Given the style of music they produce, the last thing you would expect when contacting a band like Palm Reader is a friendly, swift reply, not unlike that of a close friend. Yes, despite the band’s many touring commitments and plentiful upcoming shows, drummer Dan Olds was still able to find the time for a brief e-correspondence this past weekend.
Forming in Woking back in 2011, the band’s Facebook page proudly claims that the five-piece began with ‘nothing else in mind’. If you were to take a listen to any of Palm Reader’s material, you may begin to draw comparisons to bands such as Converge, Code Orange or Gallows. However, influences for Dan began with a very different style of music. “The first thing that made me want to start writing music was a Panic At The Disco song. [It’s called] But It’s Better If You Do and there’s this snare pattern about half way through the song that I instantly fell in love with, [and] from there on out it made me want to drum and write music.” However, if you were to ask him what records shaped his love for music as it stands today, his tastes would seem a little more aligned with his band’s current output, with his top three containing Every Time I Die’s The Big Dirty, This Will Destroy You’s self titled record, and Louder Now by Taking Back Sunday. “[In terms of influence] personally, as a drummer, I’d have to say Abe Cunningham of Deftones and Billy Rymer of The Dillinger Escape Plan. They’re both just solid drummers through out They both have very different styles of playing but they’re easily the best in their field.”
Back in May, Palm Reader decided to embark on a venture most bands wouldn’t even dream of attempting. Soon after the release of their astounding second album Beside The Ones We Love, the boys decided to push their boundaries and play a staggering five sets in under twelve hours. “The five shows in one day [idea] came about when our manager suggested it. It was an idea that bounced around a lot and when it got offered to us properly, we all said yes instantly. We always want to push ourselves as musicians and it’s something that we’re all very proud of. We got a fair few people come to each one, which is amazing to think that people wanted to see us 5 times in one day. We love those people.”
In 2013, Palm Reader played the biggest set of their career, and Dan remembers it incredibly fondly. “[I would have to say] Download. The weather worked in our favour. We were clashing with Architects on the main stage so we thought we wouldn’t be playing to many people but just as we were about to play it started to rain and everyone made their way into the nearest tent which happened to be ours. None of us will ever forget that show.” It might be fair to say that over the course of their four year career, Palm Reader may have been faced with their fair share of adversity from a few select crowds. Luckily, in their case, the band has been pretty lucky in their endeavours. “Sometimes we get a bad reception when we play. It’s never been boo’s or people heckling, but just due to times we haven’t really fit the bill.” However, appreciative crowds can certainly come with their own quirks. When I asked Dan to tell me about some of the more ‘interesting’ occurrences during shows, he seemed stuck between two. “First, we played a show in Canterbury about 2 years ago and an old man came up on stage mid-song just to talk about drums. As cool as it was that he enjoyed it, it wasn’t really the place for it. Second, we played in Bournemouth about 2 years ago as well and we got asked by a clothing company to give a few things away during our set, T-shirts and the like. We were throwing them out and it came to the last shirt and we wanted to hold a bit of a competition for it and this dude just gets fully naked in the middle of the room. No one asked him to get naked, no-one implied anything like that. But he really wanted that shirt I guess…”
With all the band’s touring, shows and promotion, the costs of being in an underground outfit must be on a constant hike. However, none of this seems to bother Dan too much, who seems to have a pretty practical view on things. “The more you tour the more it supports the band. We’ve had periods where we’re not out touring and the band costs rack up and we’re not making enough money to support ourselves and the band. But when we’re touring it’s generating a small amount of income to keep the wheels turning (quite literally).” With bands like theirs, there often comes a huge toll on the health and wellbeing of each member when on the road so often. “Sustaining ourselves physically is quite easy, but it’s just a case of taking care yourself and not doing anything stupid. You’re on tour to play shows you’re not on tour to put yourself in hospital!”
One might expect that for a band with such a successful, hectic year nearly behind them, they might want a little chance to slow down and reflect on their experiences. Not Palm Reader. “We’ve got some new music coming in the ‘near future’ And this Sunday we’re heading off on tour with Mutoid Man, which we’re all dead excited about. We’ve got a tour announcement coming soon which is probably the best tour we’ve ever been offered. The future at the moment is looking pretty good.”
Catch Palm Reader on tour with Mutoid Man this October.