Interview: Coral Palms
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
- For me (Ollie), it was my uncle introducing me to bands like T-Rex, Iron Maiden, Metallica, the Police etc. It was his enthusiasm which inspired me to want to learn these songs, and from there my passion for music was formed. If music had not come into my life in such a poignant way, I think event management/festival organization would have been a career path to head down. I’ve always been fascinated by large events and parties, and one day hopes to start up a festival of my own.
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
- I like to be at one with nature; going snorkeling, kayaking, hikes or cycling. Really just something that gets us outside.
- In terms of influencing our creativity, I think the natural world offers unlimited potential, not only to recharge our batteries, but also in providing a sense of grounded realism people struggle to find outside of their chaotic lives. Nature, provides us with a moment to press pause, and soak up the little things which we would otherwise miss.
How long has your band been around?
- We formed the band at the start of 2019, but we still feel we’re in the early stages of discovery with the project.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
- We are primarily based out of London, but our influences aren’t solely limited to one place or location, or one feeling or emotion. For a writer, that’s what makes this project so exciting to work with.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
- The name of the band came from a number of sources. On the surface level, the feeling and vibe we created fit so well, plus combined with Ollie’s favorite color and local palm tree, the name was formed. However, there are a number of hidden meanings behind the band name we hope fans will discover, including a link to one of our favorite sit-coms in Uni, but we’ll let you figure that out!
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
- Our best has to be between two shows for me: our debut performance at Camden Assembly, or our charity fundraiser show in Torquay. Both nights, the atmosphere was electric, and the ground was so engaged with lyrics and the music, despite at the time, having a limited portfolio of shows under our belt. Those shows inspire you to continue on the path, and those shows dis exactly that!
We don’t particularly like to point out bad shows, instead of viewing them with different learning curves and challenges. That being said, a particular Uni show in Farnham proved more technically tricky than anticipated. However, we pulled through, and learned valuable lessons because of it, regardless of whether anyone stayed till the end of the show.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
- Bermondsey social club had a special vibe, and the setting was great. However, for me, my local back in Torquay (the Apple & Parrot) will always have a special place in my heart.
In terms of venues, we’d love to play at, I know the O2 in Brixton would be a particular career goal. Also, festivals are another huge draw, and I know it’s a dream for us to perform at the festivals we’ve been going to for years.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
- Hmm this is a tricky one! And you’ll get a different answer depending on which member you ask... however, saying that, I know Foals, Tame Impala, Jordan Rakei, and Tom Misch would be a particularly good lineup... with Coral Palms headlining of course!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
- Patience – be patient when crafting your art. Be patient in your timeline of when you want to reach your goals. Most importantly, be patient in discovering who you are. Humans are adaptive creatures, and as artists, patience is needed when figuring out who you are.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
- Crack on with it and don’t get inside your own head.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
- I think ‘Drink Too Much’ holds a special place for all of us. It was the first time we discovered the band's sonic identity and was the first song to connect us in rehearsals.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
- ‘Open Roads’ is an absolute belter to play! The same goes for ‘Drink Too Much’. I think those two songs are the most engaging for the audience as well as these two seem to have the most energy when gigging.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
- Anything that connects us with each other, or that provides a deeper connection between the member and their spirit. This could be through listening to music, cycling, kayaking, watching movies etc. Anything that penetrates us on a deeper level, and inspires us to write and do something.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
- Anything personal or that we connect to on a deeper level. A lot of our songs have taken the juxtaposition between light and dark; dark lyrics with a lighter musical presence. I’m not sure why, perhaps this is reflective of our own lives in the world, who knows! What I do know, is the reason we write music is to inspire. Inspire someone to do something with their lives, pick up a guitar, a pair of drum sticks, a paintbrush, a pencil. Whatever it takes to inspire someone to make a decision, that’s what we try and achieve with every note we write.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
- Yes we do. No relationship is perfect, and that’s the same with us. However, we are very diplomatic with our issues, choosing to openly discuss our fears, concerns or worries, in order to achieve the best outcome for the project. It’s like any relationship, communication is key.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
- To play as many gigs as possible and to write and release as much music as possible! We’re just getting started baby!