Having spent the last few years building up their reputation for fresh and exciting pop-rock stunners, Welsh outfit Colours Of One are now looking to do it again on their latest effort 'Haunts'.
Lifted from their upcoming debut album 'Vessels', 'Haunts' reintroduces us to the group with gusto and aplomb. Filled with soaring melodies, powerful production, and some seriously stunning riffs, this new release showcases them as ones to keep a firm eye on in the near future.
So with the single out and about, we sat down with them to find out more about their background and what has inspired them most over the years.
What were the first instruments you fell in love with?
Somewhat surprisingly, all our first loves have ended up being the role we’re in within the band now. Mike and Miff both started on guitar, Paul on drums, and Lewis is one of those very rare bassists who actually started out as a bassist, rather than picking up the guitar first and moving to bass afterwards!
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Other than the bands and artists that we love listening to, we all enjoy being able to create something out of nothing. It’s really satisfying to take all our individual influences and find the common ground necessary to create something we’re all really proud of.
What kind of music did you love as teenagers?
Pop-punk was the gateway drug for all of us into the world of rock, and for a couple of us that evolved into bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Incubus, and for Lewis bands like Switchfoot and Biffy Clyro.
What inspires you to make music?
I think it’s mainly the desire to communicate and explore ideas and sounds, and to be able to do that within a tight friendship group is really rewarding.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
We’ve recently started making some of our own Spotify playlists, and we’ve found some bands that we really like from there. Some of them on our heavy rotation at the moment are Baxtr, Asylums, The Capital and Lizzie Farrall.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Quite a few. Off the top of my head, maybe eight? Overall our songs tend to be balanced between social and political topics and personal experiences. For the songs that are about people in our lives, they’ve tended to lean more towards songs in memory of loved ones we’ve lost, or of frustration in the decisions that people we care about have made – we’re not really your classic love-song kind of band!
What has been the funniest moment in your career so far?
Whilst it wasn’t really funny at the time, the benefit of hindsight has lightened up our view of one event! We ended up having a very strange experience in Edinburgh at the end of a tour in 2013. It was the very last date of the tour, and we’d arranged with the promoter to stay in the flat above the venue after the show before the long drive home to South Wales. When we got there, nobody had heard of us, and the promoter who had booked us had boarded a flight to the US that morning. To make matters worse, the venue was already hosting a show for Jonah Matranga that night, who had arranged to stay in the flat that we were meant to be staying in.
Thankfully, Jonah Matranga is a thoroughly decent bloke, and came to an agreement with the venue that we’d take one of the rooms in the flat, and he’d use the rest of it, and he even allowed us to open the night for him. I don’t think we were quite his fans’ cup of tea though, being a bit heavier (and certainly at the time) I think people thought we were a bit of a strange choice of opener for a solo acoustic act!
Mike, unfortunately, pretty much froze solid overnight after that, not realising that our then-guitarist and roadie were sleeping on top of a bunch of spare sleeping bags. Maybe if Mike was to answer this question, he might pick another story for the “funniest”…
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Pearl Jam or Jimmy Eat World.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Well, it’s funny you should ask! Considering Rishi Sunak’s recent advice to those within the arts to consider retraining as something else, a couple of us had a go at the government’s Buzzfeed-esque questionnaire to see what we’d be best suited too. Apparently I’d make a good boxer (my face would disagree), and Lewis is destined to become a football referee (he does like stripey tops, in fairness).
In all seriousness, as with most independent rock bands, we all have day jobs that ‘pay the bills’, so to speak. Lewis manages a music venue in Cardiff called Porter’s, Paul runs a window and door fitting company, and Mike and I work in a couple of the Universities in Cardiff.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as musicians?
From a musical point of view, the best piece of advice I’ve ever had was to combat writer’s block – write a bad song. It’s never really the case that you’re literally unable to write anything; it’s just that everything you’re coming up with feels derivative and isn’t pushing you in the direction you want to go in as a writer, but sometimes creativity needs a bit of a kick-start, and so if you just apply some rules like “I’m going to write a song using only these four chords” then at least you have some sort of framework to start with, and then the melody or rhythm can often lead you to decisions to break those rules anyway, and that’s where the fun starts! Sometimes it’s just difficult to convince yourself that a mediocre idea is worth ploughing on with.
From a band perspective though, I think it’d have to be to just keep on pushing. It’s a hard old slog in this game, but it’s important to not get disheartened and to keep on trying, no matter the obstacles that you come across. When you care about something as much as we do, it’s important to not give up or lose hope.
Colours Of One's new single 'Haunts' is available to stream and download now. Check out the new video for it in the player below.