Painted Wives Get a Fresh Start With New Label, Old Album

If you’re already in the know about Painted Wives, then you’re familiar with Obsessed With the End, which was already released locally by the band in DIY fashion in 2014. But the band’s new contract with major metal label Century Media allows them to breach their Southern California bubble by releasing an official version of that full-length album countrywide. “[The label] put their hands on it and brought out all the coolest stuff about it, I think,” says bassist Justin Morales. “So that’s what we’re releasing on April 30—an album that we had already made on our own that’s been remixed since, and we’re officially releasing it under Century Media.”

Painted Wives played their first show at the late Detroit Bar in 2010. Following a win in the Orange County Music Awards’ Best Live Band competition in 2012, they played a few stints on the California portion of Warped Tour. Though the group still didn’t quite fit into Orange County’s music scene, they gained fans and kept refining their sound.

When they were finally about to record their first full-length, they encountered some major setbacks. While biking in downtown Huntington Beach one night, drummer Derek Eglit crashed and broke his arm. Around the same time, Morales decided to quit and begin a career in music production for film and television. Lead singer and guitarist Justin Suitor decided to have oral surgery on his jaw. With the mound of issues, it looked like a hiatus was inevitable, that Painted Wives might fold and the album might never come together.

But after a few months of healing, and with their OCMA prize of recording time in the Red Bull Studios, the ensemble—Suitor, Eglit and Morales, plus rhythm guitarist Jeff Lyman and artist/lyricist Ryan Williams—surged forward. What wasn’t recorded at Red Bull was finished up at Sound Asylum in Santa Ana. A handful of the tracks were sent to Red Room Recording in Seattle and mixed by engineer Matt Bayles, who has worked with the likes of Mastodon, Minus the Bear, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.

When Obsessed With the End was published, the product belonged solely to Painted Wives. Morales explains that the rerelease is almost like new. “The album that we’re releasing was bought by the label and remixed by a guy called Machine in Austin, Texas,” he says. “We all liked how the album was before as well, but it’s different now. It’s a little brighter and a little more driving. Before, it was kind of a wall-of-sound thing.”

With the help of Century Media, the Painted Wives will be spreading their music to continental and international audiences. They will tour in support of Italian metal band Lacuna Coil in May and June for almost 25 U.S. dates. They’re also busy writing their sophomore album, which is set to be recorded in the fall. “We’re kind of notoriously always writing,” Morales says. “Luckily, we have a good team at Century Media, and they have assembled the right people to help us garner all that so we can focus on the music.”

Painted Wives perform with Aeges, Them Evils and Dark Ale at the Constellation Room at the Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; Sat., 9 p.m. $10. All ages.

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