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Palma Violets: “We had to take the time to rebuild our creative mojo”

The band “spent a lot more time on” their second album.

Photo: Emma Swann

Two summers ago, Palma Violets weren’t just tearing up the live circuit in a figurative sense, they were wreaking total havoc. Hosting stage invasions at Brixton’s Jamm, prompting nudity and mass crowd-surfing at festival tents all over the country, and smuggling DIY into Reading’s backstage catering area under their coats while singing hits by musical icon Dido, they were swept along in the rip-tide of their debut album. It was a record that captured the barely-sellotaped-together chaos of the music that Palma Violets were making together at their Lambeth headquarters, 180; but it wasn’t a climate that allowed much time for writing the follow-up. After retreating to Wales to re-group, though, Palma Violets have found a new headspace.

“I forgot how to write” shrugs joint-frontman and unofficial head troublemaker Chilli Jesson, surveying Palma Violets’ new rehearsal space, tucked under a clanky railway track. The band freely admit that writing was the last thing on their mind for two years after getting signed by Rough Trade. “We didn’t even give a shit,” laughs Chilli. “I couldn’t even read a book, let alone write songs.”

“We made a conscious decision after Reading [2013] to go and write in Wales,” Chilli explains. “We met these two hippy folk, they’re very spiritual people. They sing a song on our album.” The peace and quiet of Monmouthshire was exactly what the band needed to approach a new album. “Coming back we really had to learn how to start again,” nods Sam Fryer, the front-of-stage counterpoint to Chilli. “This place in Wales was the perfect place to do it.”

“We spent a lot more time on this one,” agrees drummer Will Doyle. “There was a lot more work and effort put into it. Last album when we got signed, it was a very quick thing. It was all happening so quickly, and we needed to capture that moment in time. We hadn’t been creative for a year and a half. When you tour, your mindset is: turn up, play a show. We had a week where we would fly to a different country every day. You forget what day it is, you’re on autopilot.”

Palma Violets: "We had to take the time to rebuild our creative mojo" Palma Violets: "We had to take the time to rebuild our creative mojo" Palma Violets: "We had to take the time to rebuild our creative mojo" Palma Violets: "We had to take the time to rebuild our creative mojo" Palma Violets: "We had to take the time to rebuild our creative mojo"

Tags: Palma Violets, News, From The Magazine

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