Originally from Australia and now living in Los Angeles, Trash McSweeney is the the creative force behind The Red Paintings. He describes what he does as “orchestral, sci-fi art rock,” and really, there’s no arguing with that specificity. In addition to their music, the band is known for their on-stage performances that include elaborate costumes and live painting.
McSweeney himself has some unique influences, including Synesthesia, a neurological condition that means he sees letters and numbers as colors, which brings a whole new level of thought into composing music. In high school, his mother gave him a guitar “to keep me off the Xbox.” And when a girl broke up with him he wrote song to help cope. He soon found it was “his best friend — something I could rely on. It helped me through, and before I knew it I was writing song after song.”
Their latest album is The Revolution is Never Coming. “I wanted people to think about the title,” he shared. “There are little revolutions all the time, but we wait for someone else to start it. There are so many things we want to change, but can’t.” He wants to encourage people to “do it themselves,” no matter how large or small of a change. In this case, that’s just what The Red Paintings had to do. They raised money online to produce it. “It wasn’t something that could be dictated” by a label or even a producer,” he explained, “because of the Synesthesia.” What’s more, they weren’t “trying to create an industry record.” The record has been well-received — but you can listen to track for yourself below.
His advice is simple. “If you want to be at the top of your game as an artist, you’ve got to do it yourself.” He’s found that “relentlessness” is the magic word. And if you want to be a part of it, the band is always looking for people who want to get involved. Find out how on their website and Facebook page.
“You’re Not One of Them”
“We Belong in the Sea”