Joan Palmer (Trocaria)

Joan Palmer Trocaria
Joan Palmer Trocaria

While most dark symphonic bands are female-fronted, Trocaria proves to go against the grain by being a female-backed  project. This is exactly what Joan Palmer (the founding member and instrumentalist of Trocaria) wanted.

Over the course of several years, Joan had been exposed to diverse musical influences—from classical interludes to psychedelic/acid rock to blackened death metal. This melting pot of influences harbors the very essence of Joan’s creative driving force and is blatantly apparent in her musical compositions.

Here’s how it all began…

Joan’s classical music training was introduced to her at a fairly young age. She took private piano lessons under the instruction of Beverly M. Russell. During this time, Joan was introduced to musical performance, by playing recitals and performing in competitions. However, by the age of 12, Joan was more interested in playing rock music. With a little bit of money saved up, she decided to buy her first guitar.

At the age of 15, she received her first electric guitar. Shortly afterwards, she started taking guitar lessons under the instruction of Charlie Salem, in lieu of her continuing piano education with Mrs. Russell.

By the time Joan had turned 16, she wanted to play in rock bands, but she had a few strikes against her. There were too many guitarists in the area—and no band in the Charlotte area wanted to have a teenage girl guitarist. So, instead of becoming discouraged, she decided to venture further into the realm of music by taking up bass guitar.

Once Joan started playing bass, more people started to notice her playing ability. Bassists were not as common in the Charlotte scene in the early 1990s, and the fact that a female was playing bass became appealing to other musicians. Her first “real” band she was involved in was Sin (1991), followed by Cryptic Reign (1992-1994). However, due to personal reasons, Joan withdrew herself entirely from music–as well as the Charlotte area scene—for the next 13 years.

At the end of 2007 (while Joan was in embalming school), she reconnected with an old friend of hers who was a recording and sound engineer. He persuaded Joan to start playing music again—and she did.

She bought a bass guitar and started composing songs. The idea of Trocarian Fate was born.

Her original idea was to gather a group of up-and-coming underground musicians in the greater Charlotte area for the purpose of highlighting their talents. She scrapped the idea of any type of collaboration because of the extremely poor response to her idea.

However, she did not abandon her hopes of playing music.  She shortened the name of the project to Trocaria and combined her playing knowledge of keyboards, bass, guitar, and drum programming to her advantage. She asked her friend, Jon Slough (a local blackened death metal guitarist and vocalist), to record vocals. The result was a blend of symphonic melodies and overtones with straight-forward, no-frills guitar and bass work, with blackened death metal vocals–all tastefully blended together.

Joan was approached by Humid Records A&R Director, Billy Chad Grooms, in January of 2012. A contract was offered on-the-spot before any of the recordings were completed. She worked diligently to get all of the recordings completed as quickly as she could. Her debut CD, “The Dark Nears”, was released May 25, 2012.

As difficult of a road as it has been, Joan made sure to never give up on her dreams and aspirations of being a recording artist. She is currently promoting “The Dark Nears” and is also busy writing material for another upcoming release.

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