Exploring Ego: Inside Pallas Haze’s Groovy Musical Odyssey Interview

by the partae

“Ego” feels deeply introspective yet irresistibly groovy. What personal experiences or reflections inspired the song, and how did you channel those emotions into its creation?

I think ego is something that a lot of people struggle to address, no one wants to be an egomaniac with no sense of self awareness. So naturally its uncomfortable to admit “I’ve got an ego.” But it felt like a unique spin to address one’s own ego head-on in an honest and open way. The groovy-ness of the music offsets the earnest vulnerability of the lyrics in a way that hopefully encourages the listener to feel more comfortable with their own ego.

You’ve mentioned that each member brings a unique taste to the table. Can you share a specific moment during the writing process of “Ego” where those different influences came together in a magical way?

All of us grew up with such starkly different musical influences and tastes. The beauty of our writing process is that we are able to all put our unique flavours into our songs. ego was a culmination of all of these influences combined. When writing ego, we all instantly threw our own spin on the song, but in Pallas Haze fashion, we ended up evolving all our parts for the inception of what was to be the Pallas Haze sound. 

Mixing indie rock and RnB sounds like a delightful musical adventure. What were some of the challenges you faced in blending these genres, and how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges we’ve had to manage has been adapting to changing and evolving musical textures when were writing. The role that each instrument plays in an indie rock song is vastly different to that same instrument’s role in an RnB song. Adjusting expectations for what any individual instrument should add, or sometimes more importantly, withhold from parts of a song has been challenging. We overcome this because, at the end of the day, all the members of the band want what is best for the song and for the music more than any individual glory. 

Take us back to the moment of inception for “Ego.” Was there a particular spark or inspiration that ignited the creation of the song? How did that initial idea evolve over time?

Our lead guitarist, Ananya, brought the chords and the lyric “ego, you only look out for yourself” to a rehearsal and we started to develop the structure and texture of the song around that lyric as the hook. When KP (Kapil) brought in the straight up drumbeat and Luca synced in with the funky bassline it was immediately groovy and it was clear that they would drive the song. At the next rehearsal our lead singer, Zac, thought that a song about ‘ego’ was perhaps better aimed inward towards one’s own internal dialogue with their ego. From there the song quickly became one of our favourite tracks!

We’d love to hear about the dynamics within the band during the creative process. Can you paint a picture of what it’s like when you’re all in the studio, bouncing ideas off each other?b

We have a lot of fun making music together. The first few songs we played together were written by either Zac or Ananya which they’d written solo before the band formed. Since then, our process for writing new music usually starts in rehearsals. Between songs someone will just start playing something off the cuff – a new drumbeat, bassline or guitar riff. From there everyone joins in adding whatever they want until we settle into a groove – the moments we sit into something really nice are so magical, we are all smiles, cackles and nods as we all acknowledge “this is something”. We’ll bust out the voice memos app and record a sample of whatever we’re playing. From there Zac will take that sample and write some lyrics between rehearsals that he thinks fit the jam. Then at the next rehearsal we’ll get together and evolve the lyrics to create new sections, interesting moments and continue to develop the songs. Even when we think a song is finished – sometimes even months later – someone will add a cool moment that we all capitalise on and those make it into the final recording too. This happens all the time, even on recording day in the studio. It’s a very iterative and collaborative process for us.

With that said, there isn’t one blueprint we use for writing, nor one person who writes the songs, parts or lyrics. We all contribute in different ways and roles for each song. We love this and it keeps things new and exciting.

The guitar riff and melodic phrases in “Ego” are undeniably catchy. Do you have any funny or memorable anecdotes from the studio about developing those signature elements?

The bare bones of Ego was originally written by lead guitarist Ananya as a soft techno song. With use of sampled drum beats and warm synth pads, the original backing track was heading down an ethereal-pop route. The guitar riff was then written as an experimental idea, mixing rock and soft techno together. Naturally, the two sounds blended together and created a very unique sound that was both captivating and mysterious. The song then developed into what we describe as the ‘Pallas Haze sound’.

Zac and Ananya have both been playing guitar for over 12 years, and collaborated in the writing of the guitar solos.

Celebrating wins is crucial in any creative journey. How did you mark the release of “Ego,” and what were some of the standout reactions or moments that made you proud?

On the day of its release, “EGO” was played on triple j with Ash McGregor. This was a huge moment for us and our first Sydney radio playing, we were so thrilled with the response to the track and celebrated with friends and family.

Looking ahead, what are some big dreams or aspirations you have for Pallas Haze in the coming year, both personally and professionally?

We have recorded our debut EP which we aim to release around May/June. We have also been writing new music for our next project that we are all very excited to record and release throughout the year as well. In addition to this, our goal for the year is to continue to grow publicly, personally and together as a band. 

With “Ego” out in the world, what’s next on the horizon for the band? Any juicy details you can share about upcoming projects or performances that have you buzzing?

As mentioned, we have a lot of new music to share in the near future. We have our second headline show at the Oxford Art Factory on the 17th of Feb – With The Happiest Kind of Sad and Will Baker – two of our favourite Sydney artists. We are booked on a few festival bills later in the year as well (yet to be announced) which we are absolutely stoked about. We will also announce an EP launch show for June this year. There’s plenty to be excited about for the near future.

Balancing authenticity with growth is key for any artist. Can you share a time when you had to make a creative decision that pushed you out of your comfort zone but ultimately paid off?

We make risky decisions all the time throughout the writing process and in the studio. We are all super open-minded and we operate under the “no idea is a bad idea” philosophy. If anyone has an idea that we aren’t sure about we will always try it or at least discuss it. We’ve found that until an idea is tangible/listenable it shouldn’t be shut down. This pays off all the time, particularly when testing whacky synth sounds or extra percussion, or vocal or guitar adlibs on recording days. 

One moment that comes to mind was in the studio recording a currently unreleased track for the EP. We wanted to create a super chaotic atmosphere and we were stacking heaps of layers in the mix. For one of the stacks, all four of us gathered around a single guitar and recorded the most random, spontaneous things we could – focussing on the push and pull of energy rather than precise guitar melodies. This had a huge impact on the section and measurably elevated the song.

The themes in “Ego” feel deeply relatable yet profound. How do you hope listeners connect with the song on a personal level, and what message do you hope they take away from it?

We’ve found that the concepts that are the most personal are often the most universally relatable. We are all human, and our feelings and thoughts are usually feelings and thoughts that everyone else has in one way or another. Being able to honestly portray feelings and thoughts especially ones that feel taboo – in this case ‘ego’ – allows us to relate to our listeners and vice versa on a deeply personal level.

Reflecting on your journey so far, what have been some pinch-me moments or milestones for Pallas Haze, and how do you plan to keep that momentum going into the future?

In June of last year we played ‘The Winter Wine Festival’ and Crooked River Wines. Playing alongside artists like Matt Corby, The Cat Empire, The Dreggs and Sons of The East was such an amazing experience as we have looked up to those artists throughout our youths. Meeting and having a yarn with Matt Corby at that festival was certainly a “pinch-me” moment for all of us. He’s had such a positive impact on our style and sound and on the Australian music scene as a whole – so yeah, getting to know him as an induvial and not just an idol was definitely very impactful.

Pallas Haze: triple j Unearthed | Instagram | YouTube


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1 comment

Will s February 19, 2024 - 4:06 pm

This is sick. Love ya work guys. Keep it up pls. I’m so keen for that ep.


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