One of the things that makes humans unique is the experiences that they go through and their own personal stories. From struggles to successes, we as humans tend to have gone through a multitude of emotions in our lives and that is what makes humanity tick. The Color Morale aren’t necessarily alone in utilizing the concept of creating music that relates to the stories they’ve been told and experiences they’ve learned from, but they’re one of the more vocal bands in regards to it. We got the chance to talk with front-man Garret Rapp about that, the changes in sound and approach for their upcoming record and some other on-goings. Be sure to hit the band up on Facebook + Twitter and pre-order their new album, Desolate Divine.
One of the things we like to do is get to know something about the people we talk to that isn’t necessarily widely known. Is there any sort of quirk or nugget of information that isn’t talked about much that people may not know about you?
I’ve shit my pants 3 times in my life, one of which was only last year.
There’s a lot of bigger, well known acts in the scene right now that have stylistically shifted their sound to something different. As a band, you guys have undergone stylistic changes as well and definitely don’t appear to have any qualms about it. Foremost, do you feel that by doing so, it has helped everyone in the band grow as not only musicians, but people?
Aaron and I definitely grew as song writers together. I think everyone has a new definition and appreciation for melody in song writing after this record.
Following up on that, when fans release their frustration with their favorite bands changing sounds, by calling them sellouts or saying they just want radio play, how does a band react to that and get across a stronger message that as people get older, they change, grow and learn?
Honestly, if you ask those same people complaining who they’re currently listening to, it would retract any opinion they had on you or what you’re doing as an artist. We’ve already had a record that was completely different, and it was our biggest one to date…but everyone had something bad to say at first because people resist change. So far with the 3 singles we’ve released, I’ve heard nothing but good things, because they’re great songs. For a band to sell out, they have to become mindless in their music. This record has some of the best lyrical content I’ve ever written and sustains more integrity with the delivery of it in these songs.
The day before this year’s Warped Tour went underway, you guys announced your new album Desolate Divine. Of the currently released songs and songs you’ve played live and with the available information on the record itself, how do you think fans have responded to the directional and tonal shift in sound?
I think the response to ‘Walls’ was bigger than anything in our live set. So excited to get on tour this fall and play more songs.
Delving deeper into the upcoming record, there’s been discussion on how a different writing approach was taken for this compared to previous records. Could you elaborate more on what was different during this record compared to older material?
We actually worked with cowriters on this album, which in the past we were very against the idea of. Every song on this record, minus one, was written with an outside source that we knew and trusted on a personal level as well as an artistic song writing level.
With the past few records, it’s rather well known that a lot of ideas came from not only yourself and personal experiences, but fans and their experiences. They were sort of records written for everyone so to speak. Does that ideology continue to be found on Desolate Divine or is this more of a self-reflection/experience theme?
This record deals with emotional vulnerability or lack there of. I’ve never really written about dating and or relationships within our band, but as a personal area of opportunity, I felt it was a great focal point of the lyrical content for this record.
There’s an interview from about a week ago done with Chorus.fm where it was discussed how the album was sort of just announced. There wasn’t this huge build up to the record announcement; it was just announced, a single was released and the release date wasn’t too far off. Do you feel that long, drawn out album campaigns help or hurt presales and the artist in general and what are your thoughts on doing the long, drawn out release campaigns?
I really don’t have much of an opinion on them. I think they can get kind of annoying if you keep doing them over and over every record. We’ve had a good solid summer on Warped Tour to promote the album release every day, mouth to ear…I think thats the best kind.
To follow up on that even more, with the advent of streaming really taking off over the past few years and a multitude of outlets to reach new audiences from all over the world, how do you feel the music industry is handling it? There’s been a huge amount of discussion in regards to royalty payouts, but do you see or feel that artists do get a benefit in audience reach from them?
I think they help a band’s overall growth. You either have to grow with something and try to take advantage of it, or ignore it and fade away.
You’re coming up on 10 years together as a band, having released multiple albums and played countless tours in multiple cities in different countries. Looking back on the (almost) past decade, what’s been your favorite experience or milestone that you’ve reached?
I think to name a few….playing a MainStage at Cornerstone Music Festival, playing a MainStage at Warped Tour, leaving the country, and most importantly continuing to grow and sustain a place as an artist in the world.
Lastly, this is your platform to voice yourself and anything we didn’t have a chance to cover to people who read this, so feel free to drop anything here.
Please check out Desolate Divine 8.19.16 and follow us on all socials @thecolormorale and @garretrapp for updates and random shenanigans.
We greatly appreciate you taking the time to speak with us; cannot wait for the new record and to see what you’re up to next!