Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Dreamin' of Beach Days with The Palms

The Palms are on absolute fire right now. They've started their spring tour recently, released their new single Beach Daze and supporting video for it, and are total Spotify darlings. And honestly, why wouldn't they be? Ben Rothbard has an unmistakable croon that's so undeniably his, while Johnny Zambetti's catchy guitar hooks have you humming all day. 

The LA-based duo mesh so perfectly together, and they've had time to hone their talents. Johnny and Ben played together in their previous band, Terraplane Sun, and have since disbanded to gift us with the lazy, sun-kissed vibes that make up The Palms. Blending surf rock with indie pop and hints of hip hop create a sound that represents California so perfectly, it may as well be the anthem. 

The duo took time out of their beyond hectic schedule these days to have a quick chit-chat with me, and I think it's of utmost importance that everyone become acquainted with them, and the world that is The Palms.

So; first things first. What were you guys up to right before starting this lil' interview.

In da studio working on new music.

I was reading another interview you had done where you said that with your previous band, you struggled with finding a certain cohesion or vibe. How would you summarize what you're doing now; essentially how is this cohesive? Do you guys mesh better together just the two of you?
We didn't focus on branding in our last band, until we had to, so it always felt like we were trying to re invent who we were.  Knowing the importance of branding, cohesion and consistency, we made that a top priority with The Palms.  Johnny and I wrote a lot of the songs in our previous band as well, so nothings really changed on that front.

The Nina Simone quote you guys have up on your website, "An artist's duty  is to reflect the times.” Tell me about that. How are you guys reflecting the current times?
A relevant message is at the core of everything we create.  Rather than writing introspectively for this project, we've chosen to focus on the world at large and issues effecting us and millions of others in this modern time.  There's a timeless aspect to the message as well, cause issues more or less never truly get sold, just recycled. Songwriters will be writing about the same things in 100 years.   

You just released Don't Waste my Time end of January. It's awesome! What was the inspiration behind it? It seemed as if you guys were almost taking a jab at digital culture.
Not so much a jab at the digital culture, but a jab at the lack of quality within it.  Incredible things have come out of the digital age, including some great music, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to sniff it out.  It was only a matter of time, before our obsession with reality tv and shallow/empty fame was going to crossover into all mediums and make it less about the art and more about one's celebrity status.  There's some incredible music out there though...Just gotta know where to look. 

Would you say that you owe a lot of your success to the online world? You've obviously blown up on Hype Machine and Spotify, for example.
For sure...The potential outreach for up and coming artists is amazing.  Sites like Hype Machine and Spotify can definitely get you off and running.  You still gotta be able to kill it live and tour your ass off though.  That will never change.  You gotta sell tickets if you wanna career.

I really want to talk about your video for All4You. Obviously super inspired by the 90s which I love. How'd that idea come about! 
That video was something we had fun with for sure.  The director, Nik Kleverov hit us up randomly via email about wanting to make a video for one of our songs, took one look at his reel and jumped on it. We're constantly blown away at how much the 90's seems to be having an impact on modern day culture.  The concept was to demonstrate that, but in an exaggerated fashion...That this could clearly be a scene from the 90's, until her cell phone is revealed at the end and she's picked up in a Prius.

You two are huge fans of hip hop and R&B. What are some of your favourite artists or albums at the moment?
We're huge fans of the latest from Kanye, Tame Impala, Kendrick, Anderson Pak,, Bon Iver, Whitney, The Years and more... 

Your Sway EP on white vinyl looks brilliant. What else is your all-time, prized vinyl possession?
The Beatles "Revolver" and Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" 

What are The Palms inspired by as a band. In one sentence.
Doing our part to inspire others and make the world a better place. 

If I was to tell you you sound like a modern day, grittier Beach Boys, what would you say? Swap out the striped shirts and surf boards for cigarettes and leather jackets. 
I would say thank you in as humbled a tone as you could imagine. 

Let's talk about when your next album is coming out! Also, how is it going to differ from Sway?
Hopefully soon.  All of the music is basically finished, just needs a bit of tightening up.  It will be an extension of Sway for sure.  Everything we've put out over the last year could make up our debut full length.

Plans for the summer and the rest of 2017?
Touring the West and East Coasts this month, releasing another EP and hopefully hopping on some festivals!
I know you're LA natives. Let's talk about your favourite hidden gems in the city. Could be anywhere.
Damn...Im not sure anything in LA is hidden anymore.   

Favourite drink of choice after a show? Or alternatively, best drink before a show?
Shot of tequila is my pre show go to...It loosens and fires me up at the same time. 




  1. They sound like a great duo! I love their take on social media and how you can really explode from it (I mean, I'd like their secret, personally, haha!), but how it also takes a lot of hard work to sell tickets. Also digging their rap/r&b likes. ;)


  2. Good thing they're back and better than ever. Wishing them much success.
    Another awesome interview.

  3. I LOVEEEE this post!! Been looking for music that fits my mood lately and this is totally it!

    xo Olivia

  4. Can you believe I've never checked out their songs? Hehe, now after reading your posts will have to look into their songs. Wishing you a lovely week ahead! xx



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