Given that Melbourne-based trio All The Colours are already planning their third studio album, you’d be forgiven for thinking it a bit of stretch that we’re including them as part of the new band of the week proceedings. However, we’re confident that their psych-tinged retro rock will no doubt find many a new fan within TeamRock’s readers, so we’re stretching the rules just a little bit this week.
The band join us below for a chat about their music, the next album, plus a full and frank discussion about all the naked women in their latest video.
Can you introduce yourselves – where are you from, who does what and what are your roles in the band?
Jonathan: “My name is Jonathan and I’m from the lovely city of Wellington, New Zealand, residing in Melbourne, Australia since 2004. I’m on the drums and rhythm sticks.”
J Mann: “In Parkdale, I was allowed to develop the skills of observation which turned out to be the basis of my learning and ability to form an opinion, which has evolved to psycho-babble. Much of which sprays the other lad’s ears.” [We think this means he’s lyrics and vocals - Ed]
How did you guys meet and start making music together?
Jonathan: “We were in different bands and liked what the opposite was doing. Played some shows and completely bonded over those intellectual conversations about nothing. We were putting our cocks on the table and measuring them. For sure. But they were BRAIN cocks. Figuratively. Literally.”
What were your key influences/inspirations in getting the band together?
Jonathan: “From my perspective, we all grew up during a really good era of great bands: the 90s. It’s hard not to love the power of rock music. We’re all solid musicians and wanted to make music we were passionate about, and do it in a manner that would grow and develop organically over time.”
How would you describe your sound in three words for people who’ve never heard you?
J Mann: “Polished sludge buckets.”
What makes you special/different to other bands out there?
Jonathan: “I don’t think we’re different from other bands in a special way. We’re just three passionate guys who love to rock. But I also don’t think there’s many current acts truly just smashing out some solid prog rock at the moment, so I’m keen to see a heap more of us out there ASAP!”
J Mann: “Tone. We haven’t quite gotten it but I can hear us fishing for it. That boils down to our ears and what we like or what resonates with our vision for what shall one day be referred to a ‘definitive sound’. We are just in it at the moment. Forest for the trees, etc.”
Tell us about the new single, Heartbreaker?
Jonathan: “We’re currently in pre-production for Vol. 3, our third studio album. It’s a long insular process making an album and we thought it would be nice to put out a bit of love while we worked. It’s nice to just pick an idea we had an go ‘This doesn’t need to wait for the album, let’s just chuck this out there to the fans we have, they might appreciate it’.”
J Mann: “Well, we did So Goes Love which is banging and ramped up to trying a few more songs of our own, and she stuck.”
What’s the story behind new single Heartbreaker, and how did it come together?
J Mann: “If such a song exists in our five year stint that was written during a soundcheck I feel Heartbreaker is it. Josh had the hook in his brain and the surgery to remove it took place with a huge sub smacking around an empty room. The gats are added like salt in this, and this is a good look at where we are going.”
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Full disclosure: we’re not massive fans of the video, which treads the well-worn trope of using female nudity as its main selling point. Aren’t we past that point in music promotion by now?
Josh: “Aren’t we past the assumptive trope that all men are sexist? The idea was mine (Joshua Moriarty), I wanted to create surrealist renaissance imagery. To be honest, I would have been happy if us gentlemen weren’t in the clip but then we wanted to perform and be ourselves so that’s what we did. The women are friends of my wife (who helped produce the video) and were all super enthusiastic. The first thing I heard one of the women say when arriving on set was that she preferred to be naked more than clothed. It’s not about selling sex, it’s about the beauty of female bodies, and we wanted to conflate a classical approach with a modern aesthetic woven with some absurdist humour.”
Jonathan: “No one’s going to like everything. Nudity can challenge people and that’s fine. My girlfriend thought it was pretty average too because she much preferred the violence in the one before. It’s a bunch of people just being in the present, being silly, having fun out at a studio we set up which conveniently happened to be smack bang in the middle of magic mushroom season.”
J Mann: “I thought a disclosure statement was offensive.”
Were any women involved in the production of the video? If not, why not?
Josh: “As I mentioned, my wife helped us to produce it and our director is actually a gay drag queen. Is that liberal and modern enough for you?”
Jonathan: “Women?? Involved in production?? Never!”
J Mann: “Harvey Weinstein did NOT have anything to do with this film clip.”
Was there not a more imaginative concept you could come up with to sell the song, or are we missing some sort of subversive point here?
Josh: “No subversive point at all, just a bunch of oblique and contrasting scenes. We’ve been very imaginative in the past and will continue to be into the future. Watch some of our other videos, we have covered plenty of ground and really enjoy exploring different avenues. If this clip upsets you then you should watch our video for Jonathan, it’s way more obtuse.” [You can watch the video below.]
Where are all the penises?
Josh: “Why would the insertion of a penis suddenly make it okay? Art has never been about about tit for tat, or in this instance tit for knob. Penises didn’t fit the aesthetic for this clip, we would hardly compromise the art in order to satiate a PC regime now, would we? Oliver Emberton said, ‘If you’re not pissing anyone off then you’re not doing anything important’.”
Jonathan: “I’m far more self conscious than those women.”
What do you hope people will take away from the single, its video and your music in general?
Josh: “I hope people will enjoy watching the video, that’s all it is there for. Art for art’s sake, useless beyond anything other than titillation. To create in pictorial form a sense of wonder and curiosity, nothing more. I think it looks brilliant, we couldn’t be happier with how it came out. The women look striking and powerful and I remember all of us having such a great time on set and enjoying the process immensely.”
Jonathan: “I’m with J. the video was fun and I hope people can get some level of enjoyment from whatever we do. We sure do.”
J Mann: “That same feeling we’ve all had when waking up to weird video clips in the wee weekend hours.”
What’s been the highlight of your time in the band so far?
Jonathan: “Seeing some naked chicks in a music video we once did. That was pretty cool.”
J Mann: “I would probably say the last two getaways for writing were more friendship affirming than ever.”
What are you most looking forward to about the future?
Jonathan: “People on social media suddenly realising no one cares about their opinions more than themselves and everyone chills out.”
What do you have planned for next year?
Jonathan: “Doing Vol. 3 in New York is on the horizon.”
J Mann: “We better be. Otherwise I’m busy that day…”