Blue of Colors explains, “While this song sounds nothing like The Doors, their song ‘People Are Strange’ connected in my brain the concept of strangeness to the sound of an E minor chord. Sometimes one song idea can be a door to the rest of a fruitful batch of songs. ‘Strange Place’ was one of those songs.”
A former Nashville songwriter, Soboslai discovered fresh inspiration in Blue of Colors and close collaboration with friends. Delving into the new creative drive with Charlie Brand of synth-pop outfit Miniature Tigers, the two have manifested the flexibility of Blue of Colors’ sound. Brimming with gleaming guitars and vibrant vocals, “Strange Place” rides a contagious rhythm topped by charismatic layers of pop-flavoured rock. Soboslai’s vocals imbue the lyrics with delicious tones.
“Everybody wants to know / I’m sorry I don’t speak this / New language that you’re speaking / I’m not silent, I am speechless / I’m still picking up the pieces / But it’s never too late / At least that’s what they say / But who the hell are they anyway.”
V13 spoke with Blue of Colors to find out more about the person behind the music, his obsession with potato chips, and his songwriting process.
What three things can’t you live without?
Blue of Colors: “Kettle-cooked potato chips. an audio recorder, and my dog (in reverse order). I got into potato chips in the last few years for the same reason Dolly Parton is hooked. (Also, I just remembered I started writing this song at the building in Nashville where apparently Dolly wrote ‘I Will Always Love You,’ on the front stoop.
“Audio Recorder— One time, I had a great song idea that I ended up forgetting. I swore to never let that happen again. Now I have good habits about humming all ideas, good and dumb, into some kind of recorder. PS: Do you have somewhere I can offshore some of these gigabytes of voice memos?
“My dog (Bear)— I used to be a cat guy. I was insane back then.”
What inspired your single “Strange Place?”
“I was probably sitting on those same steps in Nashville as Dolly, looking out at a sea of bachelorette parties. What a strange place.”
What’s the story behind the name Blue of Colors?
“You know the phrase ‘Cadillac of cars?’ My best mate tried to make the case that blue was the most beloved color (i.e., kids saying, ‘what’s your favorite color?’). While I didn’t agree, it sure had a ring to it.”
How did you get started in music?
“I wanted a guitar when I was 7. My parents got me a plastic guitar with an ‘amp’ that lit up when you played the ‘guitar’ part of this ‘toy.’ It was a punch in the child gut. I was ready for the real axe. I didn’t end up getting one until I was 14. At the end of the day, it feels more like music got into me.”
Which singers/musicians influenced your sound?
“Kid Rock and Kermit The Frog are not influences, but lately, I can’t stop listening to Caroline Rose and Miniature Tigers.”
If you had to explain your sound to the uninitiated, what would you say?
“Non-abrasive rock music for when you feel alive, but then remember you’re gonna die.”
Did your sound evolve naturally, or did you deliberately push it in a certain direction?
“I started this project out of a nasty breakup. I remember my one friend saying, ‘Don’t worry, man, they always come back,’ but I was crushed. I have a band that makes happy music but needed an outlet for the sad. From there, over time, you keep writing and making choices about who you want to work with. Eventually, the sound lands. Also, we’re married now.”
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, or other media?
“My way of writing is like there’s a radio station in my head that I can faintly hear, and I’m just trying to uncover what’s already there. Honestly, it only feels like mine if I pick the fruit and develop it, too. It’s the strangest thing.”
What can you share about your writing process?
“I like to come up with mannnyyy ideas and, over time, choose to develop the ones that stand out or really stay on the brain. Generally, a simultaneous writing of music and lyrics. When I don’t know what the next part is, I will keep humming until I figure out what feels most natural to me. This is all I am willing to share.”
Which artists, in your opinion, are killing it right now?
“I’m mostly obsessed with the artists you’ve never heard of in my orbit who are like basement wizards. Badboxes, Mystic Seers, Pat Coyle. One day you will know these names.”
How do you define success?
“To me, success is happiness and freedom, and self-sustainability.”
What can your fans look forward to over the next six months? New material? Live gigs?
“Wouldn’t you like to know! I put out a ‘Strange Place’ cassette tape alongside the single. There are a few singles and videos, and I should probably get a band together, huh? What instrument do you play?”