Logging Hours For Night School

24 November 2015 | 4:09 pm | Roshan Clerke

"Nothing is free, even if it just means time."

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He's running some last minute errands before leaving for a tour of China the next day, walking in and out of stores as the bustling city sounds bleed into the background of their conversation.

While living in Brooklyn for the last five years has informed his latest album to a degree, Palomo is quick to explain that VEGA INTL. Night School is more inspired by the various cinematic representations of the island than the metropolis itself. "New York in particular is a city that's been exotified by quite a few filmmakers in the past, so it only made sense for me to observe it from that standpoint. I tried to imagine movies like Last Days Of Disco, Fear City, King Of New York, and even some of the weirder and obscure Scorsese movies like After Hours and King Of Comedy, and see how they distorted the city through their lens. When you're talking about the epicentre of the Western world, it's interesting to see how different people have dissected it through the decades."

"They needed to sort the excess of shit to be able to work the gold out... and be able to figure out what sets them apart."

It would be tempting to then consider the album as being about paying homage or tribute to the past, but Palomo also clarifies that he's not interested in revivalism. "There's already a Sign O' The Times, there's already a Tusk, there's already an Aja, there's already a Songs From The Big Chair; there's all these iconic '80s pop records that it would be redundant to try and make something like that, if that was your aesthetic modus operandi. I mean I'm aware of those things, and they definitely are ingredients which go into the pot as far as what I'm ultimately trying to synthesise. But it's not so much to put it in those gestures, as much as it is to create a collage; to be able to feel like compartments of the record were happening throughout the span of some fictional band's career. It took different studios to record in, and different musicians to work with."

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Despite the grandiosity and pure opulence of these classic records, Palomo says he's never felt intimidated by setting his goals high. "You're trying to make something paramount on a comparatively shoestring budget, but I think at the end of the day it's just really about locking the hours in. And the follow-through is everything. When I look back at my friends who have gone the furtherest, and particularly the ones whose work I wasn't that initially impressed with, they just kept putting it out there. Through the act of receiving feedback, there was a very slow and gradual change in them. They needed to sort the excess of shit to be able to work the gold out... and be able to figure out what sets them apart. I think that only time really does that. If you feel intimidated by some creative endeavour, you've got to just accept that it's going to take a good chunk of your life to put it out there. Nothing is free, even if it just means time. I feel like I was willing to invest as much time as necessary to make this record, because I really wanted it to be something that I construe as special to my ears."