Painting Fences

 Painting Fences is one busy group of guys. Brothers Johnny and Seth Norman along with drummer Nick played over 35 shows last year! Add that to releasing an album, a music video, and attending countless shows from other bands and I’m surprised they didn’t decide to take a long hiatus. Not Painting Fences, they are busy in pre-production and recording for another album to release in 2017. Rocking out in the image taken by Rachel Smith from raysquared above is exactly what you get from these fellas, whether they are onstage playing or off-stage watching you can guarantee they are into the show. In fact, Johnny now makes it a habit of wearing local band shirts when performing shows, that is the type of local support that I love!


How did you come together as a band?

You could say it all came out of necessity. J: I was basically fed up with life. I tried college, tried the 9-5 working life, and I hated it. I wanted to do something creative and I had been playing guitar just for fun for nearly a decade. At the time Johnny knew no other musicians, but he did know his brother Seth. J: It was discovered that Seth could sing and come up with melodies on the fly, and as an added bonus he could hold a rhythm on bass. That was all that was needed to get started, as a drummer would come later. They banged their early material into shape with various guest drummers, which were all friends of theirs with varied degrees of skill on the kit. They discovered Seth Gibson who had the raw talent they were looking for to go forward. After a year and a half Seth departed the band and that is where Nick entered the picture. N: I joined the band in 2015 while doing an acoustic album for Seth, being recorded in my bedroom of all places. J: As it turned out, Nick had always been part of our circle of friends and musicians in Surprise. Basically one of those “friends of a friend that we knew”. I’m not sure how we went from the degree of separation to him jamming with us but I know that one day before a gig we needed a drummer..ASAP, and there was Nick, like a gift from the rock gods.

Give me up to 3 of your influences on your instrument or voice

N: John Bonham, Neil Peart, Dave Grohl

J: Tommy Iommi, James Hetfield, Rory Gallagher

S: I’m cheating. For voice, Tony Kakko, Serj Tankian, and Freddy Mercury. For Bass, Geddy Lee, Tal Wilkenfield, Sean Yseult

Tell me something about the band that no one knows, at least not until now. 

We almost never practice…

What is the worst or most embarrassing on-stage moment for the band or one of you personally

N: I was once a little too drunk to realize I was beating the shit out of my drums right in front of the face of Benjamin Fuqua of Zodiac Bash, who was the sound engineer that night. Needless to say he was a little pissed. 

J: We know a lot of young musicians and sometimes they share the stage with us. One time a dude brought us all a beer on stage, which is awesome! But our guest bassist at the time was 15 years old..awkward. 

S: At ASU West I ran across the smooth concrete playing area with the intention of stopping suddenly. Instead I slipped and fell flat on my back and had to finish the song on the ground.

Let’s assume each of you never met, and can start a band with ANY musician. Who is it? (this would be a little hard to assume since Seth and Johnny are brothers, but let’s try)

N: Easy, Dave Grohl on drums, Zach de la Roche on vocals, Flea on bass and me on rhythm guitar

J: I would just like to join the bband Nightwish as a second guitarist, and do sweet dual guitar leads with Emppu Vourinen

S: I think myself and Sean Morgan from Seether would get on very well together. 


Each of you tell me your favorite song of all time

N: hands down, “No Rain” by Blind Melon

J: “Fiddler on the Green” by Demons and Wizards

S: “Through The Looking Glass” by Machinae Supremacy

Now tell me which song you WISH you had written. 

N: “Look What You’ve Done” by Jet

J: “Over The Hills and Far Away” by Gary Moore

S: If I had written Bohemian Rhapsody , I would be swimming in money right now..

Tell me your favorite song by a LOCAL band.

N: “Jack” by Fairy Bones

J: “Blood” by Kid Dynamite and the Blast

S: “Duka” by Fairy Bones


Favorite place to play live in Phoenix and why?

N: Rogue Bar is always fantastic for me. Met some of the greatest people there. I have been playing there since the final show of my first band, Generation Lost

J:  Just about any dive bar. I like the smoky atmosphere

S: Every time we have played at Trunkspace we have had a blast. 

Best way to hear Painting Fences, live on stage or on a recorded work?

N: Recorded work, hands down.

J: Live! We’ve never gone wrong at Tempe Tavern or Rogue Bar

S: Live!

Give our readers 3 local bands they need to see or hear

N: Bear Ghost, Fairy Bones, The Maintenance Room

J: El, Audious,

S: The Real Fits, Snailmate, Japhy’s Descent

J: Naming 9 bands is cool too, right?

In one word, describe the local music scene

N: Invigorating J: Eclectic S: Hybrid

What (if anything) would you change about the local scene?

N: Getting more people involved and out to shows

J: I want to see a CBGB for our generation. A place of legends and wild times

S: The lack of power metal

Shamelessly promote yourselves, what is coming up for Painting Fences?

We are currently recording a new album which will be released in the summer of 2017. Before that, we will be releasing an EP with 3 singles that will appear on the album. There could possibly be more to accompany that EP as well. Touring AZ and a bit of the Southwest is on the agenda. We are going to turn our YouTube channel into a regularly updates source of entertainment, which means it will feature cover songs we may not perform live very often, or ever. Plus whatever other entertaining content we can come up with to post there. Nick is continuing his project The Maintenance Room so expect an EP from them, and Seth has Blithed and you can expect a full album from them. Johnny is a slacker and has no secret projects that we know about. 

Last chance, any final thoughts?

S: I was kind of hoping this was gonna be a hoedown. 

J: I got nothing so I guess we will end on Seth’s terrible joke. 

Thanks to Painting Fences for taking the time to answer questions for the Local Hoedown..I mean Lowdown. As always, follow the links below to see more of the band!

Photo Credit: Rachel Smith at Ray Squared Photography 

Painting Fences Facebook

Painting Fences Instagram

Painting Fences YouTube Channel



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