If you approach Colony House true to its name, then an important talking point would be the impressive foundation laid last year. The pop/rock trio is currently preparing to kick off a tour with Kongos and Sir Slythrough the first quarter of the year before a spring stint withNeedtobreathe, a sweet extension of the momentum the band experienced in 2014 after releasing their debut LP, When I Was Younger. Caleb Chapman and company earned critical favor and comparisons ranging from Keane to The Killers to Kings of Leon. They also made their TV debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Now Chapman says he’s busy exploring old sounds as they meet new faces, diving into the sounds of Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash in an exercise of self-education even as he meets new fans along the way. This year will bring nothing but touring, and that’s a good thing for a band that needs to earn its stripes. Singles like “Silhouettes” will get them so far, but building on the foundation will take time and effort and that means logging considerable miles. It might mean a long year living out of suitcases, but the mystery and power of connection will be enough to fuel the fire.
Stereo Subversion: How does 2014 look in the rearview mirror?
Caleb Chapman: It’s been the most exciting year for our band. It’s the most eye opening thing to have these possibilities, and we’re thinking, ‘Maybe we can do this, at least for a little longer.’ Hopefully people continue to hop on board to get the music. I think 2014 has been for all of us the wind in our sails.
SSv: When you say that, what in particular puts “wind in your sails”?
Caleb: We had a headlining tour that started September 2nd and ended October 30th. I think there is something special about driving across the country and playing at random cities you’ve never been to, that are thousands of miles away from home. And whether it is for 10,000 people or whatever the number, they are singing the songs you wrote in your bedroom. There is something about that that is hard to explain. It reminds you that what you did means something to someone else, and it meant enough to them to spend enough time to know your lyrics. It’s a humbling thing and it’s a social thing to be able to communicate with people in a unique way all across the nation — even sometimes crossing the pond.
SSv: Did you guys play the U.K. yet?
Caleb: We have played in the U.K., but with this record, we did not. We just started doing some things, and getting the word out there.
SSv: Let’s talk the new album. Is it accurate to say that you guys found the sound you had been going for after some time together?
Caleb: Yeah, I think that’s accurate. I think there is a constant pursuit of something. I think we achieved what we were going for. We were re-approaching the angle we went at for our songs, and adding a little bit of the material that was a bit of an introduction for new listeners. I think “Silhouettes” is a good example of that. I think it’s a healthy desire to always want to build off the last record. I think we’re still looking for the magic chord to be struck. It’s like a carrot dangling in front of you, and you keep chasing after it, and hope you get better with each attempt. In regards to this project, yes, we are thrilled with how it all turned out.
SSv: A band once described their album to me as a hallway within which they’d kicked open a ton of doors they could walk through later on. How much of that is true for you on this one? Was there a lot of experimentation?
Caleb: That’s a great image. With the first record, it’s like you have one yearbook for your entire education. Instead of one for each year, you just get one at the end. It’s everything that you worked at and wanted to make. There are songs that are four years old on When I Was Younger, and there are songs that are a year old. You have this interesting collection of the past and the present colliding there. It was difficult keeping the songs together.
Before we decided to do a full length, we talked about an EP or even two EPs, because we noticed somewhere on the record, there is a dynamic shift. The soundscape changes a little bit, from something more playful to something a little more… I don’t know, melancholy? And so I think it’s good to find a theme to speak to it. But on the first record, it’s hard not to chase every option. Then people are responding to it, and you make your next record off that response out on the road.