Welcome spring with the warm electronic rock sound of Color Palette at the next installation of SAAM's monthly concert series Luce Unplugged. The performance takes place Thursday, March 3rd at 6 p.m. Presented with D.C. Music Download, the free show will feature a staff-led art talk on a SAAM artwork selected by the band with drinks and snacks available for purchase at our cash bar. In anticipation of the show, we talked with two of the band's members, frontman Jay Neymeyer (vocals, guitar) and Josh Hunter (guitar, keys, bass), about the band's aesthetic, influences and what goes through their heads in the recording studio.
Eye Level: What musicians would you like to perform with?
EL: Who handles the art direction for Color Palette? How would you describe its aesthetic?
Josh: So far it has been collaboration with Navid Marvi of the D.C. area bands Technicians and Drop Electric. Navid works closely with the band on the graphic work for releases, and has done many of the awesome show posters! Our amazing photographers have been Clarissa Villondo and Nick Karlin, who both shoot for 9:30 Club and other publications and events around D.C. They have come up with very cool ideas that fit our overall aesthetics.
Jay: Navid Marvi is one of the most talented designers in this area, hands down. I would describe the aesthetic as: washed out, dreamy, emotional, and colorful. I think the cover art fits the music pretty nicely. Nick and Clarissa are wonderful, as well. We were very happy with how our most recent press shots turned out.
EL: What do you love about D.C.'s music scene? What would you like to change?
Josh: I think it's a stock answer, but our scene in D.C. is incredibly varied and diverse. We have several venues of various sizes that accommodate bands of all sizes and shapes and backgrounds. On any given night you can have several great shows vying for your attention. What I would like to see change in D.C. is part of the bubble that builds and bursts every few years. Bands or collectives get a good following and some good press and then, suddenly, aren't into playing shows that aren't theirs. It shrinks the pool of potential bills that can be built and divides audiences, which is kind of a bummer.
Jay: I love that there are so many great bands (playing all types of music). It seems, though, the same genres/bands receive all the press coverage. That seems unfair to everyone in the DMV region. Everyone works extremely hard to get recognized. Press coverage/shout-outs are really important when bands are trying to build a following and get noticed. D.C. publications need to do their homework. D.C. Music Download does a fantastic job of highlighting new and exciting acts in the DMV region. I am proud to be working with them for this show.
Also, I wish D.C. was recognized on a national level for more than its role as the birthplace of Punk. There's way more out there.
EL: What's next for Color Palette?
Jay: A lot of stuff. We started releasing a series of live videos February 22. We will be releasing another single in March. We will be releasing our debut full-length album in May. We are already working on our second set of songs. And, we'll be playing a decent amount of shows.
EL:Have you toured? Do you see a tour in your future?
Josh: Yes, but only in small bursts. We look forward to putting together a viable tour for the band. Maybe by summer of 2016.
EL: How does where you record affect the feel of the music?
Josh: A comfortable headspace is usually all that is required to affect the feel of the music. We dial in our own meditative processes and once the first chords get going we usually tune in and zone out.
Jay: For me, it is a super important factor. Our EP was recorded in L.A. If we had recorded somewhere else, I think the music would have turned out differently.
Catch Jay, Josh and the rest of Color Palette in the Luce Foundation Center next Thursday, March 3rd at 6 p.m.