theaussieword.com catches up with Colour For The Grey…
Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music?
I started playing music way back in school…originally I was a classical trumpet player, playing in ensemble or orchestras. It was a good start—it’s a given for me that you need more than one person to create music. That feeling of being a small cog in a bigger machine hasn’t gone away—that sense of a group of people, even if they have very different backgrounds, all working for a common shared singular purpose (and all communicating non-verbally) is a really powerful and addictive feeling.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Trying to convey a story or an emotion accurately is a goal for me…when you think about it, music is an abstraction from just telling someone how you feel. That abstraction can be a challenge, and challenge is always a good motivation. For example, the track Will Remain on our EP is just the same four chords over and over…we wanted to try and portray a set of feelings in as simple a way as possible, and in this instance we wanted to see if we could do it just through instrumentation and arrangement.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
These days the expectation that you’re going to make it big and be successful is unrealistic. In Colour For The Grey we’ve all got careers and some of us families so I think we’re fairly low key in our expectations. I think if you can affect even just one person, and make them feel something through your music that’s almost enough. I do say almost though…I don’t think I’d say no to a record deal and a world tour!
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
The industry at the moment doesn’t appear to be so reliant on the big releases and the big gigs. We’re hoping to start doing small releases of material constantly…look to our youtube channel and facebook page for new material getting put out there regularly in the coming months.
Tell us a bit about your latest album and how would you best describe your music?
We’re really happy with the EP we’ve just released. We’re very lucky to have a space down in Port Melbourne, so we recorded it ourselves over the last six months. Hopefully you can hear that in the music…we were fairly relaxed and un-rushed in the way we recorded the pieces, and we were going with a wintery feel to the tracks to match the release date. I’d describe our music as somewhere between folk and melodic post-rock…it’s emotive and expressionistic.
Success, what is the secret to it?
I don’t know, if you know someone who has figured it out, can you get them to call us?
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Justin Vernon of Bon Iver is a big inspiration. He’s so prolific at the moment, with so many diverse and different side projects. He brings such a unique sound to whatever he does; you can tell that he’s not trying to be anybody else but himself.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
The weight of the size of the industry, and the impossibility of ‘cracking’ it can be an oppressive thing. I think its important to primarily do music for yourself—you need to enjoy the whole act of producing and performing and take joy from it on its own. That way you stay true to creating something that is really from you, and it can also keep you going.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Australia produces so many great artists for the size of our population. I’m a product of the nineties, so topping the list would be The Dirty Three and Warren Ellis followed by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. I’d be remiss not to include Paul Kelly…he’s such a great story-teller through his songs.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
The whole idea of social media as a game-changer is a bit of a misnomer in my opinion. Yes, the internet has been a democratiser in terms of the ability to get your music out there but the fact remains you still need to gain followers or fans by having something worthwhile to listen to. I think the biggest game-changer hasn’t been Twitter or Facebook, but rather the diminishing cost of being able to record and produce a track. Ten years ago, you pretty much had to stump up the cash or get label backing to go into a studio to record music—That was a huge barrier to entry for many people. These days it really is possible to produce something yourself. But following up on the recording, I think, is pretty much the same as it always has been. You still need to get people to listen to your music somehow.
Be excellent to each other!