Interview With Any Color Black

Posted on November 18, 2010

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Glasgow’s Any Color Black are a must see live band. The duo, consisting of Andy and Louise, have a captivating stage presence, with a sizzling tension, that transfers over a crowd.

Amazingly they have managed to capture this on record, with an ouput of gritty, sexy, electro rock that wins on many levels, and has seen them become regulars on TV and one of the cities most talked about bands.

Andy and Louise recently answered some questions for the site, so have a listen to the brilliant Answer (below) while we see what they had to say.

Your bio mentions you met rather randomly, this must have been a bit of an interesting night? How did any Color Black come from this?

Andy:  I tried to impress Louise with my guitar and songwriting skills and played her and her friend a dodgy song called “Rainwater”.  She then played and sung a tune that totally blew my pish song out the water and the obvious thing was to offer to “help” her get a band together….and she’s still not managed to get rid of me since then.  We then had more exploding drummers than Spinal Tap and ended up just programming stuff.

Louise: As you may or not be able to tell from Andy’s comments, there was a substantial amount of alcohol involved.

You are featuring on the soundtrack to MTV/STV programme Being Victor, how did this come about? How does it feel to have your music on TV?

Andy:  It’s pretty cool! Not really sure how it all came about, bit of right time, right place, right track perhaps. We are also being used in the BBC3 series Lip Service, which is obviously causing a fair bit of controversy.  Best thing about it is when folk are on the various social networks asking what song was just on and it’s one of ours.

Louise: It’s nice getting any kind of exposure and my folks are wicked proud. Of Being Victor that is, they are not allowed to watch Lip Service, Far too much sex in it for their eyes and ears.

Your live set up seems to involve a lot of gadgetry, how has this developed over time?

Andy:  The first gig we did with just us and the laptop was in our own studio and it was nerve-wracking!! We played to about 4 people before we went and did our first live gig in Caberet Voltaire.  We were still trying to sound like we had a proper drummer then and it didnt really work.  We played a few gigs like that and then, after a really shit gig, we decided to rework, Louise spent quite a bit of time with kick drum sounds during this period.  Since then we have got more and more comfortable with the electronics and added lights and strobes that run in time with the music to put on more of a show.

Louise: Our trick has worked if it looks a lot more complicated than it is. We still use most of the same gear that we started out with originally, like a midi foot pedal, triggering things with abelton live, but as Andy say’s we’ve just got better at it and added a few more knobs and flashing lights.

Your onstage chemistry is often noted, was this something that came naturally?

Andy:  We used to be an item so it is pretty natural!

Louise: It’s mainly because Andy is still in love with me after all this time… (Just kidding, Andy’s better half might shoot me for that one) I guess we’ve known each other such a long time and shared a lot of stages that it’s just kind of the way we are. Andy would like there to be a little less ‘chemistry’ as he yelled in my ear during our set that my hair was stinking. I had not washed it in a week. Or maybe longer.

What can you tell me about the One and One Makes Three label that you have been releasing under? and what are your thoughts on the need for a label these days?

Andy: One and One Makes Three is our own label.  We have tried to put as much into releasing the records as possible and it is hard work doing the DIY route.  We dont have much of a budget so we try to do different things to try and raise the profile and market the band, like having tracks used in online video blogs that have nothing to do with music but have a big following.  We also record everything ourselves and then have someone else mix the tracks, which seems to work quite well. We get to have control over how things are sounding so we cant blame anyone else if it sucks! As for thoughts on labels, there will always be a need for them.  We cant match the marketing budget that some labels could give you and some labels can have their own following so they act as a filter.   I dont think people are using the internet like everyone thought they would, there isnt the desire for folk to search out unsigned/self-releasing bands.  They use spotify and last fm and stuff like that to listen to stuff that they have already heard so you still need the filter of newspapers, radio, blogs that sort of thing and it can be a closed door without some sort of clout behind you, which a record label can provide.  That being said, I wouldnt sign with a record label unless the deal was right.  There is no point releasing something without a marketing budget and plan and I would release myself rather than signing my rights over to some guy that isnt going to do anything to support the release…..I’ll get off the soap box now!

Louise: I agree with Andy, major labels equal bigger budget, indie labels usually equal some good connections, every up and coming band could do with something to drive their exposure, but they can also be the ruining of some who end up a bit trapped with all the reshuffling crap that’s going on with them.

Have there been any particular highlights in your musical career so far?

Andy:  I think we have pretty big ambitions and are quite forward looking so its hard to think of highlights so far…we are bit too “right, whats next?”.  Rockness was no bad though!

Louise: I’ve loved and hated parts of every gig so I would say they’re all highlights, but I can’t really think of a particular one.

What are your plans in music for the next year?

Andy:  We are going to get stuck into writing and recording between now and the start of next year then we have some plans to release a single or two followed by an album but that all depends on how things are moving along and also get some tours on the go.

If you could steal a song from an act on the Scottish unsigned circuit and have it as your own, what song would you take?

Louise: Probably Nevada Base’s track ‘If I’m late’ cause it’s a cracking tune and I am always always consistently late for everything. Rbrbr and Pooch have a couple of gems I wouldn’t say no to either.

If your music was to be the soundtrack to a film or TV programme which one do you think it would suit best?

Louise: Any porn.

And finally a random question from Esperi: If you could listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Andy: Thats a toughy…..right now my favourite album is The Presets “Apocalypso”…its only taken me two years since Louise 1st gave me a copy to actually get into it!

Louise: I listen albums to death so I’d have to go with something that’s stood the test of time. Maybe ACDC “Back in Black’ cause many a time it has prevented me from throwing Andy out of moving vehicles in the past.

A big thanks to Any Color Black for taking the time to answer some questions and here’s how you can hear/ see more of them:

website

soundcloud

19th December – Stereo, Glasgow – Dig Deep Gig w/ Vendor Defender + Phantom Band DJ’s

Photos by Pennylane Photography

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Posted in: Interviews