By John Lynds
The first time you hear the alternative rock band Wild Painting play live you quickly realize this is a band that should be on the radio. The band, founded last year by four East Boston Zumix teens, Angelina Botticelli, Mario Duenas, Mario Jarjour and Juan Gutierrez, seamlessly blends indie/synth pop and indie rock that harkens back to a time when WFNX ruled the Boston airwaves and alternative rock reigned supreme.
The band recently released their first CD, a highly anticipated eight song EP ‘Emotions’ that fans of the band have been anxiously awaiting.
“Emotions is definitely a mixture of many genres we’re each individually influenced by but I really feel like it’s found its home in more of the indie/synth pop and indie rock genres,” said Botticelli, the bands lead singer and keyboardist. “We all come from from different musical background and we’ve been able to find a common ground in Emotions. As far as specific things, The 1975, a band we’re a fan of, is a big role model for us in terms of sound and aesthetic on the album and as a band.”
The band was formed in February 2016 when Duenas (guitar) and Gutierrez (bass) had the idea of forming a cover band.
“About a month into playing covers, we grew tired of it,” said Gutierrez. “We did not want to be an ensemble where we covered music, but a band who wrote original music. So we did just that. The transition from cover band to just a band was really smooth. We actually wrote our first song “Distractions’ during a two hour practice. The interesting thing about us is that we all got along well immediately which led us to write original music fairly easy. Actually, the majority of our songs were written in a span of just one rehearsal.”
Botticelli added that being a band for only a short time and already being able to record an album is something Wild Painting is very grateful for.
“Emotions was a long process and finally releasing it has been an experience I don’t think any of us imagined we’d be having this early,” said Botticelli. “We can’t wait for the album to get its feet on the ground and run. We want it to be a debut album that becomes known beyond our circles and really is able to impact and influence people the same way our favorite artists influence us.”
On picking the name of the band, Duenas joked it was a long process.
“Figuring out our band name was a somewhat long process,” said Duenas. “From People Like Us, to ENUF, we figured out those names didn’t suit us. After a week of ambitiously spitting out ideas and names, we came across Wild Painting. Once we got the “Yes” text from everyone on the group chat, we knew it had been official.”
Jarjour, who plays drums for the band, said the plan is to tour in support of Emotions.
“We want to get a tour going before the summer is over,” said Jarjour. “We would like to play many more shows this summer to continue selling our CD and get our name out more. We are always writing new material so perhaps after several months we will have a project going for our next album. In the mean time we would like to record a short project at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio.”
Duenas and the rest of the band gave a special shout out to Zumix’s Technical Director, Dan Fox, for his work on the album.
“Without any doubt, we couldn’t have produced the album without Dan, the technical director at Zumix,” said Duenas. “He knew exactly what to do and the sound we were going for. Recording the actual tunes as opposed to playing live was a tad bit different. As the guitar player, Dan told me to record my guitar clean and add effects after in the mixing process. That was hard for me to understand because a lot of the elements to our songs were lost without my guitar pedals. Other than that, we had some down time to experiment with sounds and effects that are exclusive to the studio album–again all with the help of Dan and all of our spontaneous minds collaborating.”
Fox said, “The members of the band have gone through a period of huge musical growth over the last year, both as individuals and as a band. They went from never recording together before to crafting this incredibly textured, layered, enveloping piece of art. I was thrilled to help produce the record with our amazing Zumix youth engineers.”
There are eight songs on the album and the band actually wrote the songs ‘Ride’ and ‘Voice Memo’ at one of their rehearsals during the recording process.
“The ‘Outro’ was another ambitious instrumental that we actually wrote in the studio,” said Duenas. “I used the same sample that I made for the intro to ‘Impressions’ and Mario (Jarjour) just improvised a wild drum solo.”
The CD was officially released on Saturday, July 22 during a release party at Zumix with all the band’s friends, family, and supporters.
“It was the first show we ever planned and promoted on our own and the final result is something we will never forget,” said Botticelli. “The amount of the love and support in the room will stay with us throughout our career and it only made us even more excited to continue our musical journey and see what the future brings, emotions by our side.”