We at PHILTHY MAG have been longtime fans, supporters, and [I’d like to think] friends of Orange County indie poppers The Colourist. We first met in June of 2013, right after they released their debut 7” and we later caught up last March, prior to their first Philadelphia headlining show. Since the first time we spoke the band, who have characterized their sound as “Paranormal California Tropic Rock,” have released their self-titled debut LP and toured with a plethora of heavy-hitting acts. They’re currently on the road supporting family band Echosmith and will be appearing at The TLA this Saturday, February 28th. Earlier this week drummer Maya Tuttle was kind enough to chat with us once again and tell me about all of the overwhelming highs the quartet has experienced over the past two years, in addition to the fact that fans can expect new music in the very near future.
Izzy Cihak: What are the biggest differences between the band from June of 2013, when we first spoke, right after you released your first 7”, and now? You’ve had a handful of really cool releases, including your first LP, and you’ve played on a number of really huge tours.
Maya Tuttle: We released a record, The Colourist, starred in a nationwide commercial for Nokia, toured nonstop (Metric, Fitz & the Tantrums, Panic at the Disco, The Naked and Famous, Atlas Genius, and our first headline tour), played late night television, and wrote a ton of cool new music.
Izzy: Are there any highlights of the past two years that especially stand out for you?
Maya: Playing The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Craig’s a musician and got pumped on creating a special intro to our TV debut by signaling my kick drum and getting the audience clapping in tandem. He knows how to fill a room with good vibes.
Izzy: The first time we spoke you told me that your biggest hopes were to play Maui and/or meet Phil Collins. Have either of those been achieved? What are currently the band’s biggest hopes or goals?
Maya: We’re still working on the Maui show. Meeting Phil Collins has not yet happened, but we’ve found that our CD is always grouped right next to his in alphabetically-organized record stores (“Colourist, “Collins”), so that makes us feel cool. Current goals remain the same.
Izzy: You’ve played Philadelphia a number of times and always to packed, or nearly-packed, houses, whether headlining the relatively intimate North Star or supporting Panic At the Disco or The Naked and Famous at pretty huge venues. How would you characterize your experiences with the city so far?
Maya: We love Philadelphia! We ran up the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art the last time we were here to get in the zone for our show. It’s fun to ask everyone where to get a good cheesesteak because everyone has their own secret spot. One time we hopped in a horse carriage near Franklin Square because someone thought it would taxi us back to our hotel, but it ended up going in a circle and we learned a lot about historic Philadelphia.
Izzy: You’re currently on a pretty massive tour with Echosmith. How has that been going so far?
Maya: The tour is fantastic. The shows have been packed and we’re having the opportunity to play cities that we’ve never played before to amazing crowds. We couldn’t be happier.
Izzy: How are Echosmith as tourmates? Were you previously fans of the group? I actually dig them, which makes me slightly uncomfortable because half of the band is younger than my students at Temple University… And the other half is the same age as said students…
Maya: Jamie, Sydney, Noah, and Graham are all down-to-earth, sweet, exceedingly talented individuals that put on an amazing show. I couldn’t stop singing “Cool Kids” even before we found out about this tour; and “Bright,” their latest single, is beautiful. There is a certain magic when siblings make music together. When you hear those harmonies, you just melt.
Izzy: What can be expected of the evening of live music when you’re back in Philly at the end of the month?
Maya: A very energetic show. And some new music.
Izzy: So, I hate to detract from your own sound, but your latest press release says that you are actually big fans of Marilyn Manson… That kind of shocks me, but as a 30-year-old, perpetually angsty and sexually ambiguous teen, I totally love that. They soundtracked some of the best and worst moments of my adolescence so, I have to ask: Do you have any particular favorite tracks or records of theirs? (“Cake and Sodomy” will always be my favorite song, but I hold everything through Mechanical Animals to be a pretty sacred piece of nostalgia.)
Maya: So, Kollin is the main Manson fan — we discovered our love through him — so he’ll answer this one.
Kollin Johannsen: If I had to pick a favorite song it could be “Disposable Teens” because when I saw him live recently it stuck out the most performance-wise. I think I gravitate more towards him as a character and the way he looks at situations. We always like listening to his interviews. The songs could be nostalgic but also current; he hasn’t really stopped doing what he does.
Izzy: You being a band based out of Orange County and me being someone who’s never even been to CA, I’m curious: What is it like in your hometown? How does it compare to all of the lame-ass popular representations like The Real Housewives and The O.C.?
Maya: The thing about southern California is that it’s such a massive, heavily-populated urban sprawl that you’ll find every type of person under the sun. There are absolutely people like those repped on The O.C. and Real Housewives. A lot of them. But there are also a ton of young, talented people making a run at their dreams, and those are the people we gravitate towards. There are also a ton of zen surfers. They’re fun, too.
Izzy: I understand that you’re currently recording new music. Do you care to share anything about what your fans can expect of your next release?
Maya: It’s coming very, very soon… 🙂
Izzy: Finally, what are you most excited about in 2015, beyond this tour with Echosmith?
Maya: Lots of new music on its way.