The band’s name is a nod to Jerzy Kosinski’s 1965 novel, the Painted Bird. In Kosinski’s famed book, a man paints a bird and returns it to its flock. The bird thinks that it’s going home, but the flock ends up killing it because they see it as an intruder. Although the allusion is rather gory and vivid, lead singer and guitarist Dominique Fricot believes that it rings particularly true today. “I think the issue is that the world is filled with many sick and twisted realities, like how people do shun their own when they have mingled with the ‘other’,” he says.
That is, in many ways, the essence of the words behind the captivating melodies of the Painted Birds, tackling issues that people often shy away from, particularly when they deal with things that many are not ready to admit or talk about such as hatred or fear, or the dead and perversion. Those may not all be dinner-table topics, but they are issues that as artists, The Painted Birds believe they should give expression to, however painful.
“I think as artists we have to bring to light what hits us way down deep, because that’s how we can get past it,” explains Fricot. It’s not surprising then that the very first song that Fricot wrote was about the death of his father, a topic he was unable to tackle otherwise. Today, and many songs later, he continues to deal in his music with topics that normally people feel the need to keep hidden.
The band centers around Fricot, who often lays the foundation for the songs. Ideas come to him in “brief little chunks” and inspiration often sends Fricot into what he describes as a “quasi state of dreaming.” In that stage the song takes a life of its own, growing and evolving in his head – stuck there until it is expressed out loud.
Fricot co-writes most of the songs with bassist Shawn Berke and working with him feels like fate. “I’ve never been more confident in anything in my life until I started writing music with Shawn, it’s not only regimented and professional but it’s also spontaneous and can happen at the drop of the hat without any instruments around.”
Edited by kingoftheposers on 9 Aug 2007, 18:09
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