For Fans Of: Marmozets / Calva Louise / Milk Teeth
Named by VISIONS as one of their top five bands to watch in 2021, COLORWAVE have been a sleeping beast in the stomping punk scene. Now rousing with their provocative song ‘Pressure’, the trio channel frustration and ferocity in equal measure. Eager to see what’s next for the band, we chat to them about recording, the early days and more.
Words: Renette van der Merwe
Tell us a little about yourself. Where the name came from, how long you’ve been going for and anything else new fans would want to know.
COLORWAVE is about honesty, about tough love, about sharing experiences. It is boundless and borderless, havoc and harmony. It’s been a home for the wildly weird, those wonderfully wicked, and every stormy soul in-between for about 6 years now.
It took months to find a name for our group. We wanted something that would give us the ability to create whatever we feel like, the name shouldn’t tie us to a specific niche in the alternative rock genre. We also wanted something that expresses our values: synergy, openness, defiance. At some point we were so desperate, we filtered through lyrics of some songs we liked. “Wave” actually came from the line “I’m not a chance but a heatwave in your pants.” from Fall Out Boy’s “I Don’t Care” hahahaha.
At the risk of sounding super cheesy, we felt like this name perfectly expresses what we want to create: a community of people from all different kinds of backgrounds coming together, accepting each other for who they are (flaws and all), combining their strengths to overcome any obstacles and create the change they want to see in the world. Just like drops of water which together form a playful but strong wave that carves even the biggest rocks.
Since forming in 2015, the three of us have been through a lot together.
Growing and building a life together is an incredible journey and we love sharing it with our fans, normalising the topic of self-acceptance without settling for something that makes you unhappy.
Everyone who sometimes gets stuck overthinking. Who is doing their best to keep themselves together. Who has ever felt like they are not good enough. Who finds it impossible to take a breath and relax sometimes. Who’s ever felt crushed under the weight of expectation.⠀
Welcome home! – All of our songs are for you!
“Holy. Fucking. Shit. I am lost for words. Just listen to [Pressure]. I didn’t breathe from start to end. Let off some steam and treat yourself to the musical equivalent of screaming alone at the sky.”
Finn D’Albert, Raw Meat Music
Can you recall your very first memory of music?
Gin: My mum singing to me. Me and her singing in the car together every day from kindergarten to high school. And discovering different instruments at pre-school music classes.
Flo: Music has always been quite an important part at my parents’ house. We were encouraged to play instruments and listen to loads of music with my dad being an enormous jazz fan.
Jan: Age 8. Sitting in an Arena in Germany “singing” the “lyrics” at the Eros Ramazzotti Dove C’è Musica Tour in 1996.
Who’s on your wishlist of artists that you’d love to collaborate with and/or open for on tour?
Going on tour together with Billy Talent, Nothing But Thieves or powerhouse Calva Louise would be amazing!
Since all of us feel inspired by such different artists and genres, our wish list for collabs is long and rather diverse, ranging from pop icons like Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus to the wonderful indie-rock duo Now, Now.
In terms of collaboration, a big dream of ours actually came true for us last year when Mathias Bloech of the German progressive rock/post-hardcore band Heisskalt approached us and we ended up co-producing our singles with him. One of the best weeks of our lives so far! And we’re planning on recording a few more songs with him again this year.
Speaking of live shows, what’s your favourite story from a show so far?
Jan: Playing a club show in east Germany with two other bands. The club was packed when we went on stage. People started dancing and I thought “nice, they don’t even know us and they’re having a great time anyways!” Then we played the drop-into the last chorus of our song ‘Souls’ and everyone was screaming the lyrics right back at us. I almost forgot to continue playing the rest of the song. I was just overwhelmed.
It hasn’t been long since you released ‘Pressure’ and you have another track on the way. What were some of the most fun and also most challenging aspects of recording?
Jan: Most fun was the letting go of expectations and pressure (ironically). Everything fell into place perfectly. The biggest challenge was to record it live without any overdubs. First time ever that we did that.
Flo: For me personally, being reunited with the crew and just work on new songs was the most rewarding feeling you can imagine.
Being forced to reschedule dates quite a few time really hit me hard and was my biggest challenge.
Gin: The time at the studio has been such a deeply transforming experience this time around.
The most challenging part was that I lost my voice completely the day we arrived at the studio. My throat was so sore, I could barely speak, and I was extremely frustrated with myself at first. And then it all turned around when I was able to accept my situation. I learned that I could fully immerse myself in the writing process without singing. It made me realise that I am more than “just” my voice. I haven’t felt this aligned with myself in ages and it was so much fun to be in the state of flow and creating together with the group after months of being apart due to travel restrictions!
Does the new music mean we can expect an album?
No. Maybe. We don’t know. Never say never, but right now we just want to write a lot of songs and share them with the world.
Settle an argument for us (and the rest of the world) pineapple on pizza?
Gin: I love pineapple on pizza, no question. But pizza is such a wonderful dish because you can do whatever tickles your tastebuds. Common ground: everyone loves pizza, right?!
Flo: I grew up with the so-called “Hawaii Toast” being a crucial part of my life so a big and juicy YESto pineapple on pizza.
Jan: I put Nutella (and butter) under the cheese on my bread. I think I’m the wrong person to ask this question. Haha! Do whatever you fancy.
Rising to the challenge, COLORWAVE have put together an electrifying collection of songs that best encapsulates the artists and music that inspire them as a band.
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