Painted Palms Interview – Christopher Prudhomme

PaintedPalms

We at Electric Bare have had our eye on Painted Palms for quite some time now. Cousins Christopher Prudhomme and Reese Donohue began the project sending files back and forth over the web, bit by bit assembling songs from snippets of ideas. Their debut album, Forever, contains no trace of their patchwork beginnings and plays like an energized reminder of Spring wrapped up in a blanket of introversion. We got the chance to see them perform a few times in San Francisco and Los Angeles and witnessed firsthand the energy and passion they employ to bring Forever to life. Recently, we got an opportunity to interview Christopher: 

 

Can you talk a bit about the early days? What inspired you to play/make music? Were you taught formally?

I started taking piano lessons when I was 5. I quit when I was 10 because I hated practicing and I didn’t like doing my theory homework, and my teacher was kind of hardcore about that stuff. I’ve just always loved music, it’s hard to trace back to a particular source.

When you both first started Painted Palms, where were you playing shows and how was the music received? Was it just the two of you live? How was the dynamic of switching from individual at-home-production to live performance?

We didn’t play a show or practice until we were asked to support an of Montreal tour a while back. It was a big learning experience. We were a five piece. Live shows are pretty different, because we like to streamline things for the audience so that things are energetic and direct.

How did Kevin Barnes find you guys and (more out of personal curiosity) how was touring with of Montreal?

We had a mutual friend that sent him our first EP and he liked it.  Touring with of Montreal was a lot of fun, they’re extremely talented and inspiring people.

Forever is a sonically bright and colorful album – busy, yet with vivid clarity. It reminds me of Spring. Was there a particular reason, some strategy, behind releasing such an album in January?
I think the only idea behind releasing the record in January was to release it as soon as possible. It took us a while to make it and we wanted to get it out there before it felt stale to us.
You’ve been compared a lot to Animal collective and I certainly hear a lot of Beatles and Beach Boys inspired elements. Could you talk a bit about your influences in making this album?

We are big fans of classic pop music and pop structure. The influence that that decade of music has had on every following era is kind of undeniable. We also really like 90s rave music and modern electronic music. I think maybe in spirit the songs are 60s pop songs, and in execution they are informed more by modern electronic songs.

Throughout the album you employ energetic, happy, often playful and extroverted compositions with lyrical content that is tinged with madness, uncertainty, and helpless introversion. What mood(s) would you say you were trying to capture with the frequent juxtaposition of these opposing elements?

I think it kind of just turned out that way. The way we think about our lives is analytical and isolated and maybe a little lonely, but we don’t allow it to get in the way of having a good time.

What are some things that inspire you?

My relationships with other people inspire me. I also like empty spaces, like parts of the day that aren’t occupied by anything.

Do you have any words of advice for the aspiring musicians out there? Any wisdom that was imparted to you, or that you wished would have been?

I don’t know that I’m in the position to give advice. Maybe focus more and care less about others’ opinions.

Finally, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers recently challenged Will Ferrel to a drum-off. When he accepted the challenge Ferrel asked Smith a penetrating question that was left unanswered and I was hoping you guys could weigh in. Would you rather fight 100 duck sized ducks or 1 horse sized horse? Why?

Probably a horse, because if I lost it’d all be over a lot quicker than if I lost to 100 ducks

 

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