The Most Exciting Bands of 2013

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1. The Killing Floor (TKF)

The Killing Floor (TKF) is an anglo-american band based in Brooklyn, New York.  It’s a great band,  these guys are among the best of rock and roll acts. This year the band played Download Festival alongside a host of other awesome bands including Iron Maiden, Queens Of The Stone Age, Alice In Chains, The Hives and Motorhead to name just a few. It was also the first stop on the band’s forthcoming European tour and the guys couldn’t be more excited about such a huge show. Lead guitarist Mark Alberici told Uber Rock “It’s an absolute dream come true to be playing on the same day as bands like QOTSA, and Iron Maiden. Not only do we get to do what we love, but afterwards we get to watch some of our favourite bands rock out. We’ve been looking forward to getting back to the UK and playing for our fans, and I can’t think of a better way to do it than at Download.”  TKF   also played in London in June 22nd  at The Water Rats, before traveling to play in Brighton on the 23rd at The Prince Albert before then leaving the UK mainland to play shows in Guernsey and Portugal.

The Killing Floor

The Killing Floor

2. Half Moon Run

Half Moon Run are a Canadian indie rock band based in Montreal. The band members, who previously lived in British Columbia and in Ottawa, are singer Devon Portielje on vocals, guitar and percussion; Conner Molander on vocals, guitar and keyboard; Dylan Phillips on vocals, drums and keyboard; and Isaac Symonds on vocals, percussions, mandolin, keyboard and guitar. They have played South by Southwest, Osheaga, Canadian Music Week and Glastonbury Festival 2013, and have opened for such artists as Metric, Patrick Watson and Mumford & Sons. They are currently supporting Of Monsters and Men on their North American Tour. Their debut album, Dark Eyes, was released in 2013, and was co-produced with Daniel Lagacé and Nygel Asselin.  They have toured Europe and Australia.  Critical acclaim has included praise for their three-part harmonies. In August 2013, Ubisoft launched a new Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag trailer featuring their song Full Circle. The official video on YouTube passed 1 million views overnight.

Half Moon Run

Half Moon Run

3. Palma Violets

Palma Violets are an English band from Lambeth, London. The band formed in 2011, based on the musical partnership of frontmen Samuel Fryer and Chilli Jesson. The band’s musical output is primarily based around the indie rock genre, with some Garage rock and psychedelic influences. Palma Violets’ first single, “Best of Friends”, was voted NME’s song of the year for 2012, and their debut album 180 was released on 25 February 2013. Much like Arctic Monkeys, the band gained a substantial fan base online before the release of their first single – with multiple live videos of their gigs being uploaded by fans. The band are signed to Rough Trade Records. Palma Violets appeared on the 2013 NME Awards Tour, along with Miles Kane, Django Django and Peace. Since that time they have been heavily promoted by NME and have appeared in numerous magazine additions. On 9 December 2012, the BBC announced that the band had been nominated for the Sound of 2013 poll.

Palma Violets

Palma Violets

4. Beast Patrol

It’s not every day that you stumble across a world-class rock band playing in a park and using bicycle pedals to power their amplifiers. This unusual way to get loud has proven to be the right path as Beast Patrol emerged from the street and onto the stages of packed East Coast clubs. The alt-rockers have a clear nod to the past while using their influences to craft a vibe that draws from clever bass lines and luscious vocals. Pick up their new album Fierce and Grateful and look out for them on tour and at major US festivals.  Beast Patrol is a rock band; a rebellious outfit who embody the true essence of getting loud. They prove that Rock and Roll is more than just a genre of music. It’s unconventional. It’s leather and studs in a world gone soft. It’s an attitude on life. It’s about getting loud and never doing anything in life quietly.

Beast Patrol

5. Guards

Guards are an American three piece Indie rock band based in New York. They consist of Richie Follin, Loren Humphrey (both of Willowz) and Kaylie Church. They released their debut album, In Guards We Trust, in February 2013.  Guards formed in New York when Follin finished a European tour and went to a recording studio. He began writing and recording with his sister’s band, Cults, and he ended up singing the songs. They put the songs on the internet and began to get show offers, so he formed Guards consisting of himself, Loren Humphrey and Kaylie Church. Follin and Humphrey were originally of the band Willowz with Jessica Reynoza. Together they released five albums and six singles. The trio caught the attention of 3 Syllables Records and they released their eponymous debut EP on the label in 2010. They released their first single, “Resolution of One”, on Small Plates Records in December 2010. The single was re-released in May, 2011, on Kitsuné Music, with B-sides “Hear You Call” and “Swimming After Dark”.


6. Caitlin Rose

Rose was previously the lead singer of Nashville indie band Save Macaulay,on local label Theory 8 until 2007.  As a solo artist, she signed to BMI in 2008. The title track of her seven-track 2008 EP, Dead Flowers, is a cover of a Rolling Stones song. Her first album, Own Side Now, was released by Names Records in August 2010.  Her vocal performance and lyrics have led to comparisons to Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and Iris DeMent.  Claire Suddath of Time magazine named Own Side Now one of the Top 10 Albums of 2011, ranking it at No. 7.  Her studio album, The Stand-In, was released on February 25, 2013.

caitlin rose

7. Dawes

Dawes was formed from the band Simon Dawes after the departure of co-songwriter Blake Mills, subsequently abandoning a post-punk sound in favor of folk rock. Dawes has been described as having a Laurel Canyon sound derived from artists such as Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.  At the invitation of producer Jonathan Wilson, the band joined a local informal jam session that included Conor Oberst, The Black Crowes’s Chris Robinson, and Benmont Tench.  The band recorded their debut album, North Hills, in Laurel Canyon in a live setting to analog tape,  resulting in a sound that Rolling Stone magazine called “authentically vintage”.  Wilco multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone is also credited with appearing on the release. Original keyboardist Alex Casnoff left the band in late 2010, and was replaced by Tay Strathairn.  The band made their television debut on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on April 14, 2010. Dawes released their second album, Nothing Is Wrong, on June 7, 2011 and toured the US co-headlining with Blitzen Trapper. Dawes played alongside Jackson Browne at the Occupy Wall Street event in Liberty Park, on December 1, 2011.[7] The band also appeared as themselves on the February 7 episode of the NBC television series Parenthood.  In February 2013, the band released the single “From a Window Seat” from the 2013 album Stories Don’t End on Red General Catalog and Hub Records.



8.  Foxygen (link to website is broken)

Foxygen is an American indie rock duo originally formed in Westlake Village, California, in 2005 by Jonathan Rado and Sam France.  After their formation in 2005, the band played wildly experimental music, which featured many influences from 60s psychedelia and avant-garde. They self-released many EPs between 2007 and 2011, only a few of which are still available. In early 2011, they were ‘discovered’ by famed producer Richard Swift after handing him their Take the Kids Off Broadway EP at a Mynabird’s show in New York. The EP was also self-released at some point in mid-2011. The group were later signed on to Jagjaguwar Records and their first studio album, Take the Kids Off Broadway, was released by Jagjaguwar on July 24, 2012.  On January 22, 2013, Jagjaguwar released Foxygen’s second album, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. This album was produced by Richard Swift and recorded at his National Freedom studio earlier this year. “Shuggie,” the first single from the record, was released on October 4, 2012. In March 2013, Foxygen was named one of Fuse TV’s 30 must-see artists at SXSW.



9.  The Naked and Famous

The Naked and Famous are an alternative rock band from Auckland, New Zealand. They formed in 2008 when Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith recorded EPs This Machine and No Light with engineer Aaron Short, a fellow student at Auckland’s MAINZ music college. The band took their name from a line in the English artist Tricky’s song “Tricky Kid”, “everybody wants to be naked and famous”, that is ambivalent about the notion of celebrity. The EPs were subsequently released on local independent label Round Trip Mars and Powers and Xayalith began performing live with Ben Knapp and Jordan Clark on bass and drums respectively. Aaron Short became a performing member of the group. Knapp and Clark left the group and Jesse Wood (drums) and David Beadle (bass) joined the band as full-time members in 2009. The group have released two studio albums Passive Me, Aggressive You (2010) and In Rolling Waves (2013).

The Naked and Famous

The Naked and Famous

10.  The Strypes

The Strypes are an Irish four-piece rock & roll band from Cavan, Ireland, formed in 2008 consisting of Ross Farrelly (lead vocals/harmonica), Josh McClorey (lead guitar/vocals), Pete O’Hanlon (bass guitar/harmonica) and Evan Walsh (drums). The band played the local scene with various members switching parts as they searched for their sound. They draw inspiration from 60’s blues boom and 70’s pub rock bands such as Dr. Feelgood, Eddie and the Hot Rods, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Lew Lewis and Rockpile as well as the original bluesmen and rock ‘n’ roll artists such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter, among others. The band members’ current ages are 16 to 18 years. The band, with a shared love of blues and rhythm and blues music were formed in the town of Cavan, Ireland. After several months gigging around their hometown, the band began playing clubs and pubs around Ireland, playing sets mixing original material with rhythm and blues covers. Their set of fast-paced, gritty, garage rock “speed blues”, which mixed the powerful approach of Dr. Feelgood with the intense rave-up format of The Yardbirds, quickly became well received by crowds across Ireland and their reputation as a live act grew.

The Strypes

The Strypes

11. Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987), known simply as Kendrick Lamar, is an American hip hop recording artist from Compton, California. Initially signed to independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment, in 2012, Lamar and the label signed a joint venture deal with Aftermath and Interscope Records. Lamar is also a member of West Coast hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, alongside label-mates and fellow California-based rappers Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. Lamar first began to gain major attention in 2010, after the release of his fourth mixtape Overly Dedicated. The next year, he released Section.80, his first independent album to critical acclaim; released exclusively through iTunes and instantly ranked as one of the top digital hip hop releases of the year.Early in his career, before releasing his major label debut, Lamar amassed a large internet following, and had already worked with Dr. Dre, Game, Drake, Young Jeezy, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, E-40, Warren G and Lil Wayne, among other popular artists. His major label debut studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released October 22, 2012 to widespread acclaim. The album spawned the Top 40 hits “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”, and “Poetic Justice”. The album, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In early 2013, MTV crowned Lamar the No. 1 Hottest MC in the Game, on their well known annual list.

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar

12.  Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg (born Jacob Edwin Kennedy; 28 February 1994) is an English musician, singer, and songwriter. His self-titled debut album, largely co-written with songwriters Iain Archer, Matt Prime and Crispin Hunt, was released in late 2012 and reached number one on the UK Albums Chart. His main influences as a songwriter are Don McLean, The Beatles, Oasis, Donovan, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, and Nick Drake.  Bugg was born in Nottingham, to musical parents who separated when he was young. His father, whose last name was Bugg, was a nurse, and his mother worked in sales, both having previously made recordings. He grew up in the Clifton council estate of Nottingham and started playing guitar at the age of 12 after being introduced to the instrument by his uncle Mark. He also states that his formative musical moment was hearing Don McLean’s “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)” on an episode of The Simpsons. He was enrolled in a music technology course, but by the age of 16 he had dropped out and was writing and performing his own songs influenced by The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Oasis, Donovan, The Everly Brothers and Jimi Hendrix.   On 27 August 2013 he was reported by Contact Music to have expressed a certain discomfort after touring the home of Elvis Presley, in Memphis, TN, because as he put it “I felt like an intruder and I wouldn’t like hordes of people traipsing around my house with their dirty shoes.”

Jake Bugg and band mates

Jake Bugg and band mates

13. Alt – J

Alt-J (also known as ) is an English indie rock quartet, formed in 2007 in Leeds, England. Their debut album An Awesome Wave was released in May 2012 in Europe and September 2012 in the United States and won the 2012 British Barclaycard Mercury Prize.  Alt-J was formed when Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe Newman (guitar/vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) and Thom Green (drums) met at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2007. Unger-Hamilton studied English Literature, the other three Fine Art. In their second year of studies, Newman showed Sainsbury a handful of his own songs and, inspired by his guitar-playing dad, the pair began recording in their hall’s room with Sainsbury acting as producer on GarageBand.  The band’s unusual sound stems from the fact that due to living in student halls, noise had to be kept to a minimum and so they were unable to use bass guitars or bass drums.  After graduating, they moved to Cambridge; however, they recorded their debut album in Brixton, playing tracks as it fit into the recording studios spare time. The quartet spent two years rehearsing before signing a deal with Infectious Records in December 2011. The band symbol (∆) can be typed on Apple Mac OS X by the key sequence alt + J. “Alt-J” were formerly known as both ‘Daljit Dhaliwal’ and ‘Films’,  but were later forced to change it to “Alt-J” because an American band called ‘The Films’ already existed.

Alt – J

14.  Kindness

Kindness is the solo project of British singer Adam Bainbridge. He released his first single, a cover of The Replacements’ “Swingin’ Party” in August 2009. His first album, World, You Need a Change of Mind, was recorded at Motorbass Studios in Paris with Philippe Zdar and released on 16 March 2012.  He has performed at South by Southwest and Latitude Festival.


Adam Bainbridge of Kindness

15. Lorde

Teen sensation Lorde writes all her own songs, despite being just 16. Her album was produced by Universal’s Joel Little.  Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor (born 7 November 1996), known by her stage name Lorde (/ˈlɔrd/),  is a New Zealand singer-songwriter. Her first EP, The Love Club, was released on 22 November 2012, and her first single, “Royals”, debuted at number one on the New Zealand Top 40, and also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013, making her the first New Zealand solo artist to have a number one song in the United States. Her debut album, Pure Heroine, was released on 27 September 2013. She jointly won the 2013 Silver Scroll award for “Royals”.  She was raised in suburban Devonport, Auckland alongside three siblings: a younger brother and sister; and an older sister.   She is of Croatian and Irish ancestry.


16. Gojira

Gojira is a French metal band based in Bayonne, a city in the Basque Country in France. Formed in 1996, the band was known as Godzilla until 2001.  As far as metal is concerned, the show to see this fall is Slayer and Gojira’s current jaunt.  You’ve got thrash’s fiercest band in history headlining, and the most exciting metal outfit in the past decade playing direct support. The two Los Angeles show were purely powerful and potently perfect as Slayer demolished the Palladium yet again, and Gojira opened up the gateway into their heavy and hypnotic domain. All of the other gigs have been indisputably the same as the bands continue to crisscross the country delivering the ultimate sonic catharsis…



17. Delta Rae

Delta Rae is an American folk rock band formed in Durham, North Carolina.  The band consists of three siblings Ian Hölljes (vocals and guitar), Eric Hölljes (vocals, guitar, piano and keys) and Brittany Hölljes (vocals), as well as Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals), Mike McKee (percussion) and Grant Emerson (bass guitar). They began as a four-piece ensemble and added McKee and Emerson to the dynamic in 2010. Their name hails from a fictional story the Hölljeses’ mother intended to write about a Southern girl named Delta Rae who summons the Greek gods to earth.  Their self-titled debut EP was released in 2010.  They signed to Sire Records in 2012.  Their debut album Carry the Fire was released on June 19, 2012.   They are currently on their latest national tour and have sold out many well-known venues.

Delta Rae

Delta Rae

More bands will be added soon.

Watch Palma Violets rambunctious new video ‘Rattlesnake Highway’ – Premiere

Palma Violets

Palma Violets

London rockers draw upon their outrageous live shows in new clip

Like any meaningful relationship or a really good taco stand, music with true, long-lasting value has a tendency to hit you when least expected.

Assembled sometime in 2011, English rockers Palma Violets (bassist/vocalist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, guitarist/vocalist Sam Fryer, keyboardist Peter Mayhew, and drummer Will Doyle) don’t so much play on stage as they conquer it like 6th century barbarians.

They are known for their rowdy, balls-to-the-wall live shows. We’ve seen them beat the hell out of their songs at Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, SXSW 2013, and  Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show. Now, their dynamic stage presence is the focus of their new music video for 180 standout “Rattlesnake Highway”.  Directed by Douglas Hart, the clip  intercuts with some outrageous archival footage of Pentecostal snake handlers., but mostly awesome live footage that makes you want to see Palma Violets in the flesh ASAP.

See Palma Violets up close and personal on their extensive fall/winter tour, including appearances at Treasure Island Music Festival and The Weezer Cruise.

Palma Violets 2013-2014 Tour Dates:
10/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
10/09 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
10/12 – Mexico City, MX @ Capital Corona Festival
10/14 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos Crystal Ball
10/15 – Vancouver, BC @ TBA
10/16 – Portland, OR @ McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom
10/18 – Berkeley, CA @ University of California, Berkeley
10/19 – San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival
10/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
11/02 – Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg Oude Zaal
11/03 – Brussels, BE @ Ancienne Belgique
11/09 – Sao Paulo, BR @ Planeta Terra Festival
11/14 – Buenos Aires, AR @ Planeta Terra Festival
11/18 – Wolverhampton, UK @ Wulfrun Hall
11/19 – Lincoln, UK @ Engine Shed
11/21 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Metropolitan University
11/22 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK @ Newcastle University
11/23 – Glasgow, UK @ O2 ABC
11/25 – Norwich, UK @ Waterfront
11/26 – Manchester, UK @ The Ritz
11/28 – Oxford, UK @ O2 Academy Oxford
11/29 – Coventry, UK @ Kasbah
11/30 – Plymouth, UK @ University Main Hall
12/02 – Southampton, UK @ Southampton University
12/03 – Bristol, UK @ O2 Academy Bristol
12/04 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
12/05 – London, UK @ Coronet Theatre
02/13-17 – Jacksonville, FL @ The Weezer Cruise

Palma Violets Interview – Chilli

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Palma Violets
This ecstatically fun U.K. punk band built a following the old-fashioned, DIY way, skipping the trendy London club circuit to make its own scene in its sleepy Lambeth neighborhood. The Palma Violets’ great debut LP, 180, recalls the Clash and Sixties garage rock. It’s a classic British sound that’s been missing from British rock lately. “In London right now, it’s a very Nineties dream-pop thing,” says bassist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson. “We don’t have anything against it. But I do like a bit more . . . balls.”



Palma Violets Announce North American Tour Dates

The band will heading off on a five-date jaunt following their lengthy tour in February.

palma-violets_300_250_80_s_c1Rough Trade signings Palma Violets are set to tour their ‘180’ debut later this year, with some newly scheduled North American dates being announced.

The four-piece play this year’s Reading and Leeds fests, plus European dates at Benicassim and Rock am Ring.

Check out the full touring schedule below, including new dates at New York’s Webster Hall and Washington’s DC9, among others.

02-05 Arendal, NO @ Hove Festival
06 London, UK @ Hyde Park
09 Nürburgring & Nürnberg, DE @ Rock am Ring & Rock im Park
11-14 Kinross, UK @ T in the Park
21 Benicàssim, ES @ Benicàssim Festival
23 Nyon, CH @ Paleo Festival
27 Byron Bay, AU @ Splendour in the Grass
29 Northcote, AU @ Northcode Social Club
30 Sydney, AU @ Oxfort Arts Factory

02 Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Music Festival
03 Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON @ The Grove Music Festival
04 Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
07 Oslo, NO @ Oya Festival
10-12 Tokyo, JP @ Summer Sonic
10-12 Osaka, JP @ Summer Sonic
23 Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
25 Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival

01 Stradbally, IE @ Electric Picnic
02 North Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival
14 San Diego, CA @ Cashbah
15 Phoenix, AZ @ Pub Rock
17 Austin, TX @ Red 7
18 Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silverleaf
19 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
21 Miami, FL @ Gramps
22 Orlando, FL @ The Social
23 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
24 Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree
27 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
30 Boston, MA @ The Sinclair

01 New York, NY @ Webster Hall
02 Washington, DC @ DC9
04 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
05 Madison, WI @ High Noon
06 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
08 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
12 Mexico City, MX @ Capital Corona
14 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
15 Vancouver, BC @ Venue
16 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
20 San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival

A New Band To Watch: Palma Violets, England

Young, talented and unruly:  Palma Violets

Young, talented and unruly: Palma Violets

Out now the debut album ‘180’. Available from: iTunes

Rough Trade’s newest darlings have their sights set high: they’re aiming for the moon.

If there’s a band out there right now that put on a more exciting show than Palma Violets, we don’t know about them.

Quickly becoming renowned for their raucous stage presence – as our most recent review of their Boston Arms show reveals, “as Chili Jesson returns from one of many crowd surfs, he’s almost thrown out of his own gig” – we can’t quite get enough of the Lambeth foursome, so you can only imagine our delight when we discovered, they’ve announced some more tour dates.

Now, the band were already set to head out on the road alongside Django Django, Miles Kane on the NME Awards Tour in February. They also performed at five more intimate shows in March in Exeter, Cambridge, Sheffield, Middlesbrough and Oxford, following the release their debut album ‘180’.

Interview: English band Palma Violets

It might only be late afternoon, but upstairs in Brixton Jamm, there’s already a party raging and the air is thick with smoke and blasting music. Palma Violets, we are tactfully informed, have “made themselves at home.” The band’s keyboardist Pete Mayhew has set to work in a neighbouring room, and is crawling across the floor wielding marker pens; busy fashioning a makeshift sign from a sheet. Bassist Chilli Jesson is also deeply engrossed in the complex task of styling his hair. He abandons his tub of gel cheerfully to greet us with a rather princely bow, before gesturing towards the sofa and slamming shut the door to block out the deafening row next door. He then perches on the arm of the sofa, and attempts to take possession of our phone. “What are these?” he says, peering scrutinisingly at our notes. After a quick skim read, and reassurances we’re just here to chat, Chilli retreats, evidently satisfied. “I think we probably are the worst interviewees ever,” laughs frontman Sam Fryer, by way of introduction.

Palma Violets shouldn’t be so hard on themselves. Despite being slightly chaotic, and having an apparent aversion to staying in the same place for more than three seconds, they are also highly amusing and full of enthusiasm. The UK tour, Chilli tells me, has been “fucking amazing” and he has especially enjoyed converting the sceptics. “People have been coming down saying ‘I’m going to hate them’ and all this hyped shit, and are leaving going, you know, this is actually alright, I can dance around to it. They like it.” “We’re still trying to process what’s actually going on,” adds Sam. “It’s lovely that people want to give us a go.”

Palma Violets seem made for the live show, with crowd-surfing, topless girls, and a particularly humourous moment at their Bestival show where a roadie had to sit on stage holding a cable jack in place. Drummer Will Doyle fondly recalls the set; “that was fun – bit of a Spinal Tap moment with the keyboards.” It’s these infamous on-stage moments that are tallying up the comparisons to a certain famous musical bromance. “The Libertines, for me personally,” Sam tells me, “that kick started everything, the whole sunflower of my musical experience.” “Rough Trade!” yells Chilli, when I ask why Palma Violets receive so many comparisons to a certain other four piece. “I don’t even think we sound like The Libertines,” he growls, pacing around. “At the end of the day,” interrupts Sam, “I think it’s a bad thing if you’re compared to one band, but if you’re compared to a whole range of the greatest bands in history -” He is cut off mid-flow as Chilli begins to reel off musicians. “We’ve been compared to every single band, from The Swell Maps to bloody Echo And The Bunnymen; we’ve been compared to about 50 now.” Will pauses from his task of encouraging Pete to cover the band’s sign in crudely drawn phalluses; “Nobody can put their finger on us, it’s good.”

“We’re still trying to process what’s actually going on”
Chilli has resumed his position on the arm of the sofa, and has also spotted my screen-printed jacket. “The Clash, fucking wicked!” he says, “I’ll buy it off you!” Palma Violets, it turns out, love The Clash, and listened to them constantly whilst growing up. Their high-energy sets, they agree, take a lot of cues from The Clash, far more so than some of the reverb-drenched shoegaze bands they often get compared to. “At the end of the day, we’re more punk I guess,” Sam nods. “We never sit down at the beginning and say ‘we will crowd surf’ though,” he adds, before Chilli interjects. “No, it’s literally just a spur of the moment thing. You just jump around, and the crowd will do everything else, they just need that push.”

The emotion that Palma Violets seem to capture most of all is immediate, full-on, boundless energy. “When we write the songs, we write as if we’re going to perform them, our friends are going to jump around to them” Sam says. “We love the stage. And the chicks too, the chicks are great!” adds Chilli. “But no, for us [the band] was always a live thing. We just wanted everyone to come and see us live and judge us then, rather than listening to 30 seconds of our song on the internet. We don’t like the internet.”

“Music definitely needs shaking up, it’s not in a very good state,” says Pete. Chilli concurs by way of leading a chant. “Change! Change!” The interview threatens to descend into chaos for a second, before Chilli directs it back on track. “No, it’s looking up, like Childhood [tonight’s supporting act] are fucking incredible. There’s a whole wave of new bands now – a year ago there were only about 10 bands getting people excited.” Palma Violets, the band tell me, is largely fuelled by the feeling that music just isn’t the same any more. “I met Sam at Reading festival,” Chilli begins, “and I saw him playing all these great songs and I was like ‘this guy’s a genius’. Turns out he’s not really a genius. But he writes fucking good songs. We all just got together and went for it. Bang. Me and Sam were seeing all these bands and they were just shit. No feeling! That was the main thing. No-one seemed to every give it everything. We formed out of frustration.” Sam interjects “Let’s write some songs with feeling and emotion”. Chilli stifles a laugh. “All the emotions.”

Pete steps back from his sign, proud of the microscopic, almost illegible letters he has used to write the support band, Childhood’s name beneath the heading Palma Violets. I tell Palma Violets I think their sign is cheeky. Unsurprisingly Chilli is delighted. “Cheeky?! We are cheeky!” he grins. “When we ‘co-headlined’ with Savages,” Sam says, trying to maintain order, “it would be like [shouts] “SAVAGES!” and [mumbles] “Palma Violets!” Chaos ensues. “It would be like that!” Chilli shouts, pointing accusingly at the makeshift sign. “That tour was big for us because we’d never really played on a stage before, we’d never had to be professional before.” Fittingly it is at this precise moment that the neighbouring party attempts to infiltrate our side room. “Do you mind!?” Chilli roars, “we’re working here!” As he slams the door decisively, I commend him on his newfound professionalism. “This tour’s just been like a fucking party,” he grins. “They’re our friends, they’ve been our friends for years, and now literally it doesn’t seem to fit. It’s amazing, on tour we’re like ‘yeah!’. We’re like fucking dogs!” Will arches an eyebrow and sighs. “Dogs?” he asks, incredulously. Chilli rephrases. “Excited puppies, we’re like excited puppies.”

Palma Violets, Sam tells me, are halfway through recording the debut, and Steve Mackey is producing it. “He’s a secret genius. He’s excited, we’re excited, and we’ll make a fucking good record,” Chilli gushes. “He let us bring our friends down [to the recording studio] and dance around – as it should be!” Recording, the band tell me, is going well apart from some minor gripes. “I read an interview the other day with some band, and they said, ‘we’re recording our album in St Johns Wood’ [where Palma Violets are also recording] – ‘the food was lovely’. We didn’t get any food, we had to fucking order Dominos,” rants Sam. “Bastards!” Chilli shakes his head and adopts a thick cockney accent. “Ain’t like it used to be. When people talk about the glamorous side of music, they mean that period of getting signed, [that] was the madness side!” “Try and stay unsigned for as long as possible, you get so much free shit.” concludes Will, in a solid piece of career advice.

“Nobody can put their finger on us. It’s good.”
Palma Violets are the somewhat unruly class clowns, so naturally we want to know what they have planned next. Sam reveals a complex, and somewhat surprising plan – the services of Jarvis Cocker. “He’s just got this great talking voice on the radio!” he enthuses. “On Sunday Service, I just really want him to play our song, and just hear him introduce it.” Sam adopts an uncanny impression. “‘This is the Palma Violets with ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’’. I think it would be magical. I’m not forcing him to do it, but Jarvis, if you read this interview, please do it.”

Other than their ‘main aim’ of recruiting Jarvis Cocker, there are other lofty ambitions to be fulfilled. “I’d like to beat Muse to the moon. Space race,” says Sam with a completely straight face. “I think we can, we have more ambition. We already have a song about it; it’s called ‘Neil Armstrong’.” Will points out that the band’s next music video could be on the moon. “You’d need an unlimited budget,” ponders Sam. “Actually, if Rough Trade gave us unlimited budget, I’d shoot our video on the Titanic. Like, underwater.” On that note, our neighbours burst through the doors to survey the finished sign, and my time chatting with Palma Violets draws to a close. “I think we’ve been very honest today,” laughs Chilli, “we’ve told you it how it is.” Chaotic, hilarious, and charismatic, Palma Violets also clearly have ambition and drive – to make entertaining, energy-filled guitar music. However credible their planned mission to the moon might turn out to be, there’s little doubt about it; Palma Violets are about to take off all the same.

Palma Violets debut album ‘180”s tracklist:

1. Best of Friends
2. Step Up for the Cool Cats
3. All the Garden Birds
4. Rattlesnake Highway
5. Chicken Dippers
6. Last of the Summer Wine
7. Tom the Drum
8. Johnny Bagga’ Donuts
9. I Found Love
10. Three Stars
11. 14

Watch Video: Palma Violets – Best of Friends

Palma Violets are an indie rock English band from Lambeth, London. The band formed in 2011, based on the musical partnership of frontmen Samuel Thomas Fryer and Alexander “Chilli” Jesson.

The band’s musical output is primarily based around the rock genre, with some Garage rock and psychedelic influences. Palma Violets’ first single, “Best of Friends”, was voted NME’s song of the year for 2012, and their debut album 180 was released on 25 February 2013.

Much like Arctic Monkeys, the band gained a substantial fan base online before the release of their first single – with multiple live videos of their gigs being uploaded by fans.  The band are signed to Rough Trade Records.Palma Violets will appear on the NME Awards Tour 2013, along with Miles Kane, Django Django and Peace.

On December 9, 2012, the BBC announced that the band had been nominated for the Sound of 2013 poll.

Palma Violets were formed by bassist/vocalist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, guitarist/vocalist Samuel Thomas Fryer, keyboardist Jeffrey Peter Mayhew and drummer William Martin Doyle. On January 10, the band premièred their track, “Step Up for the Cools Cats” on BBC Radio. Having been selected as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World, the Steve Mackey-produced track was released on to iTunes shortly after; serving as the second single to be taken from 180 following the Rory Attwell produced debut single, and winner of NME’s ‘Track of the Year 2012’, “Best of Friends”.

Watch the band performing live at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop in Austin, TX, during SXSW. Recorded March 13, 2013.



Johnny Bagga’ Donuts
Rattlesnake Highway
Tom the Drum
Chicken Dippers
Best of Friends
Step Up for the Cool Cats
Last of the Summer Wine
We Found Love

Host: Kevin Cole
Audio Engineer: Steve Winders
Cameras: Jim Beckmann, Shelly Corbett & Scott Holpainen
Editor: Jim Beckmann



Awards and nominations

Year Organisation Award Work Result
2012 BBC Sound of 2013 N/A Nominated
NME 50 Best Tracks of 2012 “Best of Friends” Won
2013 Best New Band N/A Won