Interview: Colours Of One
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Miff - Loving listening to music and wanting to contribute that sort of thing to the world - wanting to communicate thoughts and feelings.
Paul - I agree, the absolute love of listening to music, and then finding the means to actually create music from absolutely nothing! Like putting a physical entity onto ideas that you’ve personally created and collaborated with these lovely boys to create music. It’s such a good feeling. But personally, I can’t imagine not being into music, because it is such an important part of who we are, who other people are.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Miff - I enjoy keeping fit with resistance training, running and walking, stuff like that. I’m not sure how much it necessarily influences creativity, but I suppose it’s always a plus to have an outlet where your mind is focusing on other things.
Paul - Video games and movies. (and obviously listening to music). I have music on constantly! Always listening to something. I think from consuming media such as video games or movies, it helps inspire flow or thought-provoking ideas, where you can question certain things or topics. As for listening to music, I absolutely LOVE hearing what other drummers come up with and the creativity that they show.
How long has your band been around?
Three of us (Mike, Miff and Paul) have been playing together in some form or another since 2003. Lewis completed our lineup in 2013.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Miff - We’re a South Wales-based band, and we were quite heavily influenced by the scene that really exploded out of here around 10-15 years ago. There was a time where there seemed to be bands at every rung of the ladder, and it really made it seem possible to reach people and get somewhere with your music.
Paul - Yeah, the sense of community around the local music scene was amazing and very supportive. It was so much fun being able to be super creative as well as a part of a great community. For me, it influenced creativity by exploring bands and music at all levels.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The name Colours Of One comes from the Incubus song “Redefine” -
So modify this third rock from the sun
By painting myriads of pictures
With the colors of one
To us, it was just the first name suggested that not even a single one of us outright hated! We also, at the time, had only a few bands that we all collectively liked. There was always one member who “didn’t like someone” where the rest of us did but we ALL agreed on our love for Incubus. So it seemed fitting we explore their creative productions and see if we could take inspiration from them.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Miff - For the worst reason, Bannermans in Edinburgh; we turned up to the venue on the last date of our tour, on the opposite side of the country, and were told that the promoter double-booked us and high-tailed it out of the country on a plane that morning. Thankfully Jonah Matranga, who was the other act, is an absolute gentleman and let us open for him and sleep in one of the rooms above the venue that night. For the best reason, the launch of our Apparitions EP at Hobos, Bridgend - it was an absolutely wonderful night.
Paul - There was also the time we played Llandrindod Wells (good luck pronouncing that one!) It was a stop on a tour closer to home and we had been billed as headliners of one of the festival days. Having never been there, we had no idea what sort of response we would get. After seeing the bands throughout the day perform and their supportive crowd leave and then others come back for the next band, my thoughts were “oh well, no-one knows us, no-one will stay but I guess we’ll see what happens!” Fast forward to setting up, the stage was completely stripped and we brought in our entire backline and we were so pre-occupied with setting up, we didn’t really notice anything else. As soon as we set up, it was time to start straight away. When we were ready to go, we looked up to a PACKED room! We debuted our new song “Echoes” and by the end of the song, the crowd was singing it back to us.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Miff - We’ve been lucky enough to play at some incredible venues over the years, from our local haunt Hobos in Bridgend to the Clapham Grand and London’s 229. Really though, as long as the sound is good it’s more the crowd that makes a venue than the walls that you’re playing between.
Paul - For me, I always enjoy playing Hobos in Bridgend. It’s our hometown and a hometown
show is always so much fun. But I completely agree with Miff. It’s the crowd that makes the venue.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Miff - Any of our individual heroes would be great, say Biffy Clyro, Jimmy Eat World, Pearl Jam et al. Pearl Jam would be high on the list because of how much of a celebration each of their shows seems to be from an audience perspective.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Miff - That there’ll always be someone with more connections than you that will get certain shows or opportunities far easier. Disregard that and just focus on connecting with people, because that’s what really matters.
Paul - Practice a lot. Once you’re confident and feel good playing, that will show, and you’ll have so much fun.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Miff - Very similar to the above really. Oh, and invest in BitCoin/Zoom.
Paul - Lottery numbers or a sports almanac too just in case?
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Paul - I love our new song “Things That Have Learned to Walk” unreleased track from our album “Vessels” out April 1st (boom, plugged!) but in all seriousness, we wrote that song very strangely, so much so that in the studio, I ended up playing drums to no music at all, because there were ideas of what the end product would be. I then hadn’t heard the music written on top. I was then out walking one boiling hot morning and I had the final mix sent through. Listening to it gave me goosebumps and got me choked up. It’s a good one.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Favourite to play - Bones Of Hope, Craters Lip
Most requested – RLD or Echoes probably. Outside of Freebird, of course.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
It varies, really. We don’t have one set way of writing a song. Sometimes one of us will bring in
an almost completed song, whereas other times we might jam something out based on a single riff or chord progression. Our song Haunts, for example, was written collaboratively, but in isolation from each other - Miff came up with an initial guitar part, which Lewis then took and layered other instrumentation on, and wrote a bunch of other parts, and then Mike wrote lyrics and arranged that long, sprawling piece of music into a coherent song…..which none of us then knew how to play all the way through!
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Miff - Subliminal ones that say “Buy our music and merch”
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Miff - Yes. And through gratuitous, visceral physical violence.
Paul - But we have learned to use our voices more over the years.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Miff - We’re releasing Vessels, our debut album, on April 1st, and beyond that we’re hoping to play a bunch of shows in support of that, and yell about it to anyone who’ll listen! We’ve also recently talked about booking a couple of days in a remote location and hammering out an EP in that time, in stark contrast to how long the album took us!