'By The Time You Hear This… We’ll Be Gone' the London-based band the Redlands Palomino Co. claim upon the title of their debut album. Fortunately it hasn't take that long for the music industry to pick up on this country-folk act and to release an album.

The Redlands Palomino Co. were formed in 1999 by Alex Elton-Wall (vocals & guitars), David Rothon (guitar, harmonica & baritone), Jamie Langham (drums & percussion) and Rain (bass & backing vocals). Singer, guitarist and violinist Hannah Elton-Well, who subsequently became Alex's wife, joined in 2001 after having a solo career for nearly 4 years. Her strong, warm voice has given the band a more gentle but sophisticated sound.

Acts such as Neil Young, Hank Williams, Gillian Welch and Teenage Fanclub have influenced the Redland’s sound and this, mixed with the group's natural feeling for country music, has concluded in a very high quality debut album. The 12 track album ‘By The Time You Hear This…’ came out in September on the Austalian label Laughing Outlaw. The band celebrated the album's release with a launch party gig at London's 100 Club which sold out.

Hannah and Alex spoke to Pennyblackmusic a week later in North London about the album and their future plans.

PB: Could you tell me how you met each other and how the band started?

AE: The band started in about 1999. Hannah wasn't in the band at the time. I met David and Rain at university, while Jamie was just a friend of a friend. We got together and played a few gigs. I then met Hannah late in late 1999, but she didn't join the band until 2001.

HE: You wouldn’t let me in it.

AE: (Laughs).

HE: When I met Alex I was doing my own acoustic stuff. I was just going around and gigging by myself. I never even thought about joining his band. Then I started doing the odd things like backing vocals and stuff for the group. Eventually Alex said that maybe I should think about joining the band. I was really enthusiastic about the idea, and then he went really cold saying “Well, actually I don’t know if it’s a really good idea”(Laughs).

AE: And before you know it she is just taking over and writing all the songs (Laughs) but, no, I think that’s a good thing. We have been playing in the current line-up from the late 2001.

PB: How did you come up with the name Redlands Palomino?

AE: It’s similar to names that bands in 60’s and 70’s used to have which I liked. Redlands is a place in California but it’s also a name of a country house that Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones owns. Palomino is a type of horse and Hannah really loves horses. And it has a Western cowboy feel to it. Put it together…

HE: ...and you get a name that nobody ever remembers (Laughs).

AE: That’s true. People spell it incorrectly as well.

PB: Did you release anything at that time? Like a demo or unofficial release?

AE: We did quite a lot of recordings and sold those at gigs but we were looking around for a record deal. We had quite a lot of interest from labels but nothing really happened. And then last summer we decided to record an album ourselves and went into a studio. When we finished the album we went round record companies to see if anyone would want to release it. A few labels were interested and we ended up signing with Laughing Outlaw.

PB: The songs that ended up on the album. Are they mixture of all you had written until that point or are they mostly new?

HE: I suppose most of them are oldish ones, aren’t they?

AE: It’s a mixture.

HE: ‘Music’s Song’ (the first track of the album) is quite old. I think it’s actually the ever first song I ever wrote. That was when I was 18 and playing solo. But it was a new song to this band.

AE: There are also a couple of songs that are from the band before Hannah joined.

PB: Did you find it hard to decide which songs to put on the album?

HE: Oh my God! It was a nightmare, wasn’t it?

AE: Yeah, there was a lot of arguing.

HE: We had a bag and put all the songs in and then spent a night picking out tracks. Of course we had a big argument and it took ages.

PB: Is that why it only came out this year?

AE (Laughs): Yeah, we have been arguing for a long time. In total, we probably had about 40 songs. We recorded twice as many as are on this album.

PB: How does it work with writing music and lyrics? Do you both write lyrics?

AE: It’s a mixture. Hannah writes some of them by herself or we write together. Hannah has probably written the majority of the album.

PB: Are they mostly based on real life? For example the song 'Get On The Train'?

HE: Yeah, I wrote that song when I first met Alex. I’m from South Wales and he was living in London. We met when I was at university. Then I moved back to South Wales so it’s just a cheesy love song about all those awful train journeys from Wales to London. I actually wrote that and when I sent it to Alex I was so embarrassed and thought it was awful. I thought it was the worst song I’d ever written, but the band liked it and I’m glad because otherwise it would have been sitting in a box until today.

PB: What about the second song on the album, ‘Temptation’? The song is about being attracted to a girl who, as the song goes, “makes all the boys feel so good”.

HE to AE: Is that real life? I hope it isn’t! (Laughs)

AE: It’s a boyish song, isn’t it. I wrote that with a guy who used to be in a band. It's just a loud song with a lot of electric guitars and it’s just about girls (Laughs).

PB: Could you tell me more about the producers that produced the album?

AE: There were two producers. Four of the tracks were produced by Alan Tyler who used to be in a band called the Rocking Birds in the early 90’s. And Brian O’Shaughnessy produced the rest of the album.

PB: How did you get in touch with Brian O’Shaughnessy?

AE: It was actually though Alan Tyler. Brian has this studio in North East London.

PB: He has worked with great bands such as My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream, hasn't he ?

AE: Yeah, he did a lot of stuff in the late 80’s and early 90’s that has become really influential. He is really good. He has done a lot of records that I own actually so that’s really nice as well.

HE: It was good to have him because when you are recording the first time and you are a young band you need someone who can help you to get what you want out of it and knows what sort of sound you are after. He was able to do all that.

PB: Who did the artwork for the album?

AE: That is a photo of a model that Dave's wife made. It is absolutely fantastic. It’s about one metre long. All the figures are made of wire and covered in paper.

HE: It’s amazing because she had an accident and hurt her hand really badly. She made that model in 2 or 3 evenings with one hand! She is really talented.

AE: It was hard to choose what to put on the front cover. We didn’t want a picture of us and she just made this model so we thought "Why not?"

PB: You titled the album 'By The Time You Hear This... …We’ll Be Gone' which is a line from the first song ‘Music’s On’. I was wondering whether you chose it because it had something to do with the music business and how long it can sometimes them to release things.

AE: Yeah absolutely! It’s so frustrating trying to get a record company interested but that is the same for all bands.

PB: What is happening with you at the moment?

AE: We are playing a lot of gigs and quite a few of them with Richmond Fontaine.

PB: How did you get in touch with them?

AE: It was through our booking agent who has booked gigs for them and has given us a support slot with them. They are really good gigs to do.

We will see what happens and see if anyone buys the album. It came out on the 20th September. It’s all really down to how much press and radio we get. Reviews so far have been really good.

PB: Do you want to go abroad?

AE: We would love to. Yeah ! The label sent out this album to European DJs and we had some good reviews in Sweden and Belgium. We were played on the radio in Serbia which is quite crazy (Laughs). We would like to go to Europe maybe next summer and there is a chance we might play a big country music festival in France when we are over there which would be really good.

We just wanted to get the music out and Laughing Outlaw have been fantastic. As soon as they heard it they were straight with us and they put it out. They are really good people and keen on the music as well. And they didn’t string us along.

PB: What are your plans for the near future?

AE: We would like to do more recording again soon but it’s quite expensive. I think we have about half of songs for the next album. Also Hannah and I are working on our own album.

HE: It’s going to be more traditional and more bluegrassy. It will be quite different to the Redlands.

AE: We would like to record new album quite soon as well. Hopefully this one will do well and we get some money to do another one.

PB: Thank you.

AE and HE: Thank you.

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