Palma Violets

“The one thing we really want to do is go to a toga party,” said Will Doyle. Palma Violets‘ drummer is lamenting about the college partying experience the young band has forgone to instead tour the world. The London garage rock band, which shot to fame (across the pond, anyway) after the release of their much-buzzed about debut album, 180, are set to play UC Berkeley this Friday, October 18th and the Treasure Island Music Festival on Sunday the 20th. Mayhew was kind enough to speak to me via an evening phone call while they wrapped up time off in London.

Palma Violets are currently promoting 180, the fast and loud sort of British rock album that is just as raucous to hear over speakers as it is to see played live. The four Lambeth twentysomethings (at least two of them are on the sorry-side of 21) are all ready to sink their teeth into San Francisco.

Already in the midst of a second leg of touring the U.S., Palma Violets previously played their first San Francisco show at The Independent. Doyle said the band’s time to explore was limited during their short stay. “

[San Francisco is] quite European — there’s a lot going on. Go do this and go do that, we didn’t have much time to do it,” said Doyle.”But we’ll go for a walk when we get there and explore the town.”

Earlier this year, the guys had the unbelievable opportunity to open for the Rolling Stones in the UK. According to Doyle: “Well, that was nuts! We saw Ronnie Wood at the NME Awards. And after he presented the awards he came and said hello and we just kept in contact with him and he said, ‘Do you guys want to play this Hyde Park gig?’”

Doyle and the guys seem really stoked on being a part of Treasure Island Music Festival’s Sunday lineup. “I remember when we saw Treasure Island [the first time we came to San Francisco], we thought, ‘That can’t be real.’ And then someone said ‘No, you’re playing that!’ And so I was like, ‘This is almost like the Muppets.’”

While the band are set to tour 180 throughout the rest of the year, they have already begun thinking about their second album. In fact, the group has been drawing influence from none other than the Grateful Dead. “We’re watching some of the old Grateful Dead stuff with Jerry Garcia and he’s quite inspirational. And it’s because he knew how to have a twelve hour jam. Because all of our songs are three minutes, and now we can play for twelve minutes,” said Doyle, before he went on to quote half of “Eyes of the World.” Grueling months of touring, however, have kept the band’s new material and thoughts of album number two slightly at bay.

“When you’re touring for a year and you come back, you kind of forget how to jam. And then we watched this TV thing [about the Grateful Dead] and they are playing like twenty minute songs,” said Doyle.

With a newly released video for “Rattlesnake Highway,” one can get a taste for Palma Violets’ live sets and the crazy energy they sweatily give and take with their fans. Check out the video below in all it’s black-and-white-fan-footage-y garage rock glory. BUT to experience the real deal, you’re going to have to catch them at UC Berkeley this Friday or amidst the beauty of Treasure Island!

Palma Violets are playing UC Berkeley’s campus for free this Friday before they play Treasure Island this Sunday. You’d be silly to miss a free show!

Palma Violets, SKATERS
UC Berkeley, Upper Sproul
October 18, 2013
5pm, FREE