By Marley

Light Switch” is the second album from Johannesburg based rock outfit The Color Blew, representing depth and insight in a sea of over-produced, shallow, commercial music. They provide the “alternative” where talent and passion merge with meaning and sound – a place free from preconceived notions of how music should sound.

The Color Blew will be making their debut at Blue Moon on Saturday 23 November 2019 as they are part of The Narrow’s Fired Up gig. I’m also new to their music and I must say, it’s music with a message. I managed to track down the band and their vocalist, Liaan Horton answered our hungry questions.

STM: Tell us more about The Color Blew, when you formed, where you come from and what is the kind of music you play?

TCB: The foundation for the formation of The Color Blew was laid after we were introduced by a mutual friend. A passionate musical collaboration was formed when Liaan Horton from South African hard rock band “Blacklist Rock” teamed up with Armando Santos and Marius Cronje both from fellow South African based band “Equils” to interpret and create aural art based on songs written by Liaan Horton. This union proved to be so successful that the band decided to make this collaboration permanent.

We soon started writing fresh alternative rock songs as a unit. The band was officially ready to carve its name into the South African music scene. The following years saw The Color Blew playing shows in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, The Free State, KZN and the Eastern Cape. All of this was done while writing and recording their material and trying to build a local and online fan base. We went on to recruit lead guitarist Timothy James Lotter, formerly from the east rand based band “Black Jacket”, further expanding the canvas for their unique aural art. Timothy brought his polished playing qualities to the unit and integrated seamlessly into the core vision of The Color Blew.

The band sticks to its fundamental rule of working hard in the studio and playing hard on stage, no matter what the occasion The Color Blew holds nothing back…

STM: The Color Blew is a name that stands out from the rest, how did you come up with the name?

TCB: It’s not as profound as you might think but then again it was a definitive moment which set the band on its course! From what I can recall we were standing outside the studio after a practice one Thursday night discussing band names and we actually came up with it very quickly… It felt right and I don’t like to argue with what feels right. I said to the guys I always had this idea in my head that I would like to play in a band that had “color” in its name.

So we came up with The Colour Blue in seconds… We then decided to not make it specific and change it to Blew because that really fits with how we try to paint musical pictures. Just before deciding Armando jumped in and suggested we use the American Spelling of Color hence The Color Blew was christened and we have felt at home ever since.

STM: Your second album “Light Switch” has just seen, well, the light. Can you tell us more about it?

TCB: “Light Switch” is our second album and it is The Color Blew! It’s real, hard, soft, intense, rock, ghetto, thunder, shadows, afro, punk, grunge, the alternative, belief, anger, hope, faith, hate, life, death, dirty, clean, dark and light

The lyrics are an observation, an inspiration something to laugh at something to feel… something to ponder…What is real? What is a fad? What is FOREVER! It is Liaan, George, Tim and Armando it is real it is The Color Blew and it is NOW!

STM: Your song “Angel Lane” has a very special dedication behind it, can you tell us about it, please?

TCB: “Angel Lane” is very special to the band and to me personally… I was in a very dark place after my wife Amanda passed away suddenly soon after forming The Color Blew. The song is basically something that was written as an expression of those very painful and raw thoughts in the months, years after the tragedy. It’s all there in the lyrics and in the music, it’s one we don’t play live much because of the emotional toll it takes.

STM: Do you hope “Angel Lane” will reach that one person who has dark thoughts?

TCB: As with every song we write we hope we can at least change one person day or experience for the better, share a moment and maybe just be that special moment they need.

STM: You guys are sharing the stage with The Narrow on 23 November, how excited are you for this show?

TCB: Absolutely stoked to be performing with them, they are legendary in the SA Music and we can’t wait to be loud proud and intense in Nelspruit!

STM: Have you guys ever been to Nelspruit? And if not what do you guys expect from the small city?

TCB: We haven’t been to Nelspruit as a band…yet. But, Nelspruit has been high on our list of small towns we want to play. We know that there is a beautifully strong and active group of people there who appreciate and support South African music there!

We are a band made up of guys from small towns and feel a real kinship and understanding for them. The people live and work together and know each other well and the support structures are strong in a small town. But, being away from the big cities means that opportunities and exposure to live music events etc are less frequent and as a result, we find the smaller towns are far more supportive for the live scene.

We are a relationship driven band. Our music means something to us, and we want it to mean something to you when you listen. When we share those moments, we make friends because it is an emotional exchange.

So, Nelspruit has always been one of the places we have wanted to go because we know we will find kindred spirits and make new friends. It is a special place and we cannot wait to be there!

The Color Blew
The Color Blew
(photo supplied)

STM: What has been a career highlight for The Color Blew?

TCB: Completing our second album, “Light Switch“, has been a highlight. We have grown and changed a lot as a band, as people, and as a family over the last 18 months – which is the material on which we based this album. It encompasses so many achievements and stories, it is hard to put into words.

STM: Where do you guys see yourselves as a band in the next few years?

TCB: We are really proud of what we have accomplished in the last few years, and with Light Switch. We will highlight a few more singles and create some videos for those songs and see where that takes us. But, we will keep working and writing and putting out more digital content…and hope to play many small towns around the country, some of the big festivals as well.

We want to make more music and more friends through music – what it will sound like is yet to be seen!

STM: What is your message to the adoring fans at Blue Moon?

TCB: The event happening on 23 November is a fantastic opportunity to let your hair down and have a lekker jol as the holiday season approaches! Silly season can be stressful and music and friends are one of the best ways to find your groove again.

The team has put together a killer line up with The Narrow, Son of Hawk, I Believe in Giants and Back Stage….and we, The Color Blew… are really stoked to be a part of a legendary line up at a legendary venue in a legendary town!

So, pull in early, bring as many people as can fit in your Tazz, Landy, or Cortina or even on your handlebars! It is going to be one of the best parties that Blue Moon and Nelspruit have ever seen!! And, we want to meet you – so come say hi! Take a selfie – buy a CD and we’ll sign it! See you there!

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Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.