Interview with FRAN PALERMO ; Hungary’s Jungle Rock and Roll band
This month VIBES had the opportunity to have a chat with FRAN PALERMO, an extremely talented Hungarian indie rock band of the moment who are classifying themselves as representatives of the “Jungle Rock and Roll” style.
VIBES: Please introduce the band for the sake of those who are not so familiar with Fran Palermo. When and how did you get started?
FRAN PALERMO: We’re a really international band (Cuban, Spanish, Hungarian, Greek, Italian origins – Vibes) with many musicians who come from all kinds of backgrounds. It all started out as a hobby for a large group of teenagers but by now we’re trying to develop into a really serious band. We are merging lots of various styles in our numbers but that’s mainly true for guitar music.
VIBES: Your music mixes various styles from various countries. Is this diversity in sound an advantage or a disadvantage with your local/domestic audiences?
FRAN PALERMO: That’s an advantage. Most other bands are thinking in black and white but we prefer Technicolor.
VIBES: In 2014 you said in an interview that Hungary can provide little financial aid for bands (compared to France). Do you feel that this situation has changed over the last three years?
VIBES: How important do you think social media is? Do you consider yourself active on these channels?
FRAN PALERMO: You have to be very careful because I think social media is causing a lot of harm. It is forcing each and every band to advertise themselves as if they were some kind of merchandise. It’s really sad to realise that music is no longer being distributed like before; radio stations are broadcasting the groups that spend the most money on self-marketing and the ones who are making the greatest fools of themselves.
That’s the reason why we must keep on listening to a lot of crap and everybody knows how hard it is to take that kind of stuff.
VIBES: Are there any musicians you’d like to work with in the future?
FRAN PALERMO: I could give you lots of names but there is no one specific.
VIBES: Do you have bands you like listening to which might be surprising for others? Do you have any „guilty pleasures” in music?
FRAN PALERMO: Odezenne for example; they are a French rap band and they’re damn good. Or we could mention some different types of Asian folk music that we are listening to these days.
VIBES: Where do you get your inspiration?
FRAN PALERMO: I can never answer that question because I never know. It’s something subconscious that keeps changing all the time. Pretty often pain gives inspiration to compose something but that’s different.
VIBES: What does success mean to you? A sold-out concert or perhaps other types of recognition?
FRAN PALERMO: Success is a cool feeling with a sincere smile at the end.
VIBES: This summer you have been invited once again to nearly all festivals in Hungary which is no wonder as you play a kind of ’world music’ which can appeal to both local and foreign audiences. You have been playing abroad a lot and you have seen many people, from many stages; what kind of differences did you see between the various audiences?
FRAN PALERMO: We’ve seen audiences who were really zealous and kind of diligent but there are other people who are less easy to move; you know, the guys who need a couple of beers and one or two opening numbers before they get turned on.
VIBES: What would you advice to a band that is currently in the shoes that you were in 5 years ago?
FRAN PALERMO: Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
VIBES: Happy 5th birthday to the band. How are you gonna celebrate?
FRAN PALERMO: We have a major concert scheduled on Boat A38 ( https://www.a38.hu/en/program/fran-palermo-hu-tape-delay-hu-grizzly-vibration) including a comprehensive setlist and an extravagant stage setting. We’ll find out the rest on the spot. We are preparing a long concert.