We recently spoke with Night's Bright Colours about their great album.
Growing up, what are some of your earliest musical memories? My grandfather was a professor of music and choral director at a small college. He had a huge 1950’s style record player/cabinet that he had built from scratch and I remember listening to all kinds of music growing up, classical, choral, musicals, jazz. That, and listening to my mom’s piano playing are my earliest musical memories. You perform under 'Night's Bright Colors' - is there a story behind choosing that name? I’ve always had insomnia and as a result tend to do most of my creative work at night. One night, I misheard the lyric to Paul Simon’s Kodachrome as “…they give us those night’s bright colors” and the name seemed to capture the nature what I was doing. Your self-titled album is out now. What was the writing process for the collection of songs? This collection of songs represents a number of years of writing and recording. Before this album, I was home recording and releasing music in the mid-90’s DIY tradition, mostly low-fi acoustic songs. This album is a compilation of some of those songs re-recorded in a studio with a wonderful producer/musician Kevin Boggs, who really fleshed out a lot of the ideas and arrangements. Is there a track on the album that is a personal favourite? It changes from time to time, but my current favorite is probably “The Art Of Misdirection” because it ended up being entirely different in mood than what I originally had, a little more sinister, maybe, that fits the overall deceptive nature of the lyrics. And I think the piano outro ended up coming together better than I expected. What can new listeners expect from listening to 'Night's Bright Colors', is there an overall theme? I originally chose a song list that I thought would be musically diverse but cohesive in the unifying concept of nostalgia. In hindsight, there seems to be more of a political theme to me. Hopefully it’s not too overt because I would never presume to speak with any sort of authority on global events, but I’m definitely troubled by developments in America and the world.
Which other artists are you listening to at the moment, who can you recommend to our readers? Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of British music; The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Smiths, The Cure, Slowdive, and Trash Can Sinatras. The latter, especially, never seemed to get their due in America, at least. Just really clever songwriting. Which other artists have influenced your songwriting style? As mentioned earlier, the DIY movement had a profound influence on my development. Recording at home on a 4 track so many years ago was the first time it really seemed possible that I could do all the things I wanted to do and had been dreaming about for so long, in the way that I wanted to do it. As technology has improved so much since then, it’s only become easier for anyone to pursue and create the music that is inside of them (which , I believe, everyone has, regardless of experience). So those pioneers, Elliott Smith, Guided By Voices, The Elephant 6 Collective, were/are invaluable to me.
What's next for Night's Bright Colors? I’m currently working on the follow up to this record (again, with Kevin). It’s slightly more experimental in terms of song structure and texture but it is connected thematically to this album. I’m really excited about it.