Gooch Palms & Palms – Music Interview
The announcement of Palms and The Gooch Palms playing a double headline tour was met by us with teen girlish excitement. We’re swooning for the sweet combo of Palms’ sweetly sardonic, 90‘s inspired garage pop and The Gooch Palms’ operatic bubbblegum punk. With the restraint of squealing and hyperventilation, we quizzed Leroy Macqueen and Al Grigg of Gooch/Palms respectively about The Palmarama Tour which kicks off in Sydney this week.
You guys are like BFF’s, why haven’t you toured together before and what was the catalyst for playing together now?
Gooch Palms: It was pretty much exactly like Monica and Chandler from Friends. They were just co-existing together before they realized it could be MORE! We’re Chandler.
Palms: We didn’t think the world was ready for such an awesome show. Now, we’re just like, deal with it!
Both bands released albums last year and promo-toured those albums individually. How do you think this tour will be different?
GP: For the first time EVER there will be more than just the two of us in a car together. That will be fun. That means when I fart now I can blame it on someone else other than Kat or the cows outside. This tour will feature some new matching outfits and may not feature nudity, I haven’t decided yet.
P: We’ll be doing it together. Plus the spirit of friendly(ish) competition will spur us on to out wit/rock each other.
2013 was a big year for Gooch/Palms collectively. How are you planning on making 2014 bigger? What have you got in the works for this year?
GP: Well this tour is a good start I reckon. We’ll plod along for a few months after it wraps up, maybe record a new 7” and then we’re doing something big. But we can’t really spill the beans just yet!!!
P: This tour alone is gonna make it better than 2013. But just to be sure, we’re gonna start recording our follow up album Crazy Rack in April and then we’re supporting a pretty big Oz band in May, but that’ll be announced soon.
Both bands did plenty of tours last year – especially Palms – what keeps you on the road so much?
GP: For us living in Newcastle we love to get out and play to people. That aint happening here so much. So it’s motivational tour-wise to live here. We love touring and playing different cities and have so many awesome friends all over Australia so it’s a constant party. And if you are from Newcastle and are reading this, COME TO OUR SHOWS AND PROVE US WRONG!!! Ps if you are a nice guy from Newcastle I’m always looking for mates to shoot hoops with!
P: Mate if it meant you got to share a bed with Tom Wallace, you’d be on tour all the time too.
Do you think how “the industry” functions in Australia demands its necessary to tour a lot? Why do you think this is?
GP: I guess. Or I guess it depends on the type of band. That’s how we have grown over the years and have made contacts and more and more fans. We don’t rely on any support outside of ourselves, especially from “the industry” that way if no one is coming to see us it’s because we haven’t put in enough effort.
P: Ummm probably. It’s just the best way to get your name out there and connect with people, especially if the music you make is sort of more underground. But also if I’m not busy touring/doing stuff it doesn’t really feel like I’m in a band at all. Plus I love playing live. So it’s a win/win.
How do smaller town shows compare to the big cities for your shows?
GP: Being from a small town we know the feeling of playing to small town crowds all too well. It can be amazing if a good amount of people show up and can often be a stand out show on a tour, but sometimes you just wonder where all the people that were there that one good time have gone. If it’s raining, forget about it! People in small towns like the telly and all work full time jobs so they don’t really like leaving their houses. Big cities are always great to play. We haven’t had a dud show in a big city in a long time.
P: We haven’t really played a lot of smaller town shows, this’ll be our first time doing our own shows on the Gold Coast, Canberra, Fremantle, Wollongong, Newcastle… I’ll let ya know how we go.
There was plenty of anticipation for both debuts last year. What took all you guys so long to release an LP?
GP: We didn’t want to release an album when we were completely unknown. We released two 7” EPs first to build some steam and felt like late last year was the right time for us. It all fell into place when Jason (from Nobunny) was here touring and agreed to work with us on mixing the record back in the US. We’re in no rush to pump out albums, it’s got to happen naturally. We have a million new songs that all could use a lot of tweaking so when enough of them are ready we’ll record album number two.
P: I honestly don’t know.
What differentiates your touring buddies from other bands kicking around the East Coast at the moment?
GP: Their choruses will blow your dick right off and Dion lays down some sweet licks that make the ladies (and fellas) go wild! Plus they are all so handsome.
P: The nudity, the sports bra, the ability to own in a bar fight, Leroy’s amazing voice, but most of all the rad tunes, man!
We’re anticipating that some crazy shit will go down on this tour. Which band is most likely to… Get arrested?
GP: All for one and one for all. We’ll all go down together!!!
P: Brendan from Palms for too much mooning out the van window.
…Instigate an all crowd stage invasion
GP: Both of us have been known to have some guests on stage
P: This one’s a tie, cos it’s happened to both bands before.
…Start a riot
GP: Dion’s shredding will most likely whip the crowd into some form of frenzied riot. Or my shredding, my solos have been known to melt a face or two.
P: I got kicked out of Manly by the riot police one time, but the less said about that the better.
…Get kicked out of own gig
GP: Ah probably me. It’s hard though. I’ve done some awful things that would get a punter hastily removed and banned for life but they’re very lenient when you’re in the band.
P: Both bands for playing so hard that it starts a fire that does not with comply with fire and safety regulations.
Will Palms be peer-pressured into “dressing” down in the style of Gooch Palms?
GP: Us and a couple of the Palms boys have all “dressed down” to our skin a couple of times after playing shows in Sydney and jumped the fence at the pool in the big park near Broadway (never known the name of that park). We nearly got arrested one time (me and Al were still nude). It doesn’t take a LOT of pressure for Al “wang out” Grigg to get it all off! He has a hot bod so I don’t blame him! Maybe he can get naked this time and I will stay fully dressed. I’m sure people have had enough of little Leroy.
P: Haha I’m already feeling nervous.
Make sure you head along to the Palmarama gigs that are happening all over this great country starting this week! See the dates below. If you can’t make it to the shows you can sample all that Palms have to offer via their Website and Facebook . Similarly with The Gooch Palms, check them out internet stylee via their Website and Facebook.
Friday, 28th February – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Thursday, 6th March – Mojo’s, Fremantle
Friday, 7th March – The Bird, Perth
Friday, 14th March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Saturday, 15th March – The Phoenix, Canberra
Friday, 21st March – Elsewhere, Gold Coast
Saturday, 22nd March – The Underdog, Brisbane
Friday, 28th March- Rad, Wollongong
Saturday, 29th March- Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Interview by Bianca Cornale.