Ventura County, California’s The Image You Claim debuted in October with a full-length titled Painted Visions.
Painted Visions is a slow burner, sounding good on its first listen but unfolding into its full potential on the second or third play. Launching with Medusa – an epic introduction with a bit atmospheric tone – The Image You Claim immediately introduce their duality: combining chugging technical metal with dark, prophetic vocals one moment and angst ridden screams the next. This dichotomy of sound continues as the swirling opening of Demented leads into a song that captures the band’s more melodic side before Divine Unkind.
As the album continues echoes of other tech icons, including Devin Townsend, Meshuggah and Periphery, surface but the band balance this range of influences with skill to create a sound that is all their own. The music is technical but not clinical with songs constructed out of riffs, solos and breakdowns that are more than just fancy guitar work and confusing time signatures. There are a good handful of catchy hooks with heart too, especially towards the latter half of the release.
The Image You Claim is a band who are forming a legacy and this is the album that will start them on their journey.
The Image You Claim is a newcoming progressive metalcore six-piece from California, and “Painted Visions” is their debut album released back in October last year.
Singer Justin Olsen looks back at the songwriting process of the album, touring, inspiration. Read the interview after the break.
Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?
Life has been pretty alright, we have just been taking a well deserved hiatus for the holidays after our first batch of shows. We are back to the grindstone now, planning some new content as well as writing some new tracks.
Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Painted Visions”?
Painted Visions is a really unique and emotional record. I feel like it really encapsulates our style but also gives us room for evolution.
What was it like working on the album?
It was quite an experience. It was my first time in the studio recording. It improved my vocals and warm up routines as well as giving me important insight on the whole process. Chris handled a lot of the mixing and mastering, but Julian and I played a part in revision and nitpicked the hell out of it until it was ready to ship. It was really fun writing, composing and recording and i look forward to doing it again soon.
Are there any touring plans in support to “Painted Visions”?
You know, the band has been throwing around the idea of like, a west coast tour since the album released, but we have had a tough time finding prog bands in our area to tour with. Not only that, we have just been dialing in tone, getting things right, and making sure things are reliable as possible equipment wise. We have had some adventures with FOH sound, and we want to make sure everything is as straightforward and professional as possible, but if there are any progressive metal or djent bands in the SoCal area, hit us up!
While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?
It would be awesome to tour the US, the UK, and Australia in the future. The metal scene is growing day by day and i would love to have the opportunity to travel around and broaden our fanbase.
Who and what inspires you the most?
My biggest inspiration personally is Donovan Melero of Hail the Sun, and Sianvar. both he and Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute inform a lot of my writing. It helps me think of alternate ways to structure, metaphorize, and use a unique syntax to write songs, It really helps in progressive metal with all the crazy riffs and time signature changes. Donovan’s performance really made me reevaluate how i was using my voice, so tonally it could be cleaner and less forced without losing that sort of emotion. I’m still working on all that though, and i have a lot of room for improvement haha.
Chris, our guitarist and writer of the instrumentals for Painted Visions, is inspired by bands like Periphery, Animals as Leaders, and suchlike, but i feel like he has a “voice” of his own. His style is super distinct.
What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?
I listen to almost anything and everything (with the exception of country). I have to say it really does. Chris and I are studio-centric (I guess that’s what you would call it) and it helps inform sound design, technique and composition. You can hear in my writing that I listen to a lot of post-hardcore stuff, as well as math rock. I also listen to a lot of Jazz, Rap, Indie, Electronic, ect. All of our horizons are broad, and our minds open, so that helps immensely, both in terms of sound and knowledge.
I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?
I would like to say that we really appreciate every single person that supports us. Listen and enjoy but also don’t be afraid to talk to us. Hit us up on social media, give us some input on our videos on how we could improve, or even just to tell us you enjoyed it. Thank you guys for giving us this opportunity.