JAMISON PALMER (VISIGOTH): “We’re Dipping Our Toe Into A Concept For Two Songs To See How It Goes”

VISIGOTH (Live at Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., May 27, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Last year American Metal band Visigoth made their first foray over the water to the UK. Such was the impact of that visit that a swift return was in order. Mick Burgess sat down with lead guitarist Jamison Palmer to talk about the return to the UK, the latest single Bells Of Awakening and starting work on their third album.

You’re back over in the UK for a short tour and played your first show in London last night. How did that go?

It was great. We are always treated so well over here. We love the UK.

Tonight you’re in Newcastle making a swift return after your triumphant appearance last year. Is it good to be back up here?

It is great. It’s raining heavily here at the moment which makes me think of home back in Utah.

Other than London, Newcastle is the only other city you’ve played in the UK so far. Can you tell the difference between the Northern crowds of Newcastle compared to those of London?

London is fairly enthusiastic but up here everybody goes ballistic. It’s a lot more uninhibited which is great.

Last year’s tour were your first UK shows. How did it feel to finally make it over to the home of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden?

It felt great. Most of the music I listen to is from the UK from the 1960s through to the 1980s. For me it feels really good and it feels almost like returning home even though we’re not from here. I just love Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. I started playing guitar because of Tony Iommi. I also love Grim Reaper, Angel Witch and Tytan. There’s been so many great bands from the UK.

Turning to the tour, what sort of set list have you got lined up this time?

We’ve got an even mix. We’ve just released a new 7” single called Bells Of Awakening so we’ll be playing both songs off that and there’ll be a good mix of the first two albums.

What is the theme behind Bells Of Awakening?

Lyrically it’s based around the video game Dark Souls, that’s a punishingly hard video game but all of the guys in the band play it. We’re dipping our toe into a concept covering just two songs rather than a full record to see how it goes.

How far are you on with the follow up to last year’s Conqueror’s Oath?

As soon as we get home we are beginning to work on the new album. We have a few ideas for songs and as soon as we get home we will start writing.

That was a big step up for you in terms of songwriting, arranging and production compared to your debut The Revenant King 3 years earlier. Do you think your experience of making that first album combined with your experience on the road gave you that edge to take your vision to the next level?

We learned a lot from that record and tour. It was a fairly painful record to make. We were rushed and were fairly tight on time. I went a little grey and lost some hair off the top of my head due to the stress. We did, however, learn a lot about making a record from that experience. Hopefully the next one will be a step forward. This time we won’t be putting any deadlines on ourselves. We’ll go into the studio when we’re ready.

How influential was your label Metal Blade in developing you as a band?

We definitely wouldn’t have had as many opportunities that we have had if we hadn’t signed to them. Their distribution and promotion is amazing. I remember growing up listening to the Show No mercy album by Slayer so when we got the offer it was pretty hard to say no.

How did Metal Blade discover you? Did you send them a demo?

We didn’t send anything to them. We were working smaller DIY labels in The States, firstly Swords and Chains based out of Chicago and they put out a cassette tape, the old school way. We were their first release ever. From there it made the leap across the pond to Dublin where Solack Records paired with Cruise Del Surf from Italy and they put out a vinyl EP and that led to Alan Averill from Primordial hearing us and he does A&R for Metal Blade and that led to Metal Blade contacting us from nowhere. It was a surprise for all of us. It went from a friend of a friend of a friend.

So far you’ve played a handful of shows in the UK. Do you hope that when the new record is out you can promote it with a full UK and European tour?

I would love to do more than three shows. It’d be great to do two weeks here if we could. There’s so many great cities to play. It’d be nice to see Birmingham and Glasgow.

Once your UK shows end tomorrow night in Manchester where do head next?

Once we finish here, we have a nice 15-hour drive to Mannheim in Germany

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

We’ll be mostly writing but will fly back out to do one off dates so we’ll be flying out to do a couple of festivals such as Hell Over Hammaburg and Keep It True and if we get any more offers we’ll fill it in but for the most part it’s album three song writing so that’s what we’ll be focussed on.

Bells Of Awakening 7” single is out now.

Interview and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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