Premiere: Meet Picket Palace, who make punk on sell-outs with All About The Money
The Melbourne group's second song for 2020 is a fiery return that talks about selling out, and the undervaluing of the music industry.
Melbourne-based outfit Picket Palace a group to be excited about, if you're not excited already. The punk group have become celebrated over the last few years for their odes to Essendon footballers and vicious live show alike; the two coming together for stand-out shows at Beyond The Valley and a sold-out Melbourne institution Northcote Social Club in 2019, following a trajectory that - if live shows were to go ahead how they were initially meant to over the past ten months - would've seen the group no-doubt blossom into a break-out act.
Instead, the group buckled down to record new music and hone in on their skills, the first taste of which arriving today in the form of All About The Money, which premieres on Pilerats ahead of its official release tomorrow, October 30th. It's a pointed, laugh-and-cry-at-the-same-time kinda punk tune that comes from their burst of commercial fame after their tribute to Essendon forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti caught national news attention, toying with the idea of the group selling out before reflecting on why they even need to sell out in the first place.
"The song was actually partly inspired by some comments we’d seen on social media last year, accusing us of selling out for the media attention we got," explains Jack from the group. "We thought it was hilarious to imagine a version of ourselves who had been so excited about getting our stupid faces on the stupid telly that we would suddenly throw away all our integrity and sell off our creative freedom to become celebrities and make ridiculous demands about jetskis. That was what made us laugh the most when we were throwing ideas around, the idea of a band who are desperate to sell out but no one’s buying."
It's tongue-in-cheek and a bit of a laugh until it turns into the exact opposite about halfway through, in which the group start to ponder why there's even a need to 'sell out' to make money in the music industry, especially considering everything it continually does in people's lives. "The disdain our government shows for art and artists is disgracefully narrowminded, and the impact on our friends in the industry is only getting worse in the COVID era, so it’s important to me that we get to put this track out there as a ‘fuck you’ to the people who decided the Arts ministry mattered so little that it should be consumed by the department of fucking transport," Jack continues.
It's a single that makes it clear to not mince words, and as a result, it's directness shines through in its sound as well. All About The Money is one of the heavier tracks they've put out throughout the group's existence, with thrashing guitars and pace-keeping percussion moving alongside the band's vocals, which again, only adds to the single's ferocity. It really reaches a high note for the band, and considering everything they've achieved already, that really goes to say something to how they're continuing to flourish amongst everything going on right now.
There's plenty more to come, but in the meantime, take a dive into All About The Money below ahead of its official release on October 30th, and underneath that, introduce yourself to the band and what they have planned for the year ahead:
Tell us about yourself?
Oh where to start? We’re self motivated, work well in a team, punctual, respectful of authority, several years experience in retail and hospitality and we have exceptional time management skills. If we have one weakness it’s probably that we care about our work a little too much. It’s for those reasons that we truly feel we would be an asset to any workplace.
What’s the ‘vibe’ music-wise?
There’s probably a bit of a punky, pub rock flavour through most of our stuff but we kind of just like to do whatever feels good and gets us excited. If there’s a real folky singer/songwritery thing that gets you going, cool; if you want to bust into a psyched-out Krautrock jam, grouse; we’ll just turn the guitars up and Seamus can run around the stage doing karate. Same with the songwriting, you have to just give yourself freedom to write about whatever matters to you, whether that’s getting stoked about the football or having a whinge about the rental market.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
Well this year it’s mostly involved interrupting each other on zoom and emailing shitty demos back and forth, but we’re super keen to get back into the studio and start making some real noise again now that restrictions are easing. Everything is super collaborative normally, everyone sort of writes their own parts into each other’s ideas. There’s a lot of (sometimes heated) discussion about what everyone is doing, but the best stuff definitely comes from the five of us banging it out together in the studio.
Can you tell us a bit about this new song, All About The Money?
We started out with the idea of a band who are desperate to sell off their artistic integrity and give up their creative freedom to become rich and famous, but they can’t sell out because no one’s buying. We thought that was hilarious and we had a lot of fun writing to that character. But the deeper into it we got the more we thought that there is actually something important to be said about why no one is buying and how undervalued the arts industry is in this country, and how much that warps the landscape of who gets to be successful and who gets their work celebrated and recognised. That’s what kind of turned it into a bit of a proper punk song, and it ended up being probably the loudest and most intense thing we’ve done.
What does the rest of 2020 have in store for you?
Ssshhh! If 2020 hears you trying to make plans it will immediately come and piss on them. We’re just stoked to finally be able to get back into the rehearsal room and crack into some new music now that the lockdown is easing. It’s been a long year.
What do you want people to take away from the project?
Well it is meant to make you laugh, and maybe get a little fired up and loosen up your neck a bit, but hopefully, it also makes people think about the value that we place on the arts and creative industries. A lot of people out there are angry about this stuff, so it feels good to put out this track as a ‘fuck you’ to the people who decided the Arts Ministry mattered so little that it should be consumed by the department of fucking transport.
Also, hopefully people recognise that our guitarist Gus is a peerless genius for his work crafting the video for this track. Strap yourselves in for that, it’s special.
Where can we find more of your music?
In the beating heart of every living thing. Also the internet.