Color Theory
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Q

With lyrics covering many topics, e.g., criminality (Game Over), cheating bastards (Two) & romance (Drive You Home), I'm curious if any particular song is more about "you" than others?


Color Theory responded on 05/03/2012
A

I try not to let my personal history get in the way of a good song. Usually I start from a title and take it wherever it leads me.

Drive You Home was actually written for a friend's wedding, and describes how he met and fell in love with his now-wife. Your other two examples are fictional (or are they? ;)

Q

Are there any musical genres you can't stand? I.e. you'd rather have a root canal than listen to _________ (opera, twangy old-school country, or whatever)?


Color Theory responded on 05/02/2012
A

I've never had a root canal, so I'm not qualified to answer that question. ;)

There was a time I would've singled out a few genres, but I've learned through my mastering work that I can appreciate good music in any genre. What I can't stand is predictable cliché lyrics, because by the second chorus I'm already making up offensive rhymes in my head.

Q

You have a pretty unique style, what elements do you combine to get your particular sound?


Color Theory responded on 05/01/2012
A

80's synthpop is in my blood, but I listen to mostly electronic dance music now, so my music falls somewhere in between. And of course I'm a pianist first and foremost, so there's that.

If you mean actual instruments, I'm entirely "in the box." Even the piano is sampled, even though I've got a 1914 Steinway O in the next room. The samples sound so much cleaner in the mix! My main synths right now are Massive and Zebra 2, and I record and mix in Ableton Live.

Q

Did you take piano lessons ? What is your musical training? Did you sing in choir growing up?


Color Theory responded on 05/01/2012
A

A friend inspired me to ask my parents for piano lessons around age 13. I took them on and off with several teachers over the next few years, and studied improvisation with Charlie Shoemake, a jazz vibist. I played mallet percussion (mostly marimba and vibraphone) in my high school drumline, and piano in the school jazz band. Piano-wise, I was mediocre at best until I started practicing four hours a day in college.

I didn't really sing growing up, though I was required to be in choir as part of my music major in college. I accompanied choirs for six years after getting my degree, which I blame for the excessive vibrato on my first five albums.

Q

Will you be going on a tour of the US some time, or playing at any concerts in the midwest?


Color Theory responded on 04/26/2012
A

I'm strictly a recording artist. I don't even go to other bands' shows, because what I enjoy most about listening to music is the production (preserving my hearing is a bonus).

Q

who's your influences?


Color Theory responded on 04/25/2012
A

Growing up, Depeche Mode (of course), The Cure, The Smiths, and David Sylvian/Japan. Recently I've been listening to EDM and post dubstep, like Deadmau5, Skrillex, SBTRKT, and Little Dragon. Pretty much whatever I listen to rubs off in my music.

Q

Still live in OC? Love your music. Thank You. Please keep it coming!


Color Theory responded on 04/25/2012
A

Yep, still in Huntington Beach. Thanks!

Q

Since you are a parent and a musician, have you ever thought about writing a song or two specifically for children?


Color Theory responded on 04/25/2012
A

It just so happens that when my wife was pregnant, I asked a friend to make sure I never wrote songs about babies and parenthood. It doesn't sound like such a bad idea now, but I trust my younger self, who always found such efforts cringeworthy. So that covers songs ABOUT children. If you mean songs FOR children, like They Might Be Giants' stuff, I don't think I could pull that off.

Q

What were some of ther most embarassing moments of your career?


Color Theory responded on 04/24/2012
A

Hoo boy... so many options to choose from here... well, my early newsletters (physically printed and mailed!) and email updates were basically second-rate comedy routines. Really gag-inducing humor. When I read them back, I get the same painfully awkward feeling as I do when watching The Office. I'm surprised so many of you stuck around.

Q

Have you ever been approached by labels and, if yes, why did you decide to stay unsigned?


Color Theory responded on 04/24/2012
A

A handful of times, including just last week! Earlier in my career I came close, but these days I don't see the point. I've got it good right now, being able to write and record what I want, when I want, and share it with you however I want. Anyway, I never set out to be rich and/or famous, which is convenient since it's not very likely to happen!