It was December 2015 when the startling news came that all the members of Emmure, excluding frontman Frankie Palmeri, had quit the band. When the news broke, ex-bassist Mark Davis was keen to state that the instrumental portion of Emmure would carry on in another group. Finally, after a two-year wait, Davis, alongside guitarists Jesse Ketive and Mike Mulholland, have reconnected with circa-2014 Emmure and Bury your Dead drummer Mark Castillo and formed a new band called Painless. Taking up vocal duties is ex-Defiler frontman, Jake Shaw. We caught up with the singer on the day the band released their debut single “Spellbinder” from the forthcoming EP No Help.
Thanks for your time, Jake. I know it’s a busy day for you today. Whereabouts are you currently and what are you doing?
Jake Shaw I’m currently in sunny California, talking to everyone online about the song we just released today!
You’re best known for your work with Defiler. What’s the situation with that band currently?
Shaw It was just time to close the book. I felt like I had reached my maximum capacity creatively with what Defiler was, and I had to push beyond what Defiler was capable of.
Tell me about Painless, how the project came about and how you found the other members?
Shaw I was approached by a producer that told me I needed to be in a band with a bunch of heavy hitters – these guys were the first ones that came to mind, and I reached out to Mark Castillo (we were already buddies) and after singing on a few demos, we decided to turn it into something real!
The single “Spellbinder” feels quite different stylistically to both Emmure and Defiler.
Shaw I’m not sure how to describe our sound exactly, because we have a myriad of different textures and sounds happening on the EP – but to me, that’s a good thing. My influences have always been the same, but I think this is a good representation of my natural evolution as a musician.
Do you think the association with Emmure is a good or bad thing to have, when trying to push your new music?
Shaw It doesn’t matter much to me. The fact is, I reached out to these guys because I’m an Emmure fan. So, any mention regarding the past is inevitable because of the impact Emmure had on myself, and many others.
View the debut single “Spellbinder” taken from the debut EP No Help.
Tell me about the recording process for this EP and have you had any label support with it?
Shaw We self-produced and recorded the instruments with our friend Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz (The Acacia Strain, LGND), and I recorded the vocals with a good friend named Bob Swanson in Sacramento, CA. At the moment we’re DIY. But if the right team comes along, we would definitely work something out!
Are you going to do live shows around this release?
Shaw We have no shows planned at this very moment, but we’ve been talking about setting some up in the very near future!
I know it’s early, but have you any plans for a full-length debut album?
Shaw We have a whole bunch of songs we’re working on at the moment, for either another EP release or a full-length album. We’re going to keep working on the songs we have, and see where they take us!
I recently saw some Twitter “banter” with Frankie Palmeri about a certain Emmure tattoo! Do you know Frankie personally or has he reached out to you since forming Painless?
Shaw I know him personally, yes. The tattoo in question is of the Emmure logo on my right calf (as I said, I’m a fan haha). I’ll tell you the same thing I tell everyone else – I have zero interest in beefing with anyone. Frank was cool to me personally, and I have no grievances to present.
Have you listened to the latest Emmure album? What do you think?
Shaw I have, and I really like some of the guitar work Josh Travis did! Obviously, it’s difficult for me to be objective here because my band is awesome. But I liked it.
Are there any bands you’re listening to currently which you wanna give a shout-out to, bands that people may not have heard of?
Shaw Recently, I’ve been listening to Kublai Khan, Sylar, Cloudkicker, and July Talk! All great bands.
For people unsure what to expect from Painless, describe yourselves in 3 words…
Shaw Sauce boss party.