Smile Politely

Revolt at the Canopy this Sunday

Earlier this week, Smile Politely talked to So Long Forgotten. The band has been touring of late but this Sunday night you can see them live at the Canopy Club. Colour Revolt, a guitar-heavy outfit from Oxford, Mississippi, is headlining the same show, which begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance.

Taking their name from that book you had to read in advanced geometry, Edwin Abbot’s The Flatland, Colour Revolt has been playing together since high school. After a tour with Brand New in 2006, the band signed to Interscope. It wasn’t until the band signed to Fat Possum Records (home of The Black Keys and Andrew Bird) that they released their debut full length, Plunder, Beg and Curse, in April of this year. Their sound is hard to peg; their songs are filled with complex guitar layers and they operate as an incredibly tight unit.

Smile Politely was able to talk to Colour Revolt’s lead singer, Jesse Coppenbarger, through the magic of Gmail. See what he had to say after the jump.

How has the tour been? Who have you been playing with?

It’s been OK. Long. We’ve been on tour mostly with this band Rose Hill Drive.

You formed in Oxford, your latest album was released on Oxford’s Fat Possum Records; do you believe in keeping things local?

Not really. It just worked out that way. I guess we have strong ties there. It’s a really small town and we’ve lived there for close to 6 years, so yeah … ties get strong, I guess.

How’s the music scene in Oxford these days?

Dying in a way that prisoners die when they’re being tortured — slow and depressing. There are a lot of good venues, though, where good people come to play. There’s a good band called the Sleepwalkers. There’s Tyler Keith and the Apostles, Charlie Mars, Dent May and we know a guy in that band Lover from Oxford.

Do people think you’re from England because of the spelling of your name? Does that bother you?

I don’t know. I guess.

You’ve played with a diverse range of artists, from Brand New to the Breeders. Wikipedia also notes Okkervil River, Dinosaur Jr. and Menomena. These bands fit all over the “rock” map; do you align yourselves with a particular genre or discipline?

No, not really. One time this guy said we were “Bluez-gazer” and I really liked that.

Your songs often reference the devil, god, good and evil; pretty heavy stuff. The music seems to complement the subject matter. Do the lyrics affect the music or the other way around? How much emphasis is placed on the lyrics?

Music before words. The melody is really important, as well as delivery.

How does your song writing process work? Is there a principal songwriter or is collaboration the key?

Use to be a lot about just jamming out parts but it always depends on the song. Sometimes it’s more written when going into the full band process and sometimes it’s just a guitar part of some kind.

What can the unknowing public of Champaign-Urbana expect from a Colour Revolt live show?

Nothing. Expecting as little as possible — gives more room for being pleasantly surprised. It’s better than the records for sure. That’s what you get when you tour for too long.

For the well-versed Colour Revolt connoisseur, are your live shows faithful to the records or do you try to expand or change the songs you’ve recorded?

They’ve changed over time but it’s not like we’re a jam band or something.

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