In an attempt to shine light on local music, The Lantern’s “Columbus’ Own” is a weekly series that will profile a new Columbus band every week.
Upon first listening to Colors, vocalist Jordan Byrd’s distinct sound might not invoke the word “love” in one’s mind. Love, however, is exactly what the “screamo and melodic hardcore” group — as drummer Antonio Foushee described — was founded upon.
“We all really, really, really love each other,” Foushee said of his four fellow bandmates. “We just bring completely different things to the table that end up binding really, really well.”
The loving relationships of Colors begin with a simple philosophy, both Foushee and guitarist Stephen Robbins said.
“It may be a bit cliché, but honestly,” Foushee began, “honesty is the best policy.”
“We’re just really straightforward with each other,” Robbins agreed. “If you have an idea, you just do it and we’ll start to discuss things. We’ll just be very honest with each other.”
When the Colors group got together to pick a band name, though, everything was completely randomized, Robbins explained.
“We were having problems coming up with the name, so we just took some of our lyrics, closed our eyes and put our finger on a word,” Robbins said. “We were kind of doing it as a joke, but Colors just kind of stuck.”
Since that finger-pointing and subsequent band-naming, Colors has been combining each member’s separate palate to grow with every song they send forth. Often, each new song begins with a little fun between friends.
“When we feel like writing a little bit of music, a riff will bring an idea and we’ll hang out a bit and unwind,” bassist Kevin Tolliver said. “We’ll bounce it around each other, maybe party a little bit, and then we’ll talk about how we feel about it, how it’s going to sound to people, and we always try to do something a little different with each song we write.”
Foushee said he believes the members’ combined song-writing efforts make the band that much better, as each person brings something a little different to the table.
“We all pull from every side of our liking,” Foushee said. “We all have so many different backgrounds, so that helps everything to mix everything together.”
Even though the members of Colors have fun off the stage, Robbins said the songs are pretty deep and mostly sorrowful. Robbins said the group tries to bring sadness to the forefront, rather than letting it fester in the back of people’s minds.
“Honestly, it’s a lot of sadness,” Robbins said. “(It’s about) making (sadness) something that’s a little more normal to talk about because it’s something that everyone deals with. It’s an expression of, ‘Hey, this is OK to talk about.’”
Foushee agreed with his bandmate and friend, expanding on the heart of the subject matter.
“A lot of us in the band have dealt with deep personal tragedies,” Foushee said. “People have different types of problems, and people seem to think it’s not OK to talk about those things. These are the things that run through peoples’ minds and these are things that people need to talk about. It’s about being vocal about how you feel, because it’s important with us.”
The sad songs might be easy for the band members to describe, but the sound of the group overall proved to be a bit more difficult for them to classify.
“We’ve had this conversation within the band an infinite amount of times,” Foushee said, when trying to explain the musical nature of the band. “We never had the direction of a certain genre. I wouldn’t say we don’t have a genre, but we all have such different backgrounds that we just pull a little bit from everyone.”
Tolliver tried to paint a clearer picture of Colors, but came up empty as well.
“I don’t know,” Tolliver said, laughing with Foushee. “We mostly have no idea what we would classify ourselves as.”
Finally, after a bit of thought, Robbins and Foushee were able to agree on a metallic, punk-type vibe, and commented on Byrd’s metal-esque vocals vocals.
“It’s something that’s kind of naturally come to him,” Robbins said. “I have no idea how he does it.”
Foushee said Byrd’s gruff voice seems rough to make.
“I feel like, personally, that it takes a lot out of him,” Foushee said of Byrd’s sounds. “He doesn’t make it seem like it’s something that’s killing him, but when you listen to it, it feels like its got to be tough.”
Foushee said getting together with his bandmates is something that he loves doing, and that most people should pursue doing things they love.
“We all have a lot going on, but we try to get together as much as we can, just to get a little loose and hang out with friends,” Foushee said. “Really, the best thing to do for a lot of people is just like any type of relationships in life, do what you love with who you love. That’s what we’re doing.”