What are your names?
Shane Conerty – Guitar, Lead Vocals
Jeremiah Harris – Bass, Vocals
Mason Lickey – Keys
Waverly Langston – Drums, percussion
Mel Johnston – Vocals
Kim Foxen -Vocals
What is your genre of music?
Eclectic indie pop
Give us a little bio about you and the band.
Color Collage is an eclectic 6-piece indie pop band from Brooklyn, NY. We play songs with sad lyrics juxtaposed with happy, upbeat music. Life is weird and sad and beautiful all at the same time, and we try to convey those feelings and human truths in our music.
What made you go into music?
I had a friend growing up who could play “Smoke On the Water” on guitar and I thought that was the coolest thing at the time, so I quit sports and asked for a guitar for my 12th birthday.
Are you a signed?
We released an album called “Pieced Together” in 2015 on Paper Garden Records. We’re currently looking for a like-minded label for upcoming releases.
You released your new single ‘What A Time To Be Alive’, tell us more about the single.
What a Time to Be Alive is a future eulogy for the digital age. I wrote all the lyrics in one sitting, and it’s a very honest and personal song. Most of them are.
What is the meaning behind ‘What A Time To Be Alive’?
That phrase has become so commonplace these days. It’s really just a way of saying, “Wow things are really messed up right now. That’s never happened before.” So many historical things have occurred the past few years that it’s easy to say the phrase “What a Time to Be Alive” about a lot of things. It can be used sincerely or sarcastically, although I think the latter is more common. I also started thinking about how everyone has this digital footprint online that’s there forever after you’re not. A vast majority of my songs reference death. It’s not intentionally morbid, I just worry about my mortality a lot and I try to express that life is short and tomorrow isn’t promised, so you should try to have fun and love and be loved. It’s a reminder that the clock is ticking, so you better get shit done while you can.
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
I had the chords kicking around for a while, and then I got a knock on the door from the creative muse and proceeded to write all the lyrics in about 20 minutes. I’ve learned that when you get a rush of creativity, you’ve gotta use it immediately because it’s fleeting and might not show up again for 6 months. The song was initially a folky acoustic song. It kinda sounded like “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst is my favorite songwriter). During this time I was still forming the band, so I brought it to an early iteration of the group and we started just cycling through genres to see what worked the best. I’m honestly not sure how to classify it now. It’s got elements of Motown, and the end is kinda like Gospel rock? I dunno. You tell me.
What was the recording process like?
We tracked the entire song in a half day in the studio. We had the drums, bass, and keys setup in the drum room, and we put the guitar amp in the hallway and I played in the room with the console. We tracked the music live, and overdubbed the lead vocal. Months later, my wonderful friends and band mates The Foxy Johnstons came over to my apartment and we tracked the harmonies live around a condenser mic.
Who did you work with on the Single?
We recorded this song and our last single with Vishal Nayak at The Black Lodge in Bushwick. He’s great. My friend and long-time collaborator Doug Moss mixed it initially and was kind enough to drop the background vocals in there almost 6 months after we’d recorded the main track.
Will we see an EP or Album this year?
Hopefully! Truthfully, the only thing holding us back is lack of funds. We’ve got enough songs for a full LP, but we’re aspiring to record maybe 3 more songs and then release an EP that also includes WATTBA and Eye On You, our last single.
Do you have any shows coming up?
Our single release show is Tuesday, February 11th at Our Wicked Lady in East Williamsburg. It’s also my birthday! So it’ll be a good reason to celebrate. We’ll be giving away bandcamp single discount codes with every ticket sold. We try to play one show a month, to keep the momentum going and stay tight as a band.
What else can we expect in Early 2020?
Besides the release of “What a Time to Be Alive” we have an accompanying animated music video by Travis Adenau, a fantastic artist. Speaking of artists, I’ve got to give a shout out to my good friend Pen Willamson. He’s done the art for every project I’e had for the past 10 years. He’s an incredible graphic designer. He’s part of the reason I named the project Color Collage, so he could just go crazy with his style of detailed and colorful collage art.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
I consider them to just be “in the band” but I collaborate with Mel Johnston and Kim Foxen, who go by the name The Foxy Johnstons. They’re wonderful people, fast learners, and they sound like angels. We met at an Aretha Franklin tribute show, and as soon as I heard them sing I knew that I had to try to get them in the band. As soon as they joined, the sound of the band completely changed (for the better). We turned into a soul band overnight. Having them in the group has opened up a ton of new possibilities to explore, and it’s really cool and exciting. I’ve also gotta gush about the guys I play with, too. Each one of them adds such an integral element to the music, and I’m humbled that they want to show up every week to work on these songs I’ve written. They call me “Dad” in the band, and I often feel like a very proud dad.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
100%. I’m always down to work with other artists. Seriously, hit me up. Just shoot an email over to email@example.com and make sure the subject of the email is something silly.
Do you play any instruments?
A little bit of everything. Give me a new instrument and I’ll sit in my room and play it nonstop until I start to figure it out.
Who are your influences?
Oh wow. I’m influenced by so many different artists. Music is my life’s passion, and I try to listen to some kind of new music every single day. I scour music blogs daily, keeping an eye on new releases and doing deep-dives into music of the past. I’ve been in a 70’s period lately, and you can hear it in our new music. I’m not even going to start listing bands, cuz we’d be here all day. You’ve probably stopped reading by now, anyway.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
To put it simply, living and observing human life is what inspires me the most. I try to write songs that are personal and meaningful to me, but that also contain relatable human truths that we all experience. Life, Love, Death, and Sociology are some of my key inspirations. One of the benefits of living in New York City is that you can walk everywhere. I average about 20,000 steps a day. No big deal. My point is that living here has changed the way I write songs. Instead of sitting in my room laboring over a tune, I’ll record whatever chords I’ve got to work with on my phone, and then I’ll walk home from work and write lyrics and melodies on the way. I’ve written a lot of songs like that the past few years.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Hopefully doing what I’m doing now, but for larger crowds and a wider audience.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I work 4 hospitality jobs to get by. Yep, four. So if I’m not working on music, I’m making your drinks and serving your food.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Man, that’s tough to narrow down. I used to play in a band called Now You See Them in Asheville, NC for many years. All three of us grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and we bonded over our love of music from the 50’s and 60’s. There was a radio station called B94 and they played exclusively oldies, so I think I realized early on that I was into music more than most people. Some might say obsessive. I was also VERY into Phish in high school, and that led me to explore improvisational music. But yeah, I can’t pick one definitive song.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Write like no one’s going to read or listen to it.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Be yourself. Be authentic. People can smell bullshit. Or be phony. That’s working for some people.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“It could be worse.” – Dulci Ellenberger
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
I would discourage anyone from ever going to my hometown of Butler, Pennsylvania. We’ve got a song about my experience there. Spoiler alert: the opioid epidemic is wreaking havoc there, just like many other small towns in America.
You’re coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first? The shower.
2/ Who do you see first? My girlfriend and my cat.
3/What do you eat first?
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Our very fancy light box sign from Target ($25)
My personal microphone (easy to forget at a gig)
A smile, of course