This Cumbrian based 3 piece are gearing up to release their debut album after recently signing to Visible Noise records.
Having already self released 2 EP’s, and been featured in pretty much every major rock publication and website, so not one to be left out, we spoke to the band recently.
Can you please introduce yourself to or readers?
I’m Adam and I play drums and occasionally shout in Colt 45.
Where did the name Colt 45 come from?
There’s no real story behind the name. It’s just something we liked at the time and stuck with. We’re not gun enthusiasts, but like the pistol of the same name we are quick, to the point and loud, but by no means intimidating. We also like the Colt 45 beer.
How did the band get started?
Neil and Gareth had both played in various bands in the West Cumbria area, whilst I had been in several bands in Carlisle and Liverpool. I saw Colt 45 playing live in 2010 and thought they were amazing. We knew each other through mutual friends and bands on the local circuit, so when their old drummer left, the boys asked me to join and we sort of started from scratch writing new songs and booking tours. It’s all happened quite quickly and easily since then. We’re very good friends, which makes being in a band together very enjoyable.
What have you got going on at the moment?
We’re preparing to release our debut album for Visible Noise – this will be a re-release of our 2 self-released EP’s which were both cut in Cardiff with Romesh Dodangoda. Then we’ll go and track our new material for a brand new release in 2014. We’ve just finished up the festival season which was awesome as ever, and hopefully we’ll announce a UK tour for later in the year pretty soon as well.
Favourite music and why?
We all listen to different stuff, but there’s certainly a lot of cross over in terms of our favourite bands and influences. Stuff like The Menzingers, Gaslight Anthem, Alkaline Trio, Rise Against, Manics, Sharks, Jimmy Eat World, Depeche Mode, At The Drive In all make us jump about and screech in the van, I guess because it’s energetic music for energetic people and we relate to a lot of their songs. It feels like we have something in common with them, and that’s why we wanted to be in a band in the first place.
Favourite book and why?
Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck, just because it was my favourite book at school.
What’s your favourite film and why?
The Big Lebowski because it’s our favourite film for all three of us, it’s hilarious, the characters are great, the soundctrack is cool and it’s just one of those movies you can put on any time anywhere and laugh your arse off at.
What’s Colt 45’s best experience in the business so far?
Getting asked to play Radio 1’s Big Weekend when they did it in Cumbria a couple of years back was pretty special, but without a doubt stepping in to headline Cockrock after Wiley got booed off stage earlier this summer has to be our crowning glory to date. Right place, right time.
Why should Soundscape readers care?
We could be their new favourite band! Cumbria is very similar to South Wales, so I’m sure your readers would relate to a lot of the themes on our record. We also tracked the album in South Wales, so if you’re in a band thinking where to go and record, check ours out first and you’ll hear how good Romesh and Longwave Studios are.
Tell our readers an interesting fact about the band?
Two thirds of Colt 45 actually have Welsh blood running through their veins. My Dad’s family are all from Abergevenny and Bridgend. Gareth’s (bass) middle name is Maelgewyn, which translates as ‘Prince of Hounds.’ We like telling people about that.
What’s the best and worst things about touring?
The best thing about it is the unpredictable nature of spending 24 hours a day with your mates – talking, thinking, playing and dreaming music constantly, and performing to new people every night. Sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don’t, but we enjoy being on the road very much. We have some great banter in the van. Worst thing about it is the driving, particularly at night. Coming from Cumbria there’s a lot of miles to do to get anywhere really. And fuel costs can be a nightmare too. It’s all worth it in the end though!
Most embarrassing thing to happen to you while in the band?
We did a live radio session fairly recently and the sound tech just didn’t know what he was doing with a live punk band. He was used to recording string quartets or acoustic soloists. We sounded utterly awful when the session got played and we’d told all our fans and family to tune in, so we were pretty embarrassed about that. We sounded shite.
What’s your writing and recording process like?
Writing wise, all three of us play guitar and all three of us can sing, so there’s usually a healthy pool of ideas between the three of us. One of us will bring in an idea, work on it together, and by the time it ends up as a finished song it’s pretty much one third of each of us. Neil writes most of the lyrics – he has to sing them afterall! Gareth and I make up words for our parts, sometimes on the spot! Recording wise, pretty standard really. We’ll track drums with a click, then do bass, then layer all the guitars and finish with vocals. Romesh knows how to get the best out of us in the studio, so it’s always been a fairly quick process and most of the time is spent mixing. We don’t go anywhere near the studio until we’re 100% happy with the arrangements, and then we’ll do some pre-production as well to make sure everything’s ready.
What inspires you?
Our jobs, our lives before Colt 45, parents, people, relationships, the Cumbrian weather – all the usual stuff really. We come from a place where if you aren’t a footballer or working in a factory or at college, you’re expected to never really amount to much. Well none of us were that good at football or education, so making a success of this band, and challenging the outdated perceptions of local people is what drives us on. Having said that, there are a huge number of people in Cumbria who have supported us and helped us out all the way, without whom we’d still be where we started. These folks are as much an inspration as our background and shared love of rock music.
Best thing about playing in Wales?
Wales reminds me of my youth, I did a lot of growing up in South Wales, down the front at Porthcawl or wandering around Cardiff, where I got my first ever guitar. We’ve enjoyed performing here very much, and the recording sessions we’ve done here have always been a total blast – very easy going, great people to work with and a really nice welcome and atmosphere in the places we’ve been to. It kind of reminds us of home quite a lot. There’s also a very obvious pride attached to being from this part of the world – we can relate to that. We also signed our record deal in Pontypridd, so it will always be a special place from now on!
Who are your role models or idols?
I don’t tend to believe in idols – it’s usually a recipe for disappointment. I have drumming influences – people like John Bonham, Danny Carey, Jon Theodore, and I guess there are historical figures we collectively admire, but those are for reasons above and beyond music and I feel like a dick forcing my own agenda or ideals on others.
In your opinion what is the hardest thing about the current business?
It’s a crowded market place in which to set out your stall. You can be the best band in the world with the best tunes and the best merch and all the rest of it, but if the guy who decides where your stall goes says there isn’t room, it’s tough shit, you have to wait. It’s all about good timing and good luck. You need a big dollop of both to succeed. It depends what you want out of this as well. If you’re good enough, and patient enough, good things will happen, but you need to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth certainly.
What are your future plans for Colt 45?
Just to continue touring, writing and recording. Hopefully we’ll pick up more and more fans along the way and start doing the sort of things we’d only ever dreamed of before – the bigger festivals, supporting one of our favourite bands, releasing an album properly – all things we’re certain we’ll get to, but as already mentioned, you have to be patient. We’ve learned to be good at that!
One final question, who is your favourite Batman actor?
Adam West. I hated cartoons when I was little, apart from Tom & Jerry. The old Batman series with Adam West and all the ‘Pow’ ‘Wallop’ fight scenes were my favourite as a little lad.