COLOUR OF NOISE are a Brighton (UK) based quintet featuring the Furyon vocalist Matt Mitchell and drummer Randy Nixon from Magic Bullet Band as well as one-time Little Angels guitarist, Bruce John Dickinson. They came together as a band-project with the intentions of creating some fun classic rock.
We met up with the band this month whilst they were on their UK tour supporting Toseland.
You come from different projects – how did you come together as a band?
“Bruce’s baby really… it was an irrational decision that the time was right to make a classic rock record. We all kick-around in Brighton (UK) and we all know each other … It had no basis in logic! it was just an emotional thing…”
“We wanted to regress and do all the things that made us smile when we were sixteen… which is what we do. Well, not all the things [chuckles] and not as often as we’d like…” [Laughter.]
“And then Matt came in to help us do some song-writing and within 30 seconds we looked at each other and kinda said “Here is the band…”
Bruce continued: “I didn’t know Matt had this thing with the blues, you see. I had seen Furyon loads of times … and that band is more of an out-and-out rock band… so the ‘Blues Thing’ was new to us. And then we did a little documentary which was filmed down in Rockfield Studios (Wales) and we did a pledge thing [a pledgemusic.com campaign to finance the début album] — and here we are one year later.”
It’s been a quick ascent hasn’t it?
“It has been really quick. Mind you, we have put a lot of work in. There was a lot of time and effort went in. And a lot of love too… A lot of love has gone into this project.”
“The key is — having a vision. We all agreed on something. We didn’t spend, like, six months trying to find common ground or trying to find new ideas. It was just: “This is what we’re gonna do — no ballads, no middle eights… this is gonna be straight ahead, knock-you-over, kicking-in-the nuts stuff. We had an overall vision.”
“We made goals as well. And we pretty-much met all those goals. Within the year. And that’s pretty incredible in itself, you know. At the beginning of the year we said — it would be nice if we made a record we liked — and we’d like to do a few supports and we would like to do a few festivals… and the icing on the cake would be if people came to see us and they liked us. And if we got on the radio too — that would be amazing. And we have done all them things. It’s really fantastic.”
What are your classic rock influences, because we noted Led Zeppelin, Free and Bad Company ?
“That sorta Tom Petty, sorta soulful sound. Done as a soul and funk background it has that kind of Aerosmithy thing going on.”
Matt Mitchell: “I try to spirit up Paul Rodgers in every performance. He is probably still the best singer in the world.”
“Yes, and we try to keep the blues running through it. And especially we keep hold of the British Blues. It comes in that line of Clapton and Jimmy Page. And Peter Green. We love Peter Green. Take someone like Billy Gibbons — he’s one of our favourite players — but we wouldn’t do that, because we want to take our sounds back to the early British blues.”
“And we should also mention Lizzy. That Lizzy thing is important. And, yeah, we have got lots of different guitars but we tend to end up on two Les Paul’s.”
With so many ideas, how does the song-writing process work? Is it a collaborative process?
Well Dan [ Electro, rhythm guitars] is the ‘gap man’. But basically everyone throws in their ideas. And some get voted down. Others don’t. There’s a little bit of shouting. Songs take a lot of twists and turns. We might come with a whole, like, groove. And then the vocals might go down on that groove. And we might live with that for a while. Might live with it for a long while, actually. And then we change it at the end. We will test numbers out on the audience too, to see.”
“We are testing out a new tune on this tour…actually. It’s called “Lucky Number Seven” — we wrote that 3 weeks ago. But no one’s gonna know it’s new. Except a guy called ‘Alan’. Alan has been at every show on this tour. Standing at the front.”
Are we right that ‘Can You Hear Me’ [see below] is about depression and stuff?
“More about therapy than depression. It’s therapy for anything. Anything that ails you. And it’s more about getting through it actually. Isn’t it? ”
“So it’s got a few different sides… some people could listen to it and it becomes their song — for them it’s not even about depression — it’s about going through a tough time. And there are not many people, of our age, who have not had at least a little bit of therapy, of some kind. Also I suppose that there’s a bit of fuck you attitude in ‘Can You Hear Me’ — we are kinda putting two fingers up to tough times.”
How do you want audiences to respond to your sounds?
“Boogie and dance I suppose. We love gigs where everyone sways and bounces. Or you can see people moving, nodding heads. We play really simple grooves — our songs are quite immediate. We hope people like our music and they get it the first time they hear it. Simple grooves, simple parts, loads of space, simple arrangements… We make sure the chorus is obvious. And we don’t fill things out with too much crap. We are not Yes”
“We know it’s a good gig when we don’t feel like we have to play too much.”
Congratulations on your smashing debut record, and good luck with the remainder of your tour.