Thursday, April 7

Center Stage - The Palace Ballroom

Meet our newest Center Stage band, The Palace Ballroom

Taking a slight departure from their former bands’ punk and indie leanings, the four members of The Palace Ballroom have come together to create something new. Maintaining a DIY work ethic and forgoing the search for formal management or label representation, the group has managed to circumnavigate the traditional pathways of the music business and still focus on making songs for a wider range of listeners. Showing fierce loyalty to their craft, this quintet draws upon all their individual musical strengths to create one beautiful sound.

Their song Descender, A mid tempo rock/pop song that has some swagger and a melodically uplifting chorus, has been especially popular among Jango listeners. Take a listen for yourself here or check out the video of the song at the bottom of the post.

Get to know the talented band with our Q&A in the latest artist feature:

Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence
California boys running up the mountain with songs in mind, guitars in hand and ready to turn everyone's ear to their sound comprised of equal parts classic american rock and roll, heartfelt songwriting and angular indie guitar rock.

What's your earliest music-related memory growing up?
Very early, probably around 4 or 5 years old. Sitting in my room playing while top 40 songs played on my tiny alarm-clock FM radio. I remember knowing the melody, the verse progression and the choruses the second most every song started. I would just sit and listen for hours. -TJ

What was the first tune(s) you learned?

'AWAY' a song by an East coast band called The Feelies. The first chords I learned on the guitar when I was 8 were E,C and G. That Feelies song was just C and G the whole way through. I remember playing it over and over and feeling really excited about it. Once I made the connection that I could figure out pretty much any song, it was on. -TJ

Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process
Yes. I've been writing songs since I can remember. As a little kid, I used to put all my thoughts to music. Melodies for everything. As I got older and picked up instruments, the transition was natural. Usually when I write a song, I'll play a musical progression on the guitar. Sometimes I'll play for hours just trying out different sounds, rhythms and chords to see what strikes me. Once I create a progression that has a certain cadence, rhythmic feel, melodic nuance and emotional connection, I start to fit a frenetic melody into the progression. Once the melody fits, the piece will generally start to attach itself to certain personal feelings or emotions inside me. Those feelings end up dictating what I write the song about. So I start to rough-draft fitting words into the melodic spaces. I'll play it over and over again until it's a complete skeleton. Then I'll make a rough recording of it and start the refinement process. Sometimes it comes together in 10 or 20 minutes, other times songs take quite a bit of tweaking until if feel ok about it. I guess that's the simplest way to put it. :) -TJ

If you were to cover another artist's album, which would you pick and why?
I would cover The Pixies Doolittle album front to back. I'll never forget the first time I heard that record. My brother was playing it in his room and I had to go in and listen. I'd never heard anything like it before. It made me realize that aggressive music could sound beautiful, angry, forlorn and frantic all at the same time. That band also taught me that music isn't about fashion, it's about connection. Such great songs and such a hugely influential band. -TJ

What was the highlight of 2015, either for you personally or for the band? What was the low point?
The highlight by far was releasing our 2nd LP. I'm really proud of it. We recorded it live, most songs in one take and we all think it came out really strong. It's a benchmark as a band and as musicians personally when you can perform your songs well enough live to have them be record quality. Those are the types of records which are an accurate snapshot of where you are as musicians in that time in your life. It's something we are all proud to have been a part of. As far as low points, I don't really think there were any worthy of mentioning. Aside from any personal drama, the band had a really great year. Anyhow, it's not very productive to dwell on negativity. As long as we're making music, recording and performing, the low points usually fall by the wayside. -TJ

What is 2016 looking like for you? Upcoming projects? Can you give us a little hint, on what we can expect for this year?

We are always working on new music. As I write songs, I bring the roughs to the rest of the band and get it in their ears. That way, they start to come up with their parts to weave into the framework and the songs progress as a group effort from there out. So a new album is never far away :) For 2016, we have been and are planning on playing out live as much as possible. Regional touring, festivals, radio shows and television. We love to get out and play for people so that is our plan. - TJ

Any embarrassing on stage moments you'd like to share? C’mon, don’t be shy.
Ha! Not in this band so far, thankfully. We've only been around a few years though so there's lots of time for things to happen. As far as embarrassing moments, I did accidentally shit my pants on a date once though. That might be a good a story for another interview in the future. -TJ

What do you enjoy doing outside of music? Does your hobby rejuvenate their creativity?

Everyone in the band is a music nerd. We suck at sports, so basically that's all we do. We feed off of each other for creative inspiration and to inspire our work ethic. I work in a recording studio in San Diego, host a local music show on KBZT FM94.9 and also do quite a few side projects with musicians around town. On our off days, we hang out with significant others, family and do various domestic stuff. We all live for music, and each of us is self motivated but come together as a unit in TPB. I do however like to hit the skatepark or go hiking and I'm definitely fond of a mean game of frisbee on the beach. All meditative extracurricular activities for me. -TJ

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
Judging by your featured bands and your content, it looks to me like Radio Airplay actually listens to the music instead of jumping on the hype wagon. Fashion trends don't equal good music. Turning people on to new and exciting art takes a critical curative ear, lots of time, dedication and above all, a true love of good music. I believe you folks at RA are in possession of quite a few of those qualities. Thank you for doing what you do.