I Dream of Vinyl

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“Post Preservation” – an interview with Palm Ghosts

Photo Credit – Sam Wiseman

Nashville’s Palm Ghosts continue their recent creative burst with their third album in the past 18 months, ”Post Preservation.” With a musical style described as “the sound of an 80’s prom in a war zone,” the band’s love of groups such as New Order, The Cure, and Echo & The Bunnymen shines through on recent singles “Signal” and ”Silent Fall.” If you want to revisit that 80’s disco, get on board now and check out the album.

We caught up with Joseph from the band to talk about the new record.

Hi Joseph! How’s everything going right now?
Going great! We’re looking forward to releasing our new album this week and have been having a blast connecting with people out on the road and talking to folks like you!

What classic album cover is your current mood?
Beggars Banquet from The Rolling Stones, because we’ve seen lots of bathrooms like that out on our recent tours.

Your new album “Post Preservation” is out on Friday. How/where was it written and when was it recorded?
We record everything here in my studio in Nashville. We usually build our stuff from the rhythm tracks up, which maybe gives our stuff a bit of a different sound. I’ll usually create the basic track and then send it to Ben for lyrics and melody ideas and then start building and carving space so that those ideas can breathe. It’s a truly collaborative process, but we are never in the same room when we record music.

It’s the third album you’ve released in the last 20 months. Did the pandemic bring about this bout of creativeness?
At first we weren’t creative at all, then about 3 months in, we started working on the music that went on to become Lifeboat Candidate. We are prolific for sure. I personally work on new music every day and we usually complete a new song every week or two. A completely finished product. We have a backlog of over 50 songs at this point. Not all of them are good and most won’t see the light of day, but we are constantly working.

If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
That’s impossible. I love too much music to ever be able to answer something like that. But a couple records I never get sick of hearing are the first Velvet Underground record and The White Album.

You’re from Nashville, TN – country music territory – but there’s obviously an 80’s influence to your sound. Who did you listen to growing up?
I grew up listening to a lot of “Alternative Music” as it used to be called. The Cure, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, etc. Poppier stuff like Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, Men at Work, INXS. I also was a big fan of metal growing up. I certainly never listened to country music, unless you count my mom playing Kenny Rogers records while I listened to Metallica on my walkman.

“Post Preservation” is your sixth album and is very different to your first few albums. How/why did your sound evolve over the years?
The first couple of records were me learning how to record and were mostly a solo project. I was listening to a lot of indie folk and classic stuff like Townes Van Zandt and Gram Parsons at the time. The second record was recorded in the spare bedroom of our old rental house in Nashville. I included more power pop and electronic stuff on that one. Basically those records were a potpourri of every musical influence of mine being crammed into a couple uneven records. I’ve thought about pulling them down because they are so different from the fully realized sound of the current band, but I’ve always liked to go back and hear how bands have changed over time and figured I’d keep them out there. There’s also a few songs that I still enjoy listening to on occasion. No shame in evolution.

You have some live dates planned for November – what is a typical “Palm Ghosts” concert like?
From what we’ve been told, we are a bit more aggressive live than we are on record. Playing shows is our favorite thing to do, so I guess the audience feels that in the energy we throw their way.

What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
I’m not sure of all of the toppings I’d put on it, but It would definitely have chunks of roasted garlic all over the damn thing. I grew up in an Italian family and garlic is our life blood. I’d call it the Nosferatu Destroyer, because vampires wouldn’t come within 50 yards of you if you ate it.

What do you have planned for 2023? Do you have more albums ready to go?
Yep, we have enough good material to release another full length tomorrow, but we’ll just keep writing and see what forms out of the process. One thing with us, you’ll never wait too long for new music. Hopefully that’s a good thing!

Palm Ghosts are Joseph Lekkas (Vocals, Bass, Keys), Benjamin Douglas (Guitar, Keys, Vocals), Walt Epting (Drums, Percussion) and Jason Springman (Guitar, Vocals, Keys). You can catch the band on tour in November in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago and Nashville with more details on their website and follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

Feature Image Photo Credit – Sam Wiseman

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