Scorch The Hand has one of the most powerful choruses we’ve ever done. But the rest is shit.

HAPPY: Well thanks for the chat!

LEO: Thank you for having us dudes. Big love to all our Aussie fans. We’re gonna make sure to come see y’all damn soon. It’s a dream of ours to play down under.


Life After is out now.