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Palms Joins Forces with Deftones’ Chino Moreno

Former Isis members get together with Chino Moreno for stargazing rock project

Anurag Tagat Jun 19, 2013
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(L_R) Aaron Harris, Clifford Meyer, Chino Moreno and Jeff Caxide of Palms. Photo: Travis Shinn

(L_R) Aaron Harris, Clifford Meyer, Chino Moreno and Jeff Caxide of Palms. Photo: Travis Shinn

Alt metal band Deftones’s lead vocalist Chino Moreno is no stranger to collaborations. With everything from post-hardcore bands to his own trip-hop (Crosses) and ambient (Team Sleep) projects, Moreno is known to take the initiative on his own. Not with Palms, though. Drummer Aaron Harris says he sent Moreno a Twitter message one day. “I sent him a message saying, ”˜Hey, let’s hang out!’ He responded and said,

“Okay, let’s go for a hike.” So we met up and went for a hike, and I told him about the music we were writing and he was interested. I sent him a few demos and he was in,” says Harris about their new post-metal/rock band Palms, completed by Jeff Caxide (bass) and Bryant Clifford Meyer (keys, guitar), all three of whom were part of now-defunct post-metal band, Isis.

Palms, with Moreno on board, knew things got serious by March last year, when they finished writing all the songs. “Chino is always someone we admired and it’s an honor to be playing with him. I never thought we’d cross paths; much less play music together, so it’s pretty cool,” says Harris.

Their upcoming self-titled album, Palms, releases on June 25th in the U.S. and the first official listen fans got was of the single “Patagonia,” released in May. Unofficially, an unmastered version of the song “Tropics” was leaked by Moreno on his online streaming account on Mixlr in February. So far, Palms sounds like a mellow, dreamy progressive Isis, with Moreno staying on the lighter side of Deftones, not yet screeching and screaming. “That (“Tropics”) is definitely the most mellow song on the record. It’s not the most accurate representation of the record as a whole. It’s got heavy moments, but it’s got more pretty parts of Isis with a lot of dynamics and kinda longer,” says Harris about the album, not revealing how many tracks there are, but adding it will be just under an hour long.

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More than what is in the album, Harris is happy he’s finally working on an album again, after Isis called it a day in 2010. There’s a little bit of familiarity, considering he’s back with bandmates Caxide and Meyer. But Harris says he “forgot what it feels like to complete a record and have something that’s out there that people are listening to, that people are going to critique.”

Despite Moreno’s busy schedule with Deftones, Palms will play shows throughout July in the US. Experimental electronic act Crypts will support Palms, although Harris has a wishlist. “I hope that we can support Tool or Tomahawk at some point. I’d personally like to play with (electro-pop artist) Santigold some time. I like her music. Might be a weird fit, but would be fun for me!” says Harris.

Stream Palms’s debut album over at Spin.com. 

This story appeared in the June 2013 issue of ROLLING STONE India.

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