Palm Haze: who they are & the interview
Last week you discovered the beautiful Noise Pop of Palm Haze in our this Article. Today, meet the band, with a quick introduction and a very informative interview on their path so far.
Introduction to Palm Haze
Palm Haze is a Canadian based band founded by Anna Wagner and Lucas Inacio in 2015. The idea originally came up when they wrote their first song, on a single afternoon at a beach house in Ilhabela, Brazil.
They blend alternative rock, shoegaze and trip-hop influences, to create a sound that's both heavy and smooth - think of fuzzed guitars and soothing vocals under a palm tree shadow.
As a live act, the band consists of Anna (vocals, bass), Lucas (vocals, guitars), Marianne Catafesta (vocals, synths, bass) and Caio Mendes (drums).
Despite being founded in Ilhabela, the band moved to Vancouver, shortly after, where they are touring after releasing their debut EP Tangy Dream in fall 2017.
And now let them present their story:
Anna: It all started when we were staying in a beach house in Ilhabela and out of the nowhere Lucas started playing some chords on his acoustic guitar and I just started singing some random lyrics.
Lucas: Yeah, then I stop and said "oh, this sounds good, we should record it so we don't forget it", we did it and it became our first song. For us, that's what really defines our start. This was about 2 years ago, in 2015. After a couple months we wrote a second song, Beautiful Island, also in Ilhabela. Then we kind of had a creative pause for a while because we were focused on other things, and moving to Vancouver was one of them.
Once in Vancouver, we were finally able to focus on making music and writing more songs. I also came here to study music production which enables me to produce our songs. Regarding the name, it came just after all that, I don’t remember how exactly but Anna really liked the beachy vibe.
Anna: I do like the “beachy vibe”, but mostly because i feel like it somehow relates really well to our sound. It just came to a point where we needed to have a name, and we came up with a few options and “palm haze” was one of them. The “palm” is for “palm trees” - a signifier for warm, tropical, sunny, relaxed. The “haze” is a reference to the noisy sound, that blends with softer elements - like the vocals. But that’s me speaking, you can create your own meaning, palm haze is whatever you feel like when our songs are playing!
But yeah, after we moved to Vancouver luckily a couple of friends we used to play with on Brazil also decided to move here, eventually joining our band and making Palm Haze’s current formation me, Anna (Vocals, Bass), Lucas (Vocals, Guitars), Marianne Catafesta (Vocals, Synths, Bass) and Caio Mendes (Drums).
Our first concert was just a while ago on a small pub here in Vancouver. It was my first time ever playing on a stage - which was awesome and terrifying at the same time. Now I’m craving for more!
PALM HAZE INTERVIEW
Noise Artists (NA): Where are you from? Where are you living now?
Lucas: We’re from Brazil but we’re based in Vancouver, Canada now.
NA: Do you dream to live from your music or is it a passion you do not want to spend your full time on?
Lucas: Not exactly from music, but I would like to live from art. I also love photography and video, so it would be awesome to live with those three forms of art, music, photo and video, as well as combinations which involve all of them, like video clips, art installations, short or long movies and such.
NA: Can you tell me the inspiration behind your band? You can detect the influences of shoegaze and indie rock. You took all these influences to make your own music, your own sound, which is not easy. Could you tell more?
Lucas: For me, the inspiration to make music comes from the fact that I love to play and listen to music. You can detect influences of alternative rock, shoegaze, trip-hop on our sound, but also a touch of other kinds of music like vaporwave and ambient electronic music. I also love classical music and atonal music.
NA: Was there a vision of sorts or did you know what you wanted to do when you started up? i.e. when you started the band was it always a project to create a shoegaze band? Or was it different from now?
Lucas: I think the term shoegaze doesn't define very well a band sound, it only means that you use a lot of effects. We actually don’t care about genres, we just make the songs we want to make no matter what genre they turn out to be, we could say we just have a preference of instruments on Palm Haze; like we tend to do music that is guitar based, with soothing vocals, usually ambient synths and electronic or live drums depending on the song.
NA: Do you have any other musical side projects apart from this band?
Lucas: Only one on my mind for now.
NA: Could you tell me more about the band composition? Do you have plans to add new members, or is there possible departure scheduled from existing band members?
Lucas: I’m pretty happy with the current formation. I don’t see the need for more members and I also like the challenge of arranging (or even composing, because this sometimes affects it too) the songs thinking on our current formation. But maybe I would add a full orchestra for some songs live if could (Lownly for example was made to be played with a full orchestra).
NA: Not only do you write a lot of music, but you are also very present on social media. Is Music your one and only passion?
Lucas: No, I love basically every art form, music is just the one I’m currently focusing, I already focused on photography and visual arts for some time (you can see my work on my personal Instagram).
Anna: Writing and travelling. When I was younger I used to love acting (still do, just don’t get the chance to do it anymore).
The Creative process
NA: Who writes the song and the music and how do you get to the final song? Is it a community process, do you have leaders in composing or arranging music?
Lucas: We usually start together, me and Anna. We could say that she’s more responsible for the lyrics and me for the composition, arranging and production.
NA: Do you listen to the advice of your bandmates? What would you do if they said a song was shit but you liked it?
Lucas: Yes, after the writing/composing process they’re usually the first ones to hear the demos. I always appreciate all the feedback they give. If they say something is shit is because probably is, they have good taste. But this doesn’t necessarily would mean that I would stop working on a song because it’s shit, I think there’s a lot of songs that are shit but still good to listen. I see making songs more as an empirical art than a rational thought art.
NA: There’s a degree of unconventional songwriting with you guys. Was it kind of intimidating going to record knowing people might not be engaging with the songs in terms of hooks and such and trying to deliver an engaging sound on record?
Lucas: Not at all.
Anna: Personally, I never stopped to think about that when we were recording. I was always just trying to do something that felt and sounded good at the moment.
NA: Talking about the lyrics: who write them? Is there a common thread in them, a theme?
Lucas: Anna usually writes most of the lyrics, but we do it together, sometimes I put some words on it.
Anna: There’s not really a theme, although I do relate to everything I write. I never spend too much time working on lyrics, so they are usually very raw. It’s just a thought that blends into the sound and somehow fits in.
The path to music
NA: Your recorded sound is very good, which is not easy. Did you engineer the sound yourself, or did you have a sound engineer with you? If yes could you tell us more about him/her?
Lucas: I do 90% of the recordings myself, I engineer all things related to guitars, bass, synths and vocal recordings, and sometimes drums too. We got help from Adam Fulton on drums for It Follows and Violet, recorded at Bluelight Studios and for the drums and vocals for Beautiful Island, recorded at Fader Mountain Studios.
NA: Was it a community work to try to have the best sounding music possible or mainly driven by the sound engineer or by the band?
Lucas: I guess it was mostly driven by me.
NA: Do you have one favourite instrument or do you change often?
Lucas: My white Jaguar “Bunny”.
Anna: My bass “Pismo”.
NA: What are some places around the world that you hope to take your band? Do you have any plans at present to tour in other countries than Canada?
Lucas: We would love to tour on the West American Coast, Asia and in South America.
NA: Is there any reason in particular that you want to go to these places? Is there something about dream pop/shoegaze in those places that makes you want to go there?
Lucas: I like the beaches on the west coast, I’ve never been to Asia (and it seems to be awesome) and well, we have friends on Brazil, so a South American tour just makes total sense.
The Brazilian & Canadian Scene
NA: Is there any Bazilian or Canadian band(s) you want to recommend in the indie/shoegaze/post-rock genres?
Lucas: Odradek from Brazil.
NA: Do you have a label? Could you tell us a bit more if so?
Anna: No label.
NA: How did the funding work for the LP? Did you invest a lot yourself? Was your label supportive in that respect?
Anna: It was all pretty much recorded and produced at home.
NA: Do you make a decent revenue from your music or is it still very much a hobby?
Anna: Just a hobby.
Tell us about the artists you have worked with
Lucas: I’ve recorded guitars for 2 tracks from Funny Death’s upcoming album Half-Present and I’m helping our band members Caio and Mary with production on their side project.
Anna: Palm Haze is my first project.
NA: What is the next album due?
Lucas: Not sure yet, but we are working on it. Probably sometime in 2018.
NA: Any other project (ie movies soundtrack, …) or plans
Lucas: Yes, but nothing to share about it yet.
Palm Haze presence on the web
I want to thank you Palm Haze for their help and Kindness over the whole collaboration. They have been patient, extremely nice and helpful. As is our mission statement, we will continue to follow and support them going forward.
And do not forget: please support their music by buying it.