Hittin’ the Road
By Janet Martin
“We are just trying to make good music. I guess that’s how I would define us: people consistently trying to make good music.” Despite line-up changes and constantly switching labels, Colour Revolt has never steered away from a successful, good music career—much to lead singer Jesse Coppenbarger’s delight. These Mississippi boys have performed at SXSW, toured with the likes of The Black Lips and Dinosaur Jr. and their band shirt was recently worn by Mary Louise Parker in her hit Showtime series Weeds. Yep, things are looking up for the quintet. Coppenbarger, one of the two remaining founding members, gives us the detes on everything the band is up to and their plans for the future.
The band recently caught pot-pushing MILF Nancy Botwin on the Showtime series Weeds wearing one of its shirts. “It was really surreal. My mom heard about it, but I’m not sure how. I’m a huge fan of the show, but I don’t think (my mom) even knows what Weeds is about!”
And Mary Louise Parker isn’t the only one who loves Colour Revolt. Critics from Atlanta Music Guide and UWire have nothing but praise for this release. They rave about the leading track, “8 Years,” as well as “She Don’t Talk,” which is considered the hidden gem of the album. Not too bad considering the whole thing was recorded using donations from fans.
Currently on tour, the band is promoting homemade album, The Cradle, (which dropped in 2010) and will make a stop at The Wire in Upland this weekend. Between then and now, the band has just been on the road. “We haven’t had the time to get together and create new music,” says Coppenbarger. “But we are definitely ready.” The lack of new material is hardly a reason to turn away from group’s latest shows; the music on The Cradle pulls people in with its haunting vocals and rock ’n‘ roll inspired guitar riffs. “I guess you can call it Melodic Rock . . . we’ve also been called blues-gazers, which I like . . . I guess you could say we are Southern soul created by five dudes 50 years behind [the] soul’s high point.” Although this description may be hard to wrap your mind around, Coppenbarger does a pretty good job summing up the unique and heavy sound of this Oxford-based band. “We try not to be too exclusive with our sound. We are not trying to lose people or be experimental; we are just trying to write good songs with great melodies and meaningful lyrics.”
Part of the heaviness stems from these meaningful lyrics. Coppenbarger works with Sean Kirkpatrick, the other remaining original member, to write songs based on real life experiences-not all of them pretty. “Honesty is the best policy, especially in music,” Coppenbarger explains when describing the writing process. “If you want to convey emotion and show it to people, you have to make some sort of connection.” Songs like “8 Years” and “Our Names” discuss the loss of long-time friends, reminiscent of the real-life loss of practically all the original band members. Despite the serious and somber message, Coppenbarger has nothing but positive feelings about the music he plays “You want to create something you care about. I don’t want to create a song that people love if I hate playing it.” In fact, all the band members can boast a happy, laid back vibe; a quick scan of the band’s website reveals five guys who love what they do and who aren’t afraid to have fun.
Colour Revolt at The Wire, 247 N. 2nd Ave., Upland, (909) 985-9466; www.thewire247.com; colourrevolt.net. Fri., Sept. 23. 7PM.