Michael Palace

Michael Palace is always a busy guy that writes and produces music all the time. Catching up with him was a good chance to talk about all the projects he’s involved with and his future plans that have to do with a new project and a new Palace album as well. Read below to find out for yourself about Michael’s next steps and his music preferences, among other interesting things.
Michael Palace pic
Hi Michael and welcome to Grande Rock. First of all, do tell us what are your personal music news, regarding your band (Palace) and the other music projects you’re dealing with? What shall we wait in 2020?
M: Hello, and thank you for having me! Towards the end of 2019, I hooked up with an American singer and songwriter Jordan Cox and started a band called Platforms. We released 4 singles and are currently in the last steps of completing our debut album, which will see the light of day in early 2020. I am producing this album, and you can expect a lot of more productions from me in 2020, as I have found this to be my true passion in music. I have a few songs lined up for the third Palace album but the project is on hold for the time being.
How did the cooperation with First Signal, Find Me, Cry Of Dawn, Kryptonite and Toby Hitchcock occur initially? Did you have in mind to deal with the songwriting part or with the production as well?
M: My first contact with Frontiers was when Daniel Flores hired me to play guitar on the First Signal album. At the same time, I started writing songs for Cry Of Dawn and one thing just led to another, ultimately landing me a record deal with Palace. It was on the second Palace album that I really got into producing.
Which of those music projects are you most committed to? Let’s say First Signal? I do think that this is a very special project that delivers great qualitative albums.
M: Since I got to play guitar on two of the First Signal albums, I definitely feel like my playing style has become a part of the sound the fans expect to hear. However, I feel equally committed to all of them and wouldn’t decline to play on any future releases.
How was the preparation for the third (and second for you) First Signal album, “Line of Fire” and how’s your cooperation with Daniel Flores (drummer, songwriter)?
M: The preparation was very easy thanks to the great cooperation me and Flores have after working on so much stuff together. It’s just a matter of me learning the songs on my own time and then going into the studio and record them together with Daniel in a few sessions.
Was the whole procedure easier than the previous album and more focused this time on the things that you wanted to accomplish with “Line of Fire”?
M: Daniel’s production skills make everything feel easy. I was a lot more relaxed and less nervous when recording “Line of Fire” though, which made the whole process even more fun and I think led to a lot of cool musical ideas.
Any particular reason why you named the album “Line of Fire”?
M: This is a question for Harry Hess I think. I don’t have the answer for that unfortunately as I was only involved in the guitar playing.
Do you have a specific vision about the Palace albums? Do you wanna deliver 80s music that is so much loved by the fans and what else?
M: Yes! For the two Palace albums that have been released, my vision was to make songs that capture what I like about 80’s rock music. Like as if each songs could’ve been released by my favorite bands back in the day.
Hence, what’s missing from today’s music and the fans are still so much into the 80s or the 70s looking for new bands that sound like groups from those decades?
M: There’s been a lot of great 80s sounding pop music released in the past years but not that much rock that really stays true to that whole aesthetic and sound.
Do you think that the quantity of today’s releases is part of the problem too? Has quantity overcome quality in our time or what?
M: I wouldn’t call it a problem really. There’s no shortage of great music out there, and it’s very easy to find thanks to Spotify and YouTube, but since pretty much anyone with a computer has the possibility to produce and release music, there’s bound to be more music released of a lower quality.
Since you’re a musician, a songwriter and a producer, which are those tips that you can give to the new bands and musicians when they start working on their own stuff?
M: My number one tip is to finish every song that you start. Even if it ends up being horrible. This is something I’ve struggled with the most, and see other musicians struggle with. It takes a few hundred bad songs to get to the good ones. Also, release music. The fastest way to improve is to just release music all the time and remembering that nothing can ever be perfect. You can just do better on the next one.
Which are the criteria to work with a band as a producer and songwriter if need be? Can literally any band/musician get in touch so as to work with you?
M: The number one criterion is being a nice person that is easy and fun to work with. Skill comes only second. I would much rather work with someone who is average at what they do but I have an amazing time with, than someone who is the best in the world but impossible to deal with. Of course, anyone can get in touch, I don’t bite.
Time for our “weird questions”!!! What are those things that you do not like in the music industry nowadays?
M: There’s nothing that I could complain about. What I want the most is for my music to be heard by as many people as possible, and this has never been easier than today.
What do you think about the “downloading & streaming issue” of our time?
M: The only way I consume music myself is through streaming, so I just can’t see the issue with it. It is certainly a problem for the music labels however.
Which music kind can’t you bear to listen to at all?
M: Bad rock music.
Which are your 3 beloved 80s movies?
M: Rocky IV, Karate Kid, The Shining.
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
M: “Thriller”, cause I’d be set for life, and what an amazing album!
Fill in the phrase… “AOR wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
M: ...the invention of the synthesizer.
Which are the 3 AOR albums that have defined the whole genre?
M: TOTO – “IV”, Journey – “Escape” and Foreigner – “4”.
Which is the composer/songwriter who influenced rock music the most?
M: Blues musician Robert Johnson.
Which are those albums that took rock music one step further during the 80s and influenced the whole movement too?
M: I think “Blizzard Of Ozz” really took rock to the next level, other than that I don’t really know. I really love what TOTO “IV” did for AOR music.
Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in rock history?
M: Michael Bolton and Whitney Houston.
Who is the sexiest female Rock Star of all time?
M: All of them!
If you had the opportunity to invite any musician, living or dead, to play on your album whom would you choose and why?
M: Chick Corea. Because he’s legend and a massive inspiration!
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
M: I’d love to go to the future, because it’s exciting as hell and this sounds like the only chance to get a glimpse of it.
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
M: It would be a compilation of symphonies from our greatest composers. I think music peaked at the end of the 19th century.
Thx for talking to Grande Rock, Michael. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Say anything you feel like saying before we close… take care!
M: It was a pleasure. Who doesn’t like talking about themselves? I want to thank your readers for taking the time to read this, and wish you all a fantastic 2020!