A Q&A with Palm Springsteen

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The city of Boston was introduced to a new band Wednesday, Sept. 13 when Palm Springsteen took the stage as the opener to Foster the People at the House of Blues. The band is made up of Nick Hinman on vocals, Hayden Tobin on guitar, Luca Buccellati on synth and Kyle Sirell on drums. Palm Springsteen delivered a buzzing sonic pop experience with rhythmic and catchy beats, reminiscent of the 80s. After the show, while the band members visited with fans, Artistry Magazine  took the opportunity to set up an interview with Hinman to discuss the band’s history, their music and what to expect from them in the future.

Palm Springsteen posing in front of the audience at House of Blues Boston. Photo courtesy of Palm Springsteen.

Artistry Magazine: When was Palm Springsteen founded? How did everyone meet?

Nick Hinman: Palm Springsteen was founded mid-2014 in a tiny closet-sized room in South Williamsburg with a tiny midi keyboard, an arpeggiator and a dream to create blow pop in space. I then moved to LA later that year, and in early 2016 started playing solo shows around the east side with just a laptop and a guitar. I decided to take the project back to New York and we got the full band together for a July fourth  party in Bushwick. Kyle Sirell and I were high school sweethearts, Luca Buccellati was his New York roommate and Hayden was a good friend from Los Angeles and New York And the rest is history.

AM: Who came up with the name Palm Springsteen? Where does it come from?

NH: I did. I was saving all my project files as really sick band names like Santana Monica, Dad Party, etc. But most of them were saved as Palm Springsteen, and when I was asked to play my first show in Los Angeles,, it couldn’t be anything else.

AM: How would you describe your music? Would you say you have any particular influences or inspirations?

NH: Lots of post-punk and early synth pop, like Ministry, Book of Love, Gary Numan, Suicide and New Order. I like to call it blow pop in space, but it’s really a culmination of all those references into a reflection of me.

AM: How did you become the opening band for Foster the People?

NH: We had just played Echo Park Rising, a music festival in Los Angeles, and I was at my friend Oliver’s studio afterwards. Oliver and Mark [Foster, lead vocalist of Foster the People] worked on some tracks together on Foster’s new album, and Mark was there because they had just played a show in Long Beach. [Foster]  and I had met before, but we were talking and he asked me to play him a few tracks so I did. Then he texted his agent, and I had my fingers crossed but I didn’t really think it would happen so fast. Three days later I got an official offer from WME [Entertainment] to be [Foster the People’s] main support on their upcoming tour.

AM: “She’s Got Claws” is one of the two songs available on streaming platforms. What was the inspiration behind it?

NH: It’s about being in the stage of a relationship where you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit, but the other person has really got her nails dug into you, so to speak.

AM: What made you choose to cover Alan Vega’s “Wipeout Beat” as your other release?

NH: Alan Vega has always been a huge influence on me, and I loved that track because it’s an awesome narrative that takes you on a journey. Also, I love his use of his voice as a percussive element and the spontaneity of it. Interestingly enough, two days before we released the song he passed away, so it turned from a homage into a posthumous tribute of sorts. I was bummed he was never able to hear it, but I’m glad I could celebrate his passing with something so special to me.

AM: The audience heard more than two songs at the House of Blues concert. When can we expect a new release on Spotify or iTunes?

NH: Soon! We’re releasing “Sister Sister” and “Hey There Cowgirl” by the end of this tour, and then a full LP, “Trouble in Paradise”, is hot on those heels.

AM: It seems your mother is one of the band’s biggest supporters; she flew all the way from San Francisco to see the Boston performance. Has she always supported your musical ambitions?

NH: I mean, if moms don’t rock, I don’t know who does.

AM: After the performance, while signing shirts and speaking with fans, everyone in the band seemed to adopt a British accent. What’s the story behind that?

NH: We honestly have no idea what you’re talking about mate.

AM: Are there any venues or cities you are particularly looking forward to playing in?

NH: We’re playing The Fillmore tonight (9/18) in Philadelphia to end the tour with Foster The People and then headlining a show in New York City at Mercury Lounge on 9/20. So stoked.

AM: Where do you hope to go from here?

NH: Space.

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