2019 is already proving to be a huge year for Western Australian electronic dance trio, Crooked Colours. After playing Laneway festival, releasing two new singles 'Hold On' and 'Never Dance Alone', and wowing audiences at Groovin The Moo festival over the last two weekends, the boys are also about to release their sophomore album 'Langata' and embark on their biggest headline tour to date.
We had a chat with drummer Liam Merrett-Park about the bands new album, what to expect from their live shows and wanting to collaborate with John Mayer.
Can you tell us a little about yourselves and how Crooked Colours came to be?
We are three guys from the Southwest of WA that play indie-electronic music. We met through mutual friends like 7 years ago and we started creating music to play for friends at house parties. We had no ambitions of a career in music, we just liked to create it and play it in front of people, and we stuck at it until it has now become the biggest thing in our lives.
Tell us about your music - how did you guys develop your sound?
We were always into electronic music, so when we started writing songs in the early days we would try and emulate songs that we liked. During that process you hear a song and go, “How do I make that sound?” and you go back to your bedroom and try and recreate it. During that process you would distract yourself with something different that you liked and expand on that. In a way you almost become your own inspiration, wanting to expand on the last idea you had and make it bigger or weirder. That’s how we have been working, expanding on idea’s that we had on our last album.
Your debut album ‘Vera’ hit No.1 on the iTunes Electronic chart and gained over 30 million collective online streams. That must have felt pretty good to get such a strong reaction to the album?
Yeah it was surreal. We had had such a big break since our last release so we didn’t quite know how it would be received. After releasing the first single Flow, the reaction blew us away! It was crazy, we were getting tagged in all these travel Vlogs and on high fashion runway shows. Then the album came out and we hit the ARIA charts and it was actually such a shock! Honestly it has been such a great few years and we are so thankful.
Your sophomore album ‘Langata’ is out May 17. How would you describe this album?
It is the next step of Vera. Some deeply personal lyrics, some party lyrics. Some dance-y tracks and some slower chilled tracks. It’s our favourite body of work we have created yet.
In terms of the album-making process, did you do anything differently this time compared to your debut album?
This album was largely written on the road so in terms of locations. We were in hotel rooms or on the tour bus or planes which was completely different to largely being based in our home studios but other than that it was much the same. We kept it completely in house using the same gear as Vera. We’re just older and hopefully wiser.
What were some of your biggest inspirations (musically or otherwise) during the making of this album?
We were very inspired by the places we had been or the places we wanted to be. For example, the first single “I’ll Be There” was heavily inspired by a trip to New Caledonia and the track “Hold On” was inspired by our desire to be at the beach while we were shivering in the US winter.
What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
That point when you know the project you are working on is actually going to turn into something you want. You often start a track and spend all of this time on it for it to turn into a blackhole of time that never forms into the vision you had of it. It’s best left alone and to start again. But at that point of perseverance and it works out, that’s our favourite. Also, when we are all in the studio jamming out at the final touches.
What can the crowds expect from the Crooked Colours live shows?
We always want to bring energy. Starting a bit chilled and then building into high energy at the end. Seeing the crowd react and dance is the ultimate reward. We are also going to tour with a new lighting rig which we are excited about.
What’s something most people don’t know about you guys?
We used to live together, and we would eat pasta bake and drink beers all week and we all got fat. It was fun but we all needed to get out of there.
If you guys could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
John Mayer. What a musician, what a voice! That guy has a deep love for everything music and I think would be able to impart some good wisdom on the way.
Are there any emerging bands/artists that you’re loving at the moment?
What advice would you give emerging songwriters/musicians that are trying to break into the industry?
There are going to great times but also some pretty low times. You just have to ride the hard times out and keep on working. Don’t stop.
'Langata' will be released on May 17th with preorders available now. Tickets for their national tour are also available now via their website.