THEAUSSIEWORD.COM catches up with Liam from Crooked Colours.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
We had all been dabbling in various forms of creating music. Leon had been into electronic music from an early age collecting a vast array of synths, Phil playing acoustic gigs around Perth, and Liam was classically trained and influenced by his dad who was a music teacher. The love of creating music and then playing it in front of an audience was a massive driving force for the three of us to pursue more.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
We don’t pit ourselves against anyone else in terms of song or production quality, we just want to write the next song better than the last. Continually building on our own knowledge of music and our previous releases to write music that we are proud of.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
To be able to be a successful part of the industry for years to come, and not just be a flavour of the month then fade away into obscurity.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
We have Groovin the Moo straight into releasing our sophomore album Langata, and then our own national tour of Australia and straight into a run of summer festivals in the States. It’s a busy few months coming up!
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
‘Hold On’ was inspired by the beach and summer. We had spent a bit of time in the States and it was pretty cold and depressing. When we got home, we were craving the summer and that song was written at that time. It turned into a summery funky club tune. Our music can be a bit eclectic, at times clubby and then also chilled singer songwriter vibes. Overall it is best described as indie-electro.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
Anything. A thought, mood, surroundings or even a destination. We are constantly writing so everything is inspiration. I know that sounds like a very general answer, but it is honestly the truth. Every single song starts differently, sometimes it’s the beat first or some nice chord progression we are really digging. Then we just layer on top of that and continually work at until we have a track that we like or a track we never want to hear again, and we bin it.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
Hell yeah there is! But telling you guys that ruins everyone’s personal interpretation.
Success, what is the secret to it?
Commitment to continually work and continually sacrifice even and especially when it seems like you shouldn’t. You hit the threshold that most people give up at and you keep on pushing.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Selling out the Great American Music Hall was incredible. When we started Crooked Colours we never thought we would sell out a show overseas, especially one as great and has as much history as GAMH.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
The man behind Running Touch is very inspirational. We have had him on a few of our international tours and that man does. not. stop. When we are finding time to relax or have fun, he spends every moment working on new recordings or tweaking his set for the next night or editing film clips or working on one of his many music projects. He is one guy that uses every ounce of his being on his career.
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
Favourite is touring. Seeing the crowd reaction to our music creations is incredible. That’s the ultimate success! On the flip side, touring is where you miss out on everything else to do with your family and friends. There is nothing worse than being alone in a hotel room after an underwhelming show knowing that you are missing your best friend’s wedding where everyone you know will be there.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists
Running Touch. Safia. Rufus. Methyl Ethel. Mickey Kojak. Muto. Ninajirachi. Kayex. Ivan Ooze.
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?
Overall the Australian music industry has been incredibly supportive for us, but there are some people who haven’t been as fortunate. Some performers have been marginalised and the industry as a whole has been called out a fair few times in the last few years. I think and hope that that will create a more inclusive industry for the future.
Incidentally, we started just as social media was becoming widely used. In a sense our career has grown side by side with the rise of social media and we have relied quite heavily on using it to promote ourselves and what we have coming up. It’s great!
How do you plan on cracking the international market?
We have been on a few tours to Europe and to the US and each time we go back we have had progressively bigger shows. Germany is actually where we get the highest number of radio plays.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
We have collaborated with Ivan Ooze and Ladyhawke, other than that we have kept everything in house. Working with someone like Kanye would be incredible. Watching his work flow would be an experience.
What advice do you give for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Just keep going. Even if you need a break, take the time you need, then pick up where you left off and keep pushing forward.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your fans?
Love seeing our fans after a show! Catching up and finding out what they liked, even some small criticisms for the show or music. It’s all welcome! It’s nice for us to keep our ear to the ground when it comes to our fans. Let us know!