Fake Palms: The Wavelength Interview

Purveyors of: Entrancing pop-rock noise and its ensuing hypnosis.
File next to: Fucked Up, Preoccupations, Solids … and Elvis?
Playing: WL17 Night 2, Saturday Feb. 18 @ The Garrison. Get tickets here!

Fake Palms is an underground Toronto “supergroup” that is steadily clawing their way to the surface of attention. Made up of Michael Le Riche, Simone Tisshaw-Baril (Slim Twig, US Girls, The Highest Order), Kyle Connolly (Wish, The Seams), and Patrick Marshall (Burning Love), their music creates a wall of sound that houses melodies that’ll keep you humming all day long. Wavelength’s Devin Calow tracked down Mr. Le Riche to learn more than he expected to ever know about the King of Rock’n’Roll.

When I think “Fake Palms,” the first thing that comes to my mind is mannequin hands and plastic plants. What’s the origin of your band name?

Elvis came to me in a dream and gave me the band name.

You guys have stated in previous interviews that as a band, it is important for you to be as authentic in your performances as possible (i.e. no backing tracks or samples). How does this add to your on-stage performance?

We play our instruments live. We miss beats, we hit wrong notes, I sing flat or sharp, but at least you (the audience) know what is happening is actually happening in front of you. There is a sense of real there, because it is real. Too many bands these days fake it on stage and play pretend.

There’s been an alarming number of venue closures in Toronto recently. What can we in the music community do in order to preserve the live music scene in our city?

Well, the optimist in me says support your local community. Go to shows, get involved, speak out. Let your local politicians know that what’s unfortunately happening is not okay and we as a city will not allow it.

Tell me about your favourite places to play in Toronto. What are some of your fondest memories as a performer (or as a fan) in those venues?

Double Double Land, Silver Dollar, Lee’s Palace, 1059 Bathurst, and Cinecycle are a few of many great venues (past and present) in the city. I snuck into Lee’s when I was underage a few times to see the Constantines. They always blew my mind.

My personal favourite song on your Heavy Paranoia EP is “Frequencies.” It incorporates so many different sounds, diving back and forth between dissonance and its retro guitar riff licks. Take us through the writing process for a song like that.

Elvis comes to me in dreams and just gives me the songs fully formed.

Wavelength provides emerging artists from across Canada with a platform to showcase their talents. Who are you excited to see at our winter festival this year?

Whoop-Szo, Strands, Vallens, Peeling.

What can your fans expect to see when you take to the Garrison stage on February 18th?


— Interview by Devin Calow