Photography: Zach Lewis
PAINT, the debut album from the band of the same name came out in November 2018 on Mexican Summer. With label mates such as Ariel Pink, Cate Le Bon and Connan Mockasin, the solo project from Pedrum Siadatian (lead guitar and vocalist of Allah-Lahs) more than holds its own. With sun-beam melodies and rough-and-ready hooks, California is infused throughout the record. PAINT sit in a place that is between all else – a nook amongst the sandy palms and salty air that remains unknown, wild and tranquil.
Grace Allen from Grandma Promotions speaks to Pedrum about the importance of multiplicity in influence and output, and the joy of incompletion.
PAINT – Daily Gazette
In which ways do you feel that your latest release diverts or continues on from themes in your previous works with Allah-Las?
There are some similarities, but I think it's a bit more idiosyncratic – especially lyrically and vocally.
It was just under a year from your first show as PAINT to the self-titled debut album. Was most of the material already written, or was that year a writing frenzy?
The writing took place sporadically for about a year before I recorded the LP late 2016, early 2017 – and it was almost a year after that ’til the first show. And then another year til the record was released, so it's been a long process overall.
On your BandCamp, PAINT is described as being ‘In between,’ explaining that it is neither ‘The night, but the dark’ and ‘Not the sun, but the heat.’ Do you have an affinity to this concept as a musician?
Yeah, I was fond of that description, because it indicates that the music doesn't fall into immediate categorisation. Chris Ziegler of LA Record came up with it, I believe.
Many artists define themselves as creatives, as well as musicians. Do you find creativity in other parts of your life influential on the music side too?
My main creative outlet is music, but I always keep my antennas up and tune in to other fields to potentially draw from.
Judging from the PAINT Instagram, you have a clear aesthetic. Is this important to your music?
Not Instagram specifically – but, yeah, I put a lot of consideration into videos, photos and flyers.
There is a strong nostalgic feeling to PAINT's output by way of super-eight videos, retro-looking posters and psychy sounds. Is this intentional to evoke a particular feeling from your listeners?
There is definitely a ‘90s VHS aesthetic to the videos, which is an ode to old music and skate videos I watched when I was growing up… A bit of Fishing with John too.
What does it mean to you to be a musician in 2019?
My ethos hasn't really changed from year-to-year. I've always just wanted to make music I'm proud of, and tour. The biggest change is that I now have two outlets – but I think that’s something I always needed.
PAINT recently had a string of live dates in the U.S. and Europe. Do those two audiences differ at all?
I think there is maybe more anticipation from European audiences for American bands, so they tend to really pay attention to the show – there’s not much chatter between songs. They can also be very entitled in a way and will come up after a show and tell you how they think it should've been… Longer, shorter and what-not.
To quote the description of the LP by Mexican Summer, it has a ‘Paradoxical finished-but-not-finished-off feel’. Do you prefer for your music to sound finished or unfinished?
I just want it to come across in a genuine way. I don't think music needs to be perfect – especially not rock ’n’ roll. I feel that a record is a documentation of people performing songs as best as they can at a specific time in a specific environment. If the best you can do at that time still has some mistakes, but the music comes across as intended, I think that's okay.
Tell us about Reverberation Radio. How many of you are there doing it? How does it work? Do you all take turns making online mixtapes, or do you all chip in together each time?
Reverberation is a weekly radio show that has been going on for almost ten years. It started as a proper radio show on 89.9 KXLU out of the Loyola Marymount campus, but once that ended it turned into a weekly podcast. There are ten of us who take turns making mixes – and we occasionally have people do guest mixes. We also do live sets, which is very fun!
What’s your top tip for striking gold at record shops?
My mind usually goes blank when I walk into a record store, so I always carry a list with me that I'm always amending. I often judge records by their covers. See! Eyes over ears.
Could you suggest a few artists that we should all be listening to right now?
Maston, Jackson Macintosh, Chris Spedding, Harmonia.
What are your future plans for PAINT?
I'm recording the second LP in March and I have more shows to come!
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