Costa Mesa five piece Spendtime Palace is releasing their second album All Inclusive Romantic Getaway this month. This week, we sat down with them to talk about the new album, touring, and their close-knit friendship.
ALTANGELES: How did you meet and start the band?
BRANDON: We’ve all known each other for a really long time, like seventh or eighth grade. I’ve known Dan since first grade but we weren’t friends until third grade. We really started talking about the band the summer of eighth grade.
DAN: Going into ninth grade, Sean and Elijah had just started playing. They came to me and we played at a friend’s house, snuck onto his balcony and hung out there all night. He shall go nameless. We had someone else who was going to sing but he didn’t end up doing it, so we didn’t have anyone to sing until junior year. It was just instrumental before then.
BRANDON: Shortly after, Michael came to us with arms wide open and he was the best thing to ever happen to the band. He is the one who brought everything together and has made us work the hardest we can work.
What are each of your roles in the band?
DAN: Lead guitar and vocals.
SEAN: Bass and vocals and Elijah does guitar and vocals.
Who are your main musical inspirations?
DAN: The Cure’s Three Imaginary Boys album for sure. The first Strokes album is one of my favorites.
SEAN: We all love the Beatles a lot.
BRANDON: I listen to a lot of classical music and jazz, and classical music is a little hard to bring drums to and from, but it makes everything more theatrical. I’m not a jazz drummer yet, that’s a whole nother level of mastering your instrument.
How did you come up with the name “Spendtime Palace”?
DAN: It came from Josh, our friend who I originally had a side project with. He wrote a poem called “Spend Time Palace” and I wrote the music to it. There’s nobody else that has the name so it was easy with copyrights and everything. You can find the song on Soundcloud under the name “Medium,” we were like 16 when we recorded it.
When did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
DAN: Probably a couple years through college, within the last two years.
Brandon: We decided – let’s do this professionally and actually give this everything that we have, dedicate all our time to it and to be smart about it.
Sean: We were all pretty passionate from the start though.
What is your songwriting process like?
DAN: There’s different ways, sometimes someone has a complete idea and shows it to everyone else, and sometimes someone has an aspect and everyone else forms around that. Everyone kinda makes their own part in it.
SEAN: Messing around recording a few tracks as a demo, once you record it you can listen to it and add to it.
DAN: Sometimes just jamming after practice, ideas will come out of that and we’ll take it further. But there are times when you put a month into a song by yourself and try out different possibilities.
Can you describe each other in one word?
SEAN: Stupid. We’re pretty stupid. Funny.
BRANDON: We laugh a lot, and try not to take things too seriously.
DAN: With this concept, there’s no school that prepares you for managing the different aspects of being in a band, so sometimes it can be kinda headless. Just fucking winging it, and getting things done. But we’re pretty all together- Unified.
What can fans expect from the new album All Inclusive Romantic Getaway?
DAN: An all inclusive romantic getaway. The songs kind of follow that when you listen to the music but when you listen to the lyrics it’s on the contrary. It seems like all these songs are going to be perfect and make you feel like you’re in a dream land. Maybe if you just listen to the music it can take you there, but the lyrics are a lot about heartbreak and the opposite of that. But you’ll have to listen to them.
What’s your favorite song on the album?
BRANDON: Blackout Control.
SEAN: I like Subconscious Collapse but I also have been starting to really like Blindfold.
DAN: That was the last song to make it on the album, it was the newest song. It came from an incomplete demo and it was cool to develop it a lot more in the studio.
You recently finished up your Romantic Getaway tour, how did that go?
DAN: That was fun. That was the first headlining tour that we’ve done and I was honestly surprised that we had anybody at the shows.
BRANDON: The turnout was a lot better than we expected.
DAN: A lot more driving, especially on the east coast.
BRANDON: It was nice driving. I can relax in the car and listen to music and read a book.
SEAN: It was more scenic too, the east coast has tons of dense forest and there’s lots of mountains over here.
DAN: Driving on the border of Oregon and Washington on the river was insane. And we got to see snow, which you don’t see down here.
What’s the best and worst part about going on tour?
SEAN: On tour, I feel like everything slows down and you really only focus on eating and maintaining your sanity. And when you come back you realize you have to deal with all the worries of home again.
DAN: You get to focus on exactly what you’re doing and forget about the entire outside world. That’s the best part, all this other personal bullshit at home doesn’t catch up to you as much.
BRANDON: The best part was going to cool venues and playing shows for people. The worst part is maybe getting up early to start a drive.
DAN: Gas. Paying for stuff. Trying to stay healthy is the hardest part.
Who would you most want to play a show with?
SEAN: Mac DeMarco or Vulfpeck.
DAN: I feel like it has always been Mac DeMarco or the Growlers. Hopefully we’ll be on Beach Goth this year.
If you were a cover band, what band would you cover and what would you call yourselves?
DAN: I used to look a lot like Tom Petty when I didn’t have a mustache and my hair was longer. But I don’t know if I could have a whole cover band around it. I feel like I could pull off a good Strokes cover band… the Beef Stroke-anoffs.
What is your biggest asset as a band? What sets you apart from other artists?
DAN: Our shoes. Just kidding. A lot of bands aren’t good friends, I feel like there aren’t a lot of bands that grew up together and went through everything together.
BRANDON: It’s been like seven years now. We took genres that we liked and threw it all together.
What is your biggest roadblock as artists?
BRANDON: Getting in contact with bigger bands and trying to talk to a band on an artist-to-artist level.
DAN: In an artistic sense, just trying to keep a constant flow of ideas coming out and finishing them. Writing doesn’t come if you’re mundane about it, we write the most when we’re going through conflict and are uncomfortable. You have to make yourself uncomfortable to find inspiration.
What do you do when you’re not making music?
DAN: We’ve been trying to surf even though it’s been cold. That’s something we’ve always gone back and forth from.
What artists and albums have you been listening to lately?
DAN: Elijah got really into the newest Lemon Twigs album. I’ve been listening to Foxwarren. I got really into The Marias earlier this year.
Are you planning another tour to support the album release in the new year?
DAN: We’re doing a co-headline tour with Ceramic Animal that will start in March and go into April.
Anything else you want fans to know?
SEAN: Happy New Year!
BRANDON: We’re extremely grateful that they like our music and they take the time to listen. It’s our lives 24/7 and it’s cool that other people would like to be a part of it.
DAN: It takes a lot to get to a show, so we’re grateful to everyone that comes.