By Christina Croucher
I spoke to Dallas Green, the artist we now know as City And Colour before his trip to NZ in December. The down to earth artist is at the end of his tour around the US and looking forward to his trip down to the Southern Hemisphere.
On asking what inspired the words for his latest album, The Hurry And The Harm; "People want things to happen so fast, we are all in such a rush - including me, even just getting annoyed at your computer when it won't load up a page quickly- I feel like we just need to take a step back and calm down."
Dallas' song writing has been described as a journey through a state of mind, so what state of mind was he in while writing the songs of The Hurry and the Harm? "I was in a place of really reaching out for something - something that was maybe missing or out in the distance, and that feelingoftrying to find that thing really comes through most of my songs but especially Paradise." This is apparent in his lyrics "I'm searching for aparadise that I just can't seem to find" "I'm looking for a way out, for a place that no one knows, please take me away now, somewhere that don't feel so cold." Dallas speaks about taking his time with his lyrical content. "The melody and music comes a lot faster than the lyrics, I really take my time to complete a song as I write from a really honest place. Some people write to produce fast ‘hits' but my writing comes from real experiences, I definitely don't rush that."
About being inspired by poetry on the album... "To be honest, I was never into poetry; it just doesn't reach me the same as music does. Though while writing for Hurry and the Harm I discovered poet Wendell Berry and was really inspired. I guess with Poetry it's about digging for what you really like - what speaks to you."
Anyone that's been a fan of Dallas Green from the beginning knows the pretty massive contrast between his past sounds with Alexisonfire and his current project City And Colour. I asked him what inspired this change. "Well I've always loved to play guitar really loud as it's fun, but because of the way I love to sing I've always loved to listen to singers such as Jeff Buckley. These types of singers inspired me to write songs." The change of styles wasn't a conscious or sudden decision Dallas says "It's just what I'm feeling and what's coming out at the moment". Dallas speaks of his other broad musical influences and said he grew up on a wide range of music including girl R n B groups (thanks to his sister) but still admits listening to them today.
Dallas will be playing in Auckland on the 16th December and Wellington on the 18th. He'll be backed by a band mixed up of successful musicians including Jack Lawrence from The Raconteurs, and Dog McGregorfrom the Constantines. City And Colour is known to pull off a mind blowing live performance with unsurprisingly stunning live vocal talent from Dallas Green. Tickets are still available - be in quick.
City And Colour
December 16th: The Civic, Auckland (All Ages) - Tickets via Ticketmaster
December 18th: St James Theatre, Wellington (All Ages) - Tickets via Ticketek