Melbourne 6-piece Palace Of The King are one of the hardest working bands in the rock ‘n roll scene, with two EPs, two albums, and over two hundred shows under their belt.
With the sheer amount of touring they’ve done in the last few years, there was a wealth of experiences to use as inspiration on their second full-length, Valles Marineris, guitarist Matt Harrison explains.
“When we were writing this record we had two to three years worth of touring experience under our belt. Through the process of touring and writing this album, we’ve developed a lot more confidence and conviction in approaching songs as a result.”
First single ‘Beyond The Valley’ was a psychedelic, Sabbath-influenced jam, and the rest of the album hasn’t altered this formula drastically – although there are a few surprises thrown in for good measure.
“The big riffs and old-school hard rock sound associated with the first record certainly hasn’t gone anywhere,” Harrison says. “There are also a couple of songs on there that would probably surprise a lot of people as they’re the ones we jumped in the deep end with a little bit more.”
He explains how extra confidence in the studio has led to more experimentation in the recording process.
“We’ve reached the point where we’re now totally comfortable jumping into the studio together, which has ended up taking some songs in a totally different direction than usual. Different tones, techniques and tunings, there’s a much wider palette on this album than on previous albums.”
With the rapid rise in technological innovation in the last five to ten years, there has also been a radical shift in popularity of electronically produced music. Contrary to the oft-stated idiom however, Harrison is quick to debunk the myth that rock ‘n roll is dead in Australia.
“There’s a lot of great rock ‘n roll bands in Australia, particularly Melbourne, that are flying along at the moment. It’s great to see bands like King Of The North, Dallas Frasca and Dead City Ruins putting out great records and touring all over the world themselves. In that sense, the rock ‘n roll circle is really fertile and still ticking along really nicely.”
The relevance of Australian rock ‘n roll crosses the international border too, with strong interest from Europe if recent interviews are anything to go by.
“Doing a lot of European press lately with the release of this record, those guys are always keen to hear about Australian music and other bands that we can turn them on to,” Harrison states excitedly.
Spain in particular has a reputation for embracing Australian rock music. Describing one particularly memorable gig in Cangas, a small town in the Northwest region of Spain, Harrison relays a story that would have every Aussie rock band reaching for their passports.
“We went over there expecting a hell of a lot ‘cos everyone had said the town’s crazy and they go nuts for Australian rock ‘n roll. At one point, Gilps (Andrew Gilpin), our bass player, handed his bass over to Tim (Henwood) while he crowd surfed to the bar, helped himself to a beer and then crowd surfed his way back to resume duties on the bass. It was insane!”
With three shows recently announced to support their current single as well as three more lined up in September to support the album, Harrison says the band is excited to unleash the new songs in a live setting.
“We’re particularly looking forward to the album launch shows themselves. By that point, the album will have been out for six weeks and people will have had time to live with the songs and the new record. We’re really hoping it’ll be an all round celebration of the new music and hopefully people are digging what we’re doing.”
Palace Of The King are officially launching their new single ‘Beyond The Valley’ in August, and their sophomore album Valles Marineris in September. For tour dates, check out their Facebook page here.