De Palma is the new band on the block. Their line up reads like the cast list of a surrealist play. Their backgrounds are eclectic and their set-list beguiling. Altblackpool interviewed Hector the Toad (bass guitarist) to find out what they’re up to.
Vicky Ellis: Who are you?
Hector the Toad: We are De Palma – a six piece band playing ‘dirty reggae’. Four of us have played with Ska Face at some point or other, Tommy the drummer plays for punk band One Way System, Rob the guitarist played in the classic Stiff Richard line up and Stu the singer has performed with Switzerland, Crackous Rockanroll and more recently Section 25.
VE: Where do you come from?
HTT: Blackpool. I’m Hector the bass player and I formed Ska Face in 2010 and played with them up until November 2012.
HTT: To get people moving – to create a groove that’s tight, hard edged and above all to have fun with the people who spend their hard cash earned listening to us. I’ll never be happy with what we do as I think complacency is a very dangerous thing in a band – but as long as people are bouncing, that will be our ultimate goal.
VE: When do you want it?
HTT: NOW! I’m very impatient but the rest of the lads humour me as I design a nice poster…
VE: What have you done?
HTT: We’re rehearsing hard to prepare for ‘launch weekend’ – our debut gigs are at The Station Tavern, Lytham (Fri Mar 29th), Stanley Ward Con Club (Sat Mar 30th) and The Queens in Fleetwood (Sun Mar 31st). Then we get Bank Holiday Monday to recover. We played a private gig at a birthday party and it went down a bomb, so that’s given us a real boost. We’re finding our sound and tweaking the song choices and after a few weeks we’re working out what works and it’s sounding good.
VE: What will you do next?
HTT: 2013 is pretty busy now – we’ve got bookings at all the best venues in Blackpool, Lytham, Fleetwood and Preston and we have a few glory gigs too. We’re playing at Bug Jam in July at Santa Pod Raceway – the biggest VW Festival in the UK – in front of 25,000 people and that’s going to be great. There’s also a real appetite to write and record original material so that will happen later in the year once we’re gig hardened.
HTT: Writing is a big part of playing in a band to me. It stretches you and it opens a lot more doors than covers alone will. I would like to think that in 2014 we’ll be doing a few festivals and maybe some support slots.
HTT: We want to travel and find new people who are into ska, reggae and new wave – it doesn’t matter where that takes us. We’re talking to a bar in a French ski resort about a week long residency where I predict some broken bones and a Jagermeister drought.
HTT: We’re playing locally around Lancashire quite frequently and you can check out the gig guide on our website.
VE: Inspire me.
HTT: You couldn’t find a more disparate bunch of players than we have here – with backgrounds from ska to punk to jazz to electronica. But I think the key is that we all add a flavour that creates something unique and the quality of the performances is top notch. Sonically we’re working very hard not only on the tunes but on the dynamics of the instrumentation in relation to each other – so we make a powerful racket. And it’s tight – it has to be tight. When we record original stuff I want to do it live on analogue tape, which wasn’t possible with the Ska Face album.
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