We were lucky enough to catch up with the fantastic Seven Colour Drive for the second year running after their set on the Bar Stage at ArcTanGent this year. What goes on behind the scenes of this ‘multimedia project’?
We spoke after your set at ArcTanGent last year. What have you been doing since?
It’s been a pretty full-on year, to be honest! As well as playing some shows here and there within the local scene and beyond – notably an entirely improvised live soundtrack to a non-narrative documentary called Baraka for Paradoxus Productions – we’ve been writing new music in the time we found free over the last few months; we’re hoping to bring out a new full-length recording at some point soon. We’re pretty excited to show everyone these new tracks, so much so that they’ve been occasionally creeping into our sets even in their pre-pubescent forms!
This year you played a semi-acoustic set, which was very different than your set last year on the main stage. Is that something that you’ve worked on generally, or is it something you did specifically for ATG?
This was specific to the ATG set this year. We were asked to do a stripped-down set on the new Elephant in the Bar Room Stage, as opposed to our usual wall of sound kinda thing, so we reworked older songs, messed around with ones in our normal set, improvised a bit as we like to do, threw some parts from the upcoming album in and that formed our ATG 7 set. Which was a hell of a lot of fun for us!
Parts of the set, particularly the first song, had an Americana feel to it. Is that a genre that interests you?
Did you think so? You’re probably right, to be honest. We’re a pretty eclectic bunch, so pretty much every genre interests us really. You’ll catch us listening to anything from Neil Young to crazy black metal at any time! Haha! Not to mention there’s definitely a couple of not-so-closet Eagles fans in the band; that probably had an influence on some of our initial jams for this thing.
Not that I was stalking you, but I saw you really enjoying GNOD’s set. Does this mean your bassist is going to look into earth-shattering bass pedals now?
How good was that set? Earth-shattering tones and definite inspiration food. Also potentially the heaviest thing we saw all weekend. Also slightly reminiscent of some of the classic or even cult bands like Swans that are notorious for face-melting and turning their shows into full-body experiences! As for Joe, he has a few pedals and a monster amp, but more bass-based thunder is always welcome. We’ve been trying to persuade him to get a Darkglass Duality for a while now for this exact reason!
Last year you mentioned that your influences frequently change. What have you heard over the past year that has piqued your interest?
2019 has been a really interesting year for music so far; it’s pretty clear that civil unrest and the ever-growing difficulties we’re facing as a species is really inspiring some great art out there. Fortunately every time the world goes to shit – and this time it’s pretty savage – art becomes the medium for healing for many people; from channelling all anger and negativity into music as a form of catharsis to just making minimal repetitive art while staring into the distance in despair, it all helps the creator process things and more often than not, the spectator too; something we kinda hope to do with this project is to spark up some kind of flame in one or two people out there.
But you asked about music that influenced us. Difficult to answer really as we all go through different stages of listening to stuff individually, and then when we come together in the studio, it all kinda merges into the weird mesh that is SCD. For example, a couple of us have been listening to quite a bit of Swans, especially the last three albums, and at the same time listening to lots of Radiohead, some stellar new releases from Culprate, Aphex Twin, Toe, GoGo Penguin and Origin, as well as some excellent more close to home releases from No Violet and Memory of Elephants just to mention a few.
How can people find your music?
Just google us, I suppose. Our first ever EP is up there. But best to come see us live for the full monty. Nothing beats live music!
What are your plans from here?
Seven Colour Drive is an experimental project, so anything could happen! As mentioned earlier, we are in the process of writing a full length at the moment, whilst continually refining our sound while we frame it and re-frame it in concepts we see fit for the time of creation.
In the meantime, though we intend to do some more shows, maybe more of the improvised live soundtracks, possibly a couple of more chilled out shows, hopefully, come back to ATG next year and also a completely live studio recording separate to the album. Generally, the main focus is to continually present our best and most interesting work as often as possible. Hopefully we’ll see you all at some shows soon!