Now you can read us on your iPhone and iPad! Check out the BTRtoday app.
They have all the heart of a true punk rocker, with the aesthetic of a grungy cloud of cotton candy you find on the ground of some boardwalk taken over by rebellious youths. Imagine The New York Dolls combined with Black Flag and you’ve got a pretty good idea of how The Gooch Palms sound.
Also, before we dive into the exciting world of The Gooch Palms, please don’t try to overanalyze the name. Lead singer and guitarist, Leroy Macqueen, specifically assures BTRtoday that the name has no extraordinary meaning behind it; they were just trying to find a name that was easily searchable on Google.
Don’t be like the guy at the show in Seattle. He’s probably a cool dude, but he also took it upon himself to figure out the meaning of The Gooch Palms. He thought he had an epiphany and figured they must’ve been named after the famous English cricket player Graham Gooch. “He was really over analyzing the name,” Macqueen expresses. “I was like, ‘dude, what? No!’”
So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, The Gooch Palms is comprised of kindred spirits Leroy Macqueen (vocals/guitar) and Kat Friend (percussion/vocals). Originally from the small suburb of New Castle, Australia, they’ve now planted their roots in sunny L.A., California. Lately, however, they tour so often, that they only have time to take a quick breather in their new home base before having to hit the road again to play their next show.
They met way back in the day as teenagers and have been inseparable ever since! One day they realized that they’re not like any regular ol’ soul mates and they needed more. So, about four or five years ago they decided to form a band, and thus The Gooch Palms were born!
Just this month they returned from an extremely successful Australian tour, where they were proud to bring a huge crowd out for their hometown show in New Castle. It’s safe to say they blew some old friends’ minds. Now, they’re rearing up to tour all over the U.S., with a stop in Toronto, Canada, because why not? It’s difficult to pin these two down.
This past June, The Gooch Palms released their newest full-length album, Extroverted Introverts. Released on their very own label, Summer Camp Records, which was also created just this year. It has painfully hip lyrics that are so relatable you’ll be singing them to everything you do. Macqueen’s vocals and dirty guitar riffs over Friend’s chaotic beats on her upright drum kit provide a punk rock scene with a drop of sunshine and gumdrops.
The album has the ability to provide a balanced sound of darkness and lightness, uplifting you while also pulling at your heartstrings. Tracks like “Long Gone” and “Wasting No Time” make sure to be sultry and tough, while others like “Don’t Look Me Up” and “Living Room Bop” give you that pop/ rebel-with-out-a-cause vibe that make you want to dance like hell and start a riot!
Bill Skibbe, who has also worked with such talented musicians as The Black Keys, Franz Ferdinand, and The Kills, produced the album. Macqueen admits that this was the first time working with someone else in the studio for The Gooch Palms.
“I was super nervous, because you hear of horror stories of people going into studios with people they don’t really know and the person can be a bit douchey,” Macqueen confesses. Luckily, with Skibbe it wasn’t like that at all. “You know when you just meet someone and instantly you feel like you’ve just known them for a really long time? Bill just nurtured what we are and it was an awesome two weeks.”
Most of the songs for Extroverted Introverts were written before the two left for the U.S. last year, and then a little while they had some time off in Detroit. Macqueen admits that they come to the studio with the melodies, but the lyrics tend to be a last minute endeavor. “Me and Kat will sit down at the 11th hour and then start penning lyrics,” he explains. “The reason why we come up with the lyrics the was we do, is because we write about stuff that’s happening to us right then and there.”
For Extroverted Introverts both Macqueen and Friend were starting to notice their shy sides. Macqueen shares that they are only recently getting used to playing packed out shows, and getting recognized by fans every now and then. Though, of course, they’re ecstatic about it, it’s also a strange transition they’re trying to go through, and sometimes it brings out their timid side.
“We had been thrusted into this new world…we’d get recognized on the street, and me and Kat can be quiet introverted, where we like to be almost invisible,” Macqueen says about the inspirations for their newest album. “You don’t even have to be famous, it’s just sometimes I’m like ‘don’t look at me!’ I feel like a lot of people can relate to that. We like to write lyrics that someone can be listening to it and be like, ‘oh hell yeah! That was totally my day yesterday!’ you know?”
Along with providing your ears with pleasurable sounds, they also have countless music videos to go along with many of their songs. They’re kept extremely entertaining and fun! Their newest one, created for “Don’t Look Me Up,” blossomed from Friend animating their album cover. “I feel like people are still figuring us out so we want to keep it kind of light for now,” Macqueen explains.