INTERVIEW: Palaye Royale’s Emerson Barrett Chats Upcoming Projects, New Music & More
We recently got to sit down with Emerson Barrett from Palaye Royale before their show in Melkweg. We not only talked about the tour and some upcoming music but we also talked about where his creativity comes from and how he views his role as role model for his fans. Check it out!
How are you?
Doing well. I love being in Amsterdam last night’s show was insane, so it’s good to be back.
And, um, you recently released a Spanish version of your song Broken. What made you release it in Spanish too?
We love Mexico. Like Remington’s the one that did all that. I didn’t do any of the translations or anything like that. So, he’s our bilingual fucking superstar. I think it’s very important to try our best to connect to other languages as best we can, you know? ‘Cause I feel bad. We come to so many countries and people know English. And like, we don’t know any other language. So we try our best to do that even with, like: I’m gonna do a pressing of the graphic novel in different languages and stuff.
We’ll try to do: German, French, Japanese, Spanish, and I think that’s it. And then maybe like Czech. But I don’t know
You’ve also released a few covers in the past few years, most recently Elanor Rigby. Are there more covers to come?
Yeah. We have a cover of, Closer – Nine Inch Nails. Should be coming out soon. We did a video for it, so.
Are there any artists you would still like to collab with in the future or can we expect any collaborations in the future?
I think it would be great for us to do a song or a tour with Måneskin. I would love to do a song with Post Malone. Love him. He’s the best.
You recently also started more in the world of fashion. How did that start?
I think we’ve just always, from the beginning, we’ve described ourselves as a fashion art rock band. Which we got shit for in the beginning, but now people are like: “Oh, I get it” you know? But yeah, like fashion and manufacturing and stuff. Like, I do all the products from the suits to the cosmetics, to the backpacks, to bedding anything and everything. So always designing things has been something I’ve truly loved, and it’s like making a song or drawing or painting. You’re creating something. So, being able to create something physically within clothing is incredible. And then I’ll always incorporate like my art inside of it and stuff.
Are there any big projects you still want to do in other new areas with the band?
Yeah. I mean, on the fashion front, we’re doing like a higher end company called Avant Garde Society. I think we’re gonna drop the first piece probably at the end of this tour. And then going forward, we wanna open a boutique hotel in Budapest. Which would be really cool. And then we’re gonna start our own festival.
Cool. Is there a name known yet with the festival?
Yeah. I don’t want to say anything yet, but it’s a great name.
Going from projects for in the future, to projects you’ve already done. The Obsidian City and island. If you had to explain that to someone who doesn’t know anything about it, how would you explain that?
That’s a good question. I mean, the initial concept for this world started off when I was like 16. I couldn’t find any significance in the reality I was living in. So, I felt it was absolutely necessary to create my own city. And then that turned into my own world, and then it came with like the people and the politics and the architecture. So, I don’t know, Obsidian in this whole like graphic novel series is an expression of escapism. So, if you want to find yourself within your mind in this place, then you can, you can write reign and recreate yourself, and then destroy it by living.
You make these beautiful paintings of course. And drawings and stuff of that whole world. How is that in your head? Is it a vivid world in your head? Or do you take inspiration from other things?
It haunted me for years ‘cause I didn’t know how to express it. And like when I was 16, I like covered my whole like bathroom and stuff. And then I realized I had to educate and train myself as much as I could every single day. And it’s like 10 years later now. And I’ve continued that project, that task to where I was like: okay, I have these incessant visuals in my head that, if I don’t get it out, I get destructive. You know? So like the best way I can deal with it is by expressing. And then that’s kind of led into so many different things where it’s like in the pandemic. I taught myself about 3D rendering and world building. And then that just expanded my whole brain even further to where it’s like, even when I’m sleeping. I’m either drawing or world building. And then I’ll wake up and I realize I didn’t do it, and I’m like, fuck. I’ll have to do it again but in real life. I have to spend the whole day doing that and I wouldn’t choose any other way.
You also come quite a lot in the Netherlands, like a lot of shows. Have you ever had the time to like properly to look around, the city Amsterdam? Or just in general?
Oh. I think there’s so much beauty here that like needs to be seen, you know. Like I feel like Prague is somewhere that I’ve been able to spend a lot of time in and see incredible aspects of it. But that’s what I love about European countries so much in cities where there’s so much beauty to see in there. And it’s like every street there’s something more beautiful than the last. I went to the museum with the Vermeers, how do you say it?
Yeah. I don’t know how to say it I really like that museum. And then, just walking around the canals and stuff. It’s incredible.
And I also hit up your official Discord server. We did a little thing with them. To also get a few questions from fans themselves.
At this point it’s crazy. There’s so much going on. It’s overwhelming. I’ll pop in every now and again. But it’s like, overload.
The first question is from Angie: Is there a song that personally is too tough for you to perform emotionally?
Probably Redeemer. Oblivion is beautiful. I mean we can do it, we do it every night obviously. It’s fucking emotional though. Like we all want to cry when we do it. But it’s good. It’s a good feeling. It’s a good expression. It’s good to feel things.
Have you ever like had an emotional moment during a show?
Yeah, for sure. We’ve had shows where we thought it was gonna be our last show, like where we hated each other all so much and we were like, we’re never gonna do this again. And then we’ve had really great shows where it’s like, we’re just happy to be alive.
Question from Palana: Do you consider that besides being a musical or artistic inspiration or guide, you also are a spiritual or emotional guide to your fans?
I think that’s a big categorization. I don’t ever want to express that I know something spiritually that no one else has the abili-. We all have the ability to manifest the same things. You know, like people ask me all the time: aren’t you worried about burning out from the amount that you do? And I think that’s a very wrong way to look at it. I don’t think. It’s like when you squeeze a lemon, like there’s only so much juice in it. I don’t think that’s the way at all. I think when you’re tapped into this like cosmic consciousness that we all are, and we all have souls, and we are aware. That’s the beauty of the brain. It’s like we’re trying to figure ourselves out with our brains. And it’s like a whole paradox. But there’s not only a certain amount of artistic expression within someone or spiritual expression. If you tap into this infinite cosmic energy that is here with us and without us before and after us. You know, you can tap in like a radio frequency and it’s always there and it’s always broadcasting. And I don’t think it’s a matter of like, there’s only so much in you. But to answer your question, I don’t want to be like a spiritual leader to anyone. But I do think my role is very important in inspiring those. To realize that they have the ability to be divine and to achieve anything that they fucking want in this life. And, and if anyone tells you otherwise, tell ’em to go fuck themselves.
A question by Remi: When writing songs that are personal to you, or more of you. What do you feel or think? Does it help you guys to feel closer to each other?
Yeah. I think that’s the beauty in it all. It’s like we’re able to use writing songs, creating artwork, writing poetry as a way of therapy, you know? And like I know a lot of people do go to therapy. I’ve never been someone that’s, that’s done that. So my form of therapy is creation. That’s why I have to do it all the time, you know? And I run into like trouble when I don’t create. So for us, that’s the only way we know how to exist is expressing ourselves.
So, last question by Astoria. If you could remake a song or like refilm a music video, which one would it be and why?
I think the whole Fever dream experience was magnificent, like the whole crew and Gianluigi, which was the director. It was just an absolute honor to see that professional with people working. And I think he’s like 27 or something like that. So just like being around like-minded individuals that are so insane in what they do. And I know he feels the same about us, where it’s like when you’re able to connect in a way artistically with someone, and it’s just so. It’s really magical. And the same thing with the Oblivion video and Eva, the director that was just like, there’s certain moments in our lives that just seems so easy in a beautiful way, and it’s almost like meant to be rather than forcing something.
Well that was it. Thank you for your time.
Check out Palaye Royale their latest album Fever Dream out below!