Daryl Palumbo

By • Jul 16th, 2009 • Category: By Sherri Gibbons, Daryl Palumbo, Features, Interviews

There are a few things you should know about Daryl Palumbo. The first: he is a busy guy. He has so many musical projects going on that it makes you wonder if he has time to sleep. The second: he is a man of his word. This interview was weeks in the making– not because Palumbo is extremely busy (which he is) but because each time he tried to do the interview with me, I was in bed, fast asleep. (What can I say? I get tired.) The third: he is without a doubt, an extremely genuine person. Knowing that I’ve wanted to interview him for ages, Daryl told me I could ask him whatever I wanted about everything and anything. To spare him from being subjected to schoolgirl like giggles and screams, I kept my questions direct and relevant to the projects he has on his plate now.

Most known as frontman for post-hardcore act Glassjaw and frontman for power-pop band Head Automatica, Daryl Palumbo’s talent is so vast and blatant that he has achieved something that isn’t easy to achieve: he has been able to bring legions of his fans from each of his projects across various genres. Power-pop, Screamo, Grindcore, Hip-Hop, Hardcore, Post-hardcore – these are just a few of the genres that Palumbo seamlessly sails through, with most of his fans following right along.

Over the years, on top of his own ever-growing list of projects which include House Of Blow, United Nations, Glassjaw and Head Automatica just to name a few, Palumbo has collaborated with tons of musicians and bands. He has had his hand in things such as doing backing vocals for bands such as Every Time I Die and Finch, to helping out his buddies (Cage Kennylz, El-P and tons more) on their musical endeavors. Currently, Palumbo is working with his House Of Blow partner F. Sean Martin (XO Skeletons, ex-Hatebreed) on new tracks for Cardboard City member Yak Ballz. Daryl Palumbo is spreading his talent everywhere and successfully leaving his musical imprint on an endless number of projects.

Recently, bits and pieces of information about both Head Automatica and Glassjaw have made the rounds on the internet. When Palumbo recently announced on Twitter that Glassjaw had just wrapped up their new EP, the band’s first new batch of material since 2002’s Worship And Tribute, a steady buzz began. Some fans were ecstatic, while others thought it was a joke since they had been waiting so long for it. Rest assured it’s not a joke; the EP is complete. “It’s a five or six song EP,” says Palumbo. “And the EP will be slightly different from the full-length. The new Glassjaw stuff is far more aggressive than it was previously. This is stuff that Justin (Beck) and I have been working on for a long time. It’s far more aggressive than I ever thought it would be,” Palumbo explains.

Another question that Palumbo has recently been hit with on Twitter: the truth behind with news that Glassjaw would be playing a show with Brand New on November 28, 2009 at the Nassau Coliseum, which many fans found out about through a flyer that listed Glassjaw as an act. The day after the flyer appeared and the internet started buzzing, I received a press release about the show. “Seriously?” Palumbo asks, “You already got a press release for that show? Wow. Well, yeah, we’re definitely playing it. And I’m really excited because I grew up going to shows there,” Palumbo states.

So with one show announced, does that mean Glassjaw fans can expect even more show dates? “Yes… soon. We’re currently working on a string of dates but I’m hesitant to say more because if it doesn’t happen exactly how I say or with the bands I mention, well…,” states Palumbo. “Let me help you out,” I say to Daryl, “you’ll get crucified like Jesus?” “Yes! That’s exactly the word that was about to come out of my mouth – crucified,” laughs Palumbo. “Justin and I would be crucified if we made all of these announcements without everything set in stone, so for now, I won’t go into details.” And they wouldn’t be “crucified” because people are looking to find fault with Palumbo, but because Glassjaw fans want shows and music from the band that badly.

If appeasing the Glassjaw fans isn’t enough, Palumbo sent out Tweets mentioning that Head Automatica had recently put the finishing touches on their upcoming release, Swan Damage, causing even more panties to twist in excitement. “Swan Damage is completely done! I was just in L.A. a couple of weeks ago for some mixing. We’re just waiting for it to be mastered now,” explains Palumbo. “We had an awesome production team- Brothers [Studio] from Brooklyn, who are seriously fantastic.” So, when can fans expect Swan Damage to be released? “Well, it’s still too early to say,” says Palumbo. “It will probably be out by the end of the year.”

Head Automatica has always had the ability to get their fans dancing, so will Swan Damage be more of the same? According to Daryl Palumbo, the album goes far beyond Head Automatica’s previous releases, 2004’s Decadance and 2006’s Popaganda. When asked to describe the album, “body-rocking” is the first thing out of Palumbo’s mouth. “The whole album is going to surprise our fans. This album is exactly what we wanted to get across sonically and never quite did with our previous albums. It’s filled with such different vibes,” says Palumbo. When asked if there is anything about Swan Damage of which he is the most proud, Palumbo simply says, “All of it. I’m proud of the entire thing.”

As with any band that has been together for a while, there is always the dichotomy of keeping steadfast fans happy by giving them the sounds they are most familiar, but also being able to be inventive enough to show growth and take things to the next level by winning over new fans. Palumbo thinks HA achieved both of those things on Swan Damage. “It captures everything we ever intended Head Automatica to be. It covers the genre spectrum; there are powerful clubby tracks, garage-pop tracks, and body-rocking tracks. This album really reflects the full spectrum of music this band is capable of playing.”

Interviewing someone like Daryl Palumbo is awesome. And that isn’t solely because he has amazing talent, an already-prolific career and lots to talk about, but because his energy and enthusiasm for what he does is 100% genuine and infectious. He is excited when discussing the music he’s creating and he should be; he clearly loves what he does and that is blatantly apparent for every project on which he leaves his fingerprint.

Update: Head Automatica teamed up with Cubic Zirconia for an awesome 35-minute mix, “Sono Sopra De Ti,” which you can download for free by clicking here.

Head Automatica on MySpace
Glassjaw on MySpace
House Of Blow on MySpace
Cardboard City on MySpace
Daryl Palumbo on Twitter

Photo of Daryl Palumbo by Jarvis Morgan Holden

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