It’s always a pleasure talking with Michael Palace. There are so many topics than one could talk with him, and every time is great to hear his point of view about making, recording and producing music. This time Grande Rock had a chat with Michael about his latest Palace album, “Rock and Roll Radio”, among other interesting things. For more read below…
Michael Palace photo
Hi Michael, I’m glad we’re given the chance to talk about your new album “Rock and Roll Radio”! I do think that this is one of your top works to date! An amazing album on the whole!
M: Hello! Very nice to talk to you again! Thank you very much!
Well, you released two albums in 2020.One with Platforms and another with Palace. How come? Did you plan it or it just happened?
M: It just happened. I started working on the new Palace album around the time “The Future That Never Happened” was released and luckily the label were able to release it pretty quickly. In a perfect world, the music I make would be released the same day it’s finished.
What are the differences and the similarities between the previous album “Binary Music” and the new one “Rock and Roll Radio”?
M: The biggest difference is probably the sound due to a different mix and slightly different production. The similarities are many I think! My intention was to take all the best parts from the previous two records and to make “Rock And Roll Radio” the definitive Palace album.
Last time we talked, you told me that your vision with the Palace albums is to capture all those things you like about the 80s rock music. Do you feel that you have achieved that, especially with the new release?
M: I feel like I did! This is probably the most 80s sounding Palace record yet!
I’d say that “Rock and Roll Radio” does have lots of 80s influences without losing its freshness and its contemporary approach at any point. What say you?
M: Thank you! That’s the biggest challenge with making 80s inspired music. It’s all been done before, so I try really hard to bring my own unique twist to the sound and to make it feel relevant today, without losing the nostalgic feeling.
Since you’re both a multi-instrumentalist and a songwriter and you’re involved in several music projects, how do you decide which song is for what band and at what point?
M: I very rarely write anything without knowing who or what it’s for. I find that having some boundaries to work around is the most inspiring.
What does the album title “Rock and Roll Radio” declare?
M: That you’re just tuning in to a 45 minute long “Rock and Roll” show that’s gonna take you on a trip down memory lane!
Do give us a hint about each track…
M: “Rock and Roll Radio”: Huey Lewis And The News…
“Castaway”: Tom Hanks…
“Way Up Here”: Space X…
“Cold Ones”: Best served cold…
“Eleonora”: Love of my life!
“Hot Steel”: Rob Halford and “real dolls”…
“My Gray Cloud”: Harem Scarem…
“Origin of Love”: TNT…
“She’s So Original”: ...but is the song?!
“Strictly by the Rules”: Mid-life crisis…
“When It’s Over”: Toto…
“Fight”: Transformers…
You’ve also became a full-time producer and “Rock and Roll Radio” is your first work… meaning that you fully produced, mixed and mastered the album. How do you feel about it? Is it something that you always wanted to do – to have full control over your music and the production?
M: I’ve been feeling for a while that I would much rather produce music than to perform. After doing the Platforms album, (which is the actual first Michael Palace production), I finally had the confidence that I could pull off a Palace album myself. It’s not really the control, I just really really love the whole process of making music and I enjoy all aspects of it!
Which are your expectations from “Rock and Roll Radio” in general?
M: My only goal was to make an album at least slightly better than the last one, everything else is beyond my control and I just hope that the people that liked what I’ve done in the past enjoy this release as well.
How can a band or a musician get in touch in order to work with you? Are there any special requirements?
M: They can send me a message on facebook or instagram. I enjoy every genre of music and love working with new people! The only thing that matters is that the music is inspiring!
What are your tips for newcomers and those who record for the first time?
M: Don’t spend too much time on it! Learn to accept that there’s no such thing as “perfect” in music and that you’ll never really get there. The only way to improve is to put stuff out there and to get the response from your audience. I guarantee that you’ll gain much more from releasing something you’'re not really happy with every other month rather than spending a whole year on one thing!
What are your personal plans for 2021?
M: I’ve just finished writing songs for a hard rock album I’m producing in the first quarter of 2021. Other than that I’ve got some fun work lined up in various genres. (Italodisco, synthwave, christian-contemporary etc.).
What is the news from the music projects you are involved with? Any new releases for 2021?
M: Nothing that I can name at this point but it looks like most of 2021 will be spent recording. Maybe some of it will be released towards the end of the year!
Do you think that Spotify and YouTube have helped new bands and music to be spread worldwide or they have also caused several issues in the music industry?
M: Digital streaming has absolutely made it easier for musicians to release their music and to be heard, but it also dramatically increasing the competition. I think that main role of labels nowadays is to help their artists pierce through the buzz and to be heard.
Well, it’s time for our “strange questions”!!! Which is the first album that you ever bought and do you still own it to date?
M: The first album I bought with my own money was Nelly – “Nellyville”. Well actually… my Mom had to buy it for me due to the “Explicit” sticker on the CD hahaha...
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words:
M: Rockstar: Mark Wahlberg…
Classical Music: Rachmaninov…
Eurovision: Will Ferrell…
Music Realities: The Osbournes…
Fill in the phrase… “Rock wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
M: Blues…
Which are the best 3 Rock albums of all time according to you?
M: Ozzy – “Blizzard of Ozz”, Van Halen – “Van Halen”, Def Leppard – “Hysteria”.
Which is the composer/songwriter who influenced rock music the most?
M: John Lennon…
Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in rock history?
M: Michael Bolton & Whitney Houston!
Which is that band that you’d like to be part of (any time & era)?
M: Blue Man Group.
If you could be any historical person, which one would you be and why?
M: Pythagoras. Was a clever guy!
Thank you very much for talking to Grande Rock Michael. Just say anything you feel like saying before we close. Wish you the best for the future to come. Take care dude!
M: Thank you! Always a pleasure talking to you. I want to wish everyone reading a great year and for those who’ve had a bad 2020, I hope that music has brought at least some joy in these dark times!