The first band to grace the student centre for an interview since LMFAO, Shauna O’Brien chats with Color//Sound about their formation, mixing college with work and their upcoming slot at Hard Working Class Heroes
Relaxed and sitting down with a well-earned cup of tea, the members of Color//Sound have quite a few things that they can be proud of. They’ve just finished their set at the UCD event, ‘Mind, Body and Soul’, Loud Mix, a showcase in the Button Factory was “one of their best gigs we’ve ever done”, while also releasing their music video for their first single, ‘To The Countryside’. On top of this, they’re finishing up their second single and prepping for their slot in Hard Working Class Heroes. Immediately the easy-going natures are seen as Ben Roe, the drummer of this four man group, excuses himself to go to the bathroom and is replaced by a bottle of screen cleaner, the remaining members spraying his answers, until his return. The three remaining lads introduce themselves; Brendan McGlynn, one of the guitarists and singers, takes lead, explaining how they came to form the band three years ago.
The band all met in college, coming together as part of an assessment where they had to prepare material for live performances and gigs. When given the first song, the lads found that they worked well together. Brendan reveals that there was no big raucous when they decided to actually be a band, after they “did a couple more jams and a couple of auditions for certain things”. A great moment for them all was a phone call from Music Maker’s John Paul last year, where they were informed that they’d reached the final of the ‘Searchlight’ competition. “I actually forgot about entering,” Brendan admits with a laugh, confessing his less than sober state when he received the call. Once his brain had caught up with what he’d been told, however, he knew it had the potential to kick start their band to another level.
It wasn’t all fun and games, though. Ben, now back in his seat, takes over from Brendan, explaining the time that had to go into the studio to record theta singles. The up-and-coming band go into detail about the long and arduous hours spent demoing with Music Maker. Viewing their material in such minute detail could be nerve-wracking for certain people, but the production team involved helped due to a good working relationship. “They were all really, really down to earth,” Oísín Furlong, a native of Dublin, says. “We got a kind of super group,” Brendan adds.
The four seem at ease with each other; working together so frequently gives a comfortable air. All of the band members sing and many of their covers, as well as their own ‘To The Countryside’, feature a lot of vocal harmonies. Oísín likes to think of it as “a whole different instrument in itself”, and it’s clear from their single that they’ve practiced and refined this instrument to near perfection. It was the harmonies that brought the four together; with completely different influences and backgrounds, a lot of their early material wildly varied from each other. A mixture of swapping instruments and songs, sitting down to write songs, and realising that the first song they played together had harmonies by chance, allowed them to find a way of channelling their influences together; no easy feat when self-confessed influences are Jeff Buckley, Explosions in the Sky and ABBA.
The next few months will be a pivotal point in Color//Sound’s career; their new single ‘The Wolves’ is set for released in November, once they balance the position of being in college and funding a music video simultaneously. They are entering “a high pressure situation”, which is mixed with excitement, of working on their next hour of set material. They all seem to know the game to play; Steven McCann knows an EP can’t be rushed, and Ben is all too aware that a successful song has to have a video to accompany it. They all look at Hozier, where all it took was one song and one video for him to sky-rocket to fame.
Hard Working Class Heroes is a chance to play in front of industry panels and people, but in such a big event, they want to ensure they won’t fall under the radar. Meeting people before the gig is essential, although Brendan isn’t too excited about the idea of five-a-side football competitions. “We’re playing at a place called Bad Bobs,” he continues. With a late slot of 10.40pm, they’re hoping this will draw a larger crowd to the venue.
At heart, the four are ordinary guys doing something that they love. Having supported a host of other Irish musicians, including Cathy Davey, they’ve started to realise that their idea of musicians being “unicorn riding, floating on clouds, wearing moleskins”, are actually far more ordinary and down to earth. “We’re just a bunch of people doing music.”
Color//Sound play Bad Bob’s tonight, October 3rd, as part of Hard Working Class Heroes