Email interview with Garret (vocals) of The Color Morale. The band’s Rise Records debut, We All Have Demons, hits stores on September 1st. Click the band link to check out some new songs.
Can you give us a little background of the band?
Most of us have been playing together for about 5 years now, but it wasn’t until a year ago that we re-evaluated our purpose as a band and decided to start fresh. We weren’t happy with the musical direction of our band, or the lack of honesty presented in what we were doing. We have now been The Color Morale for about a year. Our band consists of Ramon Mendoza, John Bross, Steve Carey, Garret Rapp, and Justin Hieser.
You guys seemingly, at least for most people, came out of nowhere and signed to one of the premiere labels in the scene today. So how did you connect with and finally sign with Rise Records?
We have been playing the Midwest nonstop for about 5 years now. After we called it quits with our old project we decided to really focus on the fundamentals of what it would entail to pursue music as a profession, while not compromising in the slightest the integrity involved in what we wanted to accomplish as a band with beliefs in faith. For so long some of us were afraid of the ridicule that comes along with “claiming” things whether that be religion, lifestyle, musical preference, whatever. Our first step was to write diverse, honest, heartfelt songs that were a reflection of what we wanted to express as a whole. Collectively we have gone through so many difficult obstacles as individuals; this mission would be a brotherhood of doing what is necessary to be better people and better musicians, no matter what the cost. The one thing we didn’t do in the last 5 years was give up. After recording 6 songs with Joey Sturgis, we very quickly grabbed attention from numerous labels and in the end Rise was our best fit. Craig and Matthew are doing some awesome things at Rise and we’re stoked to be a part of it. Huge thanks you to Ben Jorgensen as well for being our big brother and flashlight through this dark cornfield called the music industry haha.
Do your best to describe your sound to our readers.
We have a strong influence in so many different genres, we really just wanted to create a sound that people could call The Color Morale. There’s such a lack of originality and substance in our genre nowadays, we just wanted to write something real, something you feel. That was the goal when we started writing.
Are they any bands that have influenced your love for music and more specifically The Color Morale’s sound?
Oh man this list is endless…to name a few: Mxpx, Sunny Day Real Estate, Norma Jean, The Felix Culpa, Reliant K, Jimmy Eat World, Misery Signals, Life in Your Way, Russian Circles, Periphery, and Deftones.
So let’s get into the new album, We All Have Demons. What can we expect from this album?
We wanted to write an album that had a theme, a place that it takes you. Every aspect needed to correlate, from lyrics to the album art to the live show. We wanted to write lyrics that were something you could connect to and feel for yourself, as they should be. The songs needed to be something just new and honest, especially in light of all the carbon copy trash that’s being created nowadays. We aren’t boastful at all, nor do we think we’re better than anyone…but you really have to question the integrity of some of the stuff that’s going on in music. To us, if there’s no meaning, there’s no point.
Did you have these songs already written before signing to Rise or did you get together and write the whole album after?
We had all of these songs written & Rise signed us with 6 of them recorded. Fortunately we got to go back out to Indiana and record 4 more songs for the record with Joey Sturgis which was awesome because Joey is one of the raddest guys ever.
Where did you guys end up recording the album? How was it working with them?
We did all of this album at The Foundation Studios in Connersville Indiana. It was a very exciting experience for us, being that this was all a new experience and something we have all worked hard towards for years, especially working with such an awesome producer like Joey Sturgis. Def. check out the new Prada or Plea record for a taste of what Joey does to aid in awesomeness.
Had you released any albums prior to this one? Did this recording experience differ from your previous experience(s)?
We All Have Demons will be our debut album. This experience was pretty different than anything in past projects. There’s some surrealism involved in knowing that your debut album will be released on a label like Rise Records after you finish recording it. We’re still kinda giddy about September 1st 🙂
Were you guys able to choose the artist who did the artwork for the new album? Who ended up handling that?
Rise gave us a lot of freedom to reach out to artists for album detail. We actually had the album concept started a year ago when we recorded our first 6 songs. Our artwork was done by Synapse Design. We gave Glenn a concept and from his artwork to his photography he couldn’t have been more spot on to what we wanted. The Myspace layout he designed for us blew us away as well. I can honestly say that our album art is one of our favorite album details of the year, couldn’t be happier! Go check out some of his other projects he’s done: Synapse Design. I suggest checking out The Dear Hunter and Lydia’s Myspace pages, you’ll say wow.
I’m assuming you guys will be doing a lot of touring in support of the new album. Can you give us any details for upcoming tours?
Our first official tour (as of now) is with Attack Attack this fall. We are very excited about this, those guys are awesome dudes and put on one of the most energetic live shows around. We’re very grateful to be able to go out on such an extensive tour for our first trip out. For dates go to www.myspace.com/thecolormorale.
Who are some bands that you would really like to tour with in the near future?
Again this list would be extensive. Some bands that I think we would mesh well with and also seem to always be out would be bands like Gwen Stacy, Oh Sleeper, Emery, The Devil Wears Prada, Norma Jean, Emarosa, A Day to Remember, Sky Eats Airplane, Misery Signals, and on and on. Pretty much anyone willing to take us out at this point haha.
Last question, do you view TCM as a ministry or just a band made up of Christians? Can you give us some insight into that?
Well we see it like this…we don’t ever want to be forcing our beliefs on people, nor do we judge or look down on anyone for theirs. If someone asks about what our faith entails, or asks to be educated on Christianity, we feel like it’s our purpose as saved Christians to share that love of Christ. We feel as though the purpose of our band is to spread Christ’s love by just being who we are and doing what we do. I can speak for us all when I say that our faith has saved each 5 of our lives, and we owe them to Him. This is our mission statement for our band and the reason we are anything not of this world. We are blessed to be in this position to share our experiences and faith. We are also blessed to be able to share this immeasurable love for music as well. I would be so thankful if every kid that buys the album just took the time to read over the lyrics. Maybe they could find them as they found us.
Is there anything that you’d like to leave with our readers before we conclude?
There’s a certain level of modesty I want to press upon. We are so so thankful for what’s been given to us thus far. We kept one thing strong in our hearts over the years as a band and it was to never give up, both as a band and as us. The people that connect to what we are doing as a band are the people that mean the world to us. We don’t view them as fans, we view them as family, no matter what religion or background they come from. You guys are the reason we get to do what we do, we’re forever grateful for you. We are so young in our career and some of the stories and outreach involved in this band already have been truly awe-inspiring and surreal to us daily. I never would have thought I would have the blessing placed upon me to save anothers life. I’m brought to tears just thinking about it. We are blessed to be this chosen. Thank you so much!
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