I find that one of the greatest things about being a music blogger is that it sort of pushes me into being more open minded and observant when it comes to discovering new bands. It has also given me the opportunity to exchange a few words with musicians in bands that I admire.

A reader sent in music suggestions to me at one point, and on his list were Painted in Exile, which were described as being kind of like Between the Buried and Me with more jazz influence. I knew I had to hit that up. Since then, I featured PIE in my first Sumeriancore Sunday post for The Number of the Blog. This captured the attention of their vocalist Robert Richards, with whom I exchanged a few emails.

Painted In Exile – Revitalized

First off, introduce yourself!

My name is Robert Richards. I’m 23 Years old, I’m from Seaford, NY and I’m the vocalist of Painted In Exile.

Painted In Exile’s first EP showed signs of progressive metal, but on Revitalized you guys really went all out, incorporating more clean singing, extended jazz sections, and songs that come close to hitting ten minutes in length. Was this a conscious thing with the band to want to be more progressive or did it just sort of work out in a happy accident?

Well Jimmy, When we got together we were looking to add more clean sections onto ideas that we already had. We had a fairly new member line up so we had a lot of new ideas that we wanted to get out. Everyone wanted to put their two cents in, so it was a semi-conscious effort to make the songs more clean sounding, and at the same time kinda letting the pieces fall where they may.

I understand there’s a full length album in the works?! How’s that coming along? Any cool details you can divulge at this point?

Yes, we are working on a full length as we speak!  I’m very excited to be honest with you. Every Sunday we practice and every week James [Murphy–guitar], Eddie [Decesare–drums] & Mr. Lambert [Marc–guitar] show me stuff they have been collaborating on and they keep blowing my fucking mind, pardon the French.

It’s coming along great, I just wish we could pick up the pace a little bit–but we all have jobs and shit, and school, so we are trying our hardest to not let our fans down and drop this album as soon as possible. It’s going to be heavier, faster, slower, jazzier, more poppy and more evil… if that makes sense.

I also saw that you guys filmed your first music video, and in the process you managed to get the police called on you?! Care to spin us a manly yarn about what happened at the beach that day, and how that situation played out?

HA! Yes, we did film our first music video with Andrew Pulaski with Abstrakt Pictures. The day we went to the beach, we thought that we could drive on the sand, cause there were tire tracks all over the sand and no signs saying “no off-roading,” so we drove on the sand and unloaded the equipment and started filming. Then some fucking JERK-OFF, instead of coming to talk to us and say, you know, “What’s going on here?” so we could have explained that we were filming a music video, calls the cops and told them to tell us to leave. So they came down, told us to get the car off the sand, handed out summonses, then tried saying we had to leave. Eddie asked if it was illegal to film there, and they said it wasn’t, so we finished up and left… To be honest, the guy who called the cops is smart, cause if he tried coming over to us like he owned the beach and told us to leave, I probably would have put him in his place.

On that topic, are there any other stories involving PIE antics?

Haha, yeah. Black metal Christmas caroling. Dress up like Immortal on Christmas and ring bells and scream at people and run into the cold dark night… “sooo cold”  HAHA

What does your musical experience before and outside of Painted In Exile look like?

My musical experience consists of me in my room when i was like 15-16 trying to replicate the voices of the bands that I was listening to and singing along to the music at parties trying to get my dick wet. I always jam with people when they ask me to, cause I love music and no matter what kind of music it is, I still love manipulating wave frequencies to make people get a little crazy.

What do you and the other guys in the band do for a living outside of music?

Well, right now I do construction–installing bathrooms, roofing, siding… stuff like that. Everyone else goes to school full time and works part time jobs.  It’s rough in today’s economy, so please buy a Shirt, CD, or come to our shows and help us out so we can continue making music!

Mitch, another writer for HBIH, wanted me to ask you: “Doth thou playeth the vidya?”

I play Call of Duty.

What kind of music gear does PIE wield? You might want to hit up the axe slingers for their specs for all the tech nerds out there.

Drums – Gretch Renown Maple series with Sabian and Zildjian Cymbals. Guitars – Fender Strat, Washburn X-Series, Carvin 7-String, and Ibanez 7-String. Amps – Mesa/Boogie Roadster Head, Line6 Bogner Tube Head.  Keys – Micro Korg, Roland 88-Key.  Bass – Tobias 4-String, Washburn 6-String, Ampeg Head/Cab.  And I use my vocal chords which Satan blessed me with.

What kind of music (new or old) are you listening to and would like to pimp out to our readers?

Right now, I’m on a Protest the Hero, Arsis and Ludacris kick.

What do you look to for inspiration? Any specific bands or literature?

For inspiration, I watch Brave Heart, 300, Troy, listen to Prayer For Cleansing and punch my girlfriend in the face.

Painted In Exile – Skylines

Finally, what’s up with the rap section in “Skylines”? I think you might have divided by zero, musically, by covering smooth jazz, metal, and rap in the course of one song. Furthermore, do bitches REALLY call you Gandalf?

Haha. Well, I heard Eddie’s groove and the first thing that popped into my head was, “that sounds like there should be a rap part over this.” We sat on it for a little bit until I fine-tuned it. We knew we were going to get put on blast for it but HEY! Any publicity is good publicity, and there is not anything wrong with stirring up the shit sometimes!

As for the jazz, Marc goes to school for jazz performance, so he threw put his spin on it and the finished product was a medley of everyone’s ideas in the band. The bottom line is that we just want to  play some fucking music—and yes, bitches do call me Gandalf, because I’m a level 70 wizard when it comes to the pussssssyyy!!!

HAHA, I’m just kidding… But seriously… I beat that pussy up.

In the end, we’re just six guys trying to have some fun doing what we love to do and not get fucked over as much as possible while we do it, cause I’m sure you know how the industry is. So that’s the story.

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As mentioned, Painted in Exile are hard at work on their upcoming full length debut, which is sure to be amazing. Their music video, “Revitalized,” will soon be released, so keep checking back at Painted In Exile’s MySpace and Heavy Blog Is Heavy when the video debuts!
– JR
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