COLOUR release their new single ‘Minus’ this Friday, via their own COLOUR Recordings, as the second installment from their upcoming EP ‘The Famous Boy Making Things’ set for release in late autumn. The track opens with a heavy, bold bass line, bleeding into ecstatic riffs and punchy drums. Not to mention the genius lyrical work and swirling vocals similar to that of The Amazons’ front man Matthew Thomson. Blend all that together and you get something pure and original to add into the ‘Micro-Prog’ genre.
With the EP’s upcoming release, the quartet have already wowed crowds across the country this summer, and are sure to gain a small army of fans as the year draws to a close. GIGsoup’s Tara Atkinson spoke to front man James Tidd about the new single, EP and Paul McCartney.
Congratulations on the new single ‘Minus’! How does it feel to release it into the world?
Thank You! It feels great – the song has been bursting to get out for a short while and it’s the one track we’ve been dying for people to hear. This spells the beginning of a productive period for us as a band so we’re looking forward to making it a great start.
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Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration for the track?
Indeed! I was listening to a certain few mismatched influences that I was obsessing over at the time and they all seem to have small hallmarks in this song. The initial inspiration was me walking in the streets of some small town in Spain on holiday and hearing this huge deep subby noise! I didn’t know what it was but I loved the idea of starting the song like that. So I went back and put the bones of ‘Minus’ down. It was just the bass part at first, with the most sparse drums I had ever written, so it was cool to be pushing forward.
I was listening to Tune Yards’ album which is full of syncopation and stabby harmonies and also conversely some Phil Collins stuff, so I had music and hooks covered! The lyrics developed later as I got back from holiday and had a sad think about bills LOLOL. The outro is me deciding to hit back at life and sort myself out! The track represents our heaviest and yet most sparse song yet, which was nice wide dynamic to work with!
Your debut EP ‘The Famous Boy Making Things’ is set for release this autumn, what can we expect from it?
The EP is an album of 4 seasons basically. Each song has its own emblem on the front cover and each song represents one part of growing up (for better or worse). There is heaviness, lightness, harmonies and a lot of musically experimental guitar stuff – tied up in a way that we hope people will listen to just for fun. We are a band who hasn’t given up on the Great British guitar band legacy, we just feel there is a new way of doing it.
You’re releasing all your music via your own COLOUR Recordings, does this impact the way you make your music?
100%. It impacts everything about it, in both good and bad ways. Good because we have all the time in the world, and bad for exactly the same reason – as sometimes we rest on our laurels! Overall it is something we feel very lucky to have and that humility has really gone into the way we run and think of the band and the work ethic. It makes us feel like we need to deserve any success we get. The studio is just big enough to track all parts of our music as well as being a small office space for admin and practicing, we also have one other local band SPQR sharing the space with us – which means we have a sounding board for creativity.
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How did you come up with the name COLOUR?
Originally we were The Changes (please don’t tell anyone), then as soon as the band told me that was a rubbish name I suggested Block Colours (after the fashion movement) and as that sounded too much like Bloc Party (remember them?), I said I‘d always loved monumental single-name band names like Muse and Queen so Scott our guitarist suggested COLOUR.
I have to ask, what’s your favourite colour?
It’s red for me. And it’s plastered all over our EP!
Having burst onto the music scene in Liverpool last year, who are some other new bands we should keep a look out for?
Well I have to mention our studio co-residents SPQR, they are a very good alt band. The music is heavier and different from ours, but it shares the grandiose ambition and musicality, we count them as close friends and we enjoy being contemporaries with them.
The other artists we like locally we have more often than not produced or had in COLOUR studios are Elijah James and the Nightmares who are currently in recording new material – They’re an 8 Piece! It’s like a mixture between Lou Reed and Cat Stephens with a distinctive very low voice.
Poole is another great friend of ours and we produced his ‘Winters’ EP 4 years ago this week! – He has just signed to a new Liverpool label started by the last artist we like called Seven Years Behind, the label is called Doing Life Records and their kind and developmental almost non-profit approach is an example for us all. Big things deserved all round.
If you could gain recognition from one person in the music industry, dead or alive, who would it be?
It would probably be Paul McCartney. I could easily say Lennon, Bowie, Page or Hendrix – But I think McCartney is the real Don behind them all and he’s the one I keep going back to for guidance. Also my chances are best with Paul and he’s still alive and kicking so fingers crossed.
You’ve had a great summer playing some huge festivals, what’s been the highlight of it all for you?
Actually our favorite gig this year was small outdoor festival at Alexander’s Live in Chester called Loud and Local Festival. An incredibly warm audience that loved it enough to have us back several times and it just seems to have a very music-centric vibe. The live music community is alive and well there. Sometimes the intimate gigs are the ones where you get the best connection with an audience, and it’s all about making fans and converts for us!
How would you describe your sound to an alien?
Throw The Police, Foals, Queen, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Dirty Projectors, a piano, a Dylan Lyric Book, 2 guitars and some red paint into a blender – you’ll get the ‘Famous Boy Making Things’ EP.
Don’t miss the chance to catch COLOUR live at small venues while you still can:
19th Oct – Magnet, Liverpool
28th Oct – Notting Hill Arts Club, London
1st Nov – EBGBS, Liverpool (Supporting Little Cub)