- Get your ears on Wet Paint.
Hot Boxing Day w/Wet Paint, KDZ,
The Sensi, Dead Horse Beats
Monday, December 26, 10pm
The Seahorse Tavern, 2037 Gottingen Street
Packing the Seahorse for a Boxing Day blowout of electronic music is becoming an annual tradition for Halifax producers James Gaudet and Dan Shanahan, AKA Wet Paint. While their live show on the road is typically the two of them, at home it's a more expansive experience with Shanahan getting behind the drum kit, Andrew Benoit (A Sight For Sewn Eyes) playing guitar and Liam Ring (Lindsay Misiner & The 7th Mystic) joining on saxophone.
"Our approach with hometown is we have a lot of creative control. We can fan out our whole band," says Shanahan.
In 2012, when Gaudet lived in Montreal, he played Evolve under the moniker Wet Paint. It wasn't until he moved back to Halifax that it morphed into a duo after Gaudet was introduced to Dan Shanahan through a mutual friend. Neither member had an electronic music background. Gaudet played in a bunch of bands, including garage-surf band Spooky Campers and electronic-shoegaze band Gigas.
"It's evolved from hip-hop electro stuff to weird bass music that's kind of like Keys N Krates, Flume, Odessa—but like a weird raunchy mix of all of them," says Gaudet.
At the time, Shanahan was producing hip-hop and drum and bass music, but the two producers figured they could learn from each other and crank out more music as a duo.
"We both come from interesting similar backgrounds to combine on an electronic front we never really considered doing before, yet ended up making that kind of music. It connected, it started to work," says Shanahan.
Over the past year, Wet Paint has rolled out songs from its album one at a time, starting with "Setting the Stage." The most recent release is "Miss You," a collaboration with New Glasgow producer Apriskah, who they met while playing a show together in his hometown. The pair was blown away by his production and went back and forth online, collaborating on the track.
"It's always good to add that extra pair of ears in the room," says Shanahan. "It really helps bring us out of our own little insulated place to make something we wouldn't normally make."
So far, Wet Paint has made festival-ready drum and bass songs, but wants to branch out and make more relaxed electronic R&B music, citing Daniel Caesar and Charlotte Day Wilson as comparisons of what the next wave of Wet Paint music might sound like.
The album "is basically a good way to wrap up the past year of what we've been doing into one capsule and say 'Here it is' and move on to something else," says Gaudet.
Getting feedback from the fans at live shows and on the internet lets Gaudet and Shanahan know what's working and inspires them to keep going.
"It's a weird, fickle genre," says Shanahan. "The great thing about it is it allows for a lot of adaptability. You can change your sound as long as people are still into it," .
The Boxing Day show features a live band, but on the road Wet Paint performs as a duo—either in a booth doing a DJ set or with Shanahan on drums and Gaudet mixing. That aspect might change as well. "Given our backgrounds," says Shanahan, "eventually it's going to come to us wanting to be a live band because that's what we know the most."