WXJM’s Music Director Morgan Schaffner got the opportunity to have a chat with Reese Donohue of Painted Palms, one of the bands currently in rotation at the station. Painted Palms are a duo comprised of Chris Prudhomme and Reese Donohue, whose bright, jangly psyche-pop tunes might just be the summer-tinged album to help get you through the winter.
WXJM: How did you get the name Painted Palms?
Reese: Uhm, I think Chris and I were on a road trip driving through the Southwest. And he was driving through the Painted Desert (in Arizona) and so it stemmed from that.
WXJM: How did you and Chris come together as a band? I know you guys are related somehow?
R: Yeah, he’s my cousin. Our moms are sisters, so we kinda grew up really close. Always hanging out and being around each other. We had been trading music back and forth for a long time. I had lived out here in California, and Chris was still living in Louisiana. So we weren’t playing music together yet, but we were emailing each other back and forth with demos, just stuff we were making in our rooms. And then I was home one time for a holiday in Louisiana, and he had a bunch of samplers and microphones, and I had some keyboards, and we just kinda sat down at my mom’s house and made a record.
WXJM: Nice, so how long ago was that?
R: Probably like 3-4 years.
WXJM: How would you generally describe your sound?
R: (Chuckles) Well, first, it’s 60s-influenced and then I dunno, we use an umbrella term like pop, but then who knows. To me it’s like 60s-influenced modern electro psyche rock, stuff like that.
WXJM: Word, Yeah I can definitely hear that! So, from that, what are your biggest influences? Either as a duo or individually?
R: I know that Chris really likes David Bowie. Yeah and then my favorite band is probably the Talking Heads. But we both listen a lot to the Zombies, and stuff like Primal Scream. And then as for the 90s… things like Happy Mondays, especially in terms of production.
WXJM: Awesome. Yeah, I was reading online recently that yall’s music has gotten compared to Animal Collective a lot?
R: Yep, we get that comparison sometimes.
WXJM: Where is your favorite city to play in? Favorite tour? You all have toured with Of Montreal, BRAIDS, and STRFKR, right?
R: Yeah! New York is always amazing to play in, but I think we’ve had some of the best times in Austin. And then of course hometown shows in San Francisco, cause all of our friends are here. But, Austin and NYC are always a great time.
WXJM: What was the songwriting process that went to making your newest release, Forever?
R: Yeah it was pretty collaborative, since we both have a pretty heavy hand in what the other person is doing, or not even heavy hand as much just being really involved in what the other person is doing. So it’s really cool to just be able to say like, “Hey man, that sucks, don’t do that,” or “Hey, that’s a cool idea but try it a different way?” It basically goes back to us being related and just us knowing each other since we were so young.
WXJM: So I see you guys have a bunch of dates on the west coast set up, and then you’re also set to play SXSW? You guys must be pumped!
R: Oh yeah, definitely. We’ve never been down there for SouthBy before, and I hear a lot of stuff about the festival from friends, it’s gonna be a good time. We have a couple of shows already lined up.
WXJM: What are you looking to in 2014 most (besides SXSW)?
R: I think working on new music is always something to look forward to and is my favorite part of the whole thing. And I think then we’ll also be playing a ton of shows and just putting out new music in the near future.
WXJM: Sweet, so maybe a new EP in the works since you just put out a new full length?
R: Yeah! We will see. We’re just gonna keep writing new songs and see where it takes us. Ya know, take it as it comes.
WXJM: I always like to ask musicians this silly question, in a movie of your life, what actor would play you?
R: Ah uhhhmm. Jason Alexander! (Aka, George Costanza.)
WXJM: Last but not least, any social media? Twitter, Instagram, Facebook?
R: Sure, yeah we have all of those. I think if you just google “Painted Palms” you can find most of them. Tweet us @PaintedPalms.
WXJM: Awesome, thanks so much for talking with us!