Palma Violets’ Chilli Jesson On Nick Cave, Forming A Band Because Of The Clash And Linkin Park Making Him Feel Old

Palma Violets’ second album ‘Danger In The Club’ was released in May, with the band currently gearing up for their Glastonbury performance, followed by a summer full of European dates and a quick trip to Australia’s Splendour in The Grass. Before all that though – frontman Chilli Jesson talks us through the songs that have guided him through life thus far…

The first song I remember hearing

Something by Texas: “Probably a song by Texas on ‘Now…’ something. That’s probably the first song I can remember hearing and liking. I remember it was on one of those compilation CDs. I remember being so into it and they were playing at V festival one year and I only knew that one song and I remember being really disappointed because they didn’t actually play the song I liked. So it kind of put me off music for a long time. Took me ten years to get back up on my feet.”

The first song I fell in love with

‘Into My Arms’ – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: “You know when you well up with emotion? That Nick Cave song still does it to me, that’s got to mean something. I must have been in one of my mate’s cars the first time I heard it, my mate’s dad used to drive us around and he was a big fan. I remember him loving it.”

The first album I ever bought

‘The Ultimate Collection’ – The Kinks: “This is not even a joke. Normally the first album people buy is something really crap but that was actually really good. It was probably inspired by the same mate’s dad who was into music. He played this song. It says ‘Chilli’s evening time, Waterloo sunset’ [The lyric is actually “chilly is the evening time/ Waterloo sunset’s fine’ – Killjoy Ed]. I remember him turning around and being like, ‘That song’s about you man, your name’s Chilli.’ I remember hearing that and thinking, ‘Fuck maybe that is’! I still love it.”

The song that made me want to be in a band

‘(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais’ – The Clash: “Sam first introduced me to The Clash because I never knew them, and I never really wanted to be in a band. I couldn’t play anything. So that song made me think that I could possibly play something.”

The song I can no longer listen to

‘Numb/Encore’ – Linkin Park and Jay Z: “I’ve played it way too many times. It’s ten years old, and there is a sudden realisation that you listen to a lot of stuff when you’re younger because you think it’s good and then you realise it’s rubbish.”

The song that makes me want to dance

‘Train In Vain’ – The Clash: “I’m a pretty wild dancer. It’s a certain emotion comes over me, and beams down from the muse who’s watching over us all.”

The song I do at karaoke

‘It Must Be Love’ – Madness: “I’ve only ever done karaoke once or twice. We were in Japan and they take it fucking seriously and they love ‘It Must Be Love’ by Madness. I remember that. They loved that. I did it really fucking well to be honest.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

‘The Lord’s Favorite’ – Iceage: “It’s absolutely fucking brilliant. Lyrically I think it’s great. That guitar… just yeah.”

The song I wish I’d written

‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ – Percy Sledge: “Can you imagine singing that? You’d have loads of girlfriends I reckon. Beautiful voice. It’s such a classic that everyone gets into. It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re into rock’n’roll or soul or chart music, it’s a song everyone can relate to.”

The song that makes me want to crowd-surf

‘Hippie Hippie Hourrah’ – Jacques Dutronc: “It’s a great riff and you just want to crowd surf to that one. We just crowd surfed to it in the van just now. It’s fucking boring on the motorway man! Same road, you know.”

The song I want played at my funeral

‘Lay Me Low’ – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: “It’s all about dying and I just love the lyrics in it, it’s very sarcastic, it’s all tongue-in-cheek I think. ‘They’re gonna lay me low / They’re gonna sink me in the snow… They’ll inform the police chief/ Who’ll breathe a sigh of relief”. I just love it.”