“Hey guys! This is Santos from Painted Young!” I’ve gotten pretty used to saying that over the years, mainly because from 2014 to 2017 there were two Chris’s in the band and I wanted to distinguish myself. Although I started Painted Young around 2012, I feel like those were the REAL formative years of Painted Young; where we really got some groundwork done with introducing the band to the world and showing who we were. This was when we started writing our own songs, which would eventually turn into our debut EP, “Looking Forward to Never Looking Back.” We were completely new to everything: recording, playing shows at real venues, promoting our band, being part of something that’s bigger than ourselves. It took some time but I got pretty used to it, and I started to get the hang of being in a band. However, not everyone was on the same page.
I’m honestly surprised the band lasted as long as it did. Some members were more productive towards the band than others. I can’t say I can blame them for not putting enough effort into it. Not everyone can balance their job, their classes, and the work that comes with being in a band. Some people are better than others at it and that’s no one’s fault. But it just felt like driving a racecar with a pit crew who was, instead of repairing my car, attaching weights to the back of it. I had driven that car for the better part of four years until late 2017, when I hit a wall.
“I hate to say this but I’m afraid my time with Painted Young is up.” At least that’s what I remember from that group chat, followed by “I’m really sorry but I might have to say the same thing.” The band that I’ve worked so hard to build up and keep alive, was collapsing right in front of me. The initial shock lasted for a few days. It was such a wave of mixed emotion, but the only feeling I remember NOT experiencing was anger. I had no reason to be angry with my ex-bandmates. Life just happens. But I vividly remember a feeling of being lost and unsure what to do next. I truthfully had no clue what I was going to do next. I really didn’t wanna give up on music, but there were points where it felt like it was my only option...
Luckily, I had the support of a few friends and Ryan (my manager), to keep pushing and they suggested that Painted Young should become a solo project. With the blessings of all my ex-bandmates, I started promoting myself as the sole member of Painted Young. But it wasn’t before we played a headlining show as a farewell to my ex-bandmates. Within those four years of being a band together, playing shows always felt right with them sharing the stage with me. Fill-ins and incomplete lineups at shows were common, but it made those moments with the real members that much more special. Despite everything, I still thank Justin, Chris, Luke, and Richard for giving the time and effort they did to Painted Young.
Fast forward to today. As I write this, I’m two weeks away from releasing a new EP called “I’m Not Gonna Wait” on April 12. This EP is VERY special to me, as it is the first EP that Painted Young has released since 2015. Believe me when I say four years is long enough, and this EP is long overdue. It’s also special because this is my first attempt at a solo release. Basically all of the music was written and performed by me. I recorded every instrument in the studio: guitar, bass, drums, vocals, you name it! As much as it took a toll on my wallet, it definitely feels worth it. I couldn’t be any more excited to share my creations with the world. After all that I have been through, I can’t even tell you how amazing it feels to FINALLY be releasing new music. I am finally creating another stepping stone in my career and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. But as much as this is a personal triumph, I wouldn’t have had the motivation to do all of this without the continued support of my friends and fans. I can’t thank you all enough for sticking with me through more than a year of rebuilding and for never giving up on me when you had every chance to do so. The Painted Young family is small, but my love for you all is immense!
And on April 13, a day after “I’m Not Gonna Wait” comes out, I will be celebrating its release at the same venue where I said goodbye to my old bandmates. Painted Young will be having an EP release show at Asbury Park Music Foundation in Asbury Park, NJ. I have my good friends opening the show for me, including This Year’s Comeback, Wave Break, and my ex-guitarist, Chris Tiedemann, who will be playing some songs from his own solo EP coming soon! Doors open at 7pm and admission is $10. If you haven’t seen a Painted Young show before, this is the best chance for us to give you a first impression. I will be playing the new EP in full, so I invite anyone and everyone to come out and celebrate the dawning of a new era of Painted Young.
More information on the EP release show can be found here: