Thrash Hits verdict: Japanese bands of the heavy inclination are few and far between, but when they’re good, they’re bloody amazing. Think of Envy, Crossfaith and FACT, for instance. Palm are absolutely the heaviest of the bunch and they play searing, crusty hardcore in the vein of those bands up there, influenced by the likes of “Slayer, Pantera, Entombed, early Sepultura, early Cave In [and] Neurosis”. They recorded an album, My Darkest Friends with Alan Douches (Baroness, 3 Inches of Blood) and had the cover designed by Converge’s Jacob Bannon. It all fits together.
While bassist, Yoshiyasu Morita, drummer, Kenta Nakanishi and vocalist, Toshihiko Takahashi have now been together for a decade, guitarist, Ryouta Sugimoto joined the band a couple of years ago and Palm have been on an upward trajectory ever since. The singer, however, is the sole remaining founding member, so we had a chat to him about Palm.
Describe your sound in three words
HARDCORE. METAL. LIFE.
What made you want to start a band?
I was always a muso, but the trigger for me to start playing in the band was when I was in junior high school and heard my brother listening to Nirvana and I thought, “This is it!”
Where did the name come from?
The deeper meaning behind the name is that at that time I was devoted to counter culture, which came from listening to punk and hardcore. Anyway, I was forcing the ideology more than the music, which cast me away from the music and even came to a point where I could not enjoy it. Then, I thought with anything that happens, it happens on a palm, which is a ironic way to view life. It also has a meaning of creating your life by your own palm.
How did Jacob Bannon designing your artwork come about?
Me and the guy from Alliance Trax were discussing who to ask for the cover artwork and listed up few candidates. I personally love Converge and also Jacob’s art, so I asked if he could do it. Since Alliance Trax and Deathwish had a good relationship from the past and we played with them in Japan, he remembered us and accepted the offer! This is so big news for me and one of my dreams came true!
What’s the most memorable show you’ve played?
Punk Illegal Festival at Munkedal in Sweden in 2010. About 100 true punks organize and run the whole thing – all DIY. I learnt a lot from their background and how they live with music. It got me fascinated and was a great culture shock. In recent years, Chaos in Tejas and tour with Nails was awesome.
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
The underground metal and hardcore scene is very small in Japan but Nightmare, Framtid and Warhead are active and keeping the Osaka scene real for years.
What other band should everyone find out about?
A grindcore band Mortalized, Matsubara from Gridlink’s band and a death metal band, Infernal Revulsion are also great so check them out!
What is the most metal thing you’ve done?
Mmmm… Drinking too many tequilas and throwing that up in a tour van? Hahaha.
Palm are touring Australia for three weeks from Wednesday 11 September with A Secret Death. They’ll be playing gigs with awesome bands like Thy Art Is Murder and Rolo Tomassi as well, so if you’re in the area, check them out and hopefully Palm will be over in the UK soon.