COLONY HOUSE + MARLON WILLIAMS

FMQB Triple A Conference & 97.3 KBCO Present

COLONY HOUSE + MARLON WILLIAMS

Fri Aug 11

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

FMQB Free Outdoor Stage on the Hill

Free

This event is all ages

Colony House
Colony House
Picture the quintessential rock band. Maybe they’re standing on a grimy street
corner with their arms crossed, looking tough, or maybe they’re goofing around in a
sunlit field. They could be wearing motorcycle jackets or cowboy shirts or feather
boas. They might sound austere and angry or epic and stadium-ready. But what they
have in common, regardless of aesthetic, is that they stand together, shoulder-toshoulder, brothers and sisters in arms. A real rock band is a gang. A group of people
united by a shared commitment to what matters in the world, what matters in life,
and an insatiable need to communicate that sensibility to anyone else out there who
might relate.
It’s this idea – that your band is your life and vice versa - that bonds the four
members of Nashville-based rock band Colony House. Frontman Caleb Chapman,
drummer Will Chapman, guitarist Scott Mills, and bassist Parke Cottrell are all
married guys in their twenties, so they don’t really fit the rockstar cliché: there’s no
champagne cork popping or model chasing with this crew. “We always kind of joke –
you think people think we’re a cool band?” says Caleb, chuckling. “The joke is that
we know we’re not a ‘cool’ band. We’re regular guys.” But when it comes to that
most sacred rock and roll thing, where you move on a mission from town to town
and stage to stage getting “gnarly and sweaty” as Caleb puts it, in honor of the thing
you love, this band has that part down cold. “We’re not sex drugs and rock and roll,”
Caleb says, laughing. “We’re just rock and roll.”
Colony House is gearing up to release their major label debut, ONLY THE LONELY,
via Descendant/RCA. The title is a shout-out to the king of elegiac melancholy -
“Obviously it’s a direct Roy Orbison reference,” says Caleb. And that might initially
seem at odds with Colony House’s sound, a madcap aural rollercoaster borrowing
from the anthemic swell of the Killers to the harmonic sass of the Beach Boys to the
wit of Vampire Weekend. But beneath the band’s whirlwind of ecstatic guitar
playing and intricate melodies you’ll find their real signature: emotion. They write
about being desperately lonely. They write about being desperately joyful. But what
makes a Colony House song a Colony House song is the sheer feeling it conveys. “We
want to connect with people,” explains Caleb, mentioning a favorite quote by van
Gogh. There’s a great fire that burns within me but no one stops to warm themselves
by it, and passersby only see a wisp of smoke. “I mean, this is Vincent van Gogh we’re
talking about!” he continues. “The whole world knows his work! But he felt this
loneliness, this sense of, I have so much I have to offer but no one stops to see it.”
Colony House’s primary aim is to see that fire. To witness it, as Caleb puts it, “in
ourselves, and in the people that come to see us play. That’s what we’re about.”
If this sounds like an unusually high-minded goal for a bunch of twenty-something
dudes in a rock and roll band, there’s a reason for that: the guys in Colony House
may be young, but they’re serious about their work. And they’ve been at it a while.
“So … me and my brother, we know each other for obvious reasons,” says Caleb, as
he begins to explain how they all met. Caleb is older, “by sixteen months,” he points
out. “I think we have twin tendencies.” The two brothers come from a long line of
musicians. “If you’re ever in Paducah, Kentucky and you see ‘Chapman Music’ on the
side of the road, that’s my grandpa’s music shop,” Caleb says. Grandpa Chapman’s
son, Steven Curtis Chapman, Caleb and Will’s dad, is also a musician. He grew up
“playing southern gospel and bluegrass,” in Kentucky, Caleb says, then moved to
Nashville and became a songwriter. “He found success in the contemporary
Christian music world,” Caleb continues. “This is a proud son thing to say, but he
really helped shape what that industry is.” For Will and Caleb, visiting dad at the
office meant climbing aboard a tour bus. “That’s what really inspired me and my
brother to start playing music,” Caleb recalls. “We were like, we want to do what dad
does.”
Knowing what you want to do and actually doing it are two different things. It took
the Chapman brothers a while, but by the end of 2009, around the time they met
Scott, things really started to gel. “My cousin brought him to our little sister’s
birthday party, and he’s like, Scott plays guitar if you ever need a guitar player.”
They actually did, and eventually Scott became the first guy in the band not named
Chapman. Scott knew of Parke from back home in Knoxville. He had a reputation as
killer guitarist and piano player, but they’d never met until Colony House asked
Parke to open up, as a solo artist, for one of their Knoxville shows. He did. It went
very well. And thus began a multi-year getting-to- know-you period between Colony
House and Parke. Three years after that show in Knoxville, Colony House asked Parke to come out and play bass with them for a couple weeks. Parke borrowed a friend’s bass, met the guys in Atlanta, and has played every show since. He was officially added to the line-up in the spring of this year.
It matters, when you tour with the intensity Colony House tours, that all the people
you’re sharing a van with have your back. And it matters that all the people waiting
for you back at home do too. “For us at least, they go hand in hand,” Caleb says. “If
you’re falling apart in one place, it directly impacts the other.” After the band
released their 2014 debut (on Descendant) they proceeded to play over 200 shows
the following year in support of it. “We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, this is
the dream,” says Caleb. “But it’s also work.” Discovering that they could be exactly
where they wanted to be, living the dream out on the road while simultaneously
missing home gave the band a new insight into what they see as a universal human
struggle. “Everyone has things they miss, everyone has things they’re worried about
– even when life is going great, it can still feel hard, and there’s no shame in saying
that, there is no shame in saying you’re lonely or sad, that’s part of the beauty of
life,” Caleb says.
And that’s really what Only the Lonely seeks to capture in thirteen impassioned
tracks: joy reached via a shared appreciation of struggle.
Producer Peter Katis known for his work with Interpol, The National, Frightened
Rabbit, and more worked with the band on many of the album tracks on ONLY THE
LONELY, as well as notable mixer Vance Powell (Jack White, Elle King, Beck).
The album’s first single, “You & I,” reflects this quest for communal catharsis. It
started as Caleb’s attempt to step outside the super-personal stance he usually takes
with lyrics and move instead towards something more of the times. “I was
challenged by a friend of ours, he was like Dylan or Kristofferson or the
Highwaymen, they wrote songs about the times, about the political climate and the
social climate, and you just don’t hear as much of that in our music.” He was right,
Caleb thought. “So I decided to give it a shot.” “You & I” is not a political song, per se,
but it’s as close as the band has come thus far. “I’ve seen the same thing on the news
over and over again and it’s heartbreaking, infuriating, depressing,” he says.
“Basically, when someone says, ‘I disagree with you,’ what’s normal seems to be to
say, ‘okay, build the wall!’ I feel like my role is to keep that wall from being built as
long as possible.”
Another of the album’s stand-out tracks is “You Know It,” which Caleb accurately
characterizes as “this total surf rock jam.” The song gets at that “push pull,” as he
puts it, of wanting to pay enough attention to all the different things you love in your
life. It opens with lyrics directed to his wife, reassuring her that he’ll be back from
the road before she knows it, and mid-song, flips to say the same thing to the crowd.
“I want to be both places,” he says, smiling. Caleb finished writing the song,
appropriately enough, in the back of the van, on a sleepless cross-country sprint
from Nashville to San Francisco, with a stop over at the Grand Canyon. They had to
drive it straight because they’d stayed home as long as possible, but the drive was so
inspiring, they played the newborn track at the very first tour stop.
“The greatest performers, whether they’re jumping all over the stage or standing
still the entire night, they manage to connect with everyone in the room,” says Caleb.
“They are able to make you feel not just like, I was honored to be in the room that
night, but like, I was a part of something that night.” That feeling is what drives and
inspires Colony House. And it drives and inspires them to very lofty goals. “When we
play our music, we dream about hearing it in an arena one day,” Caleb says. “Some
people say you shouldn’t dream so big, but why would we put a ceiling on
something that we love so much?”
Marlon Williams
Marlon Williams
"Each song is a character," says Marlon Williams of his self-titled solo debut: a remarkably assured and diverse nine-track tapestry, united by one of the most versatile and evocative voices you'll hear this or any other year. "I don't really ever sing out of character. Even if it's a very personal song, once it's written it doesn't belong to me."
Combining his family's Maori upbringing with the vocal epiphanies he discovered in the school choir and then in nearby Christchurch's cathedral ensemble, the duality informed Williams' unique journey as a singer. He enrolled in the prestigious University of Canterbury, but classical music's institutionalized stuffiness proved too much. The Unfaithful Ways, his band of fellow fallen choirboys, was becoming a hot local live draw.
After the youthful combo folded its frontman cut a trio of domestically acclaimed duo discs with prolific Lyttelton tunesmith Delaney Davidson, then made the decision to relocate to Australia – partly pushed by the ruinous earthquakes that had left Christchurch in disarray, partly pulled by the promise of Melbourne's bountiful music scene. Williams pitched up at legendary pub venue the Yarra Hotel, winning over seasoned booze hounds with a first gig on the eve of the Aussie rules football grand final.
Marlon returned home to record his self-titled album, utilizing the The Sitting Room in Lyttelton Harbour - and working once more with producer/engineer Ben Edwards, whose prior loyalty extended to rescuing The Unfaithful Ways' album master from a cordoned-off quake aftershock area. Such deep-rooted bonds birthed an eclectic yet cohesive set that ranges from rollicking, acrobatic opener "Hello Miss Lonesome" to the wry coffee house wisdom of "Everyone's Got Something To Say", via Rubber Soul-ful zinger "After All" and "Lonely Side Of Her"'s beauteous barroom empathy (penned for paramour and co-vocalist Aldous Harding).
Its author's easygoing gender fluidity is expressed through his revelatory, androgynous reading of the traditional lament "When I Was A Young Girl", previously hymned by Nina Simone and Feist, among others. "That's a real fun challenge. An exposition of how songs are personal and impersonal at the same time. I don't even think about [male or female]. Either that or I don't think of myself as a boy anymore! The version I knew was by Barbara Dane, a white San Francisco soul/folk singer from the '60s."
This ability to truly inhabit his material illuminates Williams' majestic rendering of such diverse touchstones as classic orch-pop ballad "Lost Without You" and conceptual, 1974-vintage nugget "Silent Passage" (originally by Bob Carpenter, a Canadian of First Nations heritage). These covers blend seamlessly with novelistic noir standouts "Strange Things" and "Dark Child" (co-credited to childhood choral pal Tim Moore, now a palliative care nurse), which deliver gallows humor with a widescreen groove. That quality is further illustrated by their playfully cinematic videos.
Having been nominated for 5 New Zealand Music Awards, an Australian ARIA Award and completed sold out album release tours, this Southern Hemisphere star's eagerly awaited international release should see Marlon Williams soar.
Venue Information:
FMQB Free Outdoor Stage on the Hill
13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
Boulder, CO, 80302
http://fmqb.com/home.asp