The drums I use now were built for me as part of the 100th celebration of the Ludwig drum company. They made me a stainless steel drum set, which is what I’ve always played. I have one in Europe and one in America. And they’ve just released a Carl Palmer snare drum. (Go to carlpalmer.com for more info.) In “Toccata,” you were the first drummer ever to use synthesized drums. That’s correct. The sounds in the middle of “Toccata” are very atmospheric, and people thought they were generated by a keyboard, but that was wrong — they were actually generated by electric drums I had made at the time. I had eight synthesizers made the size of a cigar box for each tom-tom. And I could trigger this cigar box synthesizer from an internal microphone I had in each drum. The sounds you hear in the middle of “Toccata” are produced that way. It was the very first electronic drum solo recorded. The 1970 Isle of Wight festival was a big turning point for the band. You have to understand something: before the evening of Isle of Wight, we played at a small center in Plymouth called The Guildhall, and then Emerson, Lake & Palmer were known as individuals, not as a group. The minute we played at Isle of Wight we became an international group. That’s what the Isle of Wight festival did for us, overnight. I’m sure you’ve heard this question many times before, but I’ve got to ask you: how did you guys react to the advent of punk rock, which, in great part, was a direct reaction to the so-called excesses of bands like ELP and Yes, for example? It was obviously a problem for us when punk rock came along because, at the same time — and not because of punk rock — American radio had changed. American radio was not ready to play pieces of music 15-20 minutes long. So that’s the first thing. The second thing was that there was a strong rebellion against anything that was extravagant, such as ELP putting on big rock shows which required us to begin setting up in the next town before we finished playing on the previous one. None of this related to what was happening in the streets, and that was called punk. So there was a bit of a backlash that we got from that. Basically, the music is the music; if you liked it, you liked it. But we were no longer played in what we called drive time; we were now played at 2 or 3 in the morning, and that was a problem, not only for ELP but many bands. Of course, as we know, punk didn’t last as long as one would’ve expected it to. But the music of ELP and many of those prog-rock bands has stood the test of time because it is quality music. That is not to say that certain punk bands didn’t have a certain amount of quality, but I think that prog music, ELP, for example We had songs like “Lucky Man,” “Still You Turn Me On,” “From the Beginning,” “C’est la vie,” and on top of that we had technology in the form of Moog synthesizers and all these things, so we had a slight edge on most bands and our music had endured the pass of time, unlike a lot of punk bands. Yet, lots of young people don’t know you exist or have forgotten you while you can feel the influence of punk all the way to now, especially in the '90s. Don’t you feel that? I don’t feel that personally, but if you feel something has been forgotten that’s your prerogative, you’re allowed to I mean, for some people I can’t talk for some people, Enrique. All I can tell you is that our catalogue still sells. It doesn’t get played on the radio that much but it still gets bought, we still get downloads, so that’s where we are. Next question! You were mentioning about the backlash the group started suffering towards the end of the '70s. But that backlash started after you became huge. Until then, the critics didn’t mind what they would later call “excesses.” They loved it! It’s not that you suddenly changed your sound, you were always bombastic. But sometimes critics feel that, after a band becomes huge, it is their duty to destroy them. Some people do that to bands, and some bands like Queen never got attacked [I wanted to interject, because Queen did get attacked, especially after Hot Space, but I let it pass], they were always thought of as a sensational group, sensational songwriters, and great performers. Unfortunately, some bands do get attacked, and you’re absolutely right: ELP got attacked not only in the U.K., but also to a certain extent in America. But I have to say that the American audiences were always much, much stronger than the U.K. audiences, though the U.K. audiences for the first few years always stood by us and they are still with us even today. We just played last year on the 25th of July  for 18,000 people. The people in the U.K. had stayed by the band, but journalists started attacking the band when we were four years old, in 1974, or late '73. We always had that, but we had less of it in America. Again, another question you’ve probably heard before: What’s the true story about Mitch Mitchell and Jimi Hendrix? Was Hendrix ever going to join ELP and thus give birth to “HELP”? Hendrix was never going to be part of ELP. That was a complete fallacy, basically put together by journalists who wished it would happen. Hendrix never played at the rehearsal, never came down to see the band, and I never saw him once during my existence in the band. Mitch Mitchell was the first drummer to be chosen for ELP, but he didn’t pass the audition and they decided to get rid of him and call me in, and I got the job. So all that about “HELP” is just a myth. You got it: It’s all rubbish. None of it is true. You’re speaking to the man, Enrique, this is the story. Finally, where is your head and your heart right now? ELP? Your DVD? The Carl Palmer Group? Asia? All of the above. I played in America last October and November with the CPG, and I’m coming back this year in October-November. Then I’ll play with Asia [Palmer, John Wetton, Steve Howe, and Geoff Downes] April through May, and we’ll make a new album next year, celebrating our 30th anniversary. So I can tell you that my heart is in many corners of the room. I do lots of things and need lots of thing to keep me interested. In February I played in Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain, with my band. I’m always doing something.