1.I know this not your 1st release but I think this is the 1st time hearing the Band. Give a history of how Palmer came to be?
That’s right. ‘Surrounding The Void’ is our 3rd studio album. Besides that we have released an EP and we’ve had appearances on a few compilations as well.
Before PALMER we all were playing in bands in the same local scene. Because we all share the passion for strong and progressive music we decided to form PALMER. Since then we’ve been having fun playing, writing and improving our music constantly.
2. The sounds I hear are Post Metal, Noise Rock, Sludgy Doom and Hypnotic Post Hardcore. What bands Influenced the sound of the album ” Surrounding the Void” I hear Earth,Meshuggah, Voivod, Isis, Mouth of the Architect, Deadguy and Tragedy ?
To pick up the list of bands you just mentioned, I’d say that Meshuggah and Isis have certainly been influential to our songwriting. After all we are big fans of both bands. Both of them have outstanding live performances that are very real and dynamic, something that we definitely try to integrate into our music as well. It’s all about tension and release; building up a wall only to take it down again the next moment. This is the kind of music we love to play.
Regarding other influences I’d say that all four of us come from slightly different musical backgrounds. The metal part is certainly inherent to all of us; but Jan definitely would bring up more Jazz combos than Remo, who himself grew up in the punk rock and hardcore scene. Ueli has his foot in the ambient and electronic world and Steve loves the musical sceneries that bands like Isis and Neurosis create.
3. How did you come to work with Czar of Crickets and what are you expecting from this Partnership?
Fredy Rotter, the boss and founder of Czar of Crickets, is one of our best friends. We got to know each other about 12 years ago, playing gigs alongside Zatokrev, his main band. When we recorded our first album ‘This One Goes To Eleven’ in 2007 we were able to jump onto his newly formed label. Working together on that release was a great pleasure. For our second album ‘Momentum’ we had to look out for another label because at the time Fredy was pushing Zatrokrev hard and had to put his label on ice for the time being. So when we heard that he’d re-awoken his label, we were very happy to return home for the third album!
Working with Fredy is very rewarding. He is one of the greatest people alive, no joke! He lives and breathes music, and if he signs a new band on his label it’s because he’s totally convinced of them. We couldn’t have a better man doing the promotion for our newest release.
4. How does Live vs Studio Palmer differ and what do you want the live audience to get from a performance?
As a band we look at Studio-recordings and Live-gigs as two different things. Both have their own qualities and challenges. That said, we do have the goal to be able to bring our Studio-work as close as possible to the stage. So whilst recording we always have the live performance in mind: how can we put this on a stage without bloating up the whole equipment setup?
5. The Album cover for ” Surrounding the Void” is abstract but I know it must play into the theme of the album? What is that theme?
That’s correct. We rather like the abstract. The bandname Palmer itself was chosen because it doesn’t reveal anything at all about what kind of music we make.
The coverart was made by Philipp Thöni, an artist from Bern. We developed the Artwork with him, based on initial ideas he sketched out for us. Because it’s abstract, it allows anyone to find a meaning and correlation to the themes on the album. Without wanting to reveal too much, I’d say that it might stand for you as an individual feeling lost in a world that’s getting more and more abstract and complicated. You feel overwhelmed by it and a feeling of helplessness or emptiness is the consequence. But there are far more things you can try and fit into the artwork.
6. If there was one song or artist you would love to cover and make it a palmer element to it what would it be and why?
Hard to say. Let me choose the joker card!
7. If a Major metal or Indie label came your way would this be something that would interest the band or is that the best way to get lost in the shuffle?
That’s a good one. Our goal today is to make music without any compromise. Music that has an impact on us and if possible on the people who hear it. Of course hopping onto a big Label would definitely get us on the radar of far more people; but being on a small label like Czar of Crickets allows us to have all the strings in our own hands.
8. What are you thoughts on Digital media, Social Media and Internet PR in 2017 how has the indie extreme music scene changed in your opinion?
If you release an album nowadays it is more important than ever to be able to reach as many people as quick as possible. The shear amount of new releases now compared to a few years back is unbelievable. So you need to get yourself noticed. That’s where the social media comes in. Building up a ‘fan base’ takes time and is something that has to be curated.
Regarding the Digital Media I guess we as a band still stand with one foot in the ‘physical’ age, where you appreciated having an album in your hand opposed to simply downloading a single song. Especially true if the album is meant to be listened to as a whole like ‘Surrounding The Void’.
That said, I think the physical aspect won’t go away. For the first time we are also releasing an album on Vinyl because the scene of Vinyl-junkies and people who appreciate great artwork is growing constantly.
9. What bands and music are impressing the members of Palmer Currently?
Steve: I’ve been listening to a lot of Prog-Rock lately. Bands like Plini, Intervals or Sithu Aye.
Ueli: I spent a lot of time listening to Cult Of Luna lately. Bands like Nine Inch Nails, ISIS, TOOL or Rage Against The Machine have a big longtime-influence on me. I also take a lot of inspiration out of listening to other genres of music, for example some traditional bass players like Israel Crosby or Wilbur Ware.
Jan: Twelve Foot Ninja, Snarky Puppy, Rush, Meshuggah
Remo: Sumac, O`Brother, Gojira, Black Map
10. Palmer is a mix of Avantgarde Music, Post Metal and Jazzy Post Hardcore. Were do you see the band heading more extreme, more challenging or just staying the course and working within what the sound is now to make it next level?
Challenging ourselves to become better at what we do is certainly something that keeps us going. We certainly will stay loud and hard with lots of fragile elements sprinkled in. But because we don’t set any boundaries for ourselves regarding musical genres, the journey could go anywhere.
11. Can a underground band in 2017 make this a career or are those days over unless you go more commerical. As bands like Carcass, Slayer , Napalm Death , Voivod, Devin Townsend have proved you can do this and not be a commercial success on a major level.
I think there’s always the possibility of hitting a nerve and having your album or band take off to the next level. A good example for this is the amazing impact a band from Basel, Zeal and Ardor, have had on the musical world lately. Coming out of virtually nowhere with only a song or two actually available, the music got into the right channels and took off. Now they are playing gigs all over the place including big festivals in the US.
So to answer your question :Yes. It still is possible.
12. Do the members of Palmer work in other project as well tell us about them or is this the Focus for all members of the band?
The main focus of all band members is currently PALMER, no doubt. The last two years have been very challenging and were filled with a lot of hard work.
Nevertheless some of us do have Projects running alongside: Ueli plays in other bands as well, ranging from Mambo to Electronic and classical Jazz. Jan has an acoustic Project he takes up once in a while and Steve works with other bands on a sporadic basis.
13. Switzerland is a home form some really impressive bands Triptikon, Celtic Frost, Coroner, Samael and Darkspace to name a few. What make the bands have such unique sounds from such a small nation is it that you have no true national language and German, French, Italian are all spoken there ?
Switzerland is all about minorities I guess. Lot’s of people from different cultures mingle here. That certainly is one explanation for not only the great bands but also the great diversity of musical genres that we have.
14. You have a very nice website http://www.palmernoise.com/ tell us a bit about it?
Thank You! The design of the website is based on the album artwork for ‘Surrounding The Void’ by Philipp Thöni. The website is another artistic form to express and visualize the ideas and themes of our music. And of course it serves as the main source of information on PALMER. The website was created and is maintained by the band. It is just one of many things that we do ourselves besides playing and writing music. A homogenous overall impression and appearance of all of our creative output is very important to us.
15. Any closing thoughts please place here and thank you again for the time?
Thanks for the interview! It was a pleasure.