10 for 2012 Interview: Films of Colour

By on Thursday, 22nd December 2011 at 11:00 am

Films in Colour, the band you TGTF readers voted to the top spot in our 10 for 2012 poll, answered some questions for us just as they were hunkering down for the holidays. They tell us how they feel being compared to Coldplay and Foals, how crossing the pond will be the furthest they’ve travelled other than Middlesbrough (!), and of course, we had to ask them about that David Bowie cover…

How did you come up with the name Films of Colour? Are films a big influence on you personally and/or professionally?
It’s from an Aldous Huxley essay called ‘Heaven and Hell’, which is in a kind of two-part series with ‘The Doors of Perception’. Some guy called Jim Morrison named his band after the latter. It’s basically one man’s experience with mescalin, in which he sees ‘delicate floating films of colour’, so it actually has nothing to do with movies! We just liked the image of many layers.

Who decided, “okay, we’re going to tackle a David Bowie song”? Did you have any reservations before attempting the cover? Now having done it, how do you feel about it? (Relief? Pride?)
We were approached back in 2009 by Bowie’s publishing team asking if we were up for covering one of his songs. Covering an artist as prolific as Bowie is fraught with danger, I think that’s why we picked a lesser known song and ‘Slow Burn’ stood out as a track that melodically we could relate to. I think relief definitely, the reception from the Bowie community was always very important and to be featured on David Bowie’s official Web site was an honour. I don’t think we won over 100% of the faithful, but the majority of feedback we got was very positive.

How did you hear about Tony Visconti’s take on your cover? (I’m a little confused…did you send him this track as a demo b/c you wanted to work with him for your producer on your future material?)
It’s that classic “it’s not what you know…” story again. Our manager used to work with Bowie and Tony, he sent Tony the track, he liked it. Next thing we know is that Tony is visiting from America to come to a rehearsal. Very surreal night in a tiny East London practice room ensues! He’s the genuine article, lovely guy, great stories, and we remain in contact.

What is like being signed to Fierce Panda? Where they one of the indie labels you felt would be a good fit for your band?
We were technically signed to Fierce Panda through their single label, Club Fandango. When they were up for doing our first single we were chuffed, as they are a really great label with a history. We cannot speak highly enough of Simon Williams, Martin and the Panda team. Would love to work with them again someday.

There’s a lot of good talk going around your appearance at SXSW in March. Are you excited to be going to the States?
Absolutely, not sure it has really sunk in yet to be honest. I think the furthest away we’ve been from home is Middlesbrough? We are sure going to make the most of it. The plan is to stop off in New York for a few days, do some busking, filming etc., before heading to Austin. And hopefully when we are at SXSW we’ll do a handful of shows to offset the handful of forms you have to fill out to enter the country!

Will this be your first time there / first time playing there? Are you going to try and woo American labels when you’re over?
It will be our first SXSW. Sure, we’d love to meet American labels, but I think our SXSW will be purely just drumming up a bit of interest in a new place. Giving away as many CDs as humanly possible in 4 days, etc. We’d rather just worry about playing a gig than who might be watching.

Reviewers often compare bands to other bands that have come before. Who have you been compared to? Which bands did you feel honoured to be compared to? Which comparisons struck you as particularly bizarre?
Did you know this is the hardest question that Films of Colour ever seem to get asked for some reason. We all like different stuff so for example, we’ve been compared to Coldplay before. Two out of four might feel honoured, the other two will find it bizarre. That might work the other way round if someone compares to Foals. I guess it’s just a case of what you want to hear. I think as a general rule in music everyone feels honoured to be compared to Radiohead, right? No one has said we sound like KISS, that would be particularly bizarre.

As an up and coming band, what misconception about your band do you want to dispel up front?
A lot of people get put off by the word ‘Coldplay’, but it’s a double-edged sword. We implore you to come and see us live and make up your own mind.

When can we expect your next release?
The next release is due around SXSW time (End of February/March 2012). Although we do tend to put up free downloads from time to time on our website: http://www.filmsofcolour.com or our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/filmsofcolour

What do you predict for yourselves in 2012?
More of the same! A few more singles, lots more gigs. New ways of getting music out there and meeting people. And at some point, the album. Hopefully we can justify our number one spot on the ‘There Goes the Fear 10 of 2012’!! Onwards and upwards.

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