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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
FLYING COLORS Casey McPherson INTERVIEW 2014

HARD ROCK INTERVIEWS 2014 - FLYING COLORS Casey McPherson

We spoke to vocalist Casey McPherson as he drove through some "crazy Texas traffic" and he was kind enough to shed some light light on the new Flying Colors album.


Q: Thanks for joining us Casey. How are you feeling about the new Flying Colors record?


A: Very excited! We got together again and set out to make a great record, and I think we nailed it.


Q: Flying Colors has something for everyone; from tight punchy rock songs to prog epics. What's the writing process like for you guys?


A: We actually get to spend very little time together; this is our labour of love, not our bread and butter. Sometimes you make better stuff that way though. The writing process is simple and very refreshing. Everybody has so many great ideas, so we're never looking around for a great idea. It's always about sifting through ideas for the ones that really jump out.


This process was twofold really, in three different sections. The first part we got together in Neal's studio and we'd write and record a song a day with no lyrics but me singing stream of conscious words and focussing on melody. Then we'd Skype a few sessions in so everyone could bring in their ideas  to finish the record. All that was really smooth, so we loaded all the tracks into Google Drive, as ProTools sessions, so we could each finish our individual tracks in our individual home studios.


It was really cool and very efficient to use the cloud for recording!


 

Q:  Given everything was recorded in home studios, did you collectively produce the record or did you bring in someone to oversee the final tracks?


A: No, I guess at this stage of our careers as musicians we're all very good at knowing what to look for. Neal and I did vocals together, because it's very easy to get all in your head as a singer. We gave everybody room to do their thing.


Q: Do you see this process as an emerging trend for making records?


A: It's interesting where it's going, because people are only buying things that are real now. For the most part it seems people are buying into stuff that feels original; I'm not sure if they care anymore whether it's recorded in a million dollar studio or not. They just want to know that it feels right.


Q: Do you think this has to do with the resurgence of vinyl as a medium for artists to release their physical product?


A: Our fanbase seems to be largely made up of people who are fans of the individual musicians other bands but who are buying into this progressive pop thing were doing, and I think that they appreciate sonic quality. All the equipment we use, while not in an expensive studio, is top of the line so that fidelity is definitely there. Vinyl is such a listening experience, so that definitely ties in with sonic quality. We sold out of vinyl pretty quickly with the last album!

 

Q: You've got amazing musicians in the band yet Flying Colors is more about the song and the compositional aspect of music. How much easier is it having great players to work with?


A: It makes coming up with something great a lot easier. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts and I think there's something really beautiful when music is about the communication of a group of individuals rather than just one person's ideal. It gives it unprecedented detail.


It's made making a song elemental, but making maturity in a song an adventure.


Q: As a prog rock fan I hear the strong 70s and 80s prog influence, but songs like Mask Machine and Bombs Away have a modern rock feel. Did you have a common theme across all the songs?


A: Musically we never put any limitations on what we do. Lyrically and melodically I definitely have a theme as I move through all of that.


This record I was thinking about how we spend so much of our time discovering who we are and being ok with who we are as a person, but spending most of our lives and we use consumerism, we use the pain from our past and experiences to create these walls and create a person we think we need to present to the world. It's so much work and so painful and scary to live this way that we have to let that go; Mask Machine really sums that up for me.


The three part Cosmic Symphony is all about coming to terms with that and realising it's not going to be that bad,  and that everything's going to be ok if we just be ourselves!

 

Q: In light of all that, whst keeps you inspired to keep making music?


A: I love Ryan Adams songwriting, I still love Muse and early Radiohead, Bon Iver'Ivan's first record; I just love melody! Silverchair from Australia are another band I love funnily enough.


Q: Silverchair was the soundtrack to high school for my generation here in Australia! Was there one particular record that changed your life,  by any artist?


A: Grace by Jeff Buckley was a defining moment for me. I was a teenager who had a lot of sensitive emotion as I was growing into being a man, and when I heard his record I realised I can sing about this stuff and not be afraid if it comes out that way. That record gave me so much freedom in terms of singing style and not being scared of beauty in music.


I think there's a difference between beauty and cheesiness!


Q: I get a huge Jeff Buckley vibe in the song Peaceful Harbour; tell me about that one.


A: It's funny you mention that one. That melody started on the first tour we were on, and I started singing that as an intro to Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah which we played on that tour. Mike insisted we use it on the next record,  and Peaceful Harbour came out of that. It's so simple but so beautiful.


Q: What's the meaning life?


A: To learn how to love.


Q: Thanks so much for your time Casey; enjoy the rest of your day driving around Texas. All the best!


A: Thanks so much, I'm keeping my fingers crossed we can make it down that way. Australia is on my bucket list! 

 

CASEY spoke to Leon Todd of loacl rock band Ragdoll September 2014

you can find out more about Ragdoll at www.ragdollrock.com

 

 

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