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Leaping Without Looking Headlong Into Rock Stardom

Leaping Without Looking Headlong Into Rock Stardom

Palma Violets

U.K. rockers Palma Violets have found success once again. 

There is no hard-and-fast formula for the genesis of a band. Sometimes it's the result of record industry machinations: marketing research, image consultants, armies of publicists. Other times, however, a group of musicians unite and strive toward a shared vision.

In the case of London-based Palma Violets, the decision to form was less the result of a clarion call and more the product of casual observation.

"We were watching all these new bands and we discovered, 'Fuck, we could do this,' " says Chilli Jesson.

For Jesson and co-frontman Samuel Fryer, chance meetings, serendipity, and maybe a bit of kismet collided and thus Palma Violets was born. Now, with Danger in the Club, the group's sophomore album, fresh on record store shelves and garnering rave reviews the band is set to reap the rewards born of talent and chance after Fryer and and Jesson first met in 2009 during the Reading and Leeds music festivals.

"I was camping in a field, we'd gone to see the music," Fryer says. "I was 17 or 18. I was with all my mates and he came along in the middle of the night, as ramblers do. I was playing my guitar and he gave me his card. His business card. Just a crumpled up piece of paper."

"Acid induced writing," Jesson explains. "And yeah, it kind of worked."

From that meeting, Jesson began managing Fryer, and the pair and their friends began hanging out. "We just started seeing gigs and stuff," Jesson says. "No intention of starting a rock 'n' roll band." But that's when they had their revelation.

"There wasn't much going on at the time that inspired us," Fyer says. "We saw all these bands that people were supposed to give a shit about and it wasn't anything that really grabbed you. And we could start something that we really like, we knew that we like good music, we listen to good music. Just getting that good feeling back into music because nobody was playing with any courage."

According to Jesson, who describes himself at the time as less of a musician and more of a "managerial magician," fell into place. And he learned to play bass. "I never really learned any instrument until Sam and Pete thought me bass," Jesson admits.

"He was managing me at the time, but I didn't have any songs," Fyer continues. "He just saw me playing. I had my mates Pete and Will, and we got together and we needed a bass player, and we got him. We taught him a few things, and that was it."

Then the fledgling group discovered Studio 180 -- which their debut album is titled -- from a flyer they happened to spot taped to the side of a news agents. Soon enough, Rough Trade Records signed Palma Violets and work began on 180 , which was released in 2013.

"They signed us after four songs...we only had four songs," Fryer says. "That was all pretty quick."

The band began to tour -- "It was a long slog, we played more festivals than any other band in the world," Fryer says. "We won an award. I don't think that's even cool...we won an award." -- but when they had the chance to do another tour of America, the band opted to write a second album instead. Retreating to a farm in Wales, they began work on what became Danger in the Club. Now the "long slog" of touring has begun again. The band's currently making their way through North America and will back in their native U.K. to play the summer festivals.

As for the future, the guys haven't figured that out yet. "Don't ever think about what's next," says Fryer. "Could be loads of singles. An EP, two EPs. Maybe a third album."

Danger in the Club is out now and the band is currently touring the US.

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