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Interview: The Color Morale - 03.08.13
 

The Color Morale - 03.08.13

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The Color Morale - 03.08.13The Color Morale has been building quite a bit of hype for months on end for their upcoming album, Know Hope, out March 26th on Rise Records. In fact, the band was #1 on our Most Anticipated Readers Poll that premiered on Tuesday, something that caught me a little off guard, because there's a lot of other great bands releasing music this year. I had the opportunity to talk with vocalist Garret Rapp a week ago about the album, and more.

You can follow the band on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow Garret on Twitter as well.


[Photo Credit: Tegan Liepitz]

You're currently on tour with The Devil Wears Prada and As I Lay Dying. Can you describe your experience being on this tour?

Garret Rapp: It's cool, we get to play for a lot of kids every night. It gives you a lot of opportunities for crowd interaction and the chance to talk to kids, which is why we're a band. It's kind of different, we're playing in front of two drum risers on a big stage with a barricade with a huge light show. This is a "concert" tour, we're used to playing shows, so it's different for us.

The brand new record, Know Hope comes out on March 26th on Rise Records. When you look at this album, what sets it apart from your past two records?

Garret Rapp: It's a totally different album, half the band is different. Being the lyricist and the voice of the band, I'm a totally different person than I was on the previous two albums. It's kind of a completely different thing.

When you were writing the lyrics to this album, what goals did you have in mind?

Garret Rapp: Well, we titled the album Know Hope before we wrote any songs, before any lyrics were written. I wanted to be completely honest with who I was, and I just made my life an open book and wrote songs about it.

Since the lyrical content is based off your own personal experiences, were there any parts of the album that you consider to be the most strenuous or difficult to write?

Garret Rapp: Extremely, the entire album. I feel that in writing something authentic and honest maybe it's not going to come out as pleasing. I've had a lot of different struggles in the last year or two in my life, a lot of unresolved things. I just wrote how I felt about in the moment, and I was honest about it, and that's what came out. Actually listening to the album back now, it's very difficult at points.

But at certain points, would you consider it to be therapeutic?

Garret Rapp: Maybe some points therapeutic, maybe some points painful reminders. Every moment in the album was an honest reflection of how I felt.

Would you consider this album to be the most thought out album to date? It seems like there were a lot of points in the album that were very intentional, especially dynamically.

Garret Rapp: Honestly The Color Morale has never been a well thought out anything. Every album that we've written has kind of been us writing while we're on the road, and us trying to get as much done with as little time as possible, as much that's offered.

I think something that people are going to realize about this record is that it flows really well, you're really able to listen to this from front to back without skipping anything.

"Learned Behavior" is the first song you released from the album, it's doing really well, accumulating well over 300,000 views on YouTube. People were a little bit surprised with the way your vocals sounded, can you explain that?

Garret Rapp: Yeah, EXTREMELY surprised, kids aren't very receptive to change when they latch onto a band. The vocals fortunately or unfortunately the first thing you notice in the song. So yeah, I changed the vocals up a little bit and I took into account my vocal delivery in The Color Morale, it just wasn't really me, it was kind of less emotion driven and more manipulated. The whole "metalcore" screaming thing...if I was to step on the cat's poop in 2am while I was getting a glass of milk, I wouldn't scream with the whole metalcore screaming voice, I would just scream how I felt in the moment, and that's kind of how Know Hope is.

The song in a way continues the theme of My Devil In Your Eyes, in that it's about learning from past mistakes. Was there anything else you considered when you wrote this song?

Garret Rapp: That song has a few dynamic processes. The chorus is about how you push so many people that you care about away, and the few that are still standing refine your view on who you need to keep close in your life. Being in a band and growing, you meet so many people and develop a lot of inauthentic relationships, and it's those love ones at home that care about you. For me personally it's been a struggle trusting anyone - friends, family, relatives, etc. But there's been a few people that have been there with me no matter how hard I try to push them away subconsciously. I've been hurt a lot in my life, so it's hard to trust anyone.

"Burn Victims" is the first track on the album, and in my opinion one of the best songs that The Color Morale has written to date. Musically it fires on all cylinders, and you get to show off your vocals, especially on the chorus. Can you explain the line "We are the victims, and I am the hope"?

Garret Rapp: It comes back to a saying, a really important thing I've learned in the past year or two - "Hurt people, hurt people". It's so easy to write people off. It's kind of synonymous to a line that I wrote on "Smoke and Mirrors" - "Just remember that every piece of trash was one time itself first used", kind of what that's about. "We are the victims" honestly speaks about something really personal that I'm not sure if I'm ready to share. These songs were written for our listeners and we exist as a band for our listeners; I have nothing left, I have no idea what I would do if I was back home, I'd have to re-evaluate my entire life. I've literally given everything I have to keep this band going. There will be people that come up to me tonight that will talk to me about their depression, their suicidal tendencies, their family issues, etc. And ultimately, we're all a victim of something, both ourselves and the listeners of our band. I say this because they come and tell me every night, so it's been reaffirmed in me that the message of this record is the one thing pushing me into tomorrow.

What are your thoughts when people come up to you with these tattoos that they've gotten from an album that hasn't been released yet?

Garret Rapp: It's pretty crazy. I mentioned before that we titled the album Know Hope before we wrote any of the album and I knew that I needed to do something that was more for everybody else, but that was more from my life, being as authentic that I could possibly do it. So it's really cool to see this branded on people because it's a reminder to me that I did something, no matter if this band grows or not, I did something good with my time in this band and I did something selfless; I did something that not only I needed, but thousands of other people across the country needed as well, and they believed in it enough to get it branded on their skin before they've even heard a song. That just says that they really grasp and understand who I am and why I am, and that I'm the exact same as them.

Let's talk about my personal favorite off the album, "Silver Linings". I know you've been playing this live and I think it'll prove to be a setlist staple over time. It's reminiscent of "Demon Teeth", in that both songs are kind of fast and that Steve is able to get after it on the drums. The line "The Devil you know is better than the Devil you don't" - can you explain that line?

Garret Rapp: Basically, I grew up in a "box"...I grew up as a Christian. And it wasn't until I went out into the real world and saw the gimmick and the manipulation and a lot of things behind Christianity and religion in general. I guess going out into the real world and seeing what would be coined as awful. Sometimes you need to go places to understand what they're all about, and it's so easy to stay inside of a comfort box and keep yourself safe; when you're out in the real world and you're seeing how God and religion are being used against people or to sell a product or to manipulate a thought process or to force someone else into having a purpose and to use a crutch. That what that lines about, "The Devil you know is better than the Devil you don't". I guess you can think of it this way: if you met someone and you knew what you what they were about, wouldn't that make you equipped to handle them and understand when they use something against you?

When we last spoke in 2011 on the "Scream It Like You Mean It" tour, My Devil In Your Eyes had been out for about a year. At that point, would you say you were still a practicing Christian?

Garret Rapp: I think I was. I think in the last year in my life I've really taken a step back. I can feel it when I talk...I'm in a grey area right now, I'm unsure of where I am and where I'm going, it's feel like I'm walking with quicksand beneath me half the time, it's a very unstable time of life right now. I'm just trying to do the best thing I can with what I've got given to me or I've came to do what I've tried to earn I guess...I'm just trying to do something positive for someone else, and that re-affirms a purpose in me for something right now.

What song would you consider to be your favorite from the record and why?

Garret Rapp: I think my favorite song off the record is "Have.Will". That song really flowed well for me, I didn't really think of the lyrics, I kind of just sang them in the moment. I feel like when you do that in a sing, when you close your head off and let yourself feel and let yourself sing without scripting and planning, I feel like that's about as authentic as it can get. That's one of the songs that I get to listen to and it gives me a positive reminder and changes I'm trying to make in life.

Actually all the songs lyrically were written while in the studio, they're just honest feelings turned into songs

There were a few people that wanted to know how hard it was to make it as a band from Rockford, IL? Apparently the scene is lacking over there...

Garret Rapp: I don't really know what "making it" would be. I think if a band wants to tour and get signed, and you want it bad enough, they can have it. We're just a band that wanted it bad enough, and went after it. If you want this, you just have to put in the work, that's all.

There's a $500 pre-order package for Know Hope that features an acoustic performance. If somebody orders that package, what can they expect from that performance?

Garret Rapp: I'm not sure if those have sold yet or not. But yeah, we're going to pretty much hang out at your house all day and play a 6+ song acoustic performance, and hang out. It's something our management thought of, and we're all for it.

Are there any songs you're performing acoustically that you might not play in your set every night?

Garret Rapp: Yeah, we actually just left Hot Topic headquarters. We played "Smoke and Mirrors" acoustic, and a cover of Alex Clare's "Too Close", we also have "Learned Behavior" too. The sky is the limit, we all have pretty broad music tastes. The acoustic session will be out soon.

If someone wanted to get a better idea of who you are, what bands would they listen to?

Garret Rapp: I'm not sure, I guess that list could be pretty broad. To understand us the best, just listen to us.

What about a book? Are there any books that have stuck out to you lately?

Garret Rapp: Yeah, there's a few. One of them is titled Get Off Your But by Sean Stephenson; another one being Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky that was awesome, I watched the movie so I wanted to read the book, the book was way better; there's also a couple of Steve Chandler's books, Fearless, and Shift Your Mind: Shift The World.

What's your touring schedule look like in the next few months?

Garret Rapp: We're going to finish this tour up, and then we're going home for awhile before we start the Rise Records tour. We have a few options for the summer, but nothing's locked in yet.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Garret Rapp: Thanks for the support, we really appreciate it.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 23
06:02 AM on 03/08/13
#2
t00latef0rr0ses
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Seems like a real dude. I'll be checking out their new album. #positivecore
06:09 AM on 03/08/13
#3
Miketheunicycle
"Look mom, no hands!"
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comes out the same day as the new conditions eh. hmm gonna be difficult to choose which one i buy opening week and which one i have to wait to pick up. either way ill be grabbing both
07:20 AM on 03/08/13
#4
WasteSomeTime
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comes out the same day as the new conditions eh. hmm gonna be difficult to choose which one i buy opening week and which one i have to wait to pick up. either way ill be grabbing both
and Senses Fails new album which is better then both
08:07 AM on 03/08/13
#5
msulliv7
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"screams" in the new song are much more inviting and genuine. Still pretty typical song for metalcore, but enjoyed his take on dropping what vocals are "supposed" to sound like
10:10 AM on 03/08/13
#6
low_rising
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good interview, very in depth.
10:12 AM on 03/08/13
#7
revkev151
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People bashing the rockford scene? Ya don't say..
10:15 AM on 03/08/13
#8
JordanKTM
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" I wouldn't scream with the whole metalcore screaming voice, I would just scream how I felt in the moment, and that's kind of how Know Hope is. "

sounds like every La Dispute song ever
04:56 PM on 03/08/13
#9
Miketheunicycle
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and Senses Fails new album which is better then both
might just have to break my rule of 1 album a month... i wanna thank you but, at this time i just cant
06:38 PM on 03/08/13
AreYouHuman
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This band paid to have the guitarist of We Came As Romans write songs for this album INCLUDING lyrics, and this guy has the audacity to say that these are the most honest and authentic lyrics he's ever written.
07:15 PM on 03/08/13
Jake Denning
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This band paid to have the guitarist of We Came As Romans write songs for this album INCLUDING lyrics, and this guy has the audacity to say that these are the most honest and authentic lyrics he's ever written.
Bruv, you gotta come in here with evidence if you're going to make those claims.
08:39 PM on 03/08/13
goggles666
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This band paid to have the guitarist of We Came As Romans write songs for this album INCLUDING lyrics, and this guy has the audacity to say that these are the most honest and authentic lyrics he's ever written.
Because I'm sure he has plenty of time to write songs with them well on tour, constantly halfway across the country from. Well even if that being said doesn't make it impossible for him/them to do so, you're the one that needs to be providing us with evidence, I mean that's a pretty radical claim, and just googling "The Color Morale songwriter" and "The Color Morale We Came As Romans" literally turns up nothing but tags on posts, usually irrelevant ones to draw more attention at that.

UPDATE: I think I found what you're talking about, they're COLLABORATING on 2 songs, the album has 12. And in the statement he makes no claim of the songs being his. If he wrote 5/6th's of the album he can call it theirs as he damn well pleases.
3rd to bottom(?) paragraph: http://lambgoat.com/news/19269/The-C...ks-out-bassist
09:18 PM on 03/08/13
AreYouHuman
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Here's the evidence; the ex bass player posted it on facebook when they kicked him out. He posted other screen shots too of other emails, they're still under his photos
09:30 AM on 03/09/13
goggles666
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Here's the evidence; the ex bass player posted it on facebook when they kicked him out. He posted other screen shots too of other emails, they're still under his photos
....this isn't incriminating at all. They're doing a collaboration, bands do it all of the time. Are Mick Jagger and David Bowie cash cows for "Dancing In The Street"? They can do what they want, with acknowledgements given, which they HAVE. And even that email shows that they're adding to it and not just straight up using his original work. Your attempts at making this look bad are kinda pathetic honestly.
12:51 PM on 03/09/13
AreYouHuman
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Plenty of musicians don't write their own lyrics or music. This is just another band that doesn't. And apparently they lie about it to their feeble minded fans. Rationalize whatever you want goggles.

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