After a bit of a hiatus Melbourne’s Colour and Shade have returned with a brilliant new tune ‘Therapy.’ I caught up and had an epic chat with Zak Knight and Mat Purcell
For those new to Colour and Shade can you give us a brief history
Zak: We were a full line up in 2017 and we did our album in 2016 so we’ve been doing stuff for a while. The band was originally started by me (Zak) and our other vocalist Tim Greenwood. Mat joined not too much longer after that. Tim and I had both been in other bands previously and we basically decided that we were going to do a whole album straight away, before we even had a full band. We managed to pull off doing the whole album between the 3 of us. Through some connections we ended up getting in touch with Troy Brady from The Amity Affliction, so we went up to Brisbane and did the record with him. That was an interesting and pretty good learning experience. When Tim actually joined with me initially he was actually just going to be on guitar, he’s a really good guitar player.
Mat: Tim used to teach me guitar He was showing me all these demo tracks to this band and I remember, maybe a couple of months before that, I was seeking out a band and then Tim just said let’s do it join my band and were all sorted so that’s what happened in the end
Zak: Interestingly enough Tim and I were working on some songs to come up with an idea of what sound we wanted and for a bit of fun I showed him that I was learning how to play some Pierce the Veil songs and he started singing along I was like um hold on a second you’ve got the high vocal range your not playing guitar anymore mate!
You just lost your job!
Zak: So I asked him if he wanted to be the singer. He’d never been the singer in a band before. He was like ‘Fine Zak I’ll learn how to sing if you learn how to scream!’ When we went into the studio neither Tim nor I had ever recorded vocals, as in like lead vocals for the style that we were doing. It was definitely a challenge, but we were very lucky because we had somebody who had a lot of experience producing us through it. I also got a lot of insight into how he did all that kind of stuff which became very useful for producing Tim in the future. Through Tim’s friendship circle we found Graham (King) who is our drummer. Graham basically said, ‘Oh yeah you better get my mate Chris (Heyward) to come and play bass, he’s a jazz bass player!’ So that’s how Chris came into the band. Graham and Chris are both jazz musicians
I always assumed that what you played would be what you listened to or preferred to play; I’m finding that I was so wrong on that assumption!
Zak: Yeah. If Mat has his way we would just be playing Metallica!!
It’s funny we are an eclectic bunch! Mat started off with classic metal and rock mostly. Tim and I kind of gave him an insight into the world of hardcore
Mat: It opened my eyes to a lot of different bands and new sounds
Zak:, I was a nu-metal kid through and through. My favourite band is Deftones. But also Living End, SOAD, Limp Bizkit and also older pop punk like Blink 182, The Offspring and Sum 41, stuff like that But I didn’t really get into emo or hardcore until I was 23 when I had a band with Alex Reade from Drown This City. She was actually the person who introduced me to Parkway Drive.
And your new single Therapy…
We’ve released ‘Therapy’, but this is the first song off of an EP that we have done. In terms of the music side of things previously the majority of the music was spearheaded mostly by me and supplemented by Tim. This time around I specifically took a step back because I’m very good at just taking control and it doesn’t feel very collaborative to the rest of the guys!! I consciously decided that I wanted this to be as collaborative as possible. When it comes to the music side of things the person who had the biggest hand in that beside me would be Mat. Mat came in most days when I was writing or demoing so that he could help guide the sound in a way he thought that everybody else would enjoy as opposed to just doing the “Zak thing”
That’s a bit of a phrase is it “The Zak Thing”
Zak: In our band it is!!
Mat: Not only that, it was very much a learning experience for me. I’d never had experience with music production or writing my own music on a serious level, so it was very new and exciting for me. It still is really. There’s so much more I want to learn and get better at.
Zak: It was a pretty wild time for us making this EP. This particular song was interesting, I had a day on my own and came up with the chorus and the verse musically and then I showed it to Mat. Tim had already written the lyrical component. Mat thought it was pretty good, even though I thought it was okay. So Mat and I worked on it a bit more.
Mat: I remember one day I came back with a bunch of ideas and one of them stuck. It’s a big part, which is the breakdown in this song
Zak: Yeah I had this idea for it. I had this whole build up, a sort of groovy beatdown kind of thing and Mat literally turned to me and said, ‘No it’s got to be metal.’
So you’ve converted him?!
Zak: Haha yeah. Mat was very steadfast on that. He literally said, ‘No the breakdown has to have as many fast chugs in it as possible Zak!’
Mat: Yes I feel I said that!!
Who do you look up to?
Mat: The biggest one for me at the moment is While She Sleeps. It’s not just their music, I watch all their YouTube videos and their little documentaries. The work that they put into everything is what I want us to get to. It’s very much inspirational for me.
Zak: I have a really cool While She Sleeps story. I got really lucky I went and saw House vs Hurricanes album launch for the Crooked Teeth album. While She Sleeps was on the bill. It was their first Australian appearance for their album This is the Six, and Northlane fortheir album Discoveries. It was probably one of the best heavy music shows I’ve ever been too. Every band dominated. It was cool because here was me trying to get into and embrace metallic hardcore. When While She Sleeps came on I was like this band is probably going to be my favourite metal band for the next 10 years! And they are!! So While She Sleeps in regard to their work ethic. The people I look up to aren’t artist but producers. The three biggest ones are Tyler Smith he produced the latest I, Prevail record. He is incredible. He’s my biggest inspiration as an artist and producer. Close to him are two others that most people would know. Kris Crummett, who mastered our record and also does all the Dance Gavin Dance albums. He’s a lovely dude. The other person I look up to, who is actually one of my mentors, is a producer named Jay Maas.
Finally who would be your top three aussie acts at the moment?
Zak: My top 3 Australian acts right now, in no particular order….. Shit I’m gonna have to think about this for a minute Mat, you go!!
Mat: I can’t help but go to the big ones if we’re allowed to. It would be Parkway Drive because that is something to inspire to. Polaris, they haven’t been big for long but the way I’ve seen them is they are tracking to be this huge Australian band. And a third one I don’t know; I couldn’t tell you.
It’s actually a tough question! Someone asked me the other day and I couldn’t answer it. The only one I had was The Gloom In The Corner!
Mat: Oh actually I might say them for number three. We’ve played with them a few times and they are so much fun. I remember doing a Sea Shepherd gig with them and Mikey broke one of the tables from jumping around on it.
Zak: I’m going to be very controversial with my choices. My top artist, even on my Spotify, is someone that you probably wouldn’t think that I would suggest but It’s 5 Seconds of Summer. Parkway Drive is another, just for Reverence alone. The third one is hard because I mostly really enjoy just listening to all the smaller local bands. I’m going to make a really bold over the top statement here. I would say that, specifically in one particular song – Glitch, that Josh Flint, the vocalist from Elements, is in my opinion is going to be the Sam Carter of Australia. He is incredible. I would say he is one of the most talented vocalists I have ever met in Australia.
After listening to Therapy I am keen to hear more from Colour and Shade so stay tuned and follow their socials to keep up with what’s happening!
‘Therapy’ is out now on all platforms:
Colour and Shade are:
Zak Knight – Guitar & Vocals
Tim Greenwood – Vocals
Mat Purcell – Guitar
Chris Heyward – Bass
Graham King – Drums