Artist Appreciation: Painting Fences

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Painting Fences started as a conversation
between two friends in 2012.

“I saw a burned out house with broken windows, with a white picket fence still guarding the yard.
And I thought, there goes the American Dream.”
To which came the response,
“It’s not dead man,
you just need to grab a brush and keep
painting those fences!”

From that conversation, the band was born, and it grew from a mere idea into a fully fledged band over the next few years in the garage of brothers Johnny and Seth Norman.

What exactly the sound and style of Painting Fences would be was unknown for the two brothers,
but what was certain is that heart, soul,
and every ounce of raw energy they could muster would be poured into the songcraft.
Drummer Seth Gibson joined the band, and Painting Fences performed as a Power Trio for many years,
cutting their teeth in the crucible of dive bars across Phoenix.

An album was recorded before the band had a means to even pay for it, and it consequently sat shelved while the band continued gigging and paying off recording fees! During this time, Seth Gibson exited the band to focus on school, and Nick Stevans stepped in to replace him.

In 2016,
the trio was able to
release their first effort,
Through Glass

Pressure by Painting Fences

Through Glass garnered some critical praise with Phoenix publication
AZCentral, earning a place in their 20 Local Music Picks for March of 2018.

The release was not without some drama, as singer/bassist Seth Norman suffered a broken arm in a car accident only days before the release and live show performance of the album. Undeterred, Seth performed vocals in full cast while Clayton Mistler of Phoenix punk band Simple Malfunction fulfilled bass duties.

Painting Fences continued performing regularly, at Arizona venues such as the Rogue Bar, Pho Cao, and Yucca Tap Room, and began appearing at the Sidepony Express Music festival yearly. During this time, Painting Fences began to develop its sound by incorporating more and more influences from all genres of rock, particularly utilizing pop-punk vocal esthetics and heavier riffage.

A second album was recorded, and continuing in their fashion, was not released until much later. Some songs from that recording appeared on an EP showcasing these changes was released in 2017 entitled
Prelude To A Fall.

This was only too fitting, as 2018 was a tumultuous year of ups and downs for the band. First, the Power Trio format was discarded by bringing in Katie Jefferies to play bass and Seth Norman now focusing his efforts solely on singing.

Katie Jefferies – Bass/Vocals

However, the Power Trio format was brought back briefly in order for the band to go on their first interstate tour in support of the Prelude EP. During this tour, Nick was released from the band and drummer Kash Filburn (Semester Review, Gold Season, Rio Wiley) was hired to fill in for the tour. While on tour, the band experienced a spin-out on the road during a blizzard, somehow managing to sustain zero injuries and having only minor damage to the trailer and gear inside.
Painting Fences continued performing for most of the year without any official drummer in the lineup, though Kash Filburn was a regular fill in.

In September of 2018, their second full length Faustian Waltz finally saw the light of day, and this was supported by another tour in the Spring of 2019.

For this tour,
drum duties were fulfilled
by Elliot Diggs, who,
at the conclusion of the tour,
was named the official drummer
for the band going forwards.  

Elliot Diggs – Drums

2020 sees the release of Painting Fences’ third full length album, Cardinal Sins.
This is the first album to feature all current members of the band, and displays some of the most diverse and heaviest songwriting produced by the band to date.
Were it not for the many changes and trials of 2018 and 2019,
Cardinal Sins would not be the album that it is today. Every setback was considered a challenge to be met, and every experience along the way another influence to be drawn from in the writing of Cardinal Sins. 

This Artist Appreciation is close to my heart because my first band Elena Avenue
grew up with these dudes, cutting our teeth
on the local Arizona scene,
and although Elena Avenue is no more
I am proud to see Painting Fences still going strong.

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