You’d expect a punk/metal guitarist to skateboard, but Dan Palmer’s other hobbies are less stereotypical. The 34-year-old Death By Stereo axeman also loves training in combat sports. Oh yeah, and watching YouTube videos of Kimbo Slice.
The lead guitarist first trained muay Thai in 2001 with George Valdez at Total Body Fitness in Whittier, Calif. “I did it [for] two years and that was a blast,” Palmer said. “It was fun for me, but the only problem is it’s been hard for me to keep up with anything because I tour so much and do so much with the band. So I kinda stopped doing that.” The gym would eventually close.
Although promoting albums like 1999’s If Looks Could Kill I’d Watch You Die, 2001 Day of the Death, 2003’s Into The Valley Of Death and 2005’s Death For Life, and 2007’s Death Alive kept Palmer from pursuing muay Thai on a consistent basis, he squeezed some time during 2006 to learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu with former Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor Todd Medina. He would later train with David Leon.
But like muay Thai, he stopped training BJJ. This time, however, it was for a different reason. “I started taking it easy on that and not do it so much because a buddy of mine broke his arm – both his bones – because he didn’t tap out soon enough,” the lead guitarist explains. “I’m like, ‘Fuck. If that happens to me, I can’t play guitar.’”
Palmer stopped practicing Jiu-Jitsu last year to study jazz guitar. But, if it’s any consolation, he “still lifts weights and trains five days a week.”
While Death By Stereo (which also includes lead singer Efrem Schulz, rhythm guitarist JP Gericke, bassist Jeff Clarke and drummer Jarrod Alexander) is currently promoting their new album Death Is My Only Friend, released through Serj Tankian’s Serjical Strike Records, Palmer still keeps an eye on MMA and one ferocious brawler in particular.
FIGHT!: So who is your favorite fighter?
Dan Palmer: I like Kimbo … the black guy who used to the backyard fighting.
FIGHT! Magazine: Yeah. That’s him. He fits the description.
Dan Palmer: Dude, I always watch the YouTube videos of him doing his backyard fights. It’s fucking gnarly beating up dudes in the backyard!
FIGHT! Magazine: Did you see the fight where he got knocked out in 14 seconds by Seth Petruzelli?
Dan Palmer: Yeah. I knew it had to come to an end sometime.
FIGHT! Magazine: Kimbo Slice is on the new season of The Ultimate Fighter. Do you see him as a future champion?
Dan Palmer: If he sharpened up his fighting kills, I think he could. But he’s just like this bear – rough and tough. I don’t see him with much grace.
FIGHT! Magazine: You know what makes him extra intimidating? One side of his chest is clean-shaven and the other half is extremely hairy.
Dan Palmer: Yeah. He’s really fucking weird and plus he’s so god damn ugly, like that has got to be intimidating as well (laughs). You know what I mean?
FIGHT! Magazine: Uhm … can we print that?
Dan Palmer: Is Kimbo gonna kick my ass?
FIGHT! Magazine: I don’t think Kimbo listens to rock or metal, so you should be in the clear.
Dan Palmer: Whew. Ok good. I don’t need Kimbo knocking at my door anytime soon.
FIGHT! Magazine: No worries. He’s a busy man.
Dan Palmer: Good. It’s gonna be awesome watching him on The Ultimate Fighter. I’m sure he has a story to tell.
Check out Death By Stereo’s video for “I Sing For You,” courtesy of Death Is My Only Friend.