Although 2020 might have been a tough year, one silver lining was new music from Melbourne post-hardcore band, Colour & Shade. Back to bless our eardrums again in 2021, the guys are here to present their newest banger ‘Equilibrium’. With catchy riffs, a big melodic chorus and an even bigger guitar solo, it’s one of their best releases yet!
We caught up with guitarist Zak Knight to discuss the new track, lockdown hobbies and future goals for the band.
Hey Zak! For those who haven’t listened to Colour & Shade yet, how would you describe your sound?
That’s such a hard thing to put down in words, as we’re constantly evolving in our musical journey! Right now I’d say the easiest way to put us, would be RockCore. Post-hardcore vibes, with big rock choruses, the sound that works best with a big crowd of people singing along! There’s definitely a bit of metal and pop in there too though!
We’ve seen from your social pages you are big fans of Architects, do you guys have any other big musical influences?
We certainly do! Some of the strong contenders are Bring Me The Horizon, Beartooth and While She Sleeps. There’s something about the energy that those bands bring that really resonates with us! While She Sleeps are really setting a new standard for heavy music and it can’t help but push us as creatives.
Your new track ‘Equilibrium’ seems to carry a pretty strong message, would you be able to explain the inspiration and meaning behind it? Would you say there are many other standout themes or issues you discuss in your music?
‘Equilibrium’ is a song about inequality in human rights that still continue on, despite the progression of society. Now more than ever the world craves equality and equal rights for all. So this song was made to help spread that message, and show that people deserve to be respected and feel that they belong. Some of us have also had some real struggles with mental health over the years too, so that resonates strongly in some of the new music you’ll hear from us soon! Lastly two of the tracks on our EP are actually love songs to my wife! So ah, you can guess which ones they are!
Last time we spoke you’d just released your track ‘Therapy’. How was the response from everyone? I bet we’re not the only ones begging for more new tunes!
We loved the response from ‘Therapy’! Our follow up single ‘Phoenix’ also got a great response, if not better. Our last two singles have been a little different from each other, so it always feels great to get feedback and know that people out there are enjoying the things we do.
You’re also a producer at your own studio by the name of Earthtide Studios and you regularly post lots of helpful tutorials or tips for other people in the producing world. Is it nice to be able to bounce between this and the band?
Earthtide Studios is something I’ve been working on for a few years now, and honestly takes up most of my time these days! So I often find that I get to working on, or writing for Colour & Shade and it really just feels like another day in the studio, which is kinda cool! Recently I’ve taken it upon myself to really put more out there to share in the world of audio education, so writing has been a bit different and more collaborative with everyone else, which is breathing new life into the band that I never expected to see or feel. I’m honestly more excited than ever!
One of your recent projects was the new Wake the Blind EP which we are big fans of here at Wall of Sound! How was it working with the WTB guys? Can we expect to see a Colour & Shade and Wake the Blind tour in the future?
Haha that would be cool now wouldn’t it! Mind you they are WAY heavier than we ever will be, so it could be a cool juxtaposition. I won’t say no, but the ball’s in their court. It was great working with the guys too, I ended up producing drums & vocals for the EP, and working with Dylan was some of the most fun I’ve had in the studio yet! I actually got him to try a whole bunch of different weird things with his voice (to really test how manic he could get). I think at one stage we tried to talk like Skeksis? (from The Dark Crystal).
Wow, The Dark Crystal! I LOVED that movie growing up! Did COVID/lockdowns pose any challenges as a band and if so how did you overcome them?
It was a trial for us all I think, and certainly changed the band dynamic dramatically. We had initially planned to release our EP in mid 2020, but that ended up changing! But I feel confident in saying that it helped us work out where we want to go as a band, and put a nice ending to what will be this chapter of the band. Things are changing for us organically, and 2020 gave us that perspective to really decide how we want to be as a band and team!
Lots of people took up weird hobbies during lockdown, like pottery or knitting (personally I just played lots of Call of Duty). Did you start doing anything like that to keep entertained without shows?
I actually decided to create a YouTube channel for the studio, teaching people how to produce/record/engineer/mix and it’s been fun (but super challenging!). That and I also may have decided to learn how to code and create digital plugins and instruments for recording & production! (I sometimes wonder why I do this to myself?!), so that has been SUPER hard, but damn exciting. Chris ended up buying his first house and Mat got a beautiful dog, so I feel like we ended up pretty ok considering the year!
Well it sounds like you definitely kept yourselves busy! You’ve already played with some huge bands like Polaris, Awaken I Am and Justice For The Damned. Are there any bands you’d love to tour with in the future?
We would absolutely love to tour with While She Sleeps or Beartooth one day, or even just support. It would be wild! Otherwise I feel like we might end up getting on some shows with our good band mates Elements sometime over 2021. We’re pretty close to that band! As for bigger artists in Australia, we love the local scene and always get to play alongside amazing people but think we’d honestly love to play with Polaris again, and Redhook would be mad.
Since 2020 was kind of an unfortunate write off, do you have any goals as a band you’d like to achieve in the next few years now the world is slowly getting back to normal?
I think I can safely say that a goal for us would be to tour overseas (once things are safe enough), and to really push ourselves musically! Other than that, you can absolutely expect us to be more outspoken in our music moving forward. There’s a lot as a band that we’d love to help share, and what better time than now!
Last but most importantly, can we expect that new EP from you anytime soon?!
You sure can! It’s in the works to have it out very soon for everyone! I can tell you there’s a couple of tracks on there that are totally different to what we’ve done before, every song really came from different inspirations so we’re quite excited to see how people react and hopefully enjoy!
Thanks so much for chatting with us Zak and congrats again on the new single! Really looking forward to what Colour & Shade do next!
Interview by Rhiannon Porter (@rrhiannonporter)
‘Equilibrium’ is out this Friday. Pre-save here