The Legend of Secret Life of Painters


Vocals / Guitar- John Hofman

Lead Guitar- Aaron C Kiley

Bass Guitar- Dan Cortez

Drums- Matt Castleberry (the Castle)

Magic- Richard Zell (Captain Krichopi)

Secret Life of Painters began as a two man recording project back in 2000.  John Hofmann and Aaron Kiley (cousins) had just broken up their previous band Red Shifter, and had a new batch of songs that were more psychedelic than rock.

With the new addition of ½" Analogue 8 track machine, they began work on what was to eventually become The Sound of Your Chains EP. With John on Drums, Guitars, Vocals, and Bass and Kiley on Guitars, Vocals, Keys, Bass, and sound effects, the two created the nucleus of the Secret Life of Painters’ sound.

After years of writing and recording demos as a two-man skeleton crew, Kiley and Hofmann decided to ease the load and get someone to cover the bass guitar and drum duties.

Dan Cortez was the natural choice for bass, as he had been in Red Shifter and The Secret Fox with the Cousins.  Ryan Kennedy was recruited on the drums just as he was in the previous two bands with John and Kiley.

This first line up lasted for a short time, but ultimately, Ryan Kennedy’s other obligation as the bass player for Ruben’s Accomplice left him no time to play drums for S.L.P.

Matt “The Castle” Castleberry was a friend of the band’s unofficial lawyer, Pat Tony.  The Castle had just moved to Phoenix from Los Angeles and was looking for a rock band to join.  Pat knew S.L.P. were looking for a drummer and set up a meeting for The Castle to meet the band.  After a few rehearsals, The Castle was undoubtedly the new Drummer.

On March 11th, 2005, Secret Life of Painters played their first show (after five years of being a band!) at The Emerald Lounge in Phoenix.  The crowd response was phenomenal, and the band sounded huge.

This gave S.L.P. the boost they needed to take it to the next level.  The first full-length album is now underway, and the second full length is coming very soon.  This is just the beginning for Secret Life of Painters, and the future looks very bright.

John Hofmann

John’s first experience playing in a band was in Pine Wyatt.  He cut his teeth writing skewed punk / post modern songs with his friends Ryan Kennedy and Pete Schmidt.

Pine Wyatt experienced some success opening for such acts as Sebadoh, Karate, Silkworm, and other national touring acts.  Touring with friends Jimmy Eat World across the Mid West and Texas gave  Hofmann the desire to keep making music.

The next two bands were The Secret Fox (an all Guided by Voices cover band) and Red Shifter (an all original band with Kiley, Dan, and Ryan Kennedy).  The Secret Fox helped improve Hofmann’s singing, while Red Shifter was teaching him how to write songs.  John Hofmann is a work in progress.  Always up to something.

Aaron Kiley

Kiley’s first Rock band was Red Shifter.  He and his cousin John had always wanted to start a rock band together and Red Shifter was it.  Kiley began singing lead vocals on some songs and back up vocals on other songs in R.S.  This was also Kiley’s first experience writing songs with another songwriter.  Aaron fell perfectly into the role of “Lead guitar player” with his varied musical tastes, and skills on the fret board after years of bedroom practice.

Kiley quickly began writing catchy guitar lines and interesting lyrics that were a perfect union to his cousins stuff. Kiley is an astute reader and conversationalist, and also an author of short stories.   Mr. Kiley is also Secret Life of Painters secret weapon.....dangerous.

Dan “The Senator” Cortez

Dan Cortez began his bass career by playing in the all Guided by Voices cover band The Secret Fox with Hofmann, and Kiley.  He quickly learned the basics of what to play, and what not to play.

Cortez was also in Red Shifter with the cousins.  It is easy to see why he was the first choice when John and Aaron needed a bass player for Secret Life of Painters.

Dan’s musical background is firmly rooted in bass savvy bands such as The Meat Puppets, and REM.  He brings a melodic finesse to the S.L.P. sound that is heavily influenced by the catchy bass lines of the great Paul McCartney, and Mike Mills.

Dan earns his nickname “The Senator” by being able to talk his way into or out of any situation, and his preference for expensive cigars.  Dan is the guy to send in the hotel lobby to get the best rate.

Matt “The Castle” Castleberry

The Castle is the newest member of the band.  He brings many things to the S.L.P party.  His powerful drumming has helped to change a psychedelic little local band into a full-blown rock and roll powerhouse.

His enthusiasm and positive attitude have been a major kick in the ass to the rest of the band.  Before Castle joined the band, they never played a single show.

Matt also designs the band’s merchandise, and with the help of Hofmann, Castle designs and Maintains the band’s Website.  His musical tastes are varied with the new and old alike.

But his playing is pure Rock.  Elements of Zeppelin and The Who can be heard in his thunderous drum beats. Castle is the most positive thinking member of S.L.P. and helps keep the band on track.