London’s alternative collective Colouring has been hard at work on their new EP Symmetry, which just came available on December 2nd. We spoke with frontman Jack Kenworthy about their influence, band chemistry, and superheroes. But first, take a listen to the EP’s twinkling new title track.
What’s your official origin story?
We all met over quite an extended period of time. Me and Dom (Bass) grew up together. We started playing music together when he was 9 and I was 13. We played together throughout high school in various different bands. We met Sean (guitar) in 6th form and started playing together a few years back when we were looking for a guitarist to start a band. At the same time, I met Alex (Drums) at uni and we all just started playing together in our house in South East London and listening to music. From early on, we all realised we loved the same stuff. We quickly became pretty close.
What are some of the earliest records you can remember leaving a lasting impact on you?
Thriller was the first album I fell in love with. (I know, not bad for a first record?!) My brothers all listened to music like The Beatles, Hendrix, Clapton, Oasis etc which I all loved as a kid but when I was about 7, my Dad bought me Thriller on cassette from a car boot sale. He said ‘you have to listen to this’ and I remember thinking ‘oh here we go’. The front cover looked cheesy with this young guy doing a David Brent pose in a bright white suit, holding a tiger. And the font on the back was like something off of Miami Vice. At that time, Oasis and guitars were cool. But Dad sat me down and played it to me and I remember just being completely blown away by track 1, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’. I didn’t even get to track 2 for about a week… I just didn’t care what else was on the album, I thought this song was incredible! Then Dad played me Billie Jean and that was it…I was obsessed with that record. We had this bright red boombox which I would just sit and stare at in complete ore of what was coming out of the speakers.
Also, Night Train by Oscar Peterson changed a lot for me. I played piano a bit as a kid but only knew of classical piano which wasn’t the most eliciting thing to me then. But when I heard Oscar play at about 12, I thought it was the coolest shit in the world! I just couldn’t believe it… that a piano could sound like that. It’s still one of my favourite records.
It was always a bit of an obsession from a young age. I could always work out melodies by ear on the piano, even before I knew what any of the notes were. It was my party trick at primary school to try and impress my mates! Music was always played around the house and we had a piano in the living room, which I still use today. My Dad and brothers all played guitar and I was always desperate to join in. Mum loved music too so it was just part of the furniture of our house. Music was just seen as a necessity as opposed to a luxury.
Do you feel more chemistry between you while in the studio, playing a live show, or just being on the road?
We just got off tour with The Japanese House the other day actually. I think we’re the closest we’ve ever been, musically and personally. We’re having so much fun playing together, every night has a new energy with somebody bringing something fresh to the music. We’re listening to each other better than ever too, i’m very excited to get back in the studio after this tour.
What’s the perfect frame of mind for a new listener to take in your most recent single, “Everything Has Grown”?
Sounds cheesy but I guess a peaceful one. It’s quite a lot different to the music we’ve released before which was more electronic/dance based. Everything Has Grown comes from more folk traditions and storytelling.
It’s a pretty personal song to me. I think everyone knows the feeling of looking back on a difficult time in their lives and finally finding peace with it.
What’s your dream collaboration?
Oh man…there’s too many. Joni Mitchell? Or Kendrick Lamar… Or Miles Davis! Any of those will do, we’re really not fussy!!
Have any fun anecdotes from along the road?
Our drummer and manager got food poisoning from a dodgy curry in Birmingham. Somehow Alex managed to play the next gig like an absolute boss but he was in a bad way! I told the crowd in Nottingham that he had food poisoning and when he walked out on stage for the last song, they went CRAZY for him. It was beautiful.
Oh and Nice n’ Sleezy’s in Glasgow has the gnarliest DJ on a Thursday night. The hits she was dropping were relentless!
Justice League, or Avengers?
We’re going to need all the help we can get now that Trump is in the White House.
What can we expect in the pipeline, with 2017 right around the corner?
We’re going to start working on our first album soon and hopefully be back touring again very early in the new year! We’d love to get over to the States.