Dark Colour is an electronic-pop band made up of Randal Rigdon Jr. (vocals/keyboard), Coleman Williams (guitar), Sean Kelley (bass) and Joseph Sparough (drums). They spoke to TNR about being apart of the Cincinnati music scene, their upcoming album and why there’s a “u” in Colour.
How would you describe the sound of Dark Colour in one word?
Randall Rigdon Jr: Free.
Joseph Sparough: Catchy.
Sean Kelley: Light.
Coleman Williams: Succulent.
How did Dark Colour form?
Randall: While here at UC in the College-Conservatory of Music, Dark Colour was just a name I used when creating music and searching for my sound. I was performing Dark Colour out as a solo project at the Southgate House Revival last year and most the guys in the band saw me there. Shortly after they all jumped on board and Dark Colour actualized into the full band it is now.
What’s it like being part of Cincinnati’s music scene? Is the city or the local music something that is intrinsic to Dark Colour’s sound?
Randall: It’s intrinsic almost because there’s not many that perceive it as so. There’s not really anyone else attempting electro in Cincy and that’s provided us a role to step up to and fulfill within our amazing community. That said, the indie scene here is thriving and getting to play alongside the great indie acts of Cincinnati has been amazing.
Joseph: It has been great to be a part of the Cincinnati music scene. We recently played the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and it was a great experience to see how many great bands over the whole genre spectrum that Cincinnati has to offer. No matter what kind of music you like, there is a Cincinnati band that is doing that type of music well.
Coleman: One of the best things about playing in Cincinnati is all the amazing bands we get to play with such as The Yugos, Injecting Strangers, Northland Noise and so many others. That's another thing about the Cincinnati music scene, there are so many great bands out there playing that it gets easy to get obscured. But something special is happening here and we are extremely fortunate to be in Cincinnati and to be a part of the growing music community.
Your first album was “Prisoner”and the one you’re working on now is going to be called “Animal.”Are these one-word titles symbolic of the album? Does your music contain some sort of thematic element?
Randall: We want to tell a story of transformation — the journey it takes to finding a balance and attaining your truest self. “Prisoner” was about recognizing and resisting the imprisonments of society, whereas “Animal” is about a stage of personal deconstruction that arises in the immediacy of rejecting outside forces. Thematically, “Animal” will be a little more raw and forceful, but at its heart it’s still about rediscovering the ideals that humanize us through raw exploration — like love, strength and acceptance — and that will still be fully reflected through the punkier edge of “Animal.”
Who are your influences? What local bands do you think deserve more attention?
Sean: I’m influenced by the progressive musicians who continually challenge the set boundaries of the roles they play. I look up to bassists like Chris Squire (from Yes) who groove with such articulate passion that sustains a motion and interest in both the listener and the performers. Without a doubt, out of all the local acts we've seen and played with over the past year (and most all of them have been great), the one that has stood out most to me is Fluffer. I just love those guys! They've got a very modern sound but they execute it with that pioneering spirit that really resonates with me.
Randall: To name some, I’m really inspired by the work of Gregg Alexander (New Radicals), Nick Littlemore (Pnau, Empire of the Sun), Peter Gabriel and even Moby; I really like their distinct writing styles and their abilities to craft really catchy music of unique sounds. I really like playing with local act Young Colt. They have a really smooth sound, and I like the sound of this act we’re going to play with soon called Orchards. They seem like a cool bunch.
Joseph: There are so many local bands that deserve more attention, but one band we have played with a couple of times and that I really enjoy are Saudades. They are a three-piece band that just plays really happy and fun music that is perfect for dancing and singing along. Any given night there is a great band playing somewhere, so I would just encourage people to get out and support local music!
Why is there a “u” in Colour?
Randall: Bands with really foreign, pioneering sounds like the Chemical Brothers or Kraftwerk always seem to have that advantage of actually being from a foreign country. I think that adds to their image and our conceptions of how we view these alien music makers. I wanted to initially misdirect our mostly online and out-of-country base into thinking we’re one of those mystic European acts, when almost ironically we originate from Middle America Cincinnati. It’s certainly taken on a larger effect, as I’ve regularly reiterated the spelling on the stage to a point where it’s become a reoccurring joke. It’s getting to the point where I think people actually think our band name is “Dark Colour with a U”.