The Melodic Rock Intrigue of Palace
Palace is a Swedish melodic rock entity founded by lead singer and multi-instrumentist Michael Palace. Unveiling a timeless AOR sound that tantalizes the senses, Palace is destined to reign supreme with music fans all over the world. Michael Palace has worked with the likes of First Signal (featuring Harry Hess of Harem Scarem) and Kryptonite (with Jakob Samuel of The Poodles). Binary Music is the second solo endeavor from Palace, jammed packed with superbly memorable songs such as Nothing Personal, Tears Of Gaia, Dangerous Ground and more! Highwire Daze Online recently interviewed the mastermind behind Palace to find out a whole lot more about the auditory intrigue known as Binary Music. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Palace, and how long the band has been together.
Hi! My name is Michael Palace and Palace is my AOR project that I’ve been working on since 2016.
Where is Palace based out and what is your music scene like there?
The base of operations is Stockholm, Sweden and I can’t think of a better place to be in the world if you’re into AOR and melodic rock in 2019.
How did you wind up signing with Frontiers Music?
I started writing songs for them and did some guitar work for Daniel Flores on a couple of albums that he produced on the label in 2016. My songwriting and guitar playing must’ve caught their attention because shortly thereafter, I received an email with an offer that I couldn’t refuse. Now here we are in 2019 talking about the second Palace album and I still can’t believe it.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the CD title Binary Music?
The title came from frustration with mainstream music today. I like to keep up with music trends and listen to pretty much anything, but lately most everything sounds exactly the same. With that in mind, I tried to make the new album as diverse as possible, without censoring any ideas that might not fit whatever is considered a rock/aor framework. While the album is rooted in the 80’s soundwise , a lot of the lyrical ideas are based around a modern narrative.
Select two songs from Binary Music and what inspired the lyrics.
“Nothing Personal” – was inspired by how you’re available 24/7 to the whole world on social media. We spend more time than ever online with the internet in our pockets at all times. I think it’s healthy to set some boundaries and spend some time alone with your own thoughts now and then.
“Tears Of Gaia” – is about our footprint here on planet earth. It’s insane that there actually are people that don’t believe in global warming when our extinction is inevitable if we don’t drastically change the way we are treating the planet we live on. I’m very excited for Elon Musk’s plans to take us to Mars, but I hope that it won’t be out of necessity.
Who did the cover art for Binary Music and how much input did you have on it?
I made the cover art for Binary Music. Messing around in photoshop and drawing is something I’ve been doing for as long as I’ve been making music so I’m very happy that I got to combine those interests into one this time around. This allowed me to create a full package I think with a consistent theme throughout.
Overall how do you think Binary Music compares to the full length debut Master Of The Universe?
I think that Palace is growing at the same rate that I am and that “Binary Music” is a perfect follow up to the debut. It’s still inspired by 80’s music but by some more obscure acts this time around.
What could one expect from a live Palace show?
Not much at this time because there are no live shows planned at the moment. However if I were to take Palace on the road, I’d try to reproduce the music the way it sounds on the record. The songs are intended to be heard on a Hi-Fi stereo, or your best pair of headphones. That’s the way I like to listen to music.
If Palace could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Chicago circa 1987 would have been a glorious opening slot. That era when they had Pete Cetera and Bill Champlin in the band inspired huge of parts of the new album. Today, I’d like to open for a synthwave act like FM84, The Midnight or Mitch Murder. AOR and synthwave are so alike yet fans of respective genres are grossly unaware of the other. It’s about time that someone connects the dots I think. CREYE (also on Frontiers) made a pretty good effort with their debut.
Any chance of Palace touring or doing any shows in 2019?
Not at the moment. Making more awesome music is the main priority right now!
What was it like working with Harry Hess of Harem Scarem on the First Signal album?
Wow, it was a dream come true to say the least! Mood Swings is in my top 10 so I can’t even explain how crazy it felt getting to do some Pete Lesperance role playing on the First Signal album. Harry is probably one of the best rock singers around.
What was it like working with Jakob Samuel of The Poodles on the Kryptonite album?
That was also quite a surreal experience, which has been true for the last couple of years. I went from playing Wednesday bar gigs to literally living my dreams pretty much overnight and I can’t stop pinching myself. Jakob Samuel and The Poodles are a pretty big deal here in Sweden. I’ve seen Jakob on TV for as long as I can remember and getting to do an album with him and the absolute legends that the rest of the band are was yet another crazy highlight!
What up in the New Year for you and Palace?
Loads! I play guitar on Toby Hitchcock’s album coming out on January 25th. Find Me’s third album coming on February 22nd featuring six songs I wrote with some awesome people and some shredding guitar solos. On March 22nd, I will be releasing an EP with a Synthwave project that I’m working on called HOLOFLASH. Inspired by 80’s soundtracks and smoooth jazz. I think that I’ll start working on a new Palace album on the second quarter of 2019. I have already written about 50% of the album so I can’t wait to sink my teeth into that. So yeah, the plan is to make as much music as possible!
Any final words of wisdom?
Don’t eat the yellow snow!
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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