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Fishy View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pallas, February 2006
    Posted: February 04 2006 at 17:00

In the eighties Pallas were one of the leading British bands that brought progressive rock back to life. After the release of The wedge in 1986 nothing was heard of them except for an occasional live performance or a contribution to a couple of compilation albums. Suddenly in 1998 “Beat the drum” was released and since then the band is on the right track again.

Prior to their gig in Belgium I got the opportunity to have a little chat with three guys from Pallas : Nail Mathewson, Alan Reed and Graeme Murray. We talked about the history of the band and “The dreams of men”, their fabulous new album.

 

When I listen to “the dreams of men”, it’s a very different record than “The cross and the crucible”, I get the impression this is a kind of return to form. Am I wrong ?

 

I wouldn’t say we were heading back to our roots but one thing we talked about after the “Cross” is that we wanted a more aggressive album. The new album is not really heavy but  it’s just a bit more hard edged, a bit more guitar on it, a bit more drum and I think that’s the one thing we tried to do. It was never the intention to get particular more proggy or orchestral but that’s the way it happened. The album goes possibly a lot more in different directions. It took a long time to get it where it is now. 

 

The main thing was that we were really happy with “The cross…”and wanted to be the new album to be as good or better. We didn’t want it to be the same as “The cross and the crucible” cause I think that would have been a let down. I think part of the reason was that Ron, our keyboard player was off by a world trip for a year. Before he left he finished all of his keyboard parts. Then, when the music was developed in the studio when he wasn’t around we used a lot more of these gentlemen here. Sometimes you would think : “well we need a bit of something in here”, we took a guitar part instead of keyboards and that’s why you got that harder edge.

 

The question I always wanted to ask Pallas is what you’ve been up to between the mid-eighties and Beat of the drum ?

 

We had a bad time when things fell apart in the eighties. We had to go away and sort ourselves out. I didn’t play music for almost eleven years, didn’t even want to join another band and for the rest of the guys it’s the same.  I had no interest. It didn’t feel right. Al least what we did, we went away, got over it and decided we wanted to come back and make music and have fun. There’s some people who get bitter & twisted about the music business and never get better. We’re not anymore, we’re doing this because it’s fun. Nobody is under illusions we will be playing Wembley stadium. The pressure is off. We make music when we like it, how we like it and we play when we can. Going away for a tour is like a holiday for us. We’re just having a great time, we’ve got a party. It’s great cause we’re not worrying whether if many people will show up, whether we going to make enough of money, that’s not so important anymore.

 

After you released the wedge album, I believe you made some new music but never released it, what happened with it ?

 

Some of it turned up in different forms. Bits of them appeared in tracks of “Beat the drum”, not that you would recognise it, We steal some parts and mix them with other ideas. We never really finished it, we weren’t sure this was what we wanted to do. So the stuff got shelved. We got a bit of an identity crisis. EMI wanted a single and you can understand why. Any rock band that manages to cross over with a single generally does better. But you could feel that  every song almost had to be an effort on a single to keep them happy and it wasn’t what we were all about. When we first got signed with EMI we were told that we would grow as the new Pink Floyd. The people who said all that were sacked six months after we were signed. So we were in a record company where the people who had a vision of what we were signed for, had gone. We were just adrift.  

 

When was the moment that you decided you wanted to come back ?

 

It fell apart. We were all in a financial ruin and all had domestic problems caused by the pressure. Everyone went away and it  was one big black hole. Gradually we started to miss playing music. There’s something about the five of us when we get together. It’s like family. We just get on well. We enjoy each others company. We have pleasure in working together.  It’s only when you actually come back together that you realize how important that is to you. I realized what a big gap I had in my life and I wanted to be there again.

 

My favourite track of the album is not typical Pallas. It’s called Messiah. How come this sounds so different from all the rest ?

 

There was a period when we were working on the album when Ron was away and Allan was in London. Neill and I were working almost every night in the studio and we both felt at the same time that we wanted something direct that kicked arse. Usually a Pallas song take six months to develop but we wrote this in 10 minutes. At the time when the lyrics were written there was a political crisis about Iraq. The subject matter is very British cause it’s about our own government but in some way it could be about any politician who gets power and it goes to their head.

 

On “invincible” there’s a recurring line in the lyric. It says “It’s my life and you can’t have it”. It’s very intriguing, can you tell me what’s the lyric all about ? 

That was a line which Neil wrote and this was used as a hook for the track. That one line triggered the whole idea for the lyric. It’s about a kind of 1984 idea of society. It’s more appropriate now. I don’t know how life is on the continent but in Britain it’s more 1984 than ever before : people infiltrates your computer, there’s camera’s everywhere, you’re not aloud to smoke anymore, you can’t see this and you can’t see that... There’s increasingly less and less space for individuality.  Tolerance is going. The lyric is about that and the idea that love conquers these things in the end. 

 

Do you have anything else to say about “The dreams of men” ?

We’re very proud of it. We’re looking for opportunities to actually play it. You record  a new album and you have the demand to play it live which is not so easy as it sounds the way you played it in the studio. Mick Glossup once said make the best album you can and worry about playing it live later. So we’re following that philosophy but sometimes you think oh my God how are we going to do this but you’ll get there in the end which is good.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2006 at 01:27
Great stuff, Fishy!  Very well done. I only wish there was more.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2006 at 13:06
Nice one Fishy!Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2006 at 14:46
Thanks to PA I've been getting a few Pallas CDs. Haven't been disappointed. Sentinel arriving next week. Well done.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2006 at 22:49
^ The Sentinel is amazing! You'll love it.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2006 at 16:10
Thank you Fishy..  :) good job.  :)
...this is called....BleedingGum ... !
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2006 at 06:10
The dreams of men
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2006 at 06:13
I´m dreaming of Lindsay..........the real one.............YIKES ..............I need some oxygen 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2006 at 06:22

Pallas talks about "the dream of men"

are all the members of pallas men?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2006 at 04:52

For Lindsay (and others - it's a frequently asked question)

Sorry, couldn't let this one pass.

I'm afraid it's "The Dreams of Men" because "The Dreams of People" or the "The Dreams of Mankind" didn't scan right.  It's not intended to be sexist - merely a reflection of common usage.

It's sourced from a Robert Burns quote.. "The Dreams of Men gang aft agley.."  In standard English, that means "Our hopes and dreams usually turn to sh*t!" :-)

Hope that explains it.

all the best

Alan Reed (PALLAS)

p.s.that interivew's almost exactly how I remember it - I can't tell you how rare that is :-)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 02 2006 at 07:48
Nice one Fishy - good interview

Jon Lord 1941 - 2012
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 02 2006 at 09:03
Pallas were such an average band ... still are 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 02 2006 at 10:29

^ you're way below their average, divine comedy, or should I say gentletull .

Very nice to see Mr Reed post here, Pallas is a damn cool band

 

"In war there is no time to teach or learn Zen. Carry a strong stick. Bash your attackers." - Zen Master Ikkyu Sojun
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 02 2006 at 18:36
I wonder what the significance of the 3apples username is?
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