Music Interview: The Technicolors

The Technicolors at The Roxy

Hailing from Phoenix, American rock band The Technicolors have been making quite the name for themselves. I sat down with lead singer Brennan Smiley and lead guitarist Sean Silverman to discuss their new album, their tour with The Maine, and much more.

With their new album Metaphysical recently debuting, I ask the band how it feels to finally have their music out.

“It feels like a big weight lifted in the sense that we worked on the record for quite a long time and it kind of stretched out quite further than even we realised,” Sean admits. “I think the feeling of being able to take what was in our brains for so long and present it in a live setting […] was really important to us. It really felt like a relief.”

The feeling of relief is one also shared with lead singer Brennan: “it’s been really amazing to hear people coming up saying ‘hey, I love the new record!’, because we’ve never been here before”.

Their opening track ‘Neon Roses’ has become quite the hit. I ask Brennan and Sean what the inspiration for the song was. “You know what, I actually have a good answer for this one!” Brennan says. He had just purchased a new guitar pedal which turns your guitar into a synthesiser – “I literally plugged it in and the first note I hit was that ‘duh-duh-duh’ sound … there was something about that, that sounded electric to me. I just had this title ‘Neon Roses’ and a little melody and the song just evolved from that guitar sound.”

“Authenticity is important…”

I ask how them how they feel opening for fellow Phoenix-based band The Maine, who are very popular in the alternative music industry.

“It’s an interesting situation,” Sean says. “Coming here and performing alongside them is [great]. There is this… community of people that might know of [our] band through The Maine [but] often have not heard of our music.”

It’s clear Sean embraces the ‘blank canvas’ attitude and the lack of expectation put on the band. “We’ll play for anybody you know,” Brennan adds. He pauses and continues; “it’s different opening for them here than being on tour with them in the States. For any other band too, for us, we’ve found our own identity – it’s a good feeling, you can’t overthink it too much”.

Just from listening to The Technicolors, you can tell the band have a unique confidence in their music and content. With that in mind, I ask the band about their evolution and identity.

Brennan cements the idea that the band has always been music centric, but they don’t “know anything else outside of that and nor claim to” and that’s “number 1”. Authenticity is important to Brennan – “a lot of cool things follow when we put the music first… We’ve been able to build the right kinds of fans, fans that kind of gravitate towards the things we create the same way that we do, and that’s a bond that goes unspoken.”

Having toured throughout the States, Brennan says he witnessed the fan base growing based on their band’s authenticity. He feels The Technicolors are different from other bands that “feel pressure from a label” and their band aims to avoid “more of those pockets where music is more of a business, you know. To us, we just want to put on a great show”.

“I think it’s also tricky because oftentimes you set a goal. If your goal is to convince somebody of something, [then] to suggest that you have control over that is a bit lofty” Sean adds. “When you’re younger you get the sense that that is achievable, but then you realise in order to gain that sense of control you sacrifice a lot of yourself in doing so. [We’re] okay with the fact [our music] is not for everybody.”

With the interview coming to an end, I ask what we can expect in the future from The Technicolors. Brennan and Sean agree they see themselves touring the new album for a while. In terms of new music, though, they “always have tunes floating around”, so there’s hope for some new music in the not-too-distant future. Brennan teases “a couple tunes that are kind of in the mix of being finalised.”

Zoya Raza-Sheikh

Featured image courtesy of ‘Justin Higuchi’ via Flickr.

Image use license here.

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