Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Paint It Black 2009 Interview

I think aside from Anti-Flag Paint It Black is the band I have interviewed the most. Being really into their 'Amnesia' ep, I thought the time was right to speak to the band once again. So here it goes:

Releasing a 7” was new for this band. ‘Amnesia’ is out for a while do you see differences between the release of that one and previous full lengths. Or is releasing a 7”the same as releasing a full length.
Releasing a 7” was something different for us. We had been focusing on albums for so long we forgot what it was like to be able to write a song and have it recorded and released in a matter of months. So, the main differences are the rate at which we can release music, and the pacing of the records themselves.

Albums usually have a lot emotional nuance, they wax and wane in intensity and tone, but with 7” EP’s we have a choice of being relentless or being more subtle. I feel like “Amnesia,” the first 7” has lot of variation between pure hostility and melody, and builds up to a real emotional peak, but the “Surrender,” EP just pounds relentlessly from beginning to end.

Up until now Dan Yemin has mostly worked with Jade Tree records. So is releasing a 7”through Bridge Nine and Fat a whole new experience for you? Why didn’t you decide to release two 7” on Jade Tree instead. And why did you chose for Bridge 9 and Fat Wreck in particular?
We just focusing on 7” gave us an opportunity to see what it was like to work with other friends in the punk and hardcore community. Dan’s been putting records out with Jade Tree for 14 years, with our decision to express ourselves through a different format (the 7” EP), trying different working relationships also made sense. It’s been really interesting and a lot of fun working with Bridge Nine and Fat Wreck.

All the songs of the 7”we’re recorded at the same time, is their more material of the same session waiting to be released? Do you have new releases scheduled and if so will that be another 7”. In fact will Paint It Black ever do a full length again?
There’s no more material from this recording session, but we do plan on putting out more 7-inches in the future. I can’t reveal when or with who at this point. I would be happy to never release a full-length again, but I can’t predict what will happen in the future.

Is Paint It Black going to do a split-record in the future and if so which band would you all like to be on the other side.
I would love to do a split EP with Ceremony, but I think that they have a rule about not doing splits, so I can’t really say. I would do a split with Career Suicide if they were willing...

I have the feeling that the songs on ‘Surrender’ are your most experimental and hard ones yet. Do you see the band evolve more into that direction?
Paint It Black has always been a band that’s evolving in many directions at once. “Surrender” gets into some of the most furious music we’ve ever made. But remember, on the “Amnesia” EP the song that closed the record explores melodic territory that we’ve never explored before.

You went on tour in The Uk for a couple of weeks, why did you decide not to cross the sea and do a couple of shows in Europe as well? Do you have any idea when the band will be back on European soil.
We’re headed to the UK to play 12 shows. We’ve always wanted to do that, and we’ve been talking with Ceremony about it for months. Trying to get around Europe in the short periods of time that we’re available to tour can be really stressful, and we just wanted to focus on having fun with our friends and not dealing with crazy overnight drives. We’re grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to tour Europe, and for the hospitality we’ve received, but this time we’re just keeping it simple.

You guys did a tour with Propagandhi and are now going to do a tour with legends Naked Raygun is touring with such different bands a way for you guys to keep doing shows interesting and also your way to expose Paint It Black ‘fans’ to other bands that you think people should know about.

I know that punks aren’t supposed to have heroes, but I need to say it: both Naked Raygun and Propagandhi are heroes of ours and huge influences for us. Naked Raygun has always inluenced our music, and Propagandhi our politics.

We like to play with a wide variety of bands, instead of only playing with angry hardcore bands all the time. Paint It Black is an unusual band in that we never really fit in anywhere in any simple way, because we play hardcore punk that is both very belligerent and very melodic.

We can tour with Leatherface and Dead to Me one week, Ceremony and Sabretooth Zombie the next, but it all makes sense to us. I’m afraid it confuses people a lot of the time, but its the only way we’re comfortable being a band.

To answer the last part of your question: Naked Raygun is coming to our part of the country for the first time in 20 years! If we can expose people to this band that have never heard them before, that would be a privilege.

How hard is it to maintain both the band and keep your career/work going at the same time. And has there never been a time that you wanted to make Paint It Black a full time band. Or is doing the band the way you are doing it now one of the things that keeps you motivated and interested in doing the band.
Sometimes its really hard to balance the band with work, but the hardest thing to balance is band and family. It definitely takes a toll emotionally and physically. There are times when its really frustrating not to be able to spend more of the year touring, especially when we watch our friends doing it, but several of us have lived the constant touring life too when we were younger, and we’ve seen how much that changes your experience of making music, not always in a positive way. At this point, we’re grateful not to have to rely on our band to pay our rent.

Being around in the nineties, how do you look upon the whole revival of nineties hardcore, what was so good about those days that we seem to have lost right now. Or are things always better looking back and will one day someone also write about the heyday of hardcore 2009?
We’re not really interested in nostalgia. I’m not sure exactly what type of 90’s hardcore is being revived, but I’m afraid that it wouldn’t have anything to do with what we’re interested in.
If by “90’s hardcore” you mean Born Against, Rorschach, Heroin, Assfactor 4, Torches To Rome, or Deadguy than that might be really exciting. If by “90’s hardcore” you mean Outspoken and Chorus of Disapproval, than not so much. I would say that things are pretty good right now from a musical standpoint. The thing I miss the most about the 90’s is that people seemed to have more of a political sensibility.

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