Palmer’s latest album Surrounding the Void is one of those albums that takes you on a journey, and once you’ve been once you definitely want to go again. It’s an album that slots into the post-metal landscape easily, and reminds me of some of the classics from the earlier days of the style.
Intrigued? You should be. Let’s find out a bit more…
Introduce us to Palmer
Before Palmer we all were playing in bands in the same local scene. Since we all share the passion for strong and progressive music we decided to form Palmer back in 2000. Since then we’ve constantly been forging our sound, trying to push the dynamics and the tension in each song as far as possible.
What are your influences?
We all have different backgrounds so all in all a lot of influences come together… Metal, Jazz, Rock, Prog, Fusion, Hip Hop, Ambient and more. Basically everything we stumble across that gets our attention and sounds interesting. Nothing is worse than going around the music scene narrowmindedly.
Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend
Twelve Foot Ninja, a fantastic crossover band from Down Under; Meshuggah‘s latest release The Violent Sleep of Reason; Serafyn, a melancholic folk pop group from Basel; Gojira, Magma; and Petros Klampanis’ album Minor Dispute, a jazz masterpiece
Tell us about Surrounding the Void
It’s a very intense piece of music. A hell of a ride with ups and downs. It is colourful, but dark. It‘s beautiful, but mean. It’s a fist in your face, but also a tender stroke across the cheek.
How were the songs written, and with such an array of ideas to work with, how did you decide what got included in the music and what didn’t?
Generally I come along with guitar riffs, arrangements and so on. I do a lot of triage at home: It’s kind of an inner court that decides whether a riff is good enough or not; and a lot of the ideas don’t make it past this stage.
So when I bring an idea into the band room, it has already come a long way; most of the ideas are then accepted by the others in the band and together we then work on these ideas. To tweak the arrangements and bring the ideas to their final stage Ueli pre-produces each song before we finally record it in the studio.
What are your goals/ambitions for the album?
To spread Surrounding the Void as much as possible, to play live and, finally, have a lot of fun.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
I don’t have a single favourite song. Each song has its own highlights, its own character and its particular place on the album.
How does this new album compare to your previous work?
It’s a step up in every way possible. We invested far more time on all the aspects such as songwriting, artwork, production and so on. We took all the things that define our music and pushed them further; more tension between the parts; softer, more fragile moments and on the other hand more intense and powerful parts. And generally we’ve slowed down the pace a bit so compared to our previous releases you won’t find an uptempo song on Surrounding the Void.
What does the album cover signify?
That’s actually open for imagination. It could signify that moment when you feel overwhelmed by what’s going on around you; the world and all that’s happening is more complex and less understandable than ever before; that kind of brings up a feeling of vulnerability and uncertainty, leaving you with a big emptiness inside. But that’s only one possible interpretation of the artwork.
Where would you say Surrounding the Void fits into the wider metal scene?
Noisecore, Post Metal, Prog Metal. I guess it helps to be rather open minded when listening to the album.
What’s it like working with Czar of Crickets?
It’s fantastic, Fredy the labelboss is phenomenal. He lives and breathes music, and if he signs a new band on his label it’s because he’s totally convinced of them. The level of professionalism in all facets of his work is just unbelievable. We couldn’t have a better man doing the promotion for our newest release. It’s not only about business but friendship.
Do you have any upcoming shows you would like to mention?
Let me pick out the Czar Fest in Basel. Palmer will be deconstructing the stage on the 15.04.17. Further dates have been confirmed for spring, so check out our homepage: www.palmernoise.com
What does the rest of 2017 hold for you?
We want to play as much gigs as we can. And we are also looking forward to the vinyl release of Surrounding the Void at the end of march.
Any final words?
A big thank you to all our fans and to all the people keeping good music alive.