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Singled Out: Painted In Exile's Jupiter

10/30/2016
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Painted In Exile

Painted In Exile just released their new album "The Ordeal" and to celebrate we asked guitarist Marc Lambert to tell us the story behind the song "Jupiter". Here is the story:

"Jupiter" is perhaps the most unique song of the band's career to-date (October 2016). Aside from being our second-longest song so far, at just over 10-minutes, we realized after completing it that the structure is literally "progressive" in the true sense of the word, which we felt was a first for us, even as a "Progressive Metal" band. Rather than a more formulaic structure - typically Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus, etc, "Jupiter" is more asymmetrical and through-composed, so with the exception of a few spots, it's one big gradual build in energy and dynamics until the ending climax. Aside from some of the interludes on the record, it's probably also the most dynamic song overall, so some could consider it "the ballad" of the album.

It started with just a small acoustic theme that I began messing with around 2010, which would later become the Intro/Outro and reappear thematically in different forms and places throughout the song. The very first incarnation of which can actually be heard here at 2:49 in our 2011 Teaser clip. This was before Alan Hankers (Piano/Keyboards), Ivan Chopik (Guitar), and Jacob Umansky (Bass) had joined the band, so it was only Eddie DeCesare (Drums), Rob Richards (Vocals), and myself at the time. A cascading and cycling gesture where one voice at a time moves by only one note in either direction while another remains constant throughout, eventually bringing you somewhere completely different from where you started - shapeshifting almost like liquid, which I feel may have set the song up for its progressive nature because it later proved to be quite challenging to continue writing from. Years later, I ended up coming up with the accelerated lead guitar sequence at the very climix of the song, which we kind of knew we wanted to eventually arrive at in the song, so the beginning and end were basically written first and we then had to figure out how to get from one to the other naturally without forcing anything.

When we began writing the song again with the new members, it had to be done largely through file sharing ideas and demo clips over the internet because we were all scattered across the country at the time, but one of the upsides to a usually less-than-ideal situation for most bands was that any given member's ideas would then inspire and allow other members to compose entire sections, including for other instruments in the band. So, in many instances, the parts that each of us play were actually written/arranged by a different member, which makes it feel like a truly collaborative effort (for us, at least) even though much of it was done separately and drawn out over the course of 6 years. When we were eventually able to meet up and live (hibernate) in the same house for a month to flesh out the record together, we showed up prepared with each other's sections/parts learned, and that allowed us to really feel the song out together in real-time, so that's when it really began to transform and take on a new life.

FUN FACTS: We got to introduce some new sounds and textures for the first time with this song, like reverse piano, real acoustic piano, solo acoustic guitar (not new for the band, but new for this album), slide guitar, and Ebow guitar.

One of the more unique characteristics of this one is its more loose, flowing timing (we weren't so concerned with being "perfect"). In fact, the piano parts were all recorded live by Alan on a mic'ed grand piano in real time (for the entire record, actually), so the timing of the parts couldn't be fixed or "perfected" with studio magic afterwards as they often are.

Most of the solos were either improvised in one take, or are slightly refined versions of demos that were improvised in one take.

And most bands have their fair share of underwhelming working titles, much like an inside-joke that only they understand, and before the lyrics were written, we appropriately and not-so-creatively dubbed it "Acoustic Song" since we only had the acoustic intro at the time. As for the actual meaning of the song, we'll let you decide that for yourself ;)

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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