|coloring outside the lines
Nancy Chow - March 24, 2009
Michigan transplants Awesome Color created such a vibrant
splash on the music scene that Thurston Moore took notice and quickly signed
the band to his own record label Ecstatic Peace. In this case, imitation is
the greatest form of flattery: Sonic Youth appears to be a substantial influence
– if not a compulsive comparison – to the noise trio. With its elaborate
tangles of heavy, distorted guitar and a vintage raw passion, Awesome Color
draws from the s and early s, but incorporates its own passionate,
fresh flair to the blues, punk and psychedelic meld.
These Brooklynites fire off an arsenal jammed with guitar snarls and fast, hard-hitting
drums that show no signs of surrendering on their sophomore effort “Electric
Aborigines.” Loud, engaging and all the while sounding like they’re
having fun, Awesome Color is a garage band that can survive the test of time,
including bypassing all the band drama.
You all are Michigan natives - what cause you to move to NYC? How does
the NYC's scene compare to Michigan's?
Derek [Stanton] moved out here about six years ago to pursue music with the
band he was playing in, the Ofays. Allison [Busch] moved out here to pursue
a career in the movies. I (Michael Troutman) moved out here following Allison.
As far as the scenes, there's a lot more music in NYC than in Michigan. Quantity
is the big difference, though not necessarily quality, because there are amazing
people and bands all over the place. They don't all have to have a 112xx zip
code. Basically, opportunity and quantity separate NYC from Michigan.
How did you get signed with Ecstatic Peace?
We played a show in Massachusetts. A friend of his who attended said nice things
about us supposedly. Thurston listened to our song "Free Man" on MySpace
and messaged us shortly thereafter asking us to be on his label. All of us being
big Sonic Youth fans, this was pretty monumental and put big smiles on our faces
for days. Still does for me.
“Electric Aborigines” is a pretty awesome title. How did
you come up with it?
Allison came up with the title “Electronic Aborigines”
after we returned from a tour with Dinosaur Jr. and had to think about such
things as what to call the next record. It comes from the John Sinclair book,
“Guitar Army.” It also ties in with the Up's killer song "Just
Like an Aborigine" that Lou Barlow put on a mix for us, and we couldn't
get enough of. Derek suggested changing Electronic to Electric – sounded
better to us. I recently learned that “Electric Aborigines” is also
associated with British architect David Greene and the Archigram group.
| How was supporting Dinosaur Jr. on - not one but - two tours?
They're great, and I really enjoyed watching them play every night.
All three of those guys we got along with, and I feel happy that they'd want
us to be a part of their world. They kind of changed my life, because I came
off the first tour with ringing in my ears. I went to an audiologist as a result
and picked up a decent pair of earplugs.
You recently came back from a European tour. Experience
any culture shock?
We'd been over there a couple of times before so no real shockers this
time. I guess it was shocking that there are so many amazing skate spots in
the city of Barcelona, Spain. Seen it for years in videos, but in real life
it was just bonkers.
And last - but certainly not least - question: Why
are you guys so awesome?
Thanks for saying so. I'm blushing right now.
"We played a show in Massachusetts. A friend of his who attended said nice things about us supposedly. Thurston listened to our song "Free Man" on MySpace and messaged us shortly thereafter asking us to be on his label. All of us being big Sonic Youth fans, this was pretty monumental and put big smiles on our faces for days. Still does for me."
listen to "
Local contemporary noise rock for those who like: The Stooges, Mudhoney, Dinosaur Jr.