Interview: Three Colours

By on Friday, 22nd October 2010 at 12:00 pm

If you’re on the prowl for new music, then check out an emerging post-rock band, Three Colours. This unsigned band drips in coolness from their groovy dance beats to their catchy rock rhythms. Find out a little more about this talented group with the following interview from humorous frontman Tom Cajelo.

Upon listening to the song ‘Shministim’, it’s clear to hear the Bloc Party influence, amongst others. How would you describe your sound for first time listeners? And is Bloc Party an influence on the band or are we just assuming too much?
We’ll take that as a compliment first of all. Thanks. I’m personally a fan of their work and I respect what they’ve done. They created a sound that was commercially viable but still interesting and clever, then after their first album they just went, “fuck it, we’ll do we what we like now”…or at least that’s how it seemed. I always liked the dancey elements in their stuff, which is something we like to incorporate and maybe we have similar influences to them.

I guess I would describe our sound as progressive (but not ‘prog’ – I loathe that tag, because of the negative connotations it has, when really it shouldn’t have), melodic and hopefully something you can shake your ‘thang’ to. I guess we fall uncomfortably in to that ‘hard to categorise’ category, if you will, that journalists always seem to get wrong. We’ve had some flattering descriptions from people who’ve seen us though “at the drive-in playing Bloc Party’ and our personal favourite, “acid skiffle”.

We’d like to know how the band got started and when you formed. Can you give us a little background and some biography bits?
Our beginnings aren’t particularly unique. Will and I had played in a band together during and after college up in Hull, which was a very cosy place to start playing live music. Then we all went to university. Will and I went to London and the band split up. I joined a post-hardcore band whilst at uni, which also fairly recently split up, but he and I had always intended to start something new once we’d graduated. So once we were both done we decided to just do the usual musicians adverts and were lucky enough to find a kick-ass rhythm section in Mike and Paddy, who were in to the same stuff as us and additionally had lots of recording gear and programming/music tech knowledge, not to mention being thoroughly spiffing blokes, so we lucked out there, big time. We just got together over a beer one Sunday afternoon and a couple of weeks later we started rehearsing.

They had both played in bands before as well and were looking to do something new and something challenging so the songs came fairly quickly. Then we had a month or so troubleshooting and figuring out our live set-up before we booked our first show and it’s been all go since then really, then being November 2009.

Who does what in the band and what would you generally say the band’s songs sound like?
Will plays guitar and electric violin, which everyone seems to want to hear more of. It’s nice to have that option as an element in the music, but I think we’re careful not to overuse it. He also makes lots of atmospheric noises with his enviable array of pedals.

Paddy is responsible for bass and banter. He and I also do the bulk of the programming for out live sets, which involves a lot of head scratching, swearing and general bewilderment, although it seems to be getting better…*knocks on wood*. It’s an element we’re still mastering and figuring out how best to incorporate into the music without overpowering it, there’s been a lot of troubleshooting, but when it works I feel it can really make a difference.

Mike A.K.A. Barefills hits things in a rhythmic way and somehow manages to stay in time with a click track whilst trying to keep time with our arrhythmic playing, I’ve no idea how he does it. I’ve a suspicion he might be superhuman.

Finally I play guitar, sing and help out with the programming. I write most of the music in its raw state before it reaches the rehearsal room and gets chopped and changed and simmered down. Then I try to come up with some vaguely meaningful lyrics and melody, which often involves looping certain phrases, as I’m not particularly wordy.

It’s hard to say what any one song sounds like, cause I hope they all sound pretty different but I guess it’s the colours and sounds we create with the instruments that are the cohesive thread between each song; sorry for sounding a bit wanky. Although we try to approach each song with a fresh outlook we also try to make sure that each song, even the more mathy ones, has a good groove, cause we like to dance about and rock out, good melody/catchiness and good dynamics.

What’s the best thing about being in a band? How about the worst?
Best thing is definitely playing gigs. I get a real kick out of it, because especially with our live set-up there’s a lot of stuff that can go wrong, so you kinda ride that wave of excitement/mild apprehension. So it makes it all the more satisfying when we actually pull it off.

Worst thing is definitely the lugging around of shit. Mike’s the only band member with transport so we probably over rely on him (thanks Mike) to cart all our gear around. It’s our own fault for having too much stuff really, we don’t expect any sympathy, we just have to man up and get on with it.

What would the band like to do before the year is over? More songwriting, recording, touring or all of the above?
Definitely more songwriting. We spent a majority of the past year playing the same set, juggled around a bit, but we’ve started to incorporate some new stuff recently which I’m really enjoying. We have at least another 3 songs in the pipeline, which I’d like to start playing before the year’s out. We also did some recordings recently which we’re trying to figure out what to do with, possibly a digital release. Then we need to start planning for next year, which will hopefully involve lots of shows, tours, festivals (fingers crossed) and all the trimmings a band ought to have.

What can first time listeners expect with Three Colours, from both listening to your recorded songs and seeing you live?
Hmmm, I like to think we’re quite different live than on record. For example there are certain sections of songs which we only play live for one reason or another. I always think the live experience should be something different, unique and worth paying the extra for so we hold certain parts back.

I would ask first time listeners to keep an open mind, listen to the songs all the way through (for some reason the big moments seem to happen at the end of our songs, quite by coincidence) and probably give them a few listens before passing judgment, if you still don’t like it, then sorry for wasting your time. Live we simply aspire to Gloria Estefan’s maxim….”the rhythm is gonna get you”.

The band have recently been showcased by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and are currently recording their self-produced debut EP, which will be available later this year.

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