Caravan Palace | Interview

By Jo Hadler

We chat to electro-swing gypsy-jazz Parisians Caravan Palace on their latest offering, Secret Garden Party and more…

1. Your new track ‘Clash’ has a heavier, more electronic sound than your earlier live instrument/sample based work. Do you see this as a natural progression, or as a result of the rise in popularity of electro-swing, gypsy and klezmer styles over the last few years?

Yeah, it’s quite a natural progression for us. For the last few years, we listened to and discovered lots of different kinds of electronic music, and we wanted to make Caravan Palace sound ‘bigger’ – it’s certainly better produced than the first record for us.

2. How do you see your music evolving in the future?

For now we don’t really know seen as this second album just came out! But swing and electronic music is so rich that we still have many, many things left to try when it comes to crossing these two particular styles of music.

3. I’m sure that’ll keep you busy! Have you found your approach to making music has changed since your debut album?

In terms of production it has, but the way we compose is pretty much the same. We all have home studios, first working alone. It can start with anything – a sample, a synth line, a drumbeat, a guitar or vocal melody. Then we submit ‘sketches’ of songs to each other. The ones we get the most excited about get worked on together, it’s a great way to work for us anyway. And of course if you don’t get a response from the others we basically forget the idea and work on something else! Having an internal sounding board is really important.

4. We might raid your song vaults then… Your live performances are known to be pretty energetic. Do you find that audience reactions and feedback affect the performances that you give?

So far we’ve never had a concert without a reaction from the audience, so we’re lucky there! I mean, of course it’s a real booster to see people dance, smile, twist and shout. It motivates to be better, to play well, to move more and more.

5. You’re playing Secret Garden Party again this year. After last year’s memorable performance, what are you most looking forward to?

We’re very happy to be heading back there, it’s a huge memory for all of us… the show, the party we did after afterwards, such a great night! We feel lots of people don’t know the band that well in England, so we ‘re looking to gather more people, always more people!

6. That’s awesome and Fear Of Fiction will certainly be there. What other festivals do you have lined up?

We’re playing three in the UK this summer. Larmer Tree, Secret Garden, and Boomtown – so a few chances to catch us thee. But if not, we’re back next autumn to hit London, Bristol, Norwich and Brighton. We’re really excited about the UK dates, they’re gonna be our first headlines shows over there.

That’s right, you’re at The Trinity Centre on 23rd November with Electric Swing Circus!

Thanks a lot guys – be sure to catch Caravan Palace at SGP on 27th July, or wait ‘til November for when they hit Trinity.