A polymath musician and lifelong creative, Mount Palomar is the moniker donned by Irish producer and songwriter Neil Kerr.
From working alongside music giants BMG and XL Records early in his career to curating the largest Banksy exhibition of its time in 2014, and now subverting traditions and norms in dance music, Neil is amongst the most exciting producers in Ireland.
Mount Palomar is one of several exciting artists playing the Borderline Festival in Dublin later this month (February 15th and 16th) - check out the full line-up at this link.
1. What’s the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?
I still love a lot of the music that inspired me as a kid; Bjork, Nirvana, The Breeders, The Chemical Brothers, Nas, PJ Harvey, Brian Eno, Chris Whitley, Deftones, Aphex Twin, Missy Elliott etc. Also, a lot of the music that my mum and dad introduced me to as a kid still also still resonates with me and reminds me of happy, simpler times. So, Neil Young, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Depeche Mode, Queen, Pink Floyd, New Order, Sade, George Michael, even the likes of Celine Dion’s French album lol… I have no shame.
2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
Synths, please work.
3. How do you wind down after a gig?
Playing live as an electronic solo act means that usually by the time I have stripped down my set-up, the club or venue has emptied and the chore of packing my gear up has sobered me up and knackered me. In short, I go home and sleep. Unless it’s Berlin, in which case I go bananas.
4. What’s the one song (by another artist) you wish you’d written or recorded first?
The Beatles - ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’.
5. What is your pet peeve?
Working relentlessly in an industry where creative talents are so massively undervalued financially. “It’s a good gig for exposure.” Cheers mate, I’ll make sure to remember that next time I’m in the Tesco reduced section scrapping with someone over cheap ham.
6. Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.
Record: Chris Whitley - ‘Dirt Floor’
Book: Despite my dad being an English teacher, embarrassingly I have read so few books so I’ll say ‘The Age of Innocence; because I read it in school. Just don’t ask me what it was about, canny remember.
Film: ‘Koyaanisqatsi’. As a reminder that we’re a mental species, so best to enjoy the simple things. But then watch ‘Star Wars’ or ‘The Goonies’ or something afterwards, to cheer yourself up.
7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day Lewis. Not a bad combo, but when Daniel wins his fourth Oscar, I’ll run up onstage, grab it and do a runner. He doesn’t need another one and AI will probably leave me destitute.
8. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
I am useless, I can’t remember what my favourite dishes are called. That one from the Indian with chicken and sauce that’s nice, you know the one that’s kind of pinky brown? The one with the sauce that’s not too runny or thick. The one that’s a wee bit spicy but not too much, that one.
9. Describe your perfect day off.
I’d wake up in Tabernes, Valencia, in the Spanish sun with my family and loved ones in an apartment by the sea. I’d spend the day playing on the beach with my nephews then go out for a big feed in the evening with my family and Spanish mates, followed by drinking cold cider into the wee hours, whilst sitting outside some traditional Spanish pub that’s playing music from yesteryear.
10. Tell us, in one sentence, why we should come to your next gig (whenever it may be.)
Because for an hour you’ll forget about how stressful life can be and we’ll just dance and have the craic. Also, I’m pretty good at what I do.
BONUS QUESTION: Recommend a podcast and tell us why we should subscribe to it.
I don’t really subscribe to any podcasts. My advice would be; don’t bother, just leave your phone at home and go out for a dander by the sea, more satisfying than a podcast.
Mount Palomar plays the Borderline Festival at the Workman’s Club on February 16th.