You have one of these names that tell me that some thought has been involved in the choice. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-It wasn’t that hard to be honest. I followed the lead of guys like Eddie and Alex Van Halen, Adrian Vanderberg, Steve Overland etc. and since Palace sounds pretty AOR as it is; it was an obvious choice.
The competition is a killer these days so please tell us why people should buy your latest album?
-You’re right, and there’s a ton of great new melodic acts coming up almost daily! What we offer though that is different and in my opinion our selling point is a pure loving tribute to the 80s sound that so many of us love. Alot of bands play modern rock with 80s influences and sounds but in our case it’s probably the other way around, which I think alot of AOR fans will apreciate.
Do you notice that there is an anticipation for you to release an album? Have you built a large enough following for people to eagerly await a new album?
-Since the wole process was very fast, from an idea of an album to a finished product – the release of the album is going to be the first thing that most people hears of us, which is very exciting cause it basicly eliminates any expectations and pre-coinceived notions of who we are and what we sound like. We have though built a decent following through the years as individuals in different projects and bands who are very excited to hear what we’re coming out with.
When you started the band did you do so with a clear intent of what kind of music you wanted to play? How hard was it to come up with a sound all your own?
-Well, it happened the other way around. The album came first and then came the band. To make along story short, I was working as a songwriter for Frontiers when I was offered a record deal and I already had a clear vision of what kind of album I was going to make when the time came. It was very easy to select members for the live band after the album was complete when I simply had to find the guys that could pull it off the best. Behold the mighty Palace! Rick Digorio – guitar, Marcus Johansson – drums, Soufian Maoui – bass and yours truly, handling the vocal duties!
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Definatley. Music in general is so meaninful in life in my opinion. I’m talking from my personal experience of course but playing music in a band or on your own, or just being a fan of music and bands is such an escape. Not only from whatever personal issues you’re having, but also while growing up – keeping yourself busy and staying out of trouble, learning about discipline and even making friends. I have never had a bad day which a little bit of guitar fiddling didn’t turn to the brighter side. I always highly encourage anyone and everyone to pick up and instrument or just dive into amazing music legacy of manking!
When you play the sort of music you play do you feel that you can have whatever you like as art work for the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-The artwork is usually the very first impression a listener gets of your album and first impressions last. I’ve bought countless of albums just going by the cover and sometimes it’s exactly what I imagined and sometimes it’s not. Most of my favorite albums fit in on the former. I think it’s very important for the album artwork to portray the music inside correctly but definately not necessary. But I feel that most music fans want the album cover to match the music so I probably won’t be playing any mind-tricks on them anytime soon haha.
I have a great fear that the change in how people consume music today will eventually kill music as we know it. What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-Coming from the internet generation I find myself split on that question. One side of me is used to the easy access to almost anything at the touch of a mouse click, but another is all about music quality and a burning desire to keep making records which is tough without any revenue in the long run. I truly wish that everyone buys a physical copy of the album to hear it the way it’s intended, without any compromise on quality or anything else that might distort the vision that I wish to share. Sadly, some people will be downloading MP3’s and listen to them through the speakers of their cellphones, but that’s really fine too if thats how they want to enjoy the album, but if everyone where to do that..that may be the first and last Palace album. On the other hand, anyone can record music nowadays at the comfort of their living room with most music recording interfaces being inexpensive and easy to use. I’ts very easy to market your music online too, so anyone can record and upload an album online all by themselves. If this developement in the music industry contiunes, we just might end up with a music industry dominated by poor quality recordings, leaving the pro studios and labels out of work.
Is the era of great arena tours as thing of yester? What kind live scene is there for bands like yours? What does the touring circuit look like today?
-Arena tours seem to be reserved for the top dogs of the mainstream, with Justin Bieber selling out Globen (Stockholms main concert arena) two days in a row and a regural appearance from bands like Metallica that took it to the very top. Bands like us must grind through all the bars that have a stage for starters, a step up is landing a gig as an opening act for a bigger band that fills bigger venues and lastly stepping up to playing festivals. We have all done the bar circuits and have opened for bigger acts, so our main focus with Palace is to head straight for the festivals! Playing Sweden Rock would be a dream come true for me. It’s amazing to see such a huge crowd of people sharing the same love for rock music!
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-Playing live is an opportunity to get honest opinions from the people that matter the most to a band – the fans! Nothing says more about your chorus than a crowd instantly shouting along or shrugging their shoulders in confusion. I guess it’s both a happening and a party. You also get a chance to meet alot of new poeple, and there’s nothing more important in the music buissines than a wide social circle. But it’s pure celebration when you get the crowd bumping to your latest groove and the whole room is with you completely unified with the music.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-I’d like to see the future bring many more albums, many more new experiences and mostly many more people that want to listen to my music!