Conflict Breeds Progress for Painted Palms
Sometimes tension is a necessary tool in the creative process, and other routes must be taken reach a goal. Such is the case for Painted Palms, the San Francisco-based electro-pop act composed of cousins Reese Donohue and Christopher Prudhomme, whose late-night emailings of clips and samples has yielding something much larger, with a atypical genesis to match.
Courtesy of the artist's Facebook page
What was once a cross-country project in Prudhomme and Donohue's downtime from their studies at Louisiana State Universtiy and University of California Berkeley, respectively, has blossomed into a sound that's just as at home in a festival setting as it would in the middle of an existential crisis. Fresh off last month's release of their debut Polyvinyl LP, Forever, and just before their showing at the Viva Phoenix festival this Friday, we spoke to Prudhomme as Painted Palms geared up to start touring.
Releasing content for free is part of the Painted Palms approach, evidenced by the Nothing Lasts Long EP, and you've said that you guys want to continue with that this year. Why is that?
We like to finish music and then get it out as soon as possible. If we sit on it for too long or maybe try to find to a way to get people to purchase it or do anything else, it tends to kind of feel stale to us after a while. We don't really see a problem with giving people out music for free because the internet was what helped us become a band in the first place so it feels fine to us to give our music away, for the most part.
Was there any difficulty in translating the precision of Forever, a really layered album, into a live show?
It's a definitely a different process playing the songs live. We kind of like to strip things down a bit in terms of production and make the songs a little more energetic and kind of acknowledge that there's an audience there, that we're involved in this thing together, and that it should be kind of a celebration. It's kind of a party, like it's a more energetic and dance-y set, so some of the more detailed aspects of the production are sacrificed so we can kind of streamline the songs.
Part of the backstory of the band was that it was easier for you and Reese to write a song and communicate via the internet rather than writing in a room together. Is there any sense of that same conflict when you're together on stage or on tour?
It's easier whenever you have the songs written already because when you're onstage with somebody, especially just interacting with them, it's more of a social thing. Writing a song is less of a social thing and more of a goal-oriented thing, so we tend to be fine. Any time you tend to be in close quarters with someone for two months, no matter who they are, there's definitely times where you want privacy and you want to be alone. I think that's just a human thing. For the most part I think we get along really well when we have to play onstage or travel, it's just the songwriting process where it gets a little difficult.